Shaping the Screwdriver Using a Grindstone
Among the most valuable things you will know about tools is to use a grindstone on every one of your screwdrivers. Strictly speaking, of course, a screwdriver is not sharpened the least bit— it should be really dull. In fact, you can encounter more grief using a screwdriver that is improperly formed than with any other tool. If your screw driver ends are already rounded in its edges you will witness tools that act like grasshoppers. Such a tool could jump out of a screw, dig into the piece of fine-finished wood you are working with, and may in fact, drive you utterly mad. Having a good screwdriver, correctly shaped, you are able to easily drive home a screw that matches it without much gamble of its slipping out of the slot and ruining your work. Screwdrivers are ground on an emery wheel or grindstone to achieve their right shape. The edge must be made straight across the end and the faces close to the ends parallel or almost parallel to one another. This is needed to prevent the screwdriver from slipping.
DIY Measuring Tools: Pencils and Rulers
Carpenters use various types of pencils: common lead, hard lead, and the regular carpenter pencil. The most widely used one is the flat, hard lead pencil measuring 8 inches long. Used in rough work, the pencil must be trimmed so that about 1/4 to 3/8 inch of lead sticks out from the wood sheath. In finished work, the pencil must be trimmed so that 3/8 to 1/2 inch of lead is revealed and the lead sharpened to a long, flat point. During marking, the pencil should be slanted away from the guide so that the lead would mark close to the edge of the guide. If the pencil gets wet, the glue that holds it together might fail and make the pencil useless.
In measuring with a rule, it is best to handle the rule edge-wise for accuracy. If it lies flat there, is a tendency to miss accuracy since of the thickness of the rule and the angle of vision. Another element that sometimes throws off your markings is the width of pencil marks, particularly if one measure is taken from another in a long series. For greater accuracy, use a knife or an awl to mark the dimensions. Naturally, do not mark a piece of work in this manner if it will show in the finished surface and there’s a risk that the mark will produce a blemish.
When marking for saw cuts, you should make provisions for the kerf, or width of the saw blade. Sawing is always done on the waste side of the cutting line so that sufficient stock stays on to allow the end to be finished using a plane, a file or sandpaper.