handyman hardwoodHere is a handyman tip that may help prevent you from pulling out your hair. If you are working with certain species of wood, namely hardwoods, you will find that they can be difficult. Hardwoods will dull blades and bits very fast.  They are also unforgiving when you try to install a screw or bolt through them. I’ve done a lot of work with solid oak, and I learned the hard way (and expensive way), that if you don’t pre-drill the hole for the screw, you are going to split the wood.

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So hint number 1: pre-drill the hole. You can hold a drill bit up to the screw you are going to install, and select a size that is just barely smaller than the shank of the screw. Drill the hole into the wood. If the hole is going to be deep, you may need to manually clear the bit and the hole of wood shavings or it may start to smoke.

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Hint number 2 is to grab a bar of soap. Rub the screw’s threads on the soap until you have some soap shavings along the threads. The soap will act as a lubricant and the screw will go into the hole like butter.

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