my Old Workshop

Trunk o' Tips – abs cutting tips, painting tip

Thought we’d reach into the tip bag today to help you through some tough situations.

Cutting ABS pipe is easy when you have a lot of space; you just use a hacksaw (or a backsaw, which can give you a straighter cut). But what if you have to retrofit something in a tight spot? Make sure the family’s out of the house (or at least out of earshot) before you try using a hacksaw to cut that pipe in the far back corner under the sink. But you can keep your sanity, not to mention good familial relations, with this trick. Pick up a length of nylon mason’s line and, wearing work gloves, loop the line around the pipe, wrap both ends around your hands, and pull — slowly — back and forth. (It helps if you can create a starter notch with a saw, knife or chisel.) The heat caused by the friction melts through the pipe to give you a good cut.

Trying to decide on a paint color? Don’t just rely on the sample cards. Begin by looking at the samples in various lights: daylight, bright electric light, dim light, and a combination. Decide on two or three potentials, and buy a quart of each. Then, prime three good-sized scraps of drywall, and paint each with a different color. Leave these in the room you’re painting, repositioning them occasionally, and look at them several times a day in different lights. It’s a little more up-front, but you’ll be happier with the results.