Using As A NotepadDoing a lot of measurements all at once and don’t want to forget those numbers? Stick a piece of masking tape onto your tape measure and use it like a mini-notepad. You can even draw some sketches if necessary.
Measuring a Tall WallWhen needing to measure a very tall wall, butt your tape measure against the floor and extend it to the ceiling. Bend tape over at the ceiling and “eyeball” your measurement. You should get within 1/4 inch with this technique.
Substitute Measuring TapeWho needs a measuring tape? Find yourself out and lacking one? Whip out any U.S. bill and use it for a rough measurement. It is about 6-1/8inch long.
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Purchasing a Good TapeIt pays to purchase a quality 25 or 30 ft. measuring tape with a 1 inch blade. The extra stiffness provided by the wide blade allows you to extend the tape farther before it buckles. This is especially helpful when working by yourself.
Tape Measures StretchMost tape measures have a little slack on the hook end that needs to be pulled away from the tape measure body. This is so a person can stretch a tape measure out. If you push it towards the tape measure, you will be off by about 1/16".
HacksawThe hacksaw is most often used for cutting metals, with a fixed or adjustable frame. Blades are 8,10, or 12 inch in length. You can cut in four directions: up, down, right or left-depending on how the blade is mounted in the frame.
Chainsaw SafetyJust a few rules to remember when using the chainsaw this fall.
- Never cut when standing behind the saw.
- Keep your left elbow straight, not bent, to help control kickback.
- And wear a hard hat, goggles or visor and earplugs.
Hand Saw Used For MeasuringFor a “rough” measurement place ruler increment marks on your hand saw’s flat edge. Just use a permanent felt-tip marker and this will help you eye-ball many future measurements.
Getting Table Saw Blades CleanRemoving gum and burn deposits on your table saw is just a spray away. Use a good oven cleaner, let stand a few minutes and wash off with soap and warm water!
Circular SawsWhen choosing a circular saw consider the following factors: power, weight, blade-orientation and convenience features. Try to test out a saw before purchasing, it will give you a feel for the saw’s handling and you can see the saw’s cut.
BroomsA 24inch head broom is great for outside work in the garage, patio, sidewalk, and driveway. Go for nylon bristles which are not affected by water and chemicals. The inner bristles can move heavy gravel and dried on soil. The outer bristles are finer and catch any small particles missed by the inner ones.
Hang up your brooms to prevent then warping !
Basic Tools Used For Home RepairsWhat can you purchase for the handyperson in your life for Christmas?
What are some basic tools to purchase for repairs and maintenance around the homestead?
- Different widths and length screwdrivers, and a no.1 and no. 2 Phillips screwdriver.
- Utility knives come in handy for many projects, with a wood chisel as a handy supplement.
- A 16-oz. Claw hammer, and crosscut wood saw, and a couple sizes of C-clamps for gluing objects.
- For gripping , an adjustable wrench and 8 inch pliers, as well as, slip-joint pliers.
- A 25 ft. steel measuring tape, combination square and a framing square for measuring and marking projects.
- And for power tools the most needed tool is the drill with a set of high-speed bits. A 3/8in. reversible, variable speed model will do all you need.
How Screwdrivers Should WorkA screwdriver should fit the slot its going to be used for, in width, length and shape. If the tip is too wide it will markup the surrounding wood and if it’s too narrow, you will have inadequate leverage and could damage the screw head.
- Never use as a chisel or punchtype tool, this often destroys the driver’s tip.
- Never use as a prying tool, (e.g. prying off a paint can lid).
- Never use to increase another tools turning power.
- Never start a screw by tapping with a hammer, you risk splitting the wood.
- Keep your fingers above the screwdriver when it is being turned, especially when force is being applied. You don’t want a hand injury if your driving hand happens to slip!If joining 2 pieces of wood, the screw length should be about 3 times the thickness of the top piece of wood. (E.g., A screw should be 2in. long when joining a piece of 3/4/in. wood).
