End eyestrain when you’re hunting for the right wrench or socket. Wrap each one with a couple of layers of bright-colored tape, then write its dimensions on the tape with a permanent marker. (After a bit, you’ll remember the colors and their corresponding sizes and won’t even need the numbers.) Your eyes will thank you each time you change the oil, assemble that new wagon for the kids or work on the lawn mower. Thanks to reader Jason Nash for this visionary tip.
Here’s a great way to scribe lines when you’re fitting countertops, cabinets and built-in furniture against irregular walls. Tape a pencil to a clothespin with the tip pointing away from the clothespin’s jaws. Wedge the jaws open with a chunk of wood until the pencil matches the widest gap between the workpiece and the wall. As you scribe, the flat side of the clothespin spaces the pencil point to exactly match the wall contour. Sand to the line for a perfect fit. Thanks to master furniture maker Bruce Kieffer for sending this great tip.
Carpet Cushion for Project Sanding
Don’t scratch up the workpiece you just sanded by flipping it over on a dinged up workbench. Next time you sand a project, lay down a scrap piece of carpet to protect the wood, keep it stationary as you sand and dampen the sander vibrations on your hands. No scrap carpet around? A 2 x 6-ft. washable runner ($8 at a home center) works great—just shake it out between jobs and roll it up for storage. Thanks to Dan McGuinn for this neat tip.
You might not have to worry about cleaning up this piece of carpet but learn the one trick to keep carpet in the home lasting longer.