Carpentry & Construction Money Saving Tips

Carpentry & Construction Money Saving Tips & Hacks.

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This Carpentry & Construction Savings super page contains a growing number of money saving tips for the home!

Carpentry & Construction Savings #1 – Hitting Nails?

Hammer hitting the pointed end of a nail.

Here’s Old Scotsman Arnie’s nail trick. He was a great carpenter and a cabinet maker who did a lot of work for our company. When I saw him hitting the point of the nails with the hammer and flattening them a bit, I was very curious. He was putting molding on cabinets and asked me if I saw any of the thin wood splitting. Nary a one . . . highly unusual. The trick was that the flattened point of the nail would tear through the wood fibers instead of spreading them and causing the wood to split. That one tip has saved me oodles and oodles of “split ends”.   AJ Economides – Hinsdale, IL 

Carpentry & Construction Savings #2 – Free Materials at the Dump

I have gleaned many useful items at my local dump and used them in several small construction projects around my 12-acre place. Our dump has a used paint table where others leave their old paint and stain. If you look carefully, you can often find brand new, unopened cans of paint. I always pick up the enamel paint because it can be stored through our cold winters better than latex paint can.

If you really want to be creative, you can use the discarded glass, broken tile or dinnerware as mosaic pieces in concrete work. I’ve also found copper pipe and lots of metal shelving. I’m currently building a greenhouse out of salvaged glass that I hauled away for free from a local glass shop. This way I saved them the dump fee. Fencing can often be picked up for free from people who just want it removed.   Patti – Newport, WA 

Carpentry & Construction Savings #3 – Pallet-able Furniture?

Wooden pallet laying on the ground.

I was shopping for craft items at Michael’s one day. When I left the store, I saw a man in a pickup truck — with a boat behind it — parked next to a big dumpster. I assumed that he was dropping off some trash, but instead, he started pulling out some wooden pallets and throwing them into the back of his boat.

Then it hit me, he was going to use the wood for projects or possibly for firewood. Since then, when I see large wood pieces in a dumpster, I fit them into my car. I take them and make something useful out of them. Just this week I found two good pieces of wood, painted black, which I am repainting to use as shelves in my spare room. The possibilities are endless. I heard of a family who builds picnic tables out of pallets that they have found.

In the past few months, I’ve also found some brand new books and vases. I took the books and donated them to the library “Free” table. There were iron vases that I painted to match my decor. I keep my eyes open now because you never know what gems may be sticking out of a dumpster.   Dianne Werthmuller – USA

Saving on Tools and More

Harbor Freight Tools store front photo

Tools, tools and more tools and a lot more. That’s what Harbor Freight has. We regularly shop there for specialty tools for projects.

For example, we recently installed a new hard drive on our iMac computer. According to an expert website ( the installation required the following items:

  • 2 Heavy-duty Suction Cups
  • Phillips #1 Screwdriver
  • Spudger
  • T6 Torx Screwdriver
  • T8 Torx Screwdriver

Total cost from the iFixit website was about $35 with shipping.

A quick visit to Harbor Freight’s website showed us that we could purchase all we needed for $15.27 (tax included). And this price got us a whole set of Torx screwdrivers. We’ve purchased other things including a 2 wheel, heavy-duty dolly, an oak park bench, batterie,  and tarps.

Beyond their broad selection of tools and parts they always publish a 20% off coupon in their ads. And they usually have a number of coupons for free items available with any purchase—great for stocking stuffers.

One other thing about Harbor Freight 20% off coupons is that we taken them to Home Depot and they have been honored (some restrictions apply)!

We don’t purchase their electric tools as we’ve found brands like DeWalt, Bosch and Makita to be superior in power and quality. But we do purchase non-electric hand tools and air-powered tools from them .We just purchased a paint sprayer from Harbor Freight and love it.

Harbor Freight Tools - Save 25% to 50% Off!

For more great money saving ideas, please visit our Money Saving Tips page!

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If you have a construction or carpentry tip to share, please leave it in the comments below.

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