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

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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DIY Molding

If you are frustrated with the choices of molding styles at the lumberyard, make your own. A 15-piece molding head set for radial or tablesaws costing less than $60 can provide endless options. If the stock cutters don't meet your needs, you can easily re-grind a new profile. Hone the edge and within minutes you can produce customized molding for new projects or to match molding no longer available.
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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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Cross Cuts

Cross cuts are cuts the go against the woodgrain. Once you've properly measured and marked your piece of wood, guide the side of the handsaw blade with the knuckle of your thumb. Start the cut by pulling your hand saw up two or three times, then push the saw blade forward at about a 45 degree angle. It is preferable to begin your cuts on the side of the wood that will show less when the project is complete.
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Cleaning Bits

After a few uses, resin will build up on your drill and router bits and lessen their effectiveness. An easy way to clean them is to slip on a pair of rubber gloves and safety goggles then spray each bit with household oven cleaner. Scrub away the resin with a medium bristle toothbrush. Rinse and thoroughly dry each bit.
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Cord Requirements

When you hook up a power tool to an heavy-duty extension cord, remember that all cords are not alike and all power tools do not necessarily require the same size cord. Check each tool's owners manual to find out its requirements. Here's a helpful guide for cords less than 50 ft. #12 gauge - 1920 watts - 16 amps - large bench saws #14 gauge - 1440 watts - 12 amps - portable power saws, routers #16 gauge - 840 watts - 7 amps - belt sanders, recip saws #18 gauge - 600 watts - 5 amps - drills, small sanders
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