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Short Tips
Piercing, but guaranteed not to prick ...
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You'll find a variety of snippets here that have proved to be useful to me – just tips, too short to warrant all-out Door Hinge Articles, and not all are door related. I'd be more than happy to receive tips from readers and include them here (with credit, of course). One can never have too many good tips!

My Very Best Tip, now and for all time ...

•••> Look, really LOOK. When I want to know how to proceed with door work, or any other thing I'm working on, I look at it to see what needs to be done next. Poor results in any activity can be tracked down to not looking close enough or looking in the wrong place. The path to knowing something, whatever that something may be, lies in looking directly at the thing being handled. Knowing always follows correct looking, so LOOK, a simple act that will get you from A to B in style. And I do mean ...
        LOOK, don't think. Don't substitute thinking for looking when looking is what's needed. The time I spend thinking about how to proceed with something is short and results in what I should LOOK at next to get on with it. If I find I'm "thinking" about something too long and getting nowhere, I'm not looking at the right thing. Maybe the area doesn't lend itself to a comfortable or easy look. Well, buckle up and do what it takes so that what needs to get looked at does get looked at. Thinking can be highly overrated and will never replace a good, honest LOOK at something. Look to know!

The rest of the best (most recent at the top) ...

•••> While working on a door, in the thick of it, I could suddenly become unfocused or dispersed, or start slowing down for no reason. If any of these symptoms pop up, I stop and take a very good look around my work area. 9 1/2 times out of 10, it will be a mess or at a high level of disarray. Good work requires good order, so the next thing I do is take a few minutes to put order back into the work area. Straighten the area up, maybe clean up a bit, put tools and other things away that will no longer be needed; basically I'm getting the work area reorganized so that my attention can focus fully on the work to be done and not be distracted by the area I'm working in.
        This outline certainly applies to other trades, and many everyday, around-home tasks, as well. When one is hands-on and heavy into it, and any of the above symptoms arise – stop, look, and put order back into your work area! You'll be so glad you did.

•••> Cleanly removing labels or stickers, stuck on any number of surfaces, can be a challenge at times ... same with some types of tape. Adhesives are forever getting more tenacious; the key to removing seemingly stuck-on-for-good labels lies in the speed, therefore, pulling/peeling force, applied to the label or tape while peeling it off. Be patient, and think slow in the removal and success should always follow.

•••> I use a belt sander and a coarse-grit belt when I need to fine trim a wood door. Trimming or beveling a door edge is much safer using a belt sander than a power planer. A planer can easily blow out the grain when it follows around a knot, and planing the end-grain of any wood is always asking for trouble with blow outs. I don't even own a planer – I leave all of the fine trimming duties to my belt sander.
        I can extend the useful life of a sanding belt a bit by a simple action. When I'm done using the sander I remove the belt, turn it around and put it back on to run in the opposite direction. The backside of the grit, not as dulled as the frontside, will be doing the cutting next time out. Do this after each use of the belt sander and the sharpest side of the grit will always be doing the cutting, extending the life of the belt.

•••> If you have a cordless tool kit and would like to own other tools from the same manufacturer using the same size batteries, buying a new complete kit may not be the way to go. Search online for the new "bare tool" you want (comes without batteries and charger) and save lots of money.

•••> Never force a tool, any tool, to do its job. It's not good for the tool nor you. If a tool has to be forced, it's the wrong tool for the job, or it's time to replace that bit, blade, belt or other worn out item. Look, and replace.

•••> I've seen the results of split-jamb pre-hung doors "installed" by only fastening the unit's casing to the wall studs (with no attempt to secure the frame itself to the studs). Of course, such a door will prove to be troublesome sooner than later. Even when a split-jamb frame is properly shimmed and fastened to the studs, I prefer using a solid-jamb pre-hung unit. It will take a bit more time to cut and fit casing to it, but a more solid door is the result. Try a solid-jamb pre-hung door unit next time.


Look - Don't think!Copyright © Bill Reeves

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