Helpful News

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Five Power Tools You Cannot Live Without

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when you’re a home owner. If you’re a new home owner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Don’t forget too that you’ll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.
Five power tools that you can’t live without is a short list, but the work that they can do is a lot. Take a gander at the tools, and how they help you with tasks around the house.
Cordless Screwdriver. A cordless screwdriver will help you for all of those small tasks that don’t need a lot of heavy power to do it. For example you’ll be able to use it for screwing furniture together, pre-drilling holes for hanging heavy objects on walls, or even to drill holes for picture frame hanging. One added benefit is that most have a reversible switch which lets you back out the screw if you need to.
Cordless Drill. You’ll need a cordless drill especially if you’ve got a larger number of holes to drill for a project, and it’s handy too for not having to change out your screws between the screwdriver and cordless drill. They are great for making pivot holes for screws. The typical size of bit for home use is a 3/8 in. Anything larger is considered commercial size grade.
Corded Drill. A corded drill is necessary when you’ve got a large number of holes to drill. The cordless drill just doesn’t have the power to drill through some material as a corded drill does. Its limitation is the length of the cord, but extensions can be added safely to it.
Power Circular Saw. Power circular saws are much easier on the hands than a hand saw, and they cut much more efficiently too. Break out the power circular saw when you want to cut large 2x4s, or any sheets of lumber such as particle board. Usually this power tool can cut a depth of up to 3 in. thick board without having to cut twice. It’s a must have for any major home remodeling job.
Jig Saw. The jig saw will help you out of tough tight cuts. Intricate work like cutting around cabinet edges or anywhere a close fitting cut is necessary.
As you can see these power tools are the tools that you’ll need to get just about any job done around the house. Don’t think that those will be the only tools you’ll need for living in your house. Here is a quick list of other necessities.
Caulking Gun. A caulking gun is used for a variety of projects around the house. If you want to put up a shower wall you’ll need the gun for adhesive. Other uses are for caulking around window frames and filler for holes.
Damaged Screw Remover. A very valuable tool for removing screws in which the head has been damaged from a bad bit, or from an overzealous drill. It can be a safety issue too. Damaged screws can have rough edges and deep cuts can result.
Damaged Nut Remover. A typical application of this neat little tool is for example removing a rusted bolt when replacing a toilet. It’s good too for bicycle repair.
Wrenches. Different size wrenches are always good to have around the house.
Magnet. Long handled magnets on a stick are good for remodeling uses. Nails, nuts, bolts are easy to loose track of, and at times in very inconvenient places such as between floorboards or behind appliances. Make sure to get one. It might save you from an extra trip to replace hardware that’s lost.
Circuit Tester. Inexpensive circuit tester kits are useful for testing to see if wires are useful for any electrical need that you have.
Home ownership is a joy, but it’s more joyful when you’ve got the correct tools to upgrade or fix any problem that you might have. Be prepared and get the 5 power tools, and pick up the other extras while you’re at it. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief when something comes around that you need to have your power tools for.

Five Steps to a Brand New Door

Learning how to replace a door opens a whole new window of opportunity for a do-it-yourselfer. A new door can change the style of a room or brighten up the exterior of a house. In addition, a new door with a better seal can help prevent drafts and improve heating bills.

There are three types of doors: entry doors, interior doors, and combination storm/screen doors. The five steps below describe the technique for replacing an entry door. If you can master replacement of an entry door, replacing most interior doors is actually a simplified version of that process, as the locks are typically simpler or nonexistent. Replacement of combination storm/screen doors can follow the same process as that of entry doors, or it can become more complicated. If you are unsure about the process for installing a combination storm/screen door, check your manufacturer’s information for additional instructions or speak with a representative of the manufacturer or store that sold you the door.

Remove the old door.

To remove the old door, open it and wedge under the outer corner to take weight off the hinges. Once the door has been removed, set it aside to use as a pattern in trimming the new door unless it is seriously warped or damaged.

To remove the door, follow one of the two options below.

A popular method for hanging doors is the use of loose-pin hinges. With loose-pin hinges, half the hinge attaches to the door and the other half to the doorframe. Both halves are held together by a pin. If this is the type of hinge you’re dealing with, remove the pin by tapping it up and completely pulling it out. Start with the bottom hinge and work your way up. Once the hinges have been removed, you can take the door off the frame.

In some older homes, a different type of hinge may be used or the pin cannot easily be removed because it has been covered by layers of paint. In this case, unscrew the hinges from the doorframe (still working from bottom to top) and remove the door.

Remove hinge leaves.

Remove the hinge leaves from the door and the frame. You can choose to either reuse the original hinges or hang new ones. If you reuse the original ones, you can buff them with sandpaper and spray them with a clear protective coating. For new hinges, simply insure that they are the same size as the old ones.

Once you have gotten the hinges in the shape you want them, install the new hinge leaves on the door frame. Be sure your screws are long enough to pierce both the frame and the stud-wall framing. This is an extra security measure.

Trim new door.

If possible, use the original door as a pattern for the new one. Alight the top and side edges and see whether the new door needs to be cut down along the bottom. If you cannot use the old door as a pattern, measure the door opening and allow a 1/8" bottom clearance and 1/16" top and side clearance. If the door opens over carpet, increase the bottom clearance to 3/4" or more. Mark the appropriate dimensions on the new door.

Trim the bottom of the door with a fine-toothed saw. Alternatively you can work from the corners to the center of the bottom edge with a block plane. Also use a jack plane for edge trimming if necessary. To prevent binding when the new door is opened, bevel the latch edge inward.

Prepare new door for hinges.

The first step in preparing the door for the hinges is to create the new mortises, which are carved or routed-out depressions where the hinge blades are placed, which keeps the surface even. Again using the old door for a pattern, mark hinge mortise locations. If you choose not to pattern after the old door, stick the new door in the opening and wedge it 1/8" from the bottom. Mark the hinge locations on the door.

Next, set the door on its latch edge. Use a square and pencil or knife to draw a line across the door edge at each hinge location. Outline the new hinge on the door by using the hinge leaf as a template.

Score marked edges for the hinge mortises with a wood chisel. Do not cut deeper than hinge leaf thickness. Angle the same chisel with beveled edge downward. Make several cuts in the scored area, again to the depth of the hinge leaf. Remove wood chips with a chisel. Insert the hinge leaf to double check fit, but do not affix it to the door.

Typically, doors taller than six feet require three hinges for weight distribution. Place the middle hinge halfway between the top and bottom hinges.

Coat door edges with wood sealant. Use wood screws to attach hinge leaves to the new door.

Hang new door.

Placing the newly sealed door in the frame, insert the top and bottom pins. If the fit is acceptable, close the door and mark where the middle hinge falls on the door frame. If the old door had a middle hinge, the best case scenario would involve the new middle hinge falling in exactly the same place, necessitating no work on your part.

If the middle hinge falls differently on the new door, take down the door by removing the bottom hinge pin and then the top. Use the hinge leaf as a template to outline the middle hinge’s location on the door frame. Cut the mortise in the same process used for door mortises. Attach the middle hinge to the door frame.

Set the door in place and insert the hinge pins, working top to bottom.

Another project for another day is installing a new lockset. For now, open your new door and go out and celebrate your accomplishment!

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