Hand Trucks Rock
There are lots of times when you simply need help moving a rock out of the way. Sometimes rocks need to be moved aside when building a path. Or you may want to place them in a rock garden or at the entrance to a driveway. There are many ways to move a rock, and over the years we've seen our share of sleds, slides and contraptions for budging them. The best and simplest way is to use a hand truck. Hand trucks come in various shapes and sizes with weight capacities from 300 to 800 pounds being typical. You can buy light-duty hand trucks for as little as $50, but ones capable of more rugged use cost about $100 to $120. Once you've got the rock in position, slip the hand truck noseplate under it, and wheel it away. Large rocks, or those that are oddly shaped, are best stood on edge and held in position by a second person as the hand truck is moved.
Most outdoor power equipment is pretty straightforward machinery. Mowers, snowblowers, weed trimmers and the like make use of long-established technology that is pretty reliable. There aren't too many surprises in small engines except, of course, when they don't start. And the most surprising thing about not starting is not how mad it makes you--that's to be expected--but rather how easy it is to avoid the whole problem in the first place. All you have to do is change the oil once in a while, use reasonably fresh gas, and put a new spark plug in once a year. A spark plug costs only a couple of bucks and takes about a minute to replace. Sure, there can be other things wrong with the machine, but most of the time there isn't. Spring for the new plug and you've got a much better-than-even chance that the machine will start right up.
Cutting a door to fit isn't such a bad job if the opening is perfectly square. If it isn't, though, taking width and height dimensions won't tell you the whole story. And, the situation really gets grim when you find that each side has a different height and the top is wider than the bottom.
Instead of measuring lengths and widths, and approximating corners that are out of square, a quicker way is to build a template of the door opening. Any straight 1 x 3 stock, or something close, will do for this job. Start by cutting verticals just shorter than the opening at each side, and cut horizontals a bit shorter than the top and bottom spaces. Then assemble a frame inside the space. While holding a vertical along one side and the bottom piece along the floor, use a drill/driver to screw the pieces together at the corner. After adding the second vertical, screw the top piece in place. Use only one screw at each corner and make sure the pieces are against the sides of the door opening. When the frame is in place, add a diagonal member to keep the assembly from skewing. Then, remove the frame and use it to trace the shape onto your door.
Professional woodworkers take sharpening very seriously and with good reason. Razor-sharp cutting tools work better, save time and are much safer than dull tools. Some pros like oilstones, some prefer water stones, and still others sharpen and hone on glass plates covered with abrasive paste. But general chisel sharpening doesn't have to be quite so involved--that is, if you're willing to work with something that's not up to pro standards. Just use a piece of sandpaper--anything from 100-grit up to 220-grit will work. The coarser paper (lower number) will cut faster. The finer grit (higher number) will yield a sharper edge. Hold the paper on a hard surface and flatten the back of the chisel first. Then turn over the blade, hold the bevel side of the edge flat against the paper, and repeatedly pull the blade over the paper until the edge feels sharp. You may not be able to use the tool for shaving, but it will cut wood just fine.
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