Tool Time!

Posted by: JoJo2

Tool Time! - Thu Apr 05 2001 11:23 PM

What do you think are the essential tools that everyone should have in their house or apartment? I would also like to know any tips on keeping certain sharp and rust free. Do you have any tips on storing your tools, such as shovels and lawnmowers?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Tool Time! - Fri Apr 06 2001 12:30 PM

JoJo, JoJo, JoJo...Don't you know you can fix anything with a little duct tape and a butter knife!?

No really, here's what I have in my tool box: Hammer, straight and phillips head screw drivers in two or three sizes, tape measure, plyers, needle nose plyers, small rachet set, small "jeweler's" tool set and a variety of nails and screws. Coupled with my duct tape, there's nothing I can't do!!! LOL

Posted by: fjohn

Re: Tool Time! - Fri Apr 06 2001 01:10 PM

Let's see.... duct tape is an obvious given. That's what holds my truck together.

Along with a hammer and nails you need patching plaster to repair the holes you made accidentally when you put the nail in the wrong spot. This occurs frequently when hanging pictures ... a common household chore.

Then, you must have a small amount of paint left over from when you painted the room where the nail was pounded in and then removed and plastered over. Use the paint to touch-up the plaster after it dries.

Buy a stud finder (no, one doesn't look in a singles bar for one of these). The stud finder will help you locate a wall building stud. These are less expensive in the long run than pounding nails every half-inch to find the stud.

Buy a pint of vodka to sip (over ice) after you've found the stud, pounded the nail in and discovered that it's 3 inches off from where you actually wanted it to be.

Call a professional decorator and carpenter, this time from the singles bar, and just relax! Owning a home is fun!

Posted by: JoJo2

Re: Tool Time! - Fri Apr 06 2001 02:50 PM

Besides providing us with good tips, you guys have more comic material than the show "Tool Time". I'll have to read this thread when I am in need a good chuckle. If you guys decide to go on the road with your new act, I definately want to be your manager. Now pass the Vodka fjohn.
Posted by: fjohn

Re: Tool Time! - Sat Apr 07 2001 03:51 PM

But, seriously, JoJo, I am compiling my list of what a long-time home owner fixer-upper should have in the way of hand tools. Will post it shortly.
Whatever happened to my square-headed smiley? Terry!!!?
Posted by: fjohn

Re: Tool Time! - Sun Apr 08 2001 11:23 PM

I seem to have inventoried my tool collection since my last post and don't want to burden anyone with an impossibly long list of "things to have." Here are 3 quick need-to-have in anyone's home:
Get two bubble levels; three are better. One should be a torpedo level about 10" long. A torpedo level has one center bubble and is pointed on both ends, thus the term "torpedo." These have a groove lengthwise along the bottom edge to level round objects such as plumbing pipes. They are also magnetic along their length for a hands-off leveling of ferrous materials.

Another level should be two feet long with three bubbles that can be used to level and plumb (vertical) any object with one flat side. I used this size to level our stove. The more square and level a stove is, the better.

The refrigerator should also be checked, but this appliance should actually be slightly out of level. You want a refrigerator to tilt back toward the wall about 1/8 of a bubble. This will allow the door to swing closed and stay closed with a slight nudge. Don't exceed a backward lean of more than about 1/8 inch per foot though because the water in an icemaker will have thinner cubes in front and thicker cubes near the back.

A third level should be 4 feet long. It's great for laying out lines for hanging wallpaper. It will give you a vertical line even when your walls may not be perfectly vertical. Most homes do not have perfectly vertical walls or horizontal ceilings and floors. A good level will tell you which way and how much things are out of square or plumb.

Another item sandpaper. Get an open coat aluminum oxide in grades from 000 (very fine) to perhaps 100 grit (medium). An "open coat" simply means that it won't quickly gum up with what you are sanding. The very fine grade can be found on emery boards used to smooth fingernails. These emery boards are good for smoothing an occasional burr or sliver that develops in furniture or metal objects.

Posted by: fjohn

Re: Tool Time! - Mon Apr 09 2001 12:10 AM

Here's a bit of esoterica about tacks and tackhammers for all you would-be upholsterers. A good tackhammer has two faces, one magnetized to hold the tack. If you go to a hardware store to buy upholsterer's tacks you will see that the box label indicates that the tacks are "sterilized."

Any good upholsterer can pop 8 or 10 tacks in his/her mouth and, with caution and lip dexterity, turn a tack around so that the head of the tack is facing out. The magnetic end of the hammer is used to pick the tack from between pursed lips. Thus, the term "sterilized" to assure the upholsterer that it's ok to put the tack in one's mouth.

Posted by: JoJo2

Re: Tool Time! - Mon Apr 09 2001 11:43 PM

Excellent tips fjohn. I have a three bubbles leveler that I use for all kinds of things. I couldn't do without it. I bought a Dremel that I find is useful in so many ways. It is great for sanding in hard to reach spots. I haven't used all the attachments yet but I am sure I will get a lot of use out of this Dremel. When I lived out east, I used to oil my shovels, etc. and then store them in an pail full of sand to keep it sharp and also to keep them from rusting. I also used to use my old hoses, cut them and then split them in half to cover my sharp tools in the garage, like my saws, etc.
Posted by: fjohn

Re: Tool Time! - Mon Apr 09 2001 01:09 PM

You are well organized, JoJo. The split hose to cover saw teeth is an excellent idea. I also have a Dremel Moto-Tool. I used to do a bit of wood carving and the shaping burrs that come with this tool work very well. What I really want to have (hint to the wife for my birthday) is an electric wood carving tool -- sort of a miniature jackhammer with an assortment of carving bits. It sure beats mallet and chisel.
Posted by: Partsdude

Re: Tool Time! - Tue Apr 10 2001 11:24 PM

"Duct tape- The Handyman's secret weapon."

"If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

Red Green

Posted by: JoJo2

Re: Tool Time! - Wed Apr 11 2001 09:12 AM

Great motto PARTSDUDE!

Oh fjohn, how I envy your talents as a wood carver. I would love to learn how. I really marvel at some of the older homes and how so much work and talent was involved on the inside and the outside. Everything now is so plain Jane in the newer homes... nothing as unique as they used to be.

I do a lot of crafts and I have always wanted to have a ban saw to cut out my own wooden pieces instread of having to buy them. I think Dremel came out with a new tool to cut wood that supposedly is very easy to use.

[ 04-11-2001: Message edited by: JoJo2 ]

Posted by: shabbychic

Re: Tool Time! - Wed Apr 11 2001 09:55 PM

how about a good how-to book for no-talents like me on how to do it so i will know which end of the hammer to hit with all kidding aside the book isn' a bad idea especially if you just think you know how to get the job done i also have a cordless drill and saw they are light enough that even a woman can use them
Posted by: fjohn

Re: Tool Time! - Wed Apr 11 2001 10:31 PM

Shabbychic: There are a lot of resources for those who want to know how to use tools. Television programming on PBS and HGTV is very worthwhile; Time-Life company produces a series of books with good illustrations; your public library will have a raft of craft books and maybe how-to videos.
If there is a particular craft involving the use of specialized tools, try an Internet search. Some sites are very helpful and you can ask questions.

Re: your comment about not knowing which end of the hammer to hit with is not as important to know as which end of a nail to hit. In a box of randomly selected nails, if the point of the nail is toward you, it is for the South side of your home; if the flat head of the nail is toward you, it is for the North side of your home.

JoJo: A band saw is good for some scroll work if the curve of the design you are cutting is not too severe. A band saw is ideal for free-hand work in thicker wood (over 1/2 inch).
A scroll saw is better for thin, flat woods and intricate patterns. However, the scroll saw is tedious when making lattice work or any non-continuous cut. For example, when making this smilie you have to drill a small pilot hole through the wood at the corner of one eye, then fit the saw blade through the hole and reattach it to the saw and then cut out the curved "closed eye." Then repeat the process for the other eye, and then the mouth.
You really have to love what you are doing, but using a scroll saw is "sit-down" work, something like using a sewing machine.

