Open on one end to grip nuts, adjusted by roller that moves one jaw $12.
Cheap ones are a real nuisance to use as jaw slips slightly on removal,
requiring opening and closing for replacement.
Hex shaped rods that fit in matching holes, L shaped or with T handles in
sets $4-$12. You'll use these to adjust the disposer when it gets jammed and to
assemble do-it-yourself flat-packed furniture.
Hold things together while the glue dries. Spring like large clothes pin or
C shaped threaded rod across opening or bar clamps that slide for big projects
$1.98 for the kind you squeeze open with your hand or $15 and more for bar
Two points or a point and a pencil adjustable for marking out arcs or
circles or transferring measurements. Most often two straight arms pivoted
at one end, may also be trammel points mounted on a ruler or beam.
An open saw shaped like a big letter P with the blade on the flat back of
the loop in line with the handle as the stem. Blade is very thin with the
teeth pointing at the handle for fine curved sawing and easily removable for
inserting in a small hole in the work to cut inside holes. A smaller
version with an even finer blade is a jewelers saw. Originally designed for a
trick of fitting moldings called coping. 2008-05-31
Cordless drill driver*
A battery powered tool for turning drill bits, nut drivers, and screwdriver
bits to make holes, add/remove nuts, or add/remove screws. $25 to $200 or more.
5-in-l painter's tool*
Flat piece steel with sharp edges of various shapes flat, curved, pointed
Performs a host of scraping, lifting, scoring, spreading, patching and paint
removal functions. This Old House magazine likes the Hyde 5-in-l for $7 or so.
A flat piece of plastic covered fabric, sticky on one side, sold by the
roll. $2.98 for a 55-yard roll.
Hammer - Tack hammer*
a lightweight tool for hammering picture hangers, tacks, brads: $8. