Handy People Tool

Many ideas and tips
are provided for handy
people who work
with tools.

Handy Tool Tips

Tool Tips for Handy People.

Tool Box Anti-rust Tip

Throw in a couple pieces of
chalk in the toolbox.
The chalk will absorb any
moisture and help prevent
tools from rusting.

When shopping for a tool box,
consider the size you will

How many tools do you have?

Are you going to buy more
in the future?

Do you want to specialize
your tool boxes, where you
have one for plumbing,
one for electrical, etc.

Consider the material the
tool box is made of, plastic
is cheaper, but the hinges
and clasp can easily break.
A metal tool box is more
expensive, but will stand
up better over the long run.

For heavy metal tool boxes
that are stored on the floor,
cut a piece of rug to fit
When you need to slide it out
to get a tool, it wont scratch
the floor.

Corded Electric Drill
Chuck Safety Tip

Tape the drill chuck key on
the cord near the plug end,
this way you will have to
unplug the power cord, to
add or remove drill bits.

An added benefit, you will
not have to search for the
chuck key when it is needed.

Cord Tip

When connecting two
extension cords together for
additional length, loop the
cords together and plug one
to the other.

Also d Do this where the
power tool plugs in, this
prevents the power cord
from unplugging, especially
when you working up a ladder,
where there is tension at
the connection point.

If a plug of an extension cord
or power tool becomes too
loose in a receptacle and
easily falls out.; simply twist
or bend one of the prongs
a little; this will make a tighter

Saw Tip
To help the drilled core come
out of the core hole bit, spray
the hole saw blade with
non-stick cooking oil.

When drilling the hole, drill
about three-quarter of the
way of until the pilot drill
bit appears of the opposite
side of the material, then
reverse the material and
finish drilling from this side.

The plug should easily drop

Sharpening Drill
Bits Tip

A quick way to determine if
you are grinding the bit at
the correct angle is to use
two hexagon nuts.

Clamp two 3/8 inch hexagon
nuts together, the outside
angles is the correct angle for
the drill bit end.

Use this as a guide when
sharpening a bit.

a Try Square For

To check a try square for trueness,
place the try square on a straight
board, draw a line, flip the try
square over, and check against
the line.
Any difference represents twice
the error of the square.

Checking A level
For Trueness

To check a level for accuracy,
hold the level against the wall
and draw a horizontal line.

Turn the level around 180
degrees and check the line
again. If the result is not
the same, then the level
is faulty and should be

Tin Snips
Cutting Tip

Use gloves when using tin
snips, the cut metal can
be very sharp.

Use the first two-thirds of the
snips cutting jaw, this will
result in a smoother cut.
If you close the jaws all the
way on each cut, it will
result in ragged cuts.

If the pivot screw of the tin
snip becomes loose and worn
over time, the tin snips will
not be able to cut near the
outer edge of sheet metal,
it will curls the sheet metal,
instead of cutting.

Tighten the screw and it will
perform more like new.
Add a drop of oil to the pivot
area to prevent wear.

If you try and cut metal which
is too thick for the design of
the tool, you will spring the

Only use hand pressure to
squeeze the handle together,
do not pound with a hammer.

Hand Saw Cutting
Teeth Protection Tip

Use a piece of a garden hose
that is slit to cover the teeth
of a hand saw.

A 3/4 inch slit plastic pipe also
works to cover a bow saws
teeth; simply place over teeth
and give it a slight twist to cover
teeth, and hold in place.

Handsaw Use

When using a handsaw, support
the work piece to be cut

Use a sawhorse or sturdy bench
for a comfortable working

The saw is held closest to
vertical for rip cuts and lower
for crosscuts.

The lower the angle, the finer
the cut.

If you start to wander off the
cutting line, twist the handle
slightly to get back on track.

Make your cut on the waste
side of the line as the kerfs
will cut up to 1/8 inch wide.

If you are making a long
parallel cut and the blade
tends to bind, drive a small
wedge into the end of the
board where you started,
this opens the cut and
release any bind.

Circular Blade
Clean-up Tip

Circular blades can be gummed
up with tar and resins.

To clean a blade, place in a
shallow pan, such as an old
pizza pan and spray with an
oven cleaner. Work the gum
off with a used toothbrush.
Use eye protection and latex
gloves and do this in
a well ventilated area.

