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

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.
Read More

Helping Hand

It seems that for some jobs, you need three hands to get it done. Your pliers can lend you that extra hand. Use the pliers to grip the wire or small piece you need to have held. Then wrap a rubber band around the handles to maintain the grip while you complete the work.
Read More

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.
Read More

Beyond Zero Measuring

To increase accuracy, some woodworkers avoid using the zero end of a rule or tape and use the 1-in. mark instead. You can also use other starting points, such as 2 in. or 3 in. However, when using this technique, you must remember to subtract that number from the actual reading further down the rule.
Read More

Drill Bit Cases

When you buy a drill bit set, it most likely will come in a storage case. This case will help you figure out which size bit you need to use. When drilling holes for a pilot or lead hole for a nail, find which slot in the bit case the nail will fit in. The next size down is the bit you should choose. When drilling a pilot hole for a screw, you need to choose two bits. One for the starter hole and one for the pilot hole. Find which slot in your bit storage case the screw will fit in. That is the size of bit you should use for the pilot hole. For the starter hold, use the next smaller sized bit.
Read More

Blind Holes

When drilling blind holes in iron or steel, fine metal bits usually fall into the hole. To remove them, you can use a strong magnet and a soft iron or steel rod that is smaller in diameter than the hole. Push the rod to the hole bottom, then press the magnet to its upper end. Keeping the magnet to the rod, pull it out of the hole and brush away the bits of metal. Repeat until all of the metal bits are removed.
Read More

Bucket Uses

Accessories available can turn your plastic 5-gallon buckets into handy tool carriers. Another way to put them to use is for storing extension cords. Cut a hole near the bottom. Feed the female end just through the hole from the inside. Then coil the cord into the bucket for easy carrying. You can also put small project parts inside of recycled plastic peanut butter jars and store them in a bucket. The jars are easy to carry around, won't break, and let you easily see inside.
Read More

Broken Screws

There's a solution for dealing with wood screws which have broken off below the surface of the wood. If you don't want to risk damaging the wood by digging it out, try driving the screw deeper into the wood with a nail set. Then just fill the hole with a wood filler, and drive a new screw next to the broken one.
Read More

Workshop Cabinets

Small cabinets with plastic drawers are easier to use if you mount them at eye level in your shop. That way items are easier to see without pulling out all of the drawers to get what you need.
Read More