DIY

My 25 Essential DIY Tools

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Today I was at my local True Value Hardware in search of a new Shop Vac. Our old one was going on eight years and suddenly died on me last weekend for no obvious reason and mid clean up job.  No matter what we tried to do to fix it (cleaning the motor, checking the circuits), nothing brought it back to life.  So today, in the back of my car sits a brand new Shop Vac and tomorrow I have a date with my sawdust covered garage floor.  

On my way home I remembered every year I write about DIY tools I consider essential and what better time than before the holiday rush to revisit the topic. Some of you new DIYers may be thinking of adding a few tools to your toolbox, so here’s a list of twenty-five I consider essential. This list is not exhaustive since it’s limited to only twenty-five, but these are my personal favorites and the tools I’ve found myself using the most over the past year.     

#1: Cordless Drill/Driver & Drill Bit Set

dewalt combo I have a 12 Volt DeWalt, but recently just acquired an 18 Volt Black & Decker with more torque.  I use my power screwdriver just about every week for everything from removing seat cushions to assembling furniture to drilling pilot holes with drill bits.

 

#2 and #3: Measuring Tape and Level 

Essential for everything you build or install in your home like molding, trim, or wainscoting.  Look for mini versions too at your home improvement store for smaller projects like hanging artwork on the wall.  

   

#4 and #5: Set of Phillips + Flat head screwdrivers & set of non-slip pliers.

Basic screwdrivers are a must have, but you can also buy an all in one. Three kinds of pliers (needle nose, side cutting, tongue and groove and/or flat head) come in handy for removing nails, staples, and upholstery tacks, among other basic DIY household tasks.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Building Benches + The Gift of Good

Monday, November 14th, 2011

‘Tis the season, right?  Not only for holiday decorating but also for giving back. Last Friday (on Veterans Day) I was honored to be invited to be part of the The Home Depot Foundation and its continuing mission to improve homes and lives for military families.

For the next three years, the Home Depot Foundation is placing special emphasis on serving U.S. military veterans who are facing growing financial and physical hardships at home as they return to civilian life.  Were you aware of this?  The Home Depot Foundation is investing over $30 million (yes, $30 million dollars!) to help ease the burdens of this deserving group by repairing and renovating homes for military veterans. 

hd day of service

Have several extended family members in the service including my own brother, this was my way of showing my appreciation and giving back, so I flew to Atlanta to meet up with several other bloggers (both military and DIY) in this mission to complete 200 service projects within 60 days. 

On arrival, three of us were directed to four piles of wood, a collection of power tools, and one set of plans to build four benches for a community outdoor space. 

Bring. It. On!  Time to bust out a Charlie’s Angels theme, DIY style…

charlies angels stacy lindsay kate

Give us some safety goggles, gloves, and power tools and things will happen. 

 

Read the rest of this entry »