Tip Trader: Holding Helper and Perfect Welds

Handyman Club members share their home and workshop hints.

Holding Helper
If you have arthritis in your hands or simply find it difficult to hold small nails or other tiny parts for your projects, use this trick from Club member Al Kagarice of Urich, Missouri: Fasten alligator clips to various lengths of dowel rods and use them to hold nails in place while you drive them home.

Perfect Welds
To create clean, perfect weld beads with a wire-feed welder, try this tip from Club member Ken Berkey of West Newton, Pennsylvania. Clamp a small section of copper stock at each end of the intended joint. When you’re ready to start welding, begin the weld bead on the copper, working your way toward the actual metal workpieces. Continue the weld past the workpiece, running back onto the copper, all the while maintaining a smooth, steady movement. Ken says copper is ideal for this purpose because it draws heat away from the welding wire, and the bead of molten metal won’t stick to it.