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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Blade Helpers

If you are about to change the blade on your bandsaw, dig out your small spring clamps to make the job easier. A new bandsaw blade can have a tendency to slip off of the top wheel while you try to get it on the lower wheel. Use a pair of small clamps to hold the blade on the top wheel while you slip it over the lower wheel and apply tension. Remove the clamps from the wheel before you begin making final adjustments.
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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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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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Straight Wood

Before you glue up wood for a project, examine the parts. If at all possible, start out with cleanly cut, perfectly straight boards of the proper thickness. Take out any bow or warp before you begin your gluing work. By using straight and true stock, you won't have to force the boards in one direction or another, and you won't have to get into tricky, complicated clamping set-ups.
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Bark Saver

When doing tree pruning work, making an extra undercut with your pruning saw will help keep the bark below heavier branches from stripping down and marring the trunk. Make the undercut from below the branch, about 4 to 6 inches out from the trunk. Then cut from the top of the branch, just outside the lower cut. Lastly, use the saw to make a final cut close to the terminal base.
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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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Blade Storage

Saw blades should be stored separately. Keep each blade secured between two pieces of plywood, fastened together by a nut and screw that goes right through the center of the blade. Blades that are chipped, bent or in any way damaged are discarded at once.
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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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