Circular Blade
Cut Tip

To prevent splintering wood,
use masking tape, place it over
the area to be cut and draw
your guideline on the masking
The tape will help keep the
wood from splintering and

A dull saw blade will cause

Drawing a
Circle Tip

To draw a circle, use a hacksaw

Nail one end of the blade to the
center of the circle to be made.
Place a pencil in the appropriate
position and continue drawing
he circle.

You can also drive a nail in the
center of circle to be, and use a
string with a loop on both ends.

Place the pencil in the outer
loop and draw your circle
pivoting on the nail in the

Cutting Thin Wall Material
with a Hack Saw

Use a 32 teeth per inch hacksaw
blade when cutting thin walled
materials, this makes it cut
much easier.

Using an Adjustable
Crescent Wrench Tip

The adjustable wrench is not
as strong as a boxed-end

Place the adjustable wrench on
a bolt and adjust the jaw to fit
snugly against the flat of the
bolt head.
Always place the wrench on
the bolt so that the force is
enacted on the stationary jaw,
not the adjustable.

Screw Driver Tip

Never use pliers on a round
headed screwdriver to tighten
a screw.

Pliers can slip off and cause
Use a wrench on heavy duty
square shafted screw drivers.

Do not use a screwdriver as a
chisel or a pry bar, you will
damage the blade, or cause
injury to yourself.

Wood Screws and
Hardwood Tip

Drill a pilot hole into the wood,
and then add a bit of candle
wax to the screw, this makes
the screw easier to drive home.

Measuring Wood

Roundhead screws are measured
from the underside of the
head to the tip.

Flathead screws are measured
from the top of the head to
the tip.

File Tips

Files can be plugged up when
filing aluminum.

Spray the file before use with
non-stick cooking oil
(sold in supermarkets).
This will help keep the file
Finish cleaning up with a wire

Wood Chisel Tips

Keep a wood chisel sharp, dull
tools cause accidents.

Store chisels in a wood box or
drawer, if you have end covers,
use them.

Do not use a wood chisel as a
screwdriver or pry bar.

Save old leather gloves, cut
the finger tips off and use
them for protective chisel ends.

Hammer Safety

Avoid striking a hardened steel
surface with a steel-headed
hammer as this can cause flying
particles of steel may break off
and cause injury.

Never use a hammer with a
damaged handle.

If the hammer head has cracks,
chipped or it is mushroomed,
get rid of it.

Hammer Handle

If you are looking for a hammer
with a wooden handle, choose
a handle where the wood grain
runs the full length of the handle
from end to end.

Wood grains that run across the
handle tend to break easier.

This also applies to picks and
sledgehammer handles.

There are many different brands
of hammers, and sledgehammers,
choose one which has a
comfortable grip.

To Keep a hammer striking face
clean, rub its face as needed
with a piece of sandpaper.

This action will help prevent the
hammer face from slippage
during use.

Toe Nailing Tip

When toe nailing, the nail tends
to wander away from the spot
you choose to start the nail.

Use the head of the nail to
provide an indent to start your
nail. Lay the nail down with
the head in the proper spot
and tap it with the hammer.
You now can use the indent
to start your nail.

Removing a Nail

When using the claw of a hammer
to remove a long nail, pry the
nail as far as the hammer will
allow, then place a block of wood
wood beneath the head of the
hammer and wood.
This allows a greater leverage
and longer pulling action for
the hammer.

Starting Small
Nails Tip

Cut a small strip of cardboard,
insert the tiny nail into the
cardboard and while holding
the cardboard gently tap in
the nail.

Lock Nut Grip

Once a lock nut has been used
and removed, it should be
replaced because it loses
its locking ability It is the
same for locking washers.

Bolts and
Wrench Sense Tip

Start bolts and fasteners by hand
and make sure it fits properly
before using a wrench.

Take care when attempting to
loosen a stubborn nut or bolt.
Always pull on a spanner rather
than push.
If the spanner slips off, you
will only fall away from the
nut or bolt, rather than
onto it.

Using this procedure will
save you skinned knuckles.

Table Saws
Safety Tip

Always use hearing and eye
protection when using the
table saw.

