by Gray Graham
Do- it- yourself has been something of interest for a lot of people over the years. With current events it has become a necessity for a lot of people instead of just a hobby. If you are someone that has never been that handy here are some of the things you might want to make sure you have at home for those emergency repairs.
This is the tool you are going to use the most. From changing batteries to assembling furniture, screwdrivers are the essential tool. Screwdriver sets are easy to find and pretty much every store carries one. A typical screwdriver set will come with phillips and slotted screwdrivers in varies sizes that should cover all of your basic needs.
A hammer today is not as important as it used to be. Since most people live in houses with drywall, you are not going to be using a hammer too much in your everyday diy projects. What you do need a hammer for is when you have to knock something around a bit. A lot of plumbing and appliance repairs require some gentle persuasion and you will need a hammer for that. I suggest you get an 8-10 oz hammer, a 16 oz hammer for bigger jobs, and an 8 -10oz rubber mallet. You are probably going to only find a 16 oz rubber mallet which will work but it is going to be a little big for small tasks.
Also known by it’s more popular name a box cutter since that is all most people use them for most of the time. Besides opening all those delivery boxes a utility knife is the best way to get a clean cut in most common materials. Depending on your jobs you might actually use a utility knife more than a screwdriver. These come in many different configurations but I would suggest just going with the basic because that is the safest because we do not want you to get cut.
Speaking of getting cut, believe it or not many people do not own a pair of scissors. They may have beauty and grooming scissors but your standard pair of getting work done scissors they do not own. Get a good pair of scissors that are designed for household jobs. You will need another pair of scissors if you are going to be cutting paper a lot. Please, please, please do not use your kitchen scissors to do utility work around the house. No, no, no.
Pliers and Wire cutters
Pliers come in a lot of different sizes and types and if you are not familiar with tools you can become confused pretty quickly. What you want to do is just buy a pliers set. It will come with a set of pliers that will include cutters that should cover basic around the house jobs.
Repeat after me. Super glue is not a universal glue to be used to fixed everything. I don’t care what the commercials say. You must use the proper glue for the task at hand. I have seen many pros use the wrong glue on different jobs. Only keep plain household glue on hand for most tasks. Do not keep super glue on hand unless it comes in a resealable bottle with a removable cap. Those little tubes from the dollar store are only good for one use. Wait to purchase glue for the task you have at hand so you don’t just have glue sitting around that you will never use.
Repeat after me. Duct tape is not a universal tool. That may be a funny beer commercial but it is not how we do things. Do not use duct tape to seal water leaks in hoses or keep your handle on your refrigerator. Don’t try to fix the handle on your favorite pot with duct tape. It’s good to keep duct tape around but only use it for certain things. The only tape I think most people will need around the house is regular box tape and masking tape.
This one in straight forward. First get a set of adjustable wrenches. These should be what you grab most of the time. Grab the one that fits the space you are working and adjust to fit. Hence the name adjustable wrench.
Next get a set of wrenches; one that is SAE and the other that is metric. Don’t ask why there are two types of wrenches there just are. Accept it and just use the one that fits. Also accept that you need both adjustable wrenches and fixed wrenches and yes they are both wrenches.
I am surprised by how many people don’t have a tape measure. Like how are you going to know what size screw you need if you don’t measure how long it is. Are you just going to carry it in your pocket to the store and then lose it. Just measure the thing and leave the screw at home. Save yourself a trip back home with your new tape measure and a trip back to the store to get a screw to replace the one you lost.
It has gotten to the point where you might use hex keys more than screwdrivers. Heck you might even need to use star bits just for assembling some furniture. Sometimes they give you a basic key, but using the basic key that came with your table won’t impress the spouse. You won’t get a steak dinner for putting together that new table with the hex key that came with it. But if you grab your toolbox and pull out your fancy t-handle hex keys, that steak dinner is as good as yours.
