By Levin, Rappaport, Hovav

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Variety serves as a better all-purpose level. Laser levels are handy for creating a level line around the perimeter of a room or for level lines along longer lengths. They provide a wide range of line or spot placement, depending on the model. Levels • A T-bevel is a specialized tool for finding and transferring precise angles. T-bevels are generally used in conjunction with a power miter saw to gauge angled miters of nonsquare corners. This tool is especially handy in older homes where the concepts of square, plumb, and level do not necessarily apply.

Purchase a nail set for countersinking nail heads. Three-piece sets are available for different nail sizes. • A rasp and a metal file set are important for fitting coped joints precisely. The variety of shapes, sizes, and mills allows faster rougher removal of material or smoother slower removal, depending on the file. • Use a putty knife to fill nail holes with putty and for light scraping tasks. Power Tools Despite the higher price as compared to hand tools, power tools are a great value. They allow you to do work more quickly and accurately than with hand tools and make repetitive tasks like sanding, drilling, and sawing more enjoyable.

For exterior trim projects and fastening door jambs, use casing nails. Finish nails are used for most trim installation because they have a slight head that is easy to countersink and conceal. To install smaller or thinner trim pieces that are prone to splitting, use brad nails. Brad nails are shorter and have a smaller gauge than finish nails for light trim work. No matter what you are fastening, make sure the fasteners you choose are appropriate for your installation. Approximately half of the fastener should be embedded in the backing material when driven in place.

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