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Monday, September 22, 2014, 5:23 p.m.
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Thinking inside the box

By Nathania Sawyer

This article was published August 2, 2014 at 1:53 a.m.

speed-square

Speed square

Creating usable items from castoff furniture requires reinforcing the items for stability.

"Almost everything you do starts with a simple box," Gail Wilson says.

"And the back means everything," she adds. "Have you ever put that 'sawdust' [pressboard] furniture together? It just leans until you tack that piece of cardboard on the back. And suddenly, it's sturdy enough to hold books. It's all about squaring things up and securing them so they don't wobble."

Two of Wilson's favorite tools can help:

• Pocket-hole jig -- a pocket hole is an angled hole used to join two boards with no screws showing on the outside. The pocket-hole jig holds the wood in place and has guides through which a special drill bit drills the holes at the proper angle. Wilson says, "It will change your life. It's amazing how strong the hold is when you use a pocket jig."

• Speed square -- this right isosceles triangle has gradations marked with degree measurements, which eliminates the need to calculate angles. Use it to align wood at right angles, mark 45-degree angles to cut miters or to mark parallel lines.

Other helpful tools include a jigsaw, cordless drill and compound miter saw.

-- Nathania Sawyer

HomeStyle on 08/02/2014

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