Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 15: Suck it Up
By now you should be comfortable making sawdust using any of your tools. A shop vacuum makes cleaning up that dust easier. A shop vacuum can collect dust right at the tool, keeping it out of your shop's air. It won't serve as well as a regular dust collector (that comes later), but see this article to learn more about using a shop vacuum (and some accessories) to collect dust as you work. The 12-gallon model we chose also serves as a blower, which can help clean the shop in a hurry (you never know when company might drop by). Simply open the doors and/or windows and blow dust outside.
Follow this simple free plan and make a couple of squaring braces from plywood scraps.
You will find these "third hands" invaluable when assembling two pieces at a right angle, something that occurs frequently as you make cabinets and boxes. Simply clamp a brace to one panel, then position the mating panel against the brace and clamp it in place. Scale the size up or down to make sets of braces for projects of all sizes. Bank about half of this paycheck. You'll need it and Paycheck 16 to purchase materials for your next shop project.
If you want to try out your new skills, look for projects to build at woodstore.net. Granted, buying plans can upset your shop-building budget, so try this (shameless plug alert!): Let your family and friends know about WOOD store gift certificates. Hint that maybe you'll buy a plan and build them something in your new shop… (End of shameless plug.)