A rule can be used to quickly divide a board into equal parts. Lay the rule on the board with the start of the scale against one edge. Then angle the opposite end to a number that is easily divided by the number of parts you want. (If you want to divide a board into three equal parts you might use 9 and mark the board at 3 and 6.) Likewise, if you need four equal parts, angle the rule to numbers divisible by four, like 8, 12 or 16.
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.
You can use a rule to quickly find the center of a board's width without dealing with small fractions. Lay the rule across the width, keeping the scale's zero mark lined up with one side. Then angle the rule so that an even number lines up with the opposite side. Mark the board at half the distance. You can also find the center by drawing an "X" diagonally across from one set of opposite corners, then across from the other set of opposite corners. The exact center will be where the lines cross.
To store a carpenter's square, nail either a 13-in. or 22-in. length of tongue-and-groove flooring to your shop wall, groove side up. Then, to hang your square, just drop one leg of the square into the groove of the flooring piece. The length depends on which leg you want to be horizontal.
It's always preferable to nail through the thinner piece into the thicker piece. Driving the nail at an angle may not be attractive, but will give you a stronger hold. Use a nail that is long enough to allow approximately two thirds of the nail to be driven into the thicker piece.
Here's the best way to remove finish nails from old woodwork. After carefully removing the woodwork from the wall, pull out the nails using a vise grip. Grasp the nail with the vice grip on the unfinished side of the wood and pull the nail through. Repeat this procedure until all the nails are removed. This method keeps the finished face of your woodwork intact.
To save trim during remodeling, use two small, flat prybars. Slide the thin end of one behind the trim, pull, then insert the second in the space that opens up. Alternate pulling each bar to inch the trim off. If finishing nails protrude from the back, use slip-jaw pliers with a rounded top jaw to pull them through.
You can avoid splitting or marring wood, such as hardwood molding, by using what is called a nail spinner. With this low-cost device chucked into your power drill, you just insert the nail and then "drill" it into position. The nail will penetrate to within 1/4 in. or so of the surface, then you can drive it home with a hammer and a nailset.
You can extend the the time it takes hot-melt glue to set by slightly pre-warming both the surfaces to be joined with a heat gun. A heat gun also works great for stripping paint and other odd jobs. For example, you can use it to remove bumper stickers, defrost freezers, char-stain wood, dry wood for painting, burn weeds from cracks in sidewalks and patios, light charcoal, loosen rusted bolt nuts and bend certain plastic piping.
Kickback is a leading cause of power saw injuries. A hazard inherent to all power saws regardless of brand or style, it occurs when the material binds or pinches the saw blade during a cut. In a split second, kickback can jerk the saw out of a user's hands or shoot the piece of wood he's cutting back toward him.