Author Topic: Recommendations for learning to use power tools; becoming handy  (Read 4640 times)

Trudie

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Hi,
I grew up with a very handy dad (farm kid), but my husband and I are not at all handy in the use of power tools and to accomplish DIY home projects.  Over the years this has cost us to maintain our home.  We paint... that's about it.

We are very handy with outdoor work, such as landscaping.  I'm pretty fearless and have learned a lot because I always feel that if I mess something up about the worst that will happen will be that a plant will die.  I won't have to call in an expert.

Any recommendations on how we might become more handy and comfortable using power tools to do basic home fixes and construction?  Particularly, are there great books I can get at the library?  Any good "how-to" videos on youtube?

I AM NOT interested (at this point) in doing my own electrical or plumbing -- that would just be too much.  We don't own many tools either... just a standard circular saw, drill... that sort of thing.

But, I would like to have more knowledge and confidence.  What holds me back is that I get anxious that I'll really fuck something up and it won't be an easy fix and so I'll end up paying a professional anyway.

Here's an example... I want to paint our front door, which is pre-primed fiberglass.  It seems to me that the painting should be easy with some advice from Sherwin Williams.  I also want to change the hinges so the finish matches the rest of the hardware.  And, when I'm done I want to install a metal kickplate on the front.  This seems like it should be an easy DIY, but I'm afraid I'll drill a hole in the door wrong or something...

schimt

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Re: Recommendations for learning to use power tools; becoming handy
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 10:47:59 AM »
one great piece of advice that applies to your last comment, "measure twice, cut once"

I'm sure your library is full of self help/how to books for home owners, you should just pick one up and start reading some of the stuff that sounds useful and interesting. As for specific jobs, just youtube it. It amazes me all the stuff you can find on there. I'm sure there are more videos then you could watch in a life time about changing a set of hinges and installing a kick plate on a front door.

The best way to learn is by trying! Just take your time and start with small projects and work your way up to being a jack of all trades.

Greg

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Re: Recommendations for learning to use power tools; becoming handy
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 10:49:47 AM »
I honestly think the best way to learn is by trying.  And as has been suggested here many times, youtube videos can be very helpful.

Your door should paint fine.  Be mindful when changing the hinges that the screw holes are easy to strip out, and some of the screws on the jamb side will be (or should be) extra long and affect the gap around the door edge.  Also, the fiberglass door may not have a lot of meat available for screws for your kickplate.  Predrill for your screws using a drill size slightly smaller that the unthreaded part of the screws, and install by hand.  Adhesive on the back of the plate would also help, but your paint adhesion is important with adhesive.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Recommendations for learning to use power tools; becoming handy
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 11:28:41 AM »
Here's an example... I want to paint our front door, which is pre-primed fiberglass.  It seems to me that the painting should be easy with some advice from Sherwin Williams.  I also want to change the hinges so the finish matches the rest of the hardware.  And, when I'm done I want to install a metal kickplate on the front.  This seems like it should be an easy DIY, but I'm afraid I'll drill a hole in the door wrong or something...

Just take your time and like the other commenter said "measure twice, cut once."  Or measure three, four, or however many times to need to to feel confident that you are right.  Typically when drilling a hole to mount something, you want to drill "pilot" holes with a drill bit that is smaller than the screw that is going into that hole.  You can put a piece of tape on the drill bit at the right depth so that you have a visual on how deep to drill. 

Youtube anything and everything.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Recommendations for learning to use power tools; becoming handy
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 03:00:42 PM »
If you screw up then you can pay someone to fix it.  If you get it right then you're awesome. 

Worst case scenario is you buy a new door, that's not very scary. You can do it!

Sunny

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Re: Recommendations for learning to use power tools; becoming handy
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2014, 06:05:21 PM »
My dad was in construction and when he died, I got all his tools.  Some I knew how to use, and some I didn't.   When I need to use an unfamiliar one, I watch several you tube videos, and make sure I use the tool safely.  Hands clear, safety goggles, etc.  My confidence has greatly increased.  Do your best, keep trying and you will get better with every project.  Good luck. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Recommendations for learning to use power tools; becoming handy
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2014, 06:13:08 PM »
YouTube, forums, etc to get the basic gist of a project but nothing works better than.

Taking.

Your.

Time.

Also, remember that professionals aren't wizards or super humans. Certain projects benefit or even require very specialized tools or brute force, but they are the exception, not the rule.

Acquire tools on a project by project basis. Borrow where possible, which is easy when it comes to auto stuff. Never, ever buy gadgets, gizmos, or whiz-bangs on a whim.