By REMODELING Magazine Staff. Dale Brown, lead carpenter, DeCiantis Construction, Stonington, Conn.
I had a crown molding job in a historical home and the ceiling and corners were not at 90 degrees. I realized it would be a challenge, especially the inside corners. I bought a Bosch digital angle finder and figured out how to modify the typical 38 and 52 degrees to account for the undulations in the wall. The angle finder has a mini processor chip that does the math for you. For example, if you have an 88 degree angle corner, it will tell you what miter angle and bevel angle to set your compound miter saw for the correct cut. Having that info is worth the cost of the tool. Now when I do takeoffs, the first thing I do is measure the lengths and the anticipated angles.
Ron Little, lead carpenter, D.G. Liu Contractor, Dickerson, Md.
D.G. Liu offers its lead carpenters $2,000 toward the purchase of a pick-up truck cap. I have a Jeep Cherokee, but I was told I needed a pick-up to haul tools and materials. I didn't want to buy a pick-up just for work. With the owner's permission, I used the allowance to buy a closed cargo trailer. The 5-by-8-foot trailer has ladder racks and built-in shelves so I never have to empty half my truck to find something. I can fit a wheelbarrow between the shelves, or 20 sheets of plywood or drywall. Not only is it practical but the color matches my Jeep and it has a company logo on both sides.
Dan Morrison, lead carpenter, Maine State Builders, Portland, Maine
I did an addition a while ago where I used I-beams to support the addition. I had to wrap a beam with lumber, paint it, and caulk the miter seams. After caulking the first 100 feet conventionally, I figured out a better idea. I had to caulk the outside miter, so I cut a bird's mouth on the caulk tube using a utility knife. The notch in the tube allowed me to run the tube along the corner without slipping. It's amazingly simple. The final 200 feet went really fast.