Handy People Tool

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

Handy Tool Tips

Tool Tips for Handy

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 need.

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

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

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.

Checking 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
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 blade.

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 securely.

Use a sawhorse or sturdy
bench for a comfortable
working height.

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

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 tape.
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 blade.

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 the

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 center.

Cutting Thin Wall
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 wrench.

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

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 clean.
Finish cleaning up with
a wire brush.

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

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

This action will help prevent
the hammer face from
slippage of the head of
the nail 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

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 accidents.

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

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

Use the sliding T-square,
along with a holding board
to place small square pieces
of wood against.
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
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 joints.
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.
Slide them apart until they
touch each side.
While holding them, remove
and measure the total length
of the two sticks.

Storing Lumber

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 formation.

Drilling Angle Holes
On Your Drill Press Tip

Set your drill press to the
correct angle.
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

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

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
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
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
Make a mark at 2, 4, and 6.

Soldering copper
pipes Tip

A copper pipe joint will not
solder when there is water
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
Nothing is more frustrating
than trying to use a toy to
do real work.
Do not waste your time in
addition, energy with cheap

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

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

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 on the blade will work
inward and rust the return

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
You should be able to engage
and disengage the blade
lock with one hand.

The blade lock should hold
the blade firmly, with no

Make sure the blade is
easy to read and
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

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

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 devices

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

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 cupboard.

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 un-screwing.

Insert a screwdriver behind
the hinge, bracket, etc and
gently pry outward while
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
damaged the only course left,
is to drill the hole to the next
larger size 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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