Tool Primer: How to Select & Use Jigsaws

Some tools do only one thing well.  Some tools do a lot of things well if you know how to use them.  The jigsaw (or sabersaw), in my opinion, is unique in the pantheon of modern woodworking tools as it does nearly everything with equal parts of ineptness and frustration.  So why keep it around?  It’s the only portable tool that cuts curves.  And that makes it invaluable in the shop when the project calls for it.

Skil jigsaw
D Handled Jigsaw
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Tool Primer: How to Select and Use Power Drills

The first power tool I probably ever used (and owned) was a power drill.  The lowly power drill can do a whole lot of things if you know how to use it.  A power drill can strip paint, drill big holes, little holes, create dowel joints, sand curves and screw stuff together.  It makes pocket holes and wood split.  If you don’t know exactly what a power drill is, it is a handheld tool which spins a metal bit attached to an electric motor via a chuck.  The magic of the drill is in the bit.

In short, it’s pretty essential to the hobbyist and homeowner.  In this post, I’ll break down the types of (power) drills available for the average homeowner/hobbyist/woodshop teacher and give some tips on how to choose which is right for you.

First, let’s take a walk through history, why don’t we? Continue reading “Tool Primer: How to Select and Use Power Drills”

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog: Your Guide to Butt Hinges

Stamped vs. Extruded vs. Cast hinges • Inexpensive hinges are usually stamped out of thin steel or brass plates. • Extruded hinges are molten metal forced into a die under high pressure. They are thicker, sturdier and more expensive. • Cast bronze hinges are among the most expensive — bronze is melted and poured into a mold, resulting in a perfectly smooth surface and perfectly aligned pins. via Your Guide to Butt Hinges.   Some great information on type, countersinks and placement of butt hinges.  Check it out.   Make it safe & Keep the Rubberside down this week! Continue reading Popular Woodworking Editors Blog: Your Guide to Butt Hinges

Tool Primer: How to Select and Use a Circular Saw

Invented in 1923 by Edmond Michel, the circular saw remains a basic portable tool for any homeowner/woodworker nearly 90 years later. Skil77

The Model 77 hasn’t changed much, but worm-drive saws such as the 77 have become the realm of framers, carpenters and other tradesmen and women who make a living with the tool.  For a weekend warrior like myself and many others, we use  a sidewinder.  The sidewinder came about from  Porter-Cable in 1928.  In the next post, we’ll walk through selecting ourselves a proper circ saw and I’ll point you in the direction of some internet resources which show you how to use a circular saw.

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Tool Primer: Painting A Room

In February, I learned the necessity of insurance, family, cash-in-your-pocket and good-quality plumbing.  My house flooded – and I’m talking spectacular water-from-the-ceiling, I-hope-this-never-happens-to-a-house-I-own flood.

Every room in my house received flood damage.  We moved out for a month and the landlord gave us a new house (ok, his insurance did).  I will say this: we got lucky and it could have been worse.  I saved our expensive things from harm, my landlord had insurance.  This could have gone worse.  I count my blessings.

As the contractors worked tirelessly to fix the damage (new lighting fixtures, new kitchen, new floors, new carpet, new tiles, new paint, new drywall…..), I painted my boys’ room.  Some results:

The Tool Primer for Painting a Room after the jump!

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