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

Theres a Better Way

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An Easy Knot for Stringlines That Unties With a Tug

An Easy Knot for Stringlines That Unties With a Tug

A quick tip for tying a knot in a stringline that can be untied quickly and easily.

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Handy Hose for Spray-Foam Insulation

Handy Hose for Spray-Foam Insulation

3 comments

If you’re air-sealing and can’t get the can of foam into those tight, hard-to-reach places, you could spray it on your gloved hand and gob it where you need it, but there’s better way.

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Debris Shield for Drywall Dust

Debris Shield for Drywall Dust

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If you need to drill holes in a drywall ceiling, you could just go ahead and do it, let the dust fall where it does, and then clean it up later, but there's a better way.

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How to Remove Stripped Screws

How to Remove Stripped Screws

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If the head of your stainless-steel deck screw strips out before you get it all the way driven, you could back it out with a pair of Vise-Grips, but there’s a better way.

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How to Keep Critters Out of a PVC Vent Pipe

How to Keep Critters Out of a PVC Vent Pipe

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If you want to keep birds and other critters out of a PVC vent pipe, you could have your dog guard the pipe, but there's a better way.

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Straightening Out Perpendicular Deck Boards

Straightening Out Perpendicular Deck Boards

If you’re laying deck boards and you need to straighten out a board that runs perpendicular to the rest of the deck, you could make a super-long pipe clamp, but there’s a better way.

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Tangle-Free Stringline

Tangle-Free Stringline

If you need a stringline on a job because you're laying out a foundation or you're straightening out a framed wall, you could spend 10 minutes trying to untangle a mess of string, but there's a better way.

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A Roll-Up Story Pole That Stores Easily

A Roll-Up Story Pole That Stores Easily

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If you need a story pole on the job, you could hunt around for a piece of wood and hope it's long enough, but there's a better way.

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Adjustable Paint-Roller Handle Doubles as a Compact Broom Handle

Adjustable Paint-Roller Handle Doubles as a Compact Broom Handle

1 comment

If you can't fit a full-size broom in the back of your truck, you could just cut 6 inches off of the handle, but there's a better way.

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Convenient Tool-Storage Box for an Extra-Cab Pickup Truck

Convenient Tool-Storage Box for an Extra-Cab Pickup Truck

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If your truck has an extra cab, you could pile all your tools back there, let them fly around, and hunt for what you need, but there's a better way.   Kevin Ireton is editor-at-large and a good friend and former colleague of Chuck Miller's. Keep your eye out for more Better Way videos from Kevin and several of our other regular...

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How to Cut a Tapered Board on a Tablesaw

How to Cut a Tapered Board on a Tablesaw

If you need to make a tapered cut on a piece of wood, you could take it over to the saw horses and try to freehand it with your circular saw, but there's a better way.

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How To Cut Out a Damaged Piece of Flooring With a Biscuit Joiner

How To Cut Out a Damaged Piece of Flooring With a Biscuit Joiner

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If you have to patch a hardwood floor, you could remove the damaged floor board with a multi-tool, take a half hour in the process, and burn through a couple of expensive blades, but there's a better way.

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How to Make Custom Storage Bins for the Drawers in Your Workshop

How to Make Custom Storage Bins for the Drawers in Your Workshop

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If you have a drawer in your garage, basement, or workshop where you keep screws, nails, and other small parts, you could start eating chicken livers until you have enough empty containers to store them all, but there's a better way.

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Make a Simple Shim-Measuring Gauge

Make a Simple Shim-Measuring Gauge

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If you need a custom shim that you have to cut to a very specific dimension, you could try to use a tape measure to measure the gap, but there's a better way. Justin Fink of Glastonbury, Conn...

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How To Temporarily Tack Up Trim with a Nail Gun

How To Temporarily Tack Up Trim with a Nail Gun

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If you need to tack a piece of trim in place temporarily so you can remove it later, you could go get your hammer and an old-fashioned nail, and bang that nail part of the way in, but there's 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

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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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Custom-Made Miter-Saw Stop Makes Repeat Cuts Easier

Custom-Made Miter-Saw Stop Makes Repeat Cuts Easier

If you need to cut a bunch of pieces to the same length on your miter saw, you could go out and spend a couple-hundred dollars on an elaborate miter-saw stand with a built-in stop, 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

9 comments

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

1 comment

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

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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

2 comments

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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