When wiring or rewiring your workshop, consider installing extra outlets in the ceiling, positioned over groupings of power tools. Ceiling outlets can be more accessible and can help eliminate tripping over extension cords. If you are setting up or remodeling your workshop, also plan to install at least one outlet every 3 ft. around the perimeter.
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.
During construction, get the building stabilized with regard to temperature and humidity prior to installation of finish materials and interior trim.
When your're choosing a fuel source for your home heating system, start with available fuels in your region, because not all fuels are available everywhere and some are cleaner and more efficient than others. Based on your chosen fuel—natural gas, fuel oil, light propane gas, and kerosene are the most common—you can figure out how much heat a gallon will give you and how efficient that fuel is likely to be. Called the standard heat value, the amount of heat a fuel can produce per gallon or cubic foot is measured and reported in Btu (British thermal units). The higher the Btu produced, the more efficiently the fuel burns and the greater its heat value. Fuel oil, for example, has a heat value of 135,000 Btu/gal., while liquid propane gas produces 91,000 Btu/gal. Next you need to plug that information into the furnace selected. How many Btu/hour the furnace or boiler releases determines its output and will help to decide how much furnace you need to heat your space to the desired temperature. This is how the pros size and evaluate your heating needs. Following these formulas, you can plot out your energy usage, optimal furnace size, and desired output, too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make sure the compressor's output matches the pounds-per-square-inch requirements of the tool to be used. Check and change the oil regularly. After a day of use, empty the air tanks and drain any water build-up inside the tank through the drain tap at the bottom of the tank.
When painting, keep a damp rag handy to clean up as you go. It's much easier to clean paint that is still wet.