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

Theres 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

2 comments

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

2 comments

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

4 comments

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

3 comments

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

2 comments

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

3 comments

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

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

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

4 comments

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

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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Build a Foolproof Jig For Cutting Laminate Countertops

Build a Foolproof Jig For Cutting Laminate Countertops

2 comments

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

4 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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showing 1 - 27 of 140 posts
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