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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    South Carolina

    Question Extra hands when you need them

    I have a rather small shop, but my requested projects are often big (bookshelves, storage compartments, etc.), so there are times when I could really use an extra set of hands.

    For example, lifting heavy objects - I use either a motor hoist or an electric winch, but do you have suggestions for other means?

    Also, I don't have a large table saw so ripping plywood can be a problem. To make this easier, I use the bed of my truck (it is a flat bed) to hold the plywood. To hold the plywood sheet, I insert two putty knives in the appropriate space between two boards in the deck to act as dogs. the front sideboard to hold one end, and a single clamp on the other end. Now I can use a handheld saw with confidence.

    I'd like to hear how other people improvise when working alone.

    Don Owens
    Easley, SC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Extra hands when you need them

    The key to working alone in the shop is to have all of your tool tops and work surfaces at the same height, this allows you to handle larger and longer materials out without needing a helper. Tripod roller bases set behind and next to your table saw will carry the material as you slide it through the saw.

    With clamps, a straight edge, and a good blade in a decent circular saw will allow you to accurately cut large sheets into a more manageable size.

    For heavier, bulky items like the cabinets you've mentioned, I like your idea of a hoist system to lift them to a trolley or the back of a vehicle.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    nova scotia, canada

    Default Re: Extra hands when you need them

    spruce is right. i build work for a high end renovation company where im the lead for interior finish. most of the time i mill and install most of the trimwork and built-ins by myself. when possible i get large panels cut down to a workable size based on my cutlists right at the lumber yard or take the full panels to our shop and make all my cuts on our large table saw which has a full outfeed. after that its all about benches and carts on wheels that make it easier to move things around.
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Extra hands when you need them

    Don there is a company in Sewell, NJ called Ezee-Feed. I think you may find some of their products useful. You can find them at or you can contact them at 267-784-9600.

    I hope this helps Bob

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