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

Cord Keeper

Cords for small power tools like sanders and drills can get in the way when you work on a bench. One trick to keep them from interfering is to make up a chain of heavy rubber binders. Loop one end of the chain onto the cord about a foot behind the tool. Loop the other end over a cup hook screwed into the ceiling of your shop. When done, unhook from the cup hook and put the tool in storage.
Read More

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.
Read More

Restoring Wooden Gutters

Here's a tip on how to increase the life of old wooden gutters. The first step is to lay a new rubber liner along the inside the gutter. Adding copper flashing along the edge seals the liner, adds extra durability, and allows water to run off easily. Finally, add a second strip of rubber on top of the flashing for extra protection.
Read More

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.
Read More

Chisel Care

As with hand planes, the key to using chisels successfully is keeping them sharp. If they are not kept sharp, your work will suffer. If you are wary of taking your good chisels to the stone, consider buying a cheaper set to practice on. Store your chisels boxed, in a tool roll, or in a wall rack. Avoid magnetic tool racks; when chisels are magnetized small metal filings will cling to their edges, making honing more difficult and dulling a keen edge much faster.
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

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.
Read More