Work with a sharp blade, discard
a dull blade as they promote

Never stand directly behind the
revolving blade as this is the
direction flying objects will go.

Brazed on teeth can come loose
and become flying bullets.

Jammed wood will take the
same route.

Stand off well to the left side
of the revolving blade.

Only cut dimension lumber and
plywood on a table saw, it
becomes very dangerous to
try to cut odd shaped wood.

Do not try to cut small square
pieces of plywood blocks
between the blade and fence,
the wood will twist and become
a flying object.

Use the sliding T-square, along
with a holding board to place
small square pieces of wood
Unplug the saw when changing
the blade.
Drop the blade below the table
height when not in use.

Gluing Tips

Glue that is left on the wood
will prevent stain from absorbing
into the wood.
Glue that is pressed out of
joints that are tightened can
be difficult to remove
completely, especially in
90-degree joints.

To help with the removal,
sharpen a dowel like a pencil,
wrap a rag around it and use
it to lift the glue from the
Finish up with Q tips and
warm water.

Wood Filler Tip

When filling small indents with
wood filler, drill a couple of
holes with a 1/16 inch bit.
The wood filler will seep into
the holes, adhere and stay
in place.

Installing a Striker
Plate on a Door frame

When installing a striker plate
for a door, coat the end of the
latch with lipstick, then close
the door.
The lip stick will show you
where to mount the striker

Measuring in
Tight Quarters Tip

To measure inside an enclosed area
such as inside a boxed area, use

two straight sticks of wood, slide
them side-by-side to get the length.
Place them side-by-side and slide
them apart until they touch each
While holding them, remove and
measure the total length of the
two sticks.

Storing Lumber Tip

When storing lumber, place the
lumber with the annual rings
arching upward, the smallest
annual ring should be on the
This causes any moisture to drain
down and help prevent any cup

Drilling Angle Holes
On Your Drill Press Tip

Set your drill press to the correct
Use a brad-point bit as it provides
more flat surface and intends
not to wander as much as a
regular bit.

Clamp your work piece and
set it to the correct height
and drill the angled hole.

Locating a Center
of a Circle Tip

Combine carpenters square
and a combination square
with a 45-degree angle.

Position the combination square
so the blade extends through
the center of the 90-degree
angle of the carpenter square
and clamp together.

Draw a line down the combination
square; rotate the work piece 90
degrees and draw another line,
the line crosses at the center.

Shortening Bolt
Length Tip

To shorten a longer bolt, simply
screw a nut on to the bolt on
the head side of the cut.

Place the bolt in a vise and cut
the bolt to the correct length
with a hacksaw, file or grind the
end to remove sharp edges.

Spin the nut off the bolt, so half
the nut thread is extended pass
the end of the cut edge, remove
from vise and stand it upright
on a metal surface with the nut
on the top end.
Gently tap the nut with a hammer.
The starting thread will be perfect,
unscrew the nut, and it is ready
to use.

Dividing a Board
into Equal Parts Tip

If you have a piece of wood that
you want to divide into 4 equal
parts, do as following.

Use a ruler or tape measure and
place it across the work piece.
An example, you want to divide
a 7 and 1/2 inch wide board into
four equal parts. Pick a number
divided by four, we will use the
number eight.

Place the number one of the ruler
with one edge of the board.
Slant the ruler so 8 lines up
with the edge on the other side.
Make a mark at 2, 4, and 6.

Soldering copper
pipes Tip

A copper pipe joint will not solder
when there is water present.
At times when you attempt to
solder a joint, a very nuisance
drip of water keeps dripping
down the pipe causing a problem
with the soldering.

Jam some white bread up the
pipe, this acts as a dam, and
holds the water back long
enough to solder the joint.
After you turn on the water
again, open the nearest water
tap and the bread will be
flushed out.

Choosing a Tool

Buy real tools, not toys.

Buy genuine brand name tools.
Nothing is more frustrating than
trying to use a toy to do real work.
Do not waste your time in
addition, energy with cheap tools.

Shop for tools carrying a lifetime
warranty that lets you return
them for a replacement if they

You want a manufacturer who
believes in their products, and
will back the retailer who sold
you the tools

If you pay for quality tools, you
will probably never will have to
return broken tools for warranty.

