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Old 11-22-2016, 07:10 PM   #16
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


As Norm Abram once said: "My favorite tool is the right tool for the job." Nothing will ruin your DIY experiences more than using cheap tools, or the wrong tool for whatever you're doing.

Try to get quality tools, whenever possible. Use those tools properly, and take care of them. Don't be afraid to spend more money on tools you'll be using more often. I have a Harbor Freight screwdriver set in the kitchen for tightening drawer knobs, a more expensive Klein set in my electrical bag, and an even more expensive Wera set in the garage for other work. I do more electrical and carpentry than I do plumbing or drywall, so I budget my tool spending accordingly.

As mentioned, start with the small jobs, and work your way up as you feel more comfortable. When I bought my house, I didn't know how to change a light fixture, or what different outlet configurations were for. 5 years later, I've rewired my whole house, helped a few friends completely rewire their houses, and did all the rough electrical for one of their garages, including a new service from the main panel to garage.

Even the professionals run into problems, especially with old houses where nothing is plumb or level. But there's tricks to learn to help you deal with that! Watch This Old House and Ask This Old House. There's a great podcast called Fixit Home Improvement that's really geared toward beginners and learning about different products and projects. I still find it interesting as an "advanced-DIY" person, I always learn something new from the podcasts and shows.

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you know contractors, handymen, or other DIY'ers with more experience. Most people are happy to share their knowledge, and they were in your spot at one time, as well.

Lastly, once you find out which home improvement projects you feel comfortable with, and hopefully enjoy, find friends or family who have skills that will complement those. I am most skilled and comfortable with electrical projects and plumbing gives me a headache. One of my best buddies who just bought a house is a much better plumber than me, but can't stand tedious electrical works. So we trade our skills to help each other out. Our two other friends are an avid woodworker, and a skilled mason, so we all help each other out whenever needed.

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Old 11-22-2016, 09:44 PM   #17
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


Great advice on tool quality and using them properly and for the purpose intended. A few things I treat as throwaway - twist drill bits come to mind.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:35 PM   #18
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


I might use $700 worth of tools to make a small drywall patch. Drill/driver, oscillating tool, a special mud pan, a special drill attachment for mixing the mud, several different mud knives, utility knife, shop vac, vacuum sander, tarps, square, jig saw, premium paint brushes and roller frames, etc.

Obviously, I'm not going to advise a beginner DIYer to spend $700 on tools to patch his first drywall hole. But, yeah, it helps.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:04 AM   #19
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


Sorry to hear that you have no skills, I love performing DIY for several reasons;

- love figuring/finding out how things work or go together
- love standing back at the end and viewing the product of my work
- almost always find fault with work that others do
- hate to say it but just don't trust others

I have learned a lot from doing things and in some instances having to do them twice but this is all part of DIY. I (and wife) am lucky to be one of those people who can figure things and have an eye for detail. Not everyone does, sounds like you don't...nothing wrong with that and good you realize this so start finding a good network of contractors.
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Old 11-26-2016, 11:14 AM   #20
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


Hi Folks

Thank for you replies. I'm sorry for getting back to you so late, but I haven't been feeling well for the last few days.

Do any of you have problems using common DIY tools such as :

Hammer, Screw Driver, Tape Measure, Spirit Level, Utility Knife, Putty Knife, Nail Set, Pliers, Wire Stripper, Power tension Cord?

Thanks
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Old 11-26-2016, 12:09 PM   #21
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHappyOne View Post
Hi Folks

Thank for you replies. I'm sorry for getting back to you so late, but I haven't been feeling well for the last few days.

Do any of you have problems using common DIY tools such as :

Hammer, Screw Driver, Tape Measure, Spirit Level, Utility Knife, Putty Knife, Nail Set, Pliers, Wire Stripper, Power tension Cord?

Thanks


Oh sure, in one form or another.

Hammer: I tend to hit myself on the hand with it occasionally.

Screwdriver: My screwdrivers are mainly used for prying. My cordless drills and impact driver are used for driving screws. Actually, in the rare case I find a slotted screw I drive those manually.

Tape Measure: I have one that is standard on one side and metric on the other. That gets confusing sometimes.

Spirit Level: No problems there.

Utility knife: some are easier to change blades than another. Plus, blades are so cheap that it doesn't make sense to keep cutting with a dull one.

Putty knife: I just use mine for scraping so no problems there.

Nail set: if the nail head isn't recessed it kinda sucks

Pliers: don't get your fingers too close, especially to the back end. Or the web of your fingers (@&$!)

Wire stripper: cheap ones give me trouble. If you do any amount of wiring, especially low voltage, get a nice set

Power tension cord: ? Like an extension cord?

My point is, even us pros get frustrated. Don't let that discourage you.
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:02 PM   #22
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


Other than bashing, cutting or pinching myself, I don't usually have any problems. My only problem with a hammer seems to be I'm at the stage of life when I need glasses for reading/close work but what I intend to hit is often outside the focal range of my glasses, so I often pound nails like I did when I was 12.

