'There's a Better Way Video Tips' Blog - Fine Homebuilding
Theres a Better Way

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An Easy Way to Keep Oil-Based Putty From Drying Out

An Easy Way to Keep Oil-Based Putty From Drying Out

1 comment

If you're using an oil-based product, like plumber's putty or glazing compound, you could just seal the lid tightly when you're done and hope that when you come back in a year or two the putty isn't rock hard, but there's a better way.

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Keep Your Job Site Clean with a Caulk Caddy

Keep Your Job Site Clean with a Caulk Caddy

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If you have a bunch of caulking to do, you could drag the caulk gun and a scrap of cardboard around with you and just wait for the caulk to end up on the carpet, but there's a better way.

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Duct-Tape Handle Turns Drywall Bucket Into a Convenient Stool

Duct-Tape Handle Turns Drywall Bucket Into a Convenient Stool

4 comments

You don't need to kick your empty drywall-compound bucket around the job site or flip it over by hand every time you want to sit on it. Make this handy handle instead.

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How to Easily Drill a Hole in Ceramic Tile

How to Easily Drill a Hole in Ceramic Tile

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If you need to drill a hole in some tile, you could chuck a masonry bit in your cordless drill and watch as the tip of the bit skates around on the glazed surface, ruining the tile, but there's a better way.

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Keep Nails and Screws Off of the Floor with a Tool-belt Caddy

Keep Nails and Screws Off of the Floor with a Tool-belt Caddy

5 comments

If you don't want to strap on your nail bags while working around new kitchen cabinets for fear of scratching them, you could carry your tool belt by hand and hope the nails and tools don't spill out, but there's a better way.

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Make a Handy Sanding Block with a Belt-Sander Belt

Make a Handy Sanding Block with a Belt-Sander Belt

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Tip master Chuck Miller has found yet another way to avoid struggling with a sheet of sandpaper loosely wrapped around a scrap of wood.

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Make Your Own Simple Sanding Blocks

Make Your Own Simple Sanding Blocks

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Master carpenter Mike Belzowski demonstrates his efficient method for making batches of different-grit sanding blocks out of scraps of MDF and sheets of sandpaper he has laying around the shop.

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How to Keep Power Cord Plugs Tight and Dry

How to Keep Power Cord Plugs Tight and Dry

If you're working with power tools on a wet, rainy job site, you could take the chance that your extension cord won't trip a breaker when it slips into a puddle, but there's a better way

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Use a Reciprocating-Saw Blade to Mark Circular Holes

Use a Reciprocating-Saw Blade to Mark Circular Holes

1 comment

If you need to cut a round hole in a ceiling for a light fixture but you don't have a compass, you could just hack away at the drywall until your electrical box fits, but there's a better way.

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How to Safely and Easily Cut Shims from Scrap Wood

How to Safely and Easily Cut Shims from Scrap Wood

3 comments

Don't waste your money on a bundle of shingles if all you need are some shims for a framing project. Use this simple jig to cut your own shims on a tablesaw.

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How to Clean Fuzz Off of a New Paint Roller

How to Clean Fuzz Off of a New Paint Roller

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If you're rolling a nice, smooth finish onto a painted surface, you could take your chances that the fuzz from your brand-new roller doesn't end up in your paint, but there's a better way

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Build a Foolproof Jig For Cutting Laminate Countertops

Build a Foolproof Jig For Cutting Laminate Countertops

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If you're cutting a postform laminate countertop in the field, you could try freehanding the awkward cuts and hope you don't screw it up, but there's a better way.  

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How to Lay Out an Accurate Ellipse with a Stick, Two Nails, and a Pencil

How to Lay Out an Accurate Ellipse with a Stick, Two Nails, and a Pencil

5 comments

If you need to make an elliptical backing for a cove or arch, you could look at the 15 ways Wikipedia shows how to do it and risk your head exploding, but there's a better way.

