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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : October 15 2008
46 INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, October 16, 2008 MB Back to basics Many people like to do simple maintenance or renovation jobs themselves, but they have grown up in households where there wasn't a handyman (or woman) in the family to teach them the basics. So, here are a few simple basic hints, simple tricks of the trade, to help make your next job a little easier. Avoid hammer marks on timber When you are hammering a nail into a piece of timber, it is common (if you aren't careful) for the final strikes to leave an unsightly hammerhead indentation in the timber. The solution? Cut a piece of stiff cardboard about 5cm square and punch the nail through the cardboard. Any damage, resulting from missing the head of the nail, will occur on the cardboard and not the timber. Before hammering the nail flush with the timber, tear away the cardboard and use a nail set to sink the nail flush with the timber surface. How to nail when the timber is tough If you are hammering a nail into hard timber, try drilling a small starter hole (about 5mm deep) into the timber where the nail is to go. However, be sure to use a drill bit that is slightly narrower than the thickness of the nail you are going to hammer. It'll ensure the nail still maintains a firm grip in the timber. Use a spanner, not pliers. When tightening or loosening a nut always use a spanner -- never use pliers. Using pliers will round the edges of the nut and make it even harder to remove or tighten later on. If you need a better grip use the pliers to hold the bolt, but always turn the nut with a spanner. How can you tell if a saw is sharp? To decide if your saw is sharp enough for your next project, you need to check the teeth of the saw. You may need a magnifying glass to do this, because you need to look closely. If the points of the teeth are rounded and the cutting edges of the teeth are warn, then its time to get the your saw sharpened. A blunt saw not only increases the amount of time and energy required to cut timber but can also be dangerous, as the saw may bow and flex while cutting. What can you do if your spanner doesn't fit the nut? If you need to remove a nut with a non- adjustable (open ended) spanner that is too large for the nut you can insert a washer between the edge of the spanner and the side of the nut. A washer of the right thickness inserted in this way will act as a wedge, to enable the nut be turned using the spanner. Taking care of chisels Chisel blades need to be kept sharp -- and even bumping against other tools while being stored can dull them. A handy trick is to store your chisels away from other tools in a plastic kitchen utensil tray. Details: Visit www.renobrothers.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org HOMELIVING RENOBROTHERS Renovation experts Matt and Simon Judkins show you the way to make DIY easier
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