Thursday, December 4, 2014

DIY Gift Guide

Don't you just LOVE the holidays?! Snow! Sparkling lights! Delicious Food! Christmas Music ALL DAY LONG. Although it is such a busy time of the year, there is a little sadness when it's over - so SOAK IN ALL IN kids.

I thought i'd compile a short list of DIY necessities for those looking to start dipping your toes in the water. Or perhaps you know someone who loves to DIY? Just bought a house? Likes tools? IDK, but these are my most used items in the 'ol workroom. And none of them are scary, once you get the hang of it :)


You may notice I have blurred out the product names - there are MANY great brands out there - I didn't want it to look like I was recommending a particular brand over another - as i've only used one!  My drill and circular saw are Ryobi tools, and my hand sander is Rigid. If you have questions on their performance let me know! All the images were taken from Home Depot's website (links to power tools below).

1. Tape Measure: Duh. I have about 3-4 running around my house at all times. You'll need it more than you know/think (will that couch fit through the door? how tall AM i?). In addition to a tape measure, a great house warming gift could include a multi tip screwdriver and a hammer. Three basics to start ANYONE out!

2. This is more of a safety feature for me, when sanding/sawing/screwing I ALWAYS clamp the item down. Power tools are...powerful! And it's so much easier to work with a material when it's secured down. The style shown here, in my opinion, is the easiest to use. Clamp it down and squeeze to tighten!

3. I only JUST found the amazingness of a speed square. I had a right angle ruler from yeaaaarrs ago at school and was using that, but this is SO MUCH FASTER (lol, SPEED square). It helps me check after EVERY step that my projects are on square. Plus, it makes drawing straight lines for a cut a BREEZE.

4. Level. This could be included in #1's homewarming box. I like the smaller one for hanging shelves and hanging picture frames. But a 3' is best when building furniture.

5.Cordless Drill. This thing is attached at my hip when i'm working on a project. Literally used for everything. Having a cordless drill is amaze, although the plug-in ones seem to be a bit more powerful. Make sure to get an extra battery though, it's THE WORST when this thing runs out mid-project. Oh, and plenty of drill bits and screws.

6. Hand Sander: This was actually the first power tool I owned (thanks Dad!), and if you are into refinishing furniture, it should be at the TOP of your list. Sanding finishes off by hand will make you want to light the piece of furniture on fire. This makes it go LIGHTYEARS faster, and look SO much better. Be sure to get one with a built in vacuum :) and like 800 pieces of sandpaper.


Extra credit:
7. Circular Saw: Most of the time, you can get the nice people at Home Depot to cut wood down for you, but this doesn't mean you can find some old barn wood and bring 'er over to cut to size. SO, at some point you may need to DIY your cuts. A circular saw is great at getting a straight cut, without needing a table saw or miter saw (and a little easier to handle than a jig saw, IMO). Mine shares a battery with the cordless drill which is super slick!

8. Kreig Jig: obviously this is making the list, because I am obsessed with mine. It's the best tool at hiding screws and still making a great connection. There is a whole line of kreig jig tools - but this one is simple and perfect for beginner builders!


Anyone have some recommendations beyond this list?!
Happy shopping :)



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