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A Better Way to Fold a Tarp or Drop Cloth

A Better Way to Fold a Tarp or Drop Cloth

4 comments

Chuck Miller demonstrates why folding your tarp like a flag is not the most convenient way to stow it. Learn this old trick from the theater industry and save time every time you need to protect a surface.

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Hold Your Sharpening Stone Steady on the Job Site

Hold Your Sharpening Stone Steady on the Job Site

1 comment

If you're on the job and need a super-sharp chisel, you could hope that your stone doesn't slide around while you're trying to work on that edge, but there's a better way

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How to Make a Better Drill Bit in a Pinch

How to Make a Better Drill Bit in a Pinch

Chuck Miller takes an online reader's suggestion and adds a new step to the emergency homemade-bit technique.   Attention all tipsters! We're looking for any smart idea that would make a great There's a Better Way Video or that could be featured in...

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How to Cut a Hole in a Ceiling Without Making a Mess

How to Cut a Hole in a Ceiling Without Making a Mess

8 comments

If you've got to cut a hole in a drywall ceiling for a light fixture, you could just let the dust and debris fall and clean it up later, but there's a better way.

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How to Patch a Leaky PVC Water Pipe

How to Patch a Leaky PVC Water Pipe

3 comments

If you've got a PVC water-supply line that's dripping, you could put a bucket under it and use it to irrigate the garden, but there's a better way

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Build a Simple Shingle-Cutting Bench from Scrap Wood

Build a Simple Shingle-Cutting Bench from Scrap Wood

5 comments

If you need to cut some starter strips for asphalt shingles, you could drop to your knees and just cut them right there on the ground out of the bundle, but there's a better way.       If you need to cut some starter strips for asphalt shingles, you could drop to your knees and just cut them right there on the ground out of the bundle, but there's a better way.

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Make Stress-Relief Cuts for Stronger Stair Stringers

Make Stress-Relief Cuts for Stronger Stair Stringers

 If you're cutting stair stringers out of two-by stock, you could make both of your saw cuts right to the intersection and hope you don't over cut and weaken the stringer, but there's a better way.  

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How to Staple Housewrap Tight to Sheathing on Inside Corners

How to Staple Housewrap Tight to Sheathing on Inside Corners

Don't trip up your siding installers by not doing a good job when hanging your weather-resistant barrier

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Build a Simple Jig to Drill Cabinet-Handle Holes Perfectly

Build a Simple Jig to Drill Cabinet-Handle Holes Perfectly

5 comments

If you have a kitchen full of cabinets that need door and drawer pulls, you could measure them all individually and hope you get it right, but there's a better way.

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A Quick Circular-Saw Blade Change

A Quick Circular-Saw Blade Change

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Don't bust you're knuckles fumbling with a wrench to get your old blade off; use this super-simple tip instead.

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Pressure-Treated Wood Preservative Tip

Pressure-Treated Wood Preservative Tip

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If you've drilled some pressure-treated lumber for a bolt, you need to protect the inside of that bolt hole with some wood preservative. You could use a small paint brush, but there's a better way.

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Make Accurate Inside-Corner Measurements on Mitered Cuts

Make Accurate Inside-Corner Measurements on Mitered Cuts

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If you need to measure a mitered piece of trim from the short point, you could try to hook the end of your tape to a very difficult purchase point and hope to get an accurate measurement, but there's a better way.

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Make a Quick Job-Site Clamp for Small Pieces

Make a Quick Job-Site Clamp for Small Pieces

2 comments

If you need to drill holes in small workpieces, you could hold them in your hand, but there's a better way.

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Make a Perfect Pipe-Outfeed Support in a Pinch

Make a Perfect Pipe-Outfeed Support in a Pinch

3 comments

If you have some plastic pipe or thin moldings to cut with you chop saw, you could hunt around the job site for scraps of wood to prop them up, but there's a better way

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showing 1 - 27 of 131 posts
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