Homemade Tools for a Shop


While you can buy tools for every possible thing you could need in a shop, you can also make your own homemade tools. This will save you money and may even make better tools that will last longer then anything you could purchase in a hardware store. Besides, tools you've personally made will mean that much more to you.

Centerfinder and Trammel

  • A centerfinder and a trammel can easily be made out of a metal ruler attached to a small piece of wood. With a hacksaw, cut a 1/8 x 1 inch piece of aluminum to about a foot in length. Using a drill press, drill holes in the middle of this piece of aluminum directly down the middle with each one about an inch apart. A ruler would be a good guide for this. Sand it smooth. Now to build the trammel cut a "V" shaped notch in 3/4 stock wood. This piece of wood should be six to eight inches in length and two to three inches in height and the "V" should be wide so that when the trammel is secured, a perfect circle can be drawn with a pen or pencil through the trammel.

Paracord Grips

  • Certain tools need softer handles so they are easier to grip and use. By simply wrapping them in paracord, a good simple and durable grip can be created very cheaply. Paracord is very strong rope made of nylon, similar to mountain climber's rope. About 50 inches of paracord can be purchased for about three dollars and with a tensile strength of 550 pounds, the cord can be unspooled from the tool and used for other purposes in conjunction with your shop tools.

Homemade Bow Tie Press

  • For clamping large pieces of wood or metal, a homemade bow tie press can be made quite easily out of a few C clamps and pieces of metal which can be welded onto the C clamps. By welding a large 16- to 20-inch industrial C clamp to male and female metal bow tie shapes, a bow tie clamp has been mostly built. You can then cut into the metal to allow bigger or longer pieces of wood or metal to be inserted into the clamp and worked on. This also requires knowledge of how to use an arc welder.

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