When drilling blind holes in iron or steel, fine metal bits usually fall into the hole. To remove them, you can use a strong magnet and a soft iron or steel rod that is smaller in diameter than the hole. Push the rod to the hole bottom, then press the magnet to its upper end. Keeping the magnet to the rod, pull it out of the hole and brush away the bits of metal. Repeat until all of the metal bits are removed.
Keep an extra tool set in your car or truck. Think of it as an insurance policy against road emergencies. You’ll be glad they’re there when you need them.
If you are working outside of your shop or garage, running for individual tools can slow down a project. Instead, stack all the tools or toolboxes you will need into a wheelbarrow. Then you can wheel off to the job fully equipped or invest in a rolling project center.
Make sure the compressor’s output matches the pounds-per-square-inch requirements of the tool to be used. Check and change the oil regularly. After a day of use, empty the air tanks and drain any water build-up inside the tank through the drain tap at the bottom of the tank.
Read and keep the owner’s manual for all of your tools. They often contain vital info you’ll refer to throughout the life of the tool.
When not in use, keep your work ladders locked up so that burglars cannot use them to break into your house through the upper floors.
Having a trigger-type oil-can close to your drill press is handy when drilling metal. To make oiling more convenient, find a container that will hold an oil-can that you have available. Then cut two small slits in the upper part to accept a worm-gear hose clamp. Slip the clamp strip into one of the holes and out the other. Then wrap the hose clamp around the post of your drill press, about 5 in. down from the upper assembly. Drop the oil-can into the holder. From then on oil will always be just an arm’s reach away.
Several methods are available for dealing with screws that tend to vibrate loose on covers of equipment such as chainsaws. One good fix is to remove the offending screws and wrap 1/2-in.-wide Teflon tape around the threads and then screw them back in. The tape will hold the screws tight, yet will allow you to remove them when necessary.
When you want to measure something at home or in the hardware store and you don’t have a tape measure handy, try using a dollar bill. It’s 6 1/8 inches long and almost exactly 1 1/2 inches when folded in quarters.
Don’t rely on eyeball measurements alone as sight lines can often be deceiving. Take a few seconds and use a measuring tape or level to be sure.