I have been sooooo wanting to learn how to work with wood, crafting it into coolio shelves and tables and stuff that I can then slather on coats of creamy blue-grey paint. Not knowing where to start, I had the brilliant idea to ask Gail of My Repurposed Life to take me to school. She's been generous enough to work up a post to share here. Everyone welcome Gail to cottage instincts!
Hi, I’m gail from MyRepurposedLife.net,
this is my alter-ego
I want to thank Cindy for inviting me over to talk to you about tools. I don’t have all the tools a girl could want, but I am fortunate enough to have a generous family that understands that I would rather have something from Home Depot than a new scarf from Target.
This tool box was a gift from my nephew Bubba. I work out of a tool box rather than tools hanging on a pegboard. Would I like to have a pegboard full of tools? Sure! But it’s expensive to have one of everything, let alone TWO of each tool.
I wasn’t the best student in math class, so I prefer a tape measure that has easy to read fractions.
A speed square is so handy. I use it all the time to make sure things are square, to measure the space of an “overhang”, and of course to draw a straight line.
It’s great to have more than one cordless drill. When my friend Cathy and I build benches, we keep three drills handy. The one on the left is used to drill a pilot hole through the thick parts of a headboard. The drill in the middle is used to drill a countersink hole. (so the screw heads can be sunk and filled in) The drill on the right is used to screw the screws in. I would recommend a Dewalt cordless drill. Cathy and I both have a 14 volt Dewalt. It is a workhorse! My firestorm cordless drill is great in the fact that it has that quick change part. It snaps right off to reveal a screw bit.
One of the power tools I use the most is my battery operated 18 gauge nail gun. (finish nails, not building nails) This model has been discontinued. Someday I will be lucky enough to have a air compressor and a nail gun that shoots “building” nails.
Every DIY person or weekend warrior needs a good sander. I have a palm sander (the square kind) and this orbital sander. The orbital is my sander of choice. My daughter recently called me to ask my advice about sanders, and I recommended this one for her. The pad spins around and changes rotations, which gives you a great smooth finish without any worry about going with the grain. My sander’s best friend is my leaf blower. After a good sanding, every piece gets blown off with the leaf blower, then wiped down with a slightly damp paper towel. Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to use a tack cloth, but I don’t have one. The leaf blower is also great to blow the sawdust off of my saws before I store them in the garage.
This is my first compound miter saw. It’s a small one. It did everything I needed it to do for a couple of years, but then I outgrew it.
I got this saw last year for Christmas. It will cut up to a 1x8. It bevels only to the left. It is not a dual bevel saw. I didn’t even know they had such a thing until I was watching HGTV a couple of weeks ago. If you have an unlimited budget, I would recommend a Sliding Compound Miter saw. It will accommodate a very wide board.
I got this reproduction radio cabinet a couple of years ago. It is the perfect height to hold my saw. Look, it even has storage!
I used a scrap piece of plywood on the bottom of the cabinet so I could add wheels. I always move my saws out of the garage while using them, so the wheels make it much easier to maneuver this saw.
I have secured it to the top of the cabinet with screws.
This table saw was my first saw. I think it’s a tossup as to which kind of saw should be your first saw. I actually use my miter saw a LOT more than I do my table saw. Remember that Home Depot and Lowes will make your “rip” cuts for you. (a rip cut is a cut made parallel to the wood grain). You will see on a lot of home improvement shows use table saws without the “guard” installed. I don’t want to scare you but using a table saw without the guard in my opinion is very dangerous. Some blade guards have anti-kickback devices that allow only forward travel past the blade. There are a lot of helpful videos on YouTube, such as this one that shows a kickback.
I have also put wheels on my table saw. I used scrap pieces of plywood. Notice I didn’t have to use a large square piece, but two rectangular pieces.
Because of the “nature of the beast” I used LOCKING wheels. Your table saw should be level and unmovable while in use. Safety first!
I hope you’ve learned a little through this post. If you’re interested in learning more about what I do, stop by MyRepurposedLife.net.
Thanks Cindy for having me over today! I love your blog.
Thank *you* Gail! Wow! I feel like I won't look like such a dolt when I go wandering thru the powertools in Lowes now. And it's always so much better to hear from a regular gal who's using her tools and not working for the company or trying to sell a book. So....guess what I'll be asking Santa for this year? A hundred pound box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Cakes and some power tools, of course.
Do you use these DIY tools? What have you made with them? If you're a woodworking woman, show me what you've made....leave a link in your comments so I can come see! And for T.O.N.S. of inspiration, definitely go see Gail at My Repurposed Life. She makes amazing stuff!