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A dollar bill next to a measuring tape showing six inches.

One Dollar Bill for Emergency MeasurementsI've done this many times and it will work in a pinch. A dollar bill measures barely much over 6 inches of length. When a measuring tape or ruler is not within reach, a 6 inch dollar bill can give you a close figure. Fold in half, and it would be 3 inches. It is kind of handy to measure lengths of nails, bolts, screws, etc. It's not as precise as a tape measure, but will work.

 

A hammer claw being used upside down to remove a nail from the wall.

Remove Nails with the Hammer Claw Facing UpWhen you take out your nails, face the claw up. This might be a bit harder if they are up high and you don't want the nails to fall.

 

Use Scissor Tip as Improvised Screwdriver

Use Scissor Tip as Improvised ScrewdriverSometimes the tiniest things come in so handy you wonder how you ever got along with out them. I needed to unscrew the hanger off the back of a frame. None of the screwdrivers in the house I share were small enough.

 

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Choosing the Right Drill BitMy husband shared a good tip with me yesterday when choosing a drill bit for a project. To find the right bit take the screw and put into the drill bit hole to see which one is the perfect fit.

 

Closeup picture of hand holding spring type clothespin against a white background

Protecting Fingers when Hammering NailsDo your fingers hurt just thinking of you using a hammer and nails? If so, grab a clothespin and give them a break.

 

An apron stocked with helpful household tools.

Keep Apron Stocked for Household ProjectsSwapping the rooms in my apartment has been a huge undertaking. I get up each day and put on my denim apron with all the stuff in it I need to do what needs to be done without walking all over the place.

 

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Get an Electrical Tester ScrewdriverIf you haven't gotten one of those electrical tester screwdrivers with a little neon bulb in it and a metal cap at the hand end, GET ONE! They are cheap enough that you can afford a spare. Friends and neighbors WILL be borrowing it!

 

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Store Screws in Plastic Vegetable TrayI like fresh vegetables, but live alone so I buy the vegetable tray from the super market that has celery, tomatoes, broccoli, etc. and it has a little cup of dip in the middle. When empty, I use it to store nuts, screws, and other small hardware items.

 

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Use Rubber Bands to Keep Tools from SlippingTo keep tools from slipping in your hands, wrap those free rubber bands that come on vegetables or newspapers around the handle. It really makes for a good grip and sure a lot cheaper than the liquid you can buy for the purpose.

 

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Leather Washer for Emergency Water Heater FixFor a quick and highly satisfactory repair of a leaking metal water tank, put a bolt with a good-sized leather washer both inside and out through the hole to be fixed and screw a nut on tightly.

 

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Make Tool Holster from Old Work GloveIf you'll cut the worn fingers off an old work glove and then add two slots to the back of what's left, you'll have a quick, recycled tool holster that you can slip right onto your belt and put into immediate use.

 

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Soldering Iron HolderFor a really quick and inexpensive soldering iron holder, drive two spike nails into a scrap block of wood to form an "x" and rest the tool's hot end in the cross.

 

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Makeshift WrenchThe next time you need a wrench in a hurry and you don't have one handy, try this: screw two nuts-flat sides together-onto a good sized bolt. Space the nuts apart so that the head of the one you want to remove fits snugly between the "jaws" of your makeshift arrangement.

 

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Ergonomic Handle for ToolsThere are times when busting out a chunk of concrete or modifying a piece of heavy farmstead equipment that a home handyman has to put in a long stint with hammer and cold chisel or star drill.

 

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Use Yardstick To Support NailIf you're ever trying to install a nail or other drive-in fastener higher than you can reach, try this. Saw a short slit just a little narrower than the shank of the fasteners you're using into the end of a yardstick or other light piece of wood.

 

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ID Metal ToolsMark your iron tools for easy identification by covering a spot on each one with beeswax or hard tallow. Then scratch your name or initials through the coating with a nail or ice pick, pour nitric acid into the groove and let it stand for a short time.

 

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Chalk to Keep Tools from RustingA piece of chalk or charcoal in your toolbox will attract moisture and keep your tools from rusting.

 

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Lubricate Nails Before Hammering into Hard WoodsTo drive nails into hard wood without bending them, try dipping the points into lard or other grease. You can accomplish the same end by moistening the points of the nails in a can of water.

 

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Phillips Screw Driver in a PinchIn a bind needing a phillips head screw driver but cant seem to find one? An old fashion potato peeler is an excellent substitute. It works as well as a screwdriver. The angle of the tip of the potato peeler makes it perfect.

 

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Spray Snow Blower with SiliconeAlways use spray silicone on the auger and chutes on your snow blower before using it. The snow will not stick.

 

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Shoe Organizer For ToolsShort on space does not present a tool/junk drawer type organizing fiasco. Buy a shoe organizer and affix to the wall of your laundry room/mud room.

 

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Use Kerosene to Clean WrenchesFor the home DIY mechanic: to clean the grease from your wrenches, use a rag dampened with kerosene. Not only will it remove all the grease and grime, but kerosene leaves a very light oil coating, even when wiped dry.

 

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Remove Staples With Nail ClippersDon't have a staple remover? You can use a regular nail clipper to neatly pry out unwanted staples! My hubby discovered this while working at home.

 

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Household Repair KitI put together my own little repair and tool box so that when I need to fix something quickly, I don't need to go to the shed and search for the tool I need.

 

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Use Needle Nosed Pliers when Hammering NailsHammering nails into wood is absolutely fraught with peril! You smash your thumb instead of the nail or bend the nail and have to start all over again with a new nail. Avoid both problems with this simple tip -- hold the nail with needle nosed pliers!

 

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Magnetize Your ScrewdriverHaving two brothers who loved to tinker around the house, they enjoyed showing me a few tricks. I surprised my darling husband with this one: When you rub a screwdriver or other metals with a magnet you create a magnetized screwdriver, etc.

 

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Use a Broadcast Spreader for Salting SidewalksWinter is here and it seems like we constantly have to put down salt on either the driveway or the sidewalk. So my husband, being the clever person he is, came up with a very easy and cost effective way to put down our salt. He uses our hand crank seed thrower.

 

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Use Grill Covers For Shop EquipmentProtect your table saws and other big machinery in the garage with BBQ gas grill covers. At the end of the summer season, you can get them for under $5. Long lasting durable cover to protect your valuables.

 

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Makeshift LevelNeed to level a picture or painting on your wall but you don't have a level handy? Just put a little water in a glass and hold it on the top edge of the frame. The frame is level when the water in the glass is.

 

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Saving on Tools and Equipment for Your HomeSave a bundle on buying tools and equipment by sharing with your neighbors. If one has a lawn mower, one has a snow blower, and one has a utility trailer, all your needs are met.

 

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Depth Gauge for Drillingreate a cheap and effective depth gauge for precise drilling by using a cable tie. Secure the tie around the drill bit at the desired location. Snip off the excess. The tie can then be adjusted for each subsequent change in desired depth by sliding it up or down.

 

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Homemade Rubber MalletDon't own a rubber mallet? Just cut a slit in a tennis ball and place it on the head of your hammer. Keep the tennis ball in your tool box and you will always have it handy.

 

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Saw Blades in Record Album CoversA good place to store saw blades is in unwanted record album covers. If you don't have any record albums just visit garage sales on Sunday when people are closing down their sale. You likely find someone will to give away some records.

 

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