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Gentler Tools

Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1998

Before driving a nail into a wall, pad the face of the hammer with a round of felt fastened in place with a rubber band. The felt will protect the wall from the gray marks left by a wayward hammer and protect a decorative nail head from damage. When removing screws or nuts from delicate objects, such as a glass drawer pull or a brass wall hook, cover the area that will be gripped by the pliers with a piece of old inner tube (you can usually get one for free at your local bicycle-repair shop). Cut a small section of the tube, split it down the middle, and wrap it around the object to protect its surface and improve your grip.