Here's a handy tip from Steve Hay...

One of the most overlooked and under-utilised handy helpers in the workshop today is good old fashioned water.

Grab a good quality trigger spray bottle from wherever you are, hardware store, supermarket or cheapie shop. Fill it with water and see how many uses you can find for it. Here’s a few of my favourites:

1. Give a quick spray on the timber faces of the jaws of your bench vice to increase holding power — without exerting additional pressure.

2. Before staining a job give a few sprays of water to raise the grain. When dry, sand back with 240–320 grit to help give smooth and even colour.

3. A squirt is ideal for a quick wet-up of a waterstone.

4. Useful to weaken glue strength, especially when sizing endgrain prior to glue up.

5. Squirt on wood to see the actual colour or grain configuration when selecting the right piece for a job.

Steve Hay presents Woodworking Masterclass on 31 Digital, for viewing times see

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