Tips of the Trades
Seriously Amazing Tool Pro Tips
Be smarter than the nail
Problem: You’re pulling out a long nail, and the nail head got to the point where it was too tall for the hammer claw to reach it.
Answer: Shove a block under the hammer and continue on to a successful conclusion.
Check out more hammer tips here.
When toe-nailing (or toe-screwing in this case), you normally want the screw to emerge at the middle of the bottom of the board you’re screwing in to. But driving in a screw at an angle and making it come through in the right spot sometimes seems like it can be half guesswork, half luck. There’s a way to toe-screw that eliminates the luck factor; just do it backwards. Driving in from the underside of the board first allows you to control and accurately place the screw exactly where you want it to be. Once the hole has been created from the bottom side, just back it out and drive in from the top.
Check out these additional fastener tips.
Stripped screw? Don’t panic
Sometimes screw heads get stripped out. It’s just a part of life. If the head of the screws you’re struggling with is sticking up above the surface, there’s actually a pretty simple solution. Just open the chuck of a drill, place it over the stripped screw, and then clamp the chuck down onto the screw head. Then simply reverse the drill like you normally would to remove a screw.
Check these other cool tool hacks.
Say goodbye to dry lips and sticky screws
Sometimes driving a large screw into a tough piece of wood it can be a bit of a chore. If the wood is super hard you can strip the screw or even break it in two. But if you have a tube of lip balm nearby, you’ve already got an easy fix to this problem. Just apply a dab of lip balm to the grooves of the screw. The lip balm will act as a lubricant and the screw will sink in like the wood was butter. Be careful not to overdo it when working on a fine woodworking project. The waxy lip balm could get on the surface of the wood and repel the stain or finish. And you may want to wipe off the end of the lip balm before putting the cap back on.
Get your groove back
Sometimes the threads on the end of a bolt can get dinged-up, leaving you with no way of threading a nut onto the end of it. But there’s an easy fix to get your bolt back in working order, if you have access to a grinder. Gently hold the bolt up to the grinder at an angle and taper the end. This will restore the groove and allow the nut to be threaded back onto the bolt.
Check out this story for more grinding tips.
Coping with a jigsaw… wait, really?
It does take some practice, and it does work better on larger trim, but yes, you can actually cope trim with a jigsaw. The saw should always be on the bottom, so the blades pull away from the show-side of the trim and create the tear-out on the bottom where it doesn’t matter (Unless you have a reverse tooth blade). Choose a sharp, non-agressive wood blade. Also, coping with a jigsaw works much, much better with a coping foot like this one. There are several models, so make sure you choose the right one for your saw.
Check out more jigsaw tips here.