Posted by: shabbychic

Re: Tool Time! - Fri Apr 13 2001 09:38 PM

oh jojo i wish with all my heart that i had the space for a scroll saw but we moved from a house with a full basement and garage to a house with no basement and one car garage so i have to settle for my sewing machine
Posted by: shabbychic

Re: Tool Time! - Fri Apr 13 2001 09:42 PM

P.S. i was joking about the book i have good book that is so complete it evens tell you how to sew on a button
Posted by: shuttlebunny

Re: Tool Time! - Sat Apr 14 2001 05:34 PM

If it moves and it shouldn't--Use duct tape...

If it doesn't move and it should--Use WD-40!

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Tool Time! - Mon Apr 16 2001 09:08 AM

Excellent advice Shuttlebunny!
Posted by: Lirio

Re: Tool Time! - Mon Apr 16 2001 12:08 PM

As a gardener a never go out without my pruning shears, I even take them with me on my holidays. Everything I can't fix with them, I fix with gaffer-tape or wire.
Posted by: fjohn

Re: Tool Time! - Mon Apr 16 2001 02:37 PM

Good motto, Shuttlebunny! I am going to make a big sign for my workshop.
Posted by: JoJo2

Re: Tool Time! - Sat Apr 21 2001 08:41 AM

With all this talk about duct tape, I just had to get mine out and try something new with it. Recently I changed the shower curtain in my bathroom. The old one (hunter green and white stripes) was in great condition, but I was tired of it so I bought a new one. I got a couple of seat cushions that were stored in a box in my closet and covered them with squares from the old shower curtain and instead of sewing the new covers on, I used duct tape on the bottom. I wrapped the cusions sort of like a present and no one will see the duct unless they turn the cushions upside down. In any case, now I have new water-proof outdoor cushions for my sitting bench outside. In fact, I covered each cushion twice, so that if one gets old or faded, all I have to do is take off the duct tape and remove the outer layer and I have a new cover once again. Thanks for the inspiration you guys!

Lirio, I haven't heard much about gaffer-tape or wire before. For some reason when I watch the credits for a movie I always check to see the name(s) of the Gaffer(s). Don't ask me why, because I have no clue. What is gaffer tape or wire like and what kind of things can you fix with them? I'm curious now.

Excellent motto shuttlebunny! You should make up some signs and start selling them.

Posted by: Pling

Re: Tool Time! - Sat Apr 21 2001 05:08 PM

What a brill Idea Jo......I will keep that one in mind for good old rainy England..
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Tool Time! - Sun Apr 22 2001 03:09 PM

I find I can fix most things with my swiss army knife. I have a model called "mechanic", its got the cutest little set of pliars on it!

You can rock a cradle, but you can't rock a casbah!

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Tool Time! - Mon Apr 23 2001 12:47 PM

JoJo...That's a great idea about the shower curtain! We're building a patio this spring and I'm gonna try that out on the new furniture I get...Thanks!
Posted by: JoJo2

Re: Tool Time! - Tue May 08 2001 11:02 PM

For all you duct tape lovers who think you can do just about anything with a little duct tape, you will love this story. Here in San Diego, a couple made their entire prom outfits out of duct tape. It cost them around $25.00. What a deal! They won a scholarship from a duct tape company. The bad news is, they couldn't sit down during the prom dinner. LOL
Posted by: JoJo2

Re: Tool Time! - Fri May 11 2001 03:23 PM

I have to add the glue gun to the list. I don't know what I would with out mine. I use is it all time, especially when I am doing crafts.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Tool Time! - Sat May 12 2001 11:47 PM

I saw those "duct tape" prom kids on the news...That was so cool!
Posted by: JoJo2

Re: Tool Time! - Sat May 12 2001 01:32 PM

It was cool and profitable too! I thought about you guys and this thread immediately when I saw these kids on the news. I guess you are right, you can do just about anything with duct tape. I like to hear some more duct tape ideas.