Pro Tips for Safe and Secure Tool Storage

Keep your favorite tools and gear stored as safely and securely as possible with these great storage pro tips.

CONSTRUCTION PRO TIPS

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How to Keep Buckets From Getting Stuck Together

Five gallon buckets are super handy, but they have a tendency to get stuck together when stacked. Sometimes, they practically require the Jaws of Life to separate them. The best way to avoid this dilemma is to place a slip of cardboard between each one as they're stacked. The cardboard will be just enough to keep the buckets from nesting together fully, leaving just enough separation to allow them to be easily pulled apart.

Trowels stacked on the rim of a bucket | Construction Pro Tips
CONSTRUCTION PRO TIPS

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The Best Way to Store Trowels

For construction pros, keeping things cleaned and organized isn't just about looking good in front of customers. Organized tools lead directly to higher efficiency, which saves time, and everyone knows that time is money. To keep track of your bulky and odd-shaped tile trowels, consider hanging them from the rim of a bucket. Just make sure that the blade of the trowel goes inside of the bucket. That way, nothing gets on the handle and any excess adhesive or thinset will fall from the blade right into the bucket.

Silicon spraying into a lock | Construction Pro Tips
CONSTRUCTION PRO TIPS

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How to Unstick a Frozen Lock

Extreme colds can cause the internal gears and mechanisms of a lock to literally freeze together, making it impossible to unlock. So what should a construction pro do when he needs to get into a tool chest or trailer that's clamped shut with a frozen lock? One quick fix is to grab a can of warm silicone and squirt some directly into the keyhole. The warm silicone will melt the ice, and you'll end up with a lubed lock as a bonus. One short squirt of silicon is all it should take to get the lock unstuck and get access to your tools. Warm up the can indoors or in your warm vehicle. Never use an open flame to warm the can. We like silicone because it doesn't attract dirt like other multi-purpose lubricants do.

Wrapping up a tube of caulk with duct tape | Construction Pro Tips
CONSTRUCTION PRO TIPS

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How to Save Wet Tubes of Caulk

When a cardboard tube of caulk, adhesive, or sealant gets wet, bad things tend to happen. Namely, the water lessens the integrity of the tube and once pressure is applied the tube can split open, creating a giant, sticky mess. To avoid this, wrap any cardboard tube that has become wet with a layer of duct tape. The tape will reinforce the tube and hold everything together. The tube can then be used as normal with no fear of a caulk or sealant explosion.

HH frayed straps
CONSTRUCTION PRO TIPS

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How to Fix Frayed Straps

Frayed straps are difficult to feed through ratchets. Here’s how to make the ends good as new.

  1. Cut the strap straight across a few inches down from the frayed end with a sharp knife.
  2. Wave a lighter under the freshly cut end.
  3. This melts the fibers together, preventing fraying. This method only works on synthetic material, not cotton.

HH fix frayed straps lighterFamily Handyman

Construction Pro Tips

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How to Tie Down Tarps With Broken Grommets

Trying to tie down a tarp through the holes of broken or missing grommets is going to be a bad time. The plastic of the tarp will tear pretty easily without the metal support of the grommet, leaving loose connections and tarps susceptible to flapping open in any sort of wind.

If you are in a pinch and don't have time to repair grommets with a kit, the best way to tie down a tarp with a broken grommet is to take a small pebble or rock and bunch up a small bit of the tarp around it. While holding the pebble in place, take the string you are using to tie the tarp down and wind it around the pebble in the tarp. Then tighten the string, tie a knot and there you go- a secure connection in the place of a broken grommet that won't fail.

Marking a plastic tool with a soldering iron | Construction Pro Tips
CONSTRUCTION PRO TIPS

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Prevent Theft by Marking Up Your Tools

Marking up all of your tools makes it tough for thieves to resell your stolen property. It also prevents other workers on the jobsite from accidentally mistaking your equipment for theirs. The best way to give plastic tools your mark is with a soldering iron. Just heat it up and then draw/melt whatever you want directly on to the tool itself. Be sure to make your mark on the actual body of the tool and not a part that can be easily removed, as that sort of defeats the purpose.