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Handy Hints


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As a carpenter, general contractor, home owner, restaurant owner, landlord ect., ect., I admire a clever revellation concerning a new way to skin the proverbial cat. Some people like to pass on funny jokes while I vastly prefer sharing little tidbits that just might make life a little easier every once in a while. These have all appeared in past Scoop editions

Give Your Plastic Legs

       Recently my debit card started not reading at all the McDonald's in the Valley which caused some problems since I love their coffee in the morning. So I went to my bank to order a new one and the teller taught me a trick. She said that if I will just cover the strip on the back with Scotch tape that it should be fine. Sure enough it has not failed at McDonalds since. For some reason, however, the only place it no longer works is the Red Box kiosks where it always worked before.
Interestingly, McDonald's originally started Red Box and then sold it to Coin Star. Maybe Red Box has not gotten over it and feels that any friend of McDonalds is no friend of theirs.


Ready, Nail Set, Go 
  
     As a carpenter I use nail punches all the time but I am far from
set on always using a traditional nail set. Most of the time I use a spring tool punch made by Noxon. I have loved them for years and was happy to learn recently that while they are sold all over the world, they are made here in the Valley.


                                                                 
                                                                   Click pic to go to Noxon's website.



When You Can't Let it Lie, Pry
 

     Some times you have to pry. When you, do this is a good trick in situations where you need to get something heavy up just a little bit like we do when we are getting ready to raise a wall.
Some times you have to pry. When you, do this is a good trick in situations where you need to get something heavy up just a little bit like we do when we are getting ready to raise a wall.

We'll just grab a 2x6 and cut a long angle on it, slam the point under the wall and easily push down on the board. The wall goes up a few inches and we throw our blocks under it to give our hands room to grab on and heave ho!

                                         


 
   
  Getting Down the Line
 
    For a carpenter, switching from one tool to another is down time. If I don't have to, I do not use a straight edge or chalk line to mark out a line for a long rip cut. I can use the same tools to make the line that I used to mark the measurement.

For rips up to about half an inch, I use my index finger as the guide as it holds the pencil with the help of my thumb. With wider cuts, I pinch the tape at the measurement between the thumb and index finger of my left hand while their counterparts on my right hand hold the pencil against the end of the tape as we all go merrily down the sheet.

                                 



   About as Handy as a Thumb  
 
     
A couple of years ago I ran across this mini prybar/scraper at Windsor Plywood and had to have it. The thing is handier than toilet paper. I don't like to carry too many tools in my tool belt, but this slender gem is always with me because there always seems to be some little task that it can do better than anything else around and it takes up no room on my belt.
The only place I have ever seen anything quite like it is at Windsor Plywood. I always have a back up because I tend to give my used ones away knowing that my friends will be forever indebted to me and I can afford to look generous at a cost of $6.


                                                               



Don't sweat the big stuff, just roll it along
               

      When you need to move heavy objects do not forget the wheel or more specifically a roller. I had to rebuild a deck and needed to have a hot tub moved and so I called Falco's to do the job. I expected about four guys to come out but instead it only took two guys and about three 4" pipe lengths about 5 feet long. First they pried up one end with a dollyand slipped a pipe under it and then lifted up the other end of it and did the same thing. Now the hot tub was basically on wheels and they just pushed it along, and put a new length of pipe at the front as the back one came out and moved the whole thing easliy where they wanted to.

  
 Don't squeeze on caulk

   We re-paint a lot of interiors and it always amazing how sloppy many of the previous painters that came before us were, especially considering how easy it is to do a reasonably good cut-in job.

First and foremost, never start a paint job without a wet rag handy. As soon as your paint brush strays, simply wipe off the errant paint.
Secondly, start cutting in at inconspicuous places and force yourself to be patient and get the hang of cutting in neatly. Anyone can pick up the knack of cutting in neatly if they are patient and persistent.




Super duper tape    

        For me tape is important. Be it duct, masking, scotch, plummer's or electrical, I am never out of stock of any of them and I would say I use one variety or another at least once a day. So when I went to the fair last Sunday I had to check out a new kind of tape I had never heard of before called "Rescue Tape."

Being skeptical of all fast-talking salesmen at booths with new gizmos, I was beside myself with serendipitous wonder to find a new kind of tape to add to my arsenal. This tape can do things my other tapes were forced by me to attempt but always failed. Things like repairing my air hoses and garden hoses are what this tape was made to do for the military. Apparently it was declassified a few years ago and now we can all use it as weapon to battle broken equipment.   find it at rescuetape.com



Free them swinging doors

      If I haven't fixed one door, I've fixed 1,000 and I have found that 95% of the time gravity is the problem and a 3" screw is the solution.
Most of the time a door rubs at the top opposite the hinge side or down at the latch. This is because after a few thousand closings the screws on the top hinge begin to loosen ever so slightly and let the door tip away from the hinges. The original hinge screws are normally 3/4" and only go into the door jamb.
By removing one or two of the top screws and replacing them with a 2 1/2" or 3" screw you are able to suck the entire jamb back and secure it to the structural door frame and thus making the whole works more sound than the original installation.
Just the other day I went into a friend's house where they could barely open their front door. I grabbed my screw gun and in 5 minutes I gave them the miracle of a freely opening door.

Give Your Plastic Legs
 Recently my debit card started not reading at all the McDonald's in the Valley which caused some problems since I love their coffee in the morning. So I went to my bank to order a new one and the teller taught me a trick. She said that if I will just cover the strip on the back with Scotch tape that it should be fine. Sure enough it has not failed at McDonalds since. For some reason, however, the only place it no longer works is the Red Box kiosks where it always worked before.
Interestingly, McDonald's originally started Red Box and then sold it to Coin Star. Maybe Red Box has not gotten over it and feels that any friend of McDonalds is no friend of theirs.

                     




   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


              





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