The best way not to lose your screw when going to the store to look for another one is to already have a screw at home ready to go. Do not buy one of those assorted screw packs they sell in the big box discount stores. They are full of screws you will never use and missing screws you will need. Take a moment to look around your house to get an ideal of the types of screws you need. If you are able, take a picture of the screw as well as measure it to know what you need in your home. Make sure you have the common ones on hand. You don’t want to need a screw at 1:00 AM and not have one. Then you are going to have to grab your duct tape and use it for a screw. And it will set there for years because you will never want to remove it because it’s makes you fell proud because you fixed something at 1:00 at night and saved the day. We want you to save the day and make it look pretty all at the same time.
Literally any toolbox will do. If it is a box then it will work to store your tools. It doesn’t even have to be a box it just has to be something that can hold your tools. If you want to go the extra step you can purchase a toolbox so you can feel like your grandpa but understand that basically a toolbox is just a box and nothing more than that.
The most important tool that you have. The most precious one too. Before undertaking any repair project, use your brain. Make sure you actually know how to make the repair. Take time to learn what you need to do and then make a plan to get the job done. Please, whatever you do, read the instructions. Most (should be all) products should come with instructions on its use. Many people don’t read the instructions and then they end up in the ER. Don’t be that guy. Be the guy that gets the job done.
Of course this is not a complete list. There is no such thing as a complete list of tools. The best you can hope to do is have about 75% of what you need before you go to the store in an emergency. If it is a planned project then you are supposed have a checklist of all the things you need before getting started. You know this because you read the instructions, right?
Now that you have your essential toolbox you are ready to be the hero in your home. You have started the journey of being a handy person. Happy diying.
by Gray Graham
These days many of us have a lot of time on our hands. While this is great for some people it is really hard for a lot of others. It is difficult for some to go from running all over the place with never enough time to not even doing those things anymore and now you have an empty calendar.
Major events like this are the perfect time to examine things in your life and then focus on some goals to help you not only survive your current situation but prepare for future events because there will definitely be future events.
I am going to list a couple of things you want to look at now and feel free to add some things to make the list your own.
1) Your home
Many people have found out how important it is to keep up the maintenance of your home. It always important to make sure everything in your home is in working order. Even if you are a renter it’s a good idea to check to make sure everything works and if it does not get it repair as soon as you can. If you don’t have one it is a good idea to put together a basic tool box so that you can do minor repairs.
2) Food storage
Now this is probably a regional thing because everyone is not able to have a store house, barn, or even a pantry full of food. Part of living in a city is that you can always pick up something from the corner store 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except when you can’t.
It’s a good idea to keep some basic food stuff around that will last a couple of weeks. You might have to be creative with your storage ideas but it is something that you can do. Chose foods that will keep for awhile and will lead to a basic balanced diet that is similar to what you eat now. Also make sure to check the food and rotate it when you can.
3) Health care
It is vital that you make regular visits to the doctor. Your current health is key to your well being. As many are finding out your health condition is very important when dealing with certain situations. If you do not like going to the doctor do your best to find someone that you are comfortable with because you need to know your health condition and the health of your family. It is vital that you keep up with you medicine and equipment you need for your physical well-being.
4) Computers and Internet services
Many people are shocked at how so many people do not have a computer or internet access at home. There are many professionals who do not own a computer or have internet access at home. Many people are only relying on their mobile device for all their computer needs. While that can definitely be done, there is a reason that most people use computers and tablets at work instead of smaller mobile devices. It will definitely make your life easier
5) Have a hobby
Believe it or not there are people that don’t have a hobby. They don’t have any activities or interests that they enjoy doing. If you don’t have a hobby then find one. I am willing to bet there is something that at some point in your life you used to enjoy doing or something that you have seen that peaked your interest. Whatever that thing is do it now. If current restrictions prevent you from doing your hobby outside then spend time researching it so that you can hone your craft.
These are just a few things to get you started on discovering new things about yourself, your family, and your home. As many of us are learning depending on life events these may be the only things you have for awhile so make them the best they can.