- The shank hole in the top piece should fit your screw freely. The pilot home in the piece being joined should be slightly smaller in diameter than the threaded part of the screw. This way the joint will close tightly as the screw is being turned all the way.
- To easily turn screws into hardwoods, first scrape a little wax or soap on the screw threads.
Check Square For AccuracyTo check a combinations square for accuracy, position it on a board and make a mark. Then flip the square over and check to see that the blade matches the first mark.
Clogged Spraycan NozzlesAerosol spray paint cans instruct you to turn the can upside down after using and spray until the stream of paint is clear, thereby preventing the nozzle from clogging. However, sometimes this doesn't stop all the clogging. You can try using the tip of a safety pin to unclog, or soak the nozzle in some paint thinner for a couple minutes.
If the tip fits on a can of WD-40, putting the tip on the WD-40 can and giving it a squirt will clean a spray nozzle fast.
Sharp Hand Tools
Overlooked Garden ToolThe machete is one of the most overlooked garden tools around! It can be very useful in outside work. It hacks through overgrown grass, then you can use the mower more effectively.
AxesWhether old or new, remember to sharpen the blade on your ax before using it. File on both surfaces, rounding them to a convex profile. Use a fine grade of steel wool to apply rust inhibitor. When done with ax, store blade in a leather sheath.
Chiseling Safety TipsChisels need a sharp blade to work effectively, a dull blade actually requires more force to work and increases the potential for an accident. NEVER put your fingers in front of a chisel blade ! The chisel is being pushed forward with a force great enough to injure your fingers seriously, so beware.
How To Use ProperlyThe correct way to grip a nail hammer is with a firm handhold near the handle’s end. To start a nail, hold it between the thumb and index finger, tapping lightly once or twice. Then move your hand to steady your workpiece while you drive the nail home. WATCH THE NAIL, as you drive it to avoid a bashed thumb!
Try to swing the hammer precisely, so that the center of its face strikes the nail head squarely. When the head is not struck properly, the nail bends and can possibly dent the wood.
Misplaced Chuck Key To Drill PressYou’ve misplaced your chuck key again? Try this little trick until you find or replace it! Insert the head of a Phillips screwdriver into a chuck hole, and the head of a slotted screwdriver into the closest notch. Now pry open the chuck carefully
Chuck Key For Electric DrillIt's helpful having the key chuck within easy reach when using an electric drill. You can attach the key chuck to the drill's power cord using the rubber "tie" that most manufactures provide. Often these ties don't fit tight enough, so the key slides around on the cord, often out of reach. To help keep the chuck within reach, try sandwiching the tie between a couple of tightly wrapped rubber bands.
Drill ChucksTo get the directions for your particular drill for removing the chuck, they come in the replacement Jacobs Chuck kits sold in some of the tool places. If the screw is already loose inside the chuck, you must chuck up the tool used to tighten the chuck & strike it carefully to break the bond between the drill motor shaft & the chuck. At least one 1/2 " Dewalt drill that I changed the chuck on was left hand thread but I don't think they all are if my memory serves me right.
Facts About Wrenches
- Pipe wrenches, monkey wrenches, and adjustable wrenches have moveable jaws, that change with a turn of a knob for various spans.
- Box wrench fits over a nut to hold it firmly all around. An open-ended wrench grasps only 3 sides. You can get in both metric and fraction sizes. A combination wrench has a box head on one end, and an open head on the other.
- A socket wrench set has interchangeable socket heads with a ratchet.
Facts About Caulking GunsPurchase a decent caulking gun,($6-7), with smooth ratcheting mechanisms, and large easy-to-squeeze handles. Also, look for a “dripless” gun , it will save you from getting caulk all over you or your project.
Which Direction To Plane?When handplaning boards, it is hard to know which direction to choose to avoid a tearout. Checking the grain on the board's side helps, but doesn't always tell the whole story. This additional method works very well.
Look at the end grain of the board. You will have one of two patterns for flatsawn lumber: hills or valleys. Next look at the surface of the wood to see where the grain forms rounded points (called cathedrals). If the end grain is a hill, plane into the points. If the grain is a valley, plane away from the points.