Checkout Consumer Reports,
Handyman magazines, and other
such publications to get some
information on features of tools
and tool manufacturers.

Experts, at first-rate hardware
store, can provide you with
information about power tools,
their features and particular
safety tips.

Browse around different stores
before you decide on the
particular tools to buy.

Also very important, is the
balance and feel of the tool in
your hand.

A tool that is too heavy or
unwieldy in your grip not
only makes the work less
fun and more difficult, it
can be an accident waiting
to happen.
A big mistake is to borrow
someone else's tools and
delve into a project.

Always use safety glasses!

Consider using a face shield
and hearing protection when
one is required.

Never rush a job, or become
reckless with power tools.

If possible, Do not use power
tools if you are over-tired or
feeling ill.

If possible work with a partner,
the work goes much easier and
if you should have an accident,
you will have someone to assist.

Always work with sharp tools,
dull tools have to be forced,
which can cause accidents
and spoiled projects.

Choose a shoe or boot with
non skid soles, and protective
toe guards.

Tape Measure Tip

For easier and more accurate wall,
stud, and floor joist construction,
always use a tape measure with
stud and truss joint markings.

Keep the measuring tape blade
clean and free of water.
Water on the blade will work
inward and rust the return spring.

To clean the measuring tape
blade, use alcohol or kerosene
especially for tar and the likes.

Do not retract the blade at full
speed, the blade stop can be
damaged beyond repair, when
it snaps to a sudden stop.

Never leave a tape measure
laying around with the blade
extended, if you step on the
blade you could damage the blade,
it will never be the same again.

When you look to buy a new
measuring tape, chose one that
feels comfortable in the hand.
You should be able to engage
and disengage the blade
lock with one hand.

The blade lock should hold the
blade firmly, with no slippage.

Make sure the blade is easy to
read and understandable.
Choose a size suitable for
the job.

Power Tools
Safety First Tips

Use hold-down devices and use
a push stick when using a
table saw.

Be aware that working with short
pieces is very dangerous.

Take the time to make sure
you have removed the key
from the drill chuck before

Never use power tools for what
they were never intended.

Always clamp small pieces before
using any power tool on them.

Use a dust mask when doing
any work that creates dust.

Always wear eye protection when
using power tools.

Hang goggles next to the drill
press or table saw, so you will
be reminded to use them
before working with the power

Do the same with ear protection

If you are very tired or taking
medication, put off using
power tools.

Never cut small pieces of wood
from short lengths of wood with
a power saw, use a hand saw
and clamp the small piece of
wood firmly before cutting.

Before changing bits or blades,
make sure the unit is unplugged
from the power source first.

Always make sure you have
sufficient light when working
with power tools.

Keep all tools sharp as dull
tools can be dangerous.

When sawing short with a
power saw, never balance
them on your knee while

Never carry sharp or pointed
tools in your pocket as this
can lead to accidents.

Stripped Wood

Over tightening or removing wood
screws to many times can cause
stripped wood problems.

Removing cupboard doors for
repainting etc. can cause
the wood to fall away and
leave no wood for the screw
to hold onto.

A quick and sure way to deal with
this problem is already in your
Take some round tooth picks, three
will do per hole, place the first
two, one at a time into the screw
hole and break them off level with
the surface. Take the last one with
a pointed end, tap it in with a
hammer, break it off, put the screw
back in place and you are done!

Although no glue is required, in
some really bad situations,
add the glue.

Some screws that are stripped,
will not screw out in a normal
To remove a badly stripped screw,
help, by applying a slight outward
pressure to the board while

Insert a screwdriver behind the
hinge, bracket, etc and gently
pry outward while un-screwing,
this technique can also be
used to remove stripped metal
bolts in metal

Repairing Stripped
Metal Bolt Threads

If the threads are only slightly
stripped in metal, you can usually
repair them by running a threading
tap of the right size and thread
pitch, through the damaged threads.
If the threads are excess fully
damaged the only course left, is
to drill the hole to the next size up
and re-tap to the larger size.

Storage Bins

Screw or Nail Bins

Place used metal coffee cans on a
wood rack, and you have easy
access to screws or nails.

You can remove individual cans
with screws or nails, and take
them to where you need them.


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