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

Blade Radius

The width of your bandsaw blade and its tooth set will determine the smallest circle you can cut without damaging the blade or the saw guides. Generally a 3/16-in. blade will cut a radius as small as 5/16 in.; a 1/4-in. blade will cut as small as 5/8, and a 3/8-in. blade as small as 1-7/16. The wider a blade, the thicker it will be and the longer it will stand up and keep its edge.
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Storage Boxes

When you reorganize your basement or garage, buy yourself a number of cardboard boxes all the same size instead of scrounging various-sized used boxes. This way they will all have covers and you can stack them neatly. Mark each box with a big letter and number, like A-1, A-2, etc., on all four sides and top. Use a three-ring binder to write down the box number and its contents.
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Blade Balance

A sharp mower blade is a key to a perfect cutting job. However, whenever you sharpen a blade yourself, always check it for balance. An out-of-balance blade can cause excess mower vibration and wear. One way to check is to tie a metal washer onto a string, thread the string through the center hole of the blade, then hold the blade up with the washer supporting it. The washer should be on center and turned perpendicular to the blade. The blade should stay level. If it doesn't, grind it for balance on the back side of the blade. Always disconnect the lawnmower's sparkplug wire before removing or replacing any blade.
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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.
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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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Workbench Height

When setting up workbenches, the height is generally figured at about hip pocket high. But before you buy or build a workbench, consider the height of your tablesaw. If the bench is the same height as the saw it can then be used for extra support when sawing over-size materials.
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Brass Restoration

Here's how to restore the missing brass hardware on an antique door. The ghost image of original brass hardware is often visible. It can be replicated by tracing the impression. A cardboard template is made to scribe the design. The brass is cut on a bandsaw and smoothed with a belt sander. The piece is polished and installed on the door.
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Assembly Photos

If you plan to refurbish a major shop tool or other equipment, take some photos before you start. They possibly can save you some head-scratching during the reassembly process. Take pictures from a number of angles, and take close-ups of areas where you think you might have some questions later. The more complex the machine, the more photos you should take.
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Bent Nails

Bent nails often result from poor hammering technique. However, they can also be caused by a dirty hammer face, especially when using cement-coated nails or working around adhesives. If you have problems, occasionally run a piece of fine sandpaper or emery cloth over the face. If you keep the face clean you will gain more solid contact with the nail and will avoid black marks on the wood caused by a dirty hammer.
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