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Handy Carpentry Techniques for Home Organization

Part of the Organizing Do-It-Yourself For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Tool belts, and those who wear tool belts, can be intimidating. But a few carpentry tips can help you organize your home.. Here are a few carpentry techniques frequently used during home organization:

  • Finding a wall stud or ceiling joist: Wall studs are vertical wood beams generally located every 16 inches behind drywall. (A ceiling joist is like a wall stud but located, of course, in the ceiling.) A stud finder operates like a metal detector, beeping or flashing when it locates nails or screws in the wall studs. Other techniques for finding studs are to knock on the wall (hollow drywall sounds different than solid wood) or to note the placement of electrical outlets (they’re installed in wall studs).

  • Using a level: A level is a device with an embedded bubble that indicates whether the item is . . . level. This handy tool can be used horizontally or vertically to help you hang an item level or plumb (perfectly vertical).

  • Using a screwdriver: To install any screw, simply select the proper screwdriver for the screw (either flathead or Phillips), and twist in a clockwise (to the right) direction. To remove the screw, twist in a counterclockwise (to the left) direction.

  • Using an electric drill: An electric drill is a handy power tool used to drill holes into wall studs. For a strong installation, begin by selecting a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the screw required for the installation. Use a pencil to mark the spot where you will drill your hole. Ensure the drill is in “Forward” mode, and apply even and consistent pressure to the marked spot as you pull the trigger, noting resistance as your drill bit enters the wall stud. Remove your drill by gently retracting it or by using the “Reverse” mode.

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