Succesful DIY isn't just about having the skills. Knowing a few of the tips and tricks are second nature to tradies will make your DIY Jobs easier and quicker, and you'll end up with better results.
Make your mark
Always cut on the correct side of a line with this little trick. Draw your measurement mark, then do a second line at an angle away from the part of the timber you want to keep. When the time comes to cut, a quick glance will show you on which side of the line to put your saw.
Loosen a stuck screw
If you’ve got a screw that just won’t budge, no matter how hard you try, grab a hammer along with your screwdriver. Stick the screwdriver in the slot of the screw then give it a sharp tap with the hammer. You’ll loosen any rust or paint holding the screw, making it easier to turn.
Don't strip a small screw
When you're putting in small screws, like those in small latches or piano hinges, use a screwdriver instead of a power drill. A screwdriver gives you more control over the pressure and turning power you need, so you won't strip the head of the screw.
Handsawing made easy
For more control when you’re using a handsaw, hold the handle in a pistol grip with your index finger extended. This finger naturally gives your hand direction so you’ll be more accurate with your sawing.
No DIY job is worth hurting yourself – or worse. Always wear the right ear, eye and dust protection for the job at hand. If you’re working with a ladder, make sure it’s stable before you climb. Never try to overreach from it either. Always take the time to get down and move it.
Sawing thumbs up
To keep your handsaw from jumping around when you’re starting a cut, sit the thumb of your free hand against the blade to act as a guide. Start the cut slowly so the teeth bite into the timber, then shift your hand away from the blade before you really go for it.
Preserve your paint
Here’s how to keep a paint job intact if you’re separating two building elements, like removing the hinges from a door jamb. Grab a sharp utility knife and cut through the paint where the two elements join. When you pull them apart, you won’t peel off any surrounding paint. When it comes time to repaint, there’s less prep work.
Sharp tools make a job easier, more accurate and give you a better finish. Give your wood chisels a sharpen before use to cut quickly and cleanly. If your handsaw is blunt replace it with a new one, as they’re not so expensive. Power saw blades can be professionally resharpened, but it’s always handy to have a new blade spare so you can get on with the job.
Cut it square, quickly
Don’t have a drop saw? Perfectly cut timber every time using your quick square as a guide. Align your saw blade with your cutting point and hold your quick square against the base plate of the saw. You’ll get a square and straight cut every time.
Drilling into tiles
Putting up your bathroom accessories is much easier with this simple tip. Place a piece of masking tape on the tiles where you want to drill. It’ll keep the drill bit from skating across the tiles while it bites into them. Use a masonry bit and turn off your drill’s hammer setting.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.
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