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

CO Detector

Install a carbon monoxide detector to warn of harmful gases that may be entering your home because of a blocked or damaged chimney or faulty heating system.
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Cleaning Bits

After a few uses, resin will build up on your drill and router bits and lessen their effectiveness. An easy way to clean them is to slip on a pair of rubber gloves and safety goggles then spray each bit with household oven cleaner. Scrub away the resin with a medium bristle toothbrush. Rinse and thoroughly dry each bit.
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Bucket Storage

You can use several plastic 5-gal. buckets fitted with tough nylon tool holders to help organize your shop. When not being used they can be hung up neatly on screw hooks to the side of your workbench or inside a special cabinet. Using several buckets will allow you to organize in various ways, like inside work, outside work, plumbing work or electrical work.
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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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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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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.
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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.
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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 Reverse

If, when mounting a bandsaw blade, the saw teeth are pointing up instead of down, don't panic. Chances are that the saw blade got twisted inside out as it was uncoiled. To remedy, just twist the saw blade right-side out and it will mount correctly. Watch for this, especially when you are mounting a metal-cutting blade which has small teeth. If used upside down it will cut poorly and the teeth can lose their edge quickly.
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