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

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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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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Ceiling Outlets

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.
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Drill Bit Cases

When you buy a drill bit set, it most likely will come in a storage case. This case will help you figure out which size bit you need to use. When drilling holes for a pilot or lead hole for a nail, find which slot in the bit case the nail will fit in. The next size down is the bit you should choose. When drilling a pilot hole for a screw, you need to choose two bits. One for the starter hole and one for the pilot hole. Find which slot in your bit storage case the screw will fit in. That is the size of bit you should use for the pilot hole. For the starter hold, use the next smaller sized bit.
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