We have created a series of bitesize Top Tip videos to help you improve your DIY skills. Whether you want to improve your basic do-it-yourself knowledge or are stuck on a specific task, our tips have been created in conjunction with tradespeople to help you do it right.
Feeling confident about your DIY? View our handy how to guides and put your skills to use around your home.
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Create a simple butt joint when building any timber frames for stability and ease.
To increase speed and accuracy when aligning evenly spaced timber, create a jig from a scrap piece of wood.
A feature that is raised above the surrounding surface can be described as proud.
Surfaces, sides or edges that are level with each other are described as flush.
To make it easy to identify cut lengths of timber, mark the dimensions on the wood with a pencil.
Drilling pilot holes in your timber will help prevent the wood from splitting.
To ensure you are using your power saw safely and precisely, it is key to create a level support for this bulky tool.
To avoid confusion, mark your timber with cross-hatching or a scribble to indicate where fixings should sit.
Cutting both ends of the timber will save you time adjusting the angle of your chop saw.
For a professional clean finish, fill holes with a dowel for a flush surface.
Creating a drilling template will save you time and effort.
Use glue to secure a joint before pinning to make the process easier.
To create stronger, sturdier joints, use your nail or pin gun at an angle.
Cut multiple lengths of timber at speed by creating a stop block for your chop saw.
Help guide your drill squarely into wood using a drill jig made from timber offcuts.
Using a bradawl to create a small hole in woodwork will ease the insertion of screws or nails.
.For a flush finish, use a countersink bit to bevel the rim of a drilled hole so that a screw or bolt can be inserted flush to the surface
Use masking tape to mark a depth gauge on your drill bit to ensure you drill accurate holes in your woodwork projects.
Marking measurements with a crows foot mark rather than a line or dash will make it clearer when drilling or cutting.
Use a flat sanding block for perfectly levelled and flush filled holes.
Increase the balance and steadiness of your blade when sawing by hand, by using the correct grip.
Simply butt the handle up to the edge of your timber then use the back of the saw blade to scribe a straight cut line across your timber.
Use sandpaper to lightly rough and key your material before applying paint or adhesive.
When working on timber lengths with multiple scribes and intersecting lines, use clear markings as a visual guide.
For uneven timber leg lengths, use coins or washers of a similar diameter to help even up your surfaces.
Secure materials to your workbench by screwing or clamping through zones outside of your working area.
If you plan on painting your final project, it can be beneficial to undercoat and apply the first coat of paint to your timber before construction.
If you don’t have a paint tin opener to hand, use a metal spoon instead of a screwdriver to open the lid.
Using an elastic band on your paint tin can help reduce mess and drips, making it easier to replace the lid later.
Stick a piece of masking tape on your tape measure to jot down dimensions and memos.
For straight and accurate freehand cuts, screw or clamp a perfectly straight edge to your timber.
Use a and a wooden block as a barrier preventing the metal hammer from damaging the wood.
You should always ensure your power tools are disconnected when swapping accessories, cleaning, servicing or storing.
Use your hand and a pencil as a mortice gauge for parallel lines.
For best results when using a paintbrush, dip the bristles into the paint ¾ of the way to prevent overloading the brush.
To prevent your paintbrush from drying out between coats, wrap it in a disposable glove.