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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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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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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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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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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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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