When it comes to hand tools, tried and true rules the day. My daughter often gets me some new design of plier or wrench and, while they are ok, they're often never as good as a design that's been around for years. I've yet to find a utility knife better than a Stanley.
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:50 PM   #23
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


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Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
Other than bashing, cutting or pinching myself, I don't usually have any problems. My only problem with a hammer seems to be I'm at the stage of life when I need glasses for reading/close work but what I intend to hit is often outside the focal range of my glasses, so I often pound nails like I did when I was 12.
Just an idea, but try on some cheap reading glasses with varying magnification next time you are in a discount store. If you know about the distance where you like to hammer, try to find a pair that lets you see that clearly. They even have bifocal now.

I don't have poor vision, but use different glasses for different tasks.
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:10 PM   #24
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHappyOne View Post
Hi Folks

Thank for you replies. I'm sorry for getting back to you so late, but I haven't been feeling well for the last few days.

Do any of you have problems using common DIY tools such as :

Hammer, Screw Driver, Tape Measure, Spirit Level, Utility Knife, Putty Knife, Nail Set, Pliers, Wire Stripper, Power tension Cord?

Thanks
Sometimes when I throw the tools, they unexpectedly bounce off the wall. Kinda like a boomerang.....
That can hurt worse than a screw driver stabbed into your index finger...
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:12 PM   #25
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


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Just an idea, but try on some cheap reading glasses with varying magnification next time you are in a discount store. If you know about the distance where you like to hammer, try to find a pair that lets you see that clearly. They even have bifocal now.
Not a bad thought but I'd have to label them with their various dioptre values, and sure as heck I'd have the wrong ones for the job at hand. I usually find copious swearing helps anyway.

I only have one Rx pair, all the rest are 'drug store' glasses and I'm such a lousy glasses-wearer I have them scattered all over. My wife has gone to different dioptres - for reading, tv and computer, and it works for her but it's always the search for the right pair.

I suppose I could get zapped but I hear that can impair night vision (not that I'm out much after dark any more). Cheers.
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Last edited by lenaitch; 11-26-2016 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:58 PM   #26
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


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Originally Posted by TheHappyOne View Post
Do any of you have problems using common DIY tools such as :
Yes, my tape measure. I constantly misplace it. I frequently have several out for one job, and still can't find one.

In general, I could probably double my productivity if didn't misplace my tools while I'm working. But tape measures and pencils are the worst.
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:59 PM   #27
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


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Yes, my tape measure. I constantly misplace it. I frequently have several out for one job, and still can't find one.

In general, I could probably double my productivity if didn't misplace my tools while I'm working. But tape measures and pencils are the worst.
Amen to that, brother! Some guys put the pencil behind the ear. That seems like it could be a good system, but I don't have the ears for it. The pencil always falls out. I recently saw a guy wearing a baseball cap and he stuck the pencil up the side of the hat in front of his ear. Might be something to try. They also make hats with built in pencil holders. I think a smaller pencil might actually be easier to keep track of than a long one. A brand new pencil is too long to put in a pocket or whatever, so you wind up laying it down in some random place.

I made a dedicated, prominent spot in my tool bag for 2 pencils. No more, no less. That helps a lot. I can see at a glance if I put it back. I no longer waste time looking for a pencil that I already put away. There is no fishing around.

Tape measures? Why the HECK are they so hard to keep track of? Sure, you can clip them to your belt. That makes sense if you're climbing up and down ladders and stuff. But it hardly seems necessary if you can just lay it down next to the saw for a minute. I don't know the answer to that one. Maybe you just always happen to be doing a bunch of tricky mental math at the exact moment you put your tape measure down. So it's tough to pay attention to where you are putting it.

Sometimes a yardstick is handy because you can measure and draw straight lines with the same tool. It's also harder to thoughtlessly stick it some place because it is an awkward shape.

I know they have gizmos nowadays that you can stick on stuff and find it with your smart phone. They aren't cheap. I don't necessarily need GPS to find my measuring tape, but maybe a measuring tape that beeps at you when you whistle or press a button on your keychain. That could be extremely handy.
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Old 11-26-2016, 11:53 PM   #28
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


Quote:
so I often pound nails like I did when I was 12.
Try one of these. Even the Harbor Freight version works real nice. You just push the nail in.
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:59 PM   #29
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


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I might use $700 worth of tools to make a small drywall patch. Drill/driver, oscillating tool, a special mud pan, a special drill attachment for mixing the mud, several different mud knives, utility knife, shop vac, vacuum sander, tarps, square, jig saw, premium paint brushes and roller frames, etc.

Obviously, I'm not going to advise a beginner DIYer to spend $700 on tools to patch his first drywall hole. But, yeah, it helps.
Eventually one can acquire all the extra tools that aren't necessary right away. A simple drywall patch can be done with a cheap cordless drill, drywall jab saw, a cheap drywall knife, and a disposable paint brush. Maybe even a flexible putty knife if you already have one. Stuff like drill mixers, mud pans, hawk, different size knives, etc can be bought as you have more patches to do, and realize what you still need that could make the jobs easier.

I've never used an oscillating tool for drywall work, though. Or a Rotozip/Dremel. I think drywall cutting is one job best done with hand tools.
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Old 11-27-2016, 01:36 PM   #30
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Re: I hate DIY with a passion !!


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I could probably double my productivity if didn't misplace my tools while I'm working.
Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.
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