Aug 062019
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No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip from Sticks in the Mud woodworker, Jim Randolph. It’s OK if you call him “cheap.”

There are a million uses for the zippered plastic bags that electric blankets and throws are packaged in.

Did you buy a new electric blanket this winter? The zippered bag can store the blanket when not in use. Unless, of course, you live near Steve Johnson, where it’s -38 Fahrenheit in the summertime and you need your electric blanket in July! Seriously, save the bag for a million uses.

We store infrequently-worn clothes in them, but they are also handy in the woodshop.

I caught blue jeans on sale in 2003 and must have thought they would never go on sale again. If this last pair were not protected, they’d be buried in dust by now.

Their greatest benefit is keeping their contents dust-free. A rag you need for finishing or polishing is useless, even damaging, if it isn’t clean. Pop it inside one of these pouches and, like Delta Airlines, it is ready when you are.

Some faraway day I might get to retire. When I do, I expect to be in the woodshop one-third of the week, fish one-third of the week, write one-third of the week, and bird every day. That will give me plenty of opportunity to use up all of these rags I’m stockpiling. Mostly old T-shirts, underwear (Hey! That cotton is soft! Don’t throw them away!) and washcloths.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

  One Response to “Reusing Zippered Blanket Storage Bags – Tips from Sticks in the Mud – August 2019 – Tip #2”

  1. When I replace my white cotton socks I save them and use them for staining and other finishing. You can ball them up or put your hand inside.

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