Spring is a good time to paint fences and the exterior of your home, especially wood surfaces. This way, they will be protected from summer heat and sun. Wood decks should also be sealed once a year.
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.
Accessories available can turn your plastic 5-gallon buckets into handy tool carriers. Another way to put them to use is for storing extension cords. Cut a hole near the bottom. Feed the female end just through the hole from the inside. Then coil the cord into the bucket for easy carrying. You can also put small project parts inside of recycled plastic peanut butter jars and store them in a bucket. The jars are easy to carry around, won't break, and let you easily see inside.
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.
When undertaking an attic or third floor renovation, consider using a crane for the heavy materials. For about $500 a day you can rent a small crane or lift. It can easily handle heavy materials like lumber and drywall, not to mention hot tubs. They can boom out about 42 feet, enough to get to the top floor of most homes.
Having a trigger-type oil-can close to your drill press is handy when drilling metal. To make oiling more convenient, find a container that will hold an oil-can that you have available. Then cut two small slits in the upper part to accept a worm-gear hose clamp. Slip the clamp strip into one of the holes and out the other. Then wrap the hose clamp around the post of your drill press, about 5 in. down from the upper assembly. Drop the oil-can into the holder. From then on oil will always be just an arm's reach away.
When using hand files, it is best to hold the stock firmly in a vise or clamp. For better results, try to keep the stock being filed at about elbow height. For heavier filing work, the stock should be lower; if the work is finer, try to keep it up closer to eye level.
Glue squeeze-out can be wiped up with a wet rag, but this can drive some of the glue into the wood's pores. A method preferred by many pros is to allow the squeeze-out to form a thick skin (usually about 15 minutes), then use a sharp chisel, paint scraper, or cabinet scraper to remove it. A 1/2- or 3/4-in. chisel is handy for glue removal inside corners or next to mouldings.
Removing the dark stains that can get onto your hands from working with walnut and other dark woods can be easy. Just pour a little lemon juice in your palm and rub your hands together. The slightly acidic lemon juice will remove the stains from your hands without damaging your skin.
While screwdrivers may look like pry bars, chisels, punches and scrapers, they should never be used for such purposes. A screwdriver is most effective when its blade is straight, balanced and sharp. Misusing yours will keep it from performing best when you need it to do what you bought it to do...drive screws. Also, be sure that the handle is clean and free of slippery oil or grease.