When I design a new piece of furniture, I start on paper, but I almost always mock things up before committing my ideas to joinery and glue. And a big part of mocking things up involves arranging parts temporarily then physically stepping back from the mock-up to give it a gander.
For this step of the process, I use a removable adhesive that goes by a lot of names, including Sticky Putty. It’s basically the stuff that you use to hang posters on the wall without push-pins. You can get it at any well-stocked grocery store for $2-$3 for a lifetime supply. It’s reusable, and it’s valuable for a wide variety of other workshop tasks.
In addition to holding furniture parts in place temporarily, I also use it to temporarily secure tools while I work. A dab can hold a square or sliding bevel as I sight against the tool to drill a hole (note: apply the putty to the side of the tool’s handle, not the base). The putty doesn’t leave residue behind or interfere with gluing, finishing or mind-control waves.
I keep my putty in a zippered plastic sandwich bag to keep it fresh and clean, though I don’t know if that’s necessary. The putty says it never dries out, but “never” is a long time.
— Christopher Schwarz
Read other entries from The Anarchist’s Gift Guide here.