Friday, March 18, 2011

Tool Time

Tools are good to have but there are some very specific tools that nobody should be without. This means if you don't have any of them or don't have a quality one you should get it or plan to get it.
1. Hammer - I recommend a good framing hammer. The pricier ones are balanced better and miss less often.
2. Rubber mallet - Once you have one you can't imaging being without one. Any cheap wooden handle version will do.
3. Orbital sander - Belt sanders and block sanders are fine and dandy but an orbital sander is best for prepping an area to paint and most basic refinishing jobs. $30 tops. Go get one.
4. Power Drill - I used to have a beautiful Dewalt hammer drill. It was stolen because I neglected to do what I describe below. Since then I've purchased cheap drills that have gotten the job done for the most part. A quality drill can handle heavy use plus they utilize their battery better than the cheap ones.
5. Drill bits - Get a complete set. I used to try to get by with a hodgepodge of bits that were never quite small or large enough. The right sized bit will make the right sized hole. You don't need to spend too much on these.
6. Level - Buy a good one. I used to use a crappy one and there are many uneven towel racks and shelves in our home.
7. Hack saw - Get a good one. Replace the blade frequently. They're not that expensive.
8. Driver set - As much as I love my driver with interchangeable bits I frequently encounter holes it won't fit inside. Get individual drivers of all sizes. Phillips and slot.
9. Tape measure - Get a good Stanley 25' will measure whatever you need to measure.
10. Safety glasses - You may think you look dumb wearing them but rest assured you look even dumber with a bandage and gauze over your eye.

Those are the crucial items for basic jobs around the house. The "DIY'er" will also want a compound miter saw, jig saw, carpenter square, shop vac, and a good circular saw. A good air compressor with a long hose will power most air tools like brad nailers and such. The small pancake units are really just good for putting air in your tires and will do so running the entire time.

I know some people are afraid to stock their garages with good tools out of fear of being stolen. As I mentioned above my very expensive power drill was stolen. Most people who steal tools do so to sell them. If you deface them somewhat no pawn shop will take them. Carve your name on the side, paint a little rainbow on the side or do both. My old skill saw was had a pink guard on it. I was frequently asked why I had a pink saw which was occasionally annoying but I could leave it lying around without fear of theft.

It's not hard to do manly things. All you need are the right tools and a fearless attitude. No matter what you destroy there will always be somebody with the skills to fix it for a nominal fee. Next time you break something, fix it.


  1. As I type this...Graham is out in the garage doing something very loud. It's hurting my ears. I hate his tools.

  2. I need to make sure that my husband never meets or speaks with Graham, or reads his blog. Mister tries to do something we like to call 'home-brewing' which is to say he attempts to build, fix, or 'enhance' things... and it never, never, never works. His latest idea? Build a wooden enclosure for the dogs to have in the living room, to eliminate the need for their separate wire cages which take up space and don't provide a very good bedding area.

    After reading this entry, Graham, I'm almost tempted to let him do it... almost. So if it had that effect on me, I can't imagine letting him read...

    I sound like such a bitchy wife. LOL

  3. Jill is nice enough to let me fail from time to time even though I rarely do. I usually get my way when we weigh the costs of having somebody else do it.

  4. Wouldn't a large enclosure take up just as much space as two cages?

    Lucy just has a small, collapsible kennel in the living room as her "den" or house or whatever. She loves it. And we love it because if she bugs us, we can zip her in...haha.

  5. I don't him failing... I mind him destroying my furniture! ;) I hate to have to buy something twice. Pet peeve.

    But mayhap I shall let him build the pup enclosure after all... we shall see...

  6. If he does build sure to take pictures!