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

Beyond Zero Measuring

To increase accuracy, some woodworkers avoid using the zero end of a rule or tape and use the 1-in. mark instead. You can also use other starting points, such as 2 in. or 3 in. However, when using this technique, you must remember to subtract that number from the actual reading further down the rule.
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Clamp Helper

When clamping long or wide panels with bar clamps, a dowel inserted crosswise between the jaws of the bar clamps and the wood will help center the pressure and keep it uniform. Use dowels about as thick as the thickness of the wood you are gluing up.
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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.
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Sawing Posts

Say you're building a deck in your yard and have to cut a 10-in. thick post in half. How do you do this with a circular saw with just an 8-in. blade? Make matching straight cuts on opposite sides of the timber. Set the thickness guide to just over half the woods width.
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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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Helping Hand

It seems that for some jobs, you need three hands to get it done. Your pliers can lend you that extra hand. Use the pliers to grip the wire or small piece you need to have held. Then wrap a rubber band around the handles to maintain the grip while you complete the work.
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Carpet Padding

When purchasing carpeting, you should buy the best-quality carpet you can afford, coupled with the highest quality padding. In fact, the padding that goes between the carpeting and the subflooring is as important as the choice of carpeting itself. Padding provides softness and support, cuts down on noise and insulates the floor. Often referred to as "underlay" or "cushion," padding thickness depends on the pile of the carpet above it. Padding should be no thicker than 7/16 inch, even for a very deep pile carpet. Too much cushion can actually void a manufacturer's warranty; so, take the time to find the padding that is right for your new carpet.
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