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Type up your best shop trick, tip or shortcut this week and you could win a restored Millers Falls 2A hand drill (which sells for more than $100) and get published in our “Shortcuts” column.

“Shortcuts” in Woodworking Magazine features the small little tricks, tool modifications or shop practices that make your work a little easier. We generally don’t publish full-scale plans for miter-saw stations or shop-made jigs for routing dovetails.

To give you an idea of some good Shortcuts, you can download a page of them from our Fall 2008 issue. I particularly like the one from Marc Adams for making square holes for pegs , I’ve used this Shortcut myself quite a bit.

Shortcuts.pdf (407.67 KB)

So here are the rules: Send your Shortcut to me via e-mail at and include the word “Shortcut” in your subject line so I know it’s a contest entry. All entries are due by midnight Friday, Aug. 22.

The best Shortcut , as determined by the editors , will win the restored Millers Falls 2A drill from Wiktor Kuc at (Yes, it’s the one I recently wrote about here.) These restored drills are something to behold. No detail is left undone as Kuc restores them. We’ll announce the winner on or before Aug. 27 here on the blog.

Any runners-up will also get their Shortcuts published in a coming issue and receive a one-year subscription (or renewal) to Woodworking Magazine.

Sound good? I think so. Let’s see what you come up with.

– Christopher Schwarz

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Phil Jones

    The tip for using a cut-off auger bit for "squaring up" a round hole from Marc Adams is interesting. But why not borrow a tool from metalworking—the "broach". This can be pushed through a round hole (using, for example, an arbor press), squaring it up along its entire length. Furthermore, they come in a wide variety of sizes, both standard & metric.

    Although made for the metal-working industry, I’ve been using them with great success in wood for some time.

  • Jack Camillo

    Did you get flooded with tips, tricks, and shortcuts?

  • David Neal Rogers sr

    Well my father had one of the drills that you showed and it worked great as long as you could turn the handle, my father told me that if you keep the tool greased it was easy to use.

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