On the Level is a home remodeling & repair blog to keep you informed on the products and trends that we see in the field.

Board Division

A rule can be used to quickly divide a board into equal parts. Lay the rule on the board with the start of the scale against one edge. Then angle the opposite end to a number that is easily divided by the number of parts you want. (If you want to divide a board into three equal parts you might use 9 and mark the board at 3 and 6.) Likewise, if you need four equal parts, angle the rule to numbers divisible by four, like 8, 12 or 16.
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Carrying Plywood

The problem with plywood is getting in from here to there. It's heavy and getting a good grip is difficult...especially if you have to carry it for any length of time. An easy solution is to take a couple of C-clamps and tighten them on to each end. This will give you the handle you need to get a good, solid grip.
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Hammer Types

What size do you need? Many experienced carpenters use a 16 oz. claw hammer for most jobs, but also carry a 20 or 22 oz. framing hammer for their heavier nailing jobs requiring big spikes. For lighter work, a 13 oz. curved claw hammer can be useful. Even a 7 oz. hammer will come in handy for smaller jobs like making picture frames.
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T Square

A 4-ft. T-square for drywalling can come in handy for other projects. Besides being helpful in drywalling, it can be useful when laying out patterns or cutting on full sheets of plywood or particle board. The square is accurate, stable and will give you a full 48-in. straight line. Some newer versions come with a head that can be adjusted to various angles, then clamped in place.
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Buying Paint

Most exterior paints will cover about 400 square feet per gallon for one coat. But adjust for waste factors like the type of surface and equipment used. If the surface is rough or porous, add 20% to the total gallons figured. If siding is narrow (4 to 5 in.), add 10%. If on a corrugated surface, add 33%. Also add on a 10% waste factor if using brushes or rollers, add 20% for airless paint sprayers, and add about 40% for air paint sprayers.
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Painting Temperature

When using latex be sure that the temperature is above 50 degrees F. It is difficult for latex to form a film at lower temperatures. With solvent-borne paint, be sure the temperature is at least 5 degrees above the dew point. If it isn't, water may condense on the surface as it cools while the solvent evaporates, causing an uneven blushing effect.
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Drying Glue

Do you have any chairs, tables, or other wooden furniture that are a little wobbly due to the glue drying out? Here's how you can tighten things up. First, disassemble the joined pieces. Clean off all of the old glue and dirt with warm vinegar. Rinse with clean water, and let everything dry completely. Use yellow carpenters glue to reassemble all the pieces back together.
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Biscuit Joints

Using thin wood wafers called biscuits can strengthen wood joints by providing more glue bonding area. You can use a biscuit joiner (also called a plate joiner) to cut precision mating slots in boards for the biscuits, which are available in three sizes. Or, to save money you can buy a kit to convert either your router or right-angle grinder. The conversion kits will generally cost about half that of a dedicated biscuit joiner.
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