Woodworking projects are notorious for creating a mess. Wood shavings and saw dust will fall everywhere and migrate far from the work area! There is a simple trick to keep the mess contained and not impede on the project itself.
The trick is to work in an area with no breeze, so that any dust or shavings will fall vertically, then place a moist paper towel under the work site. The wood shavings and saw dust will fall on the moist paper towel and stick to it! This will let you work away without fear, and have a single piece of paper to fold up with the mess. The paper can be folded up to contain the issue and disposed of easily.
This trick works well for wood, but it also works well with metal (though I would personally make it a wider area of paper towel). Next time you have a project, enjoy being able to fix it quickly and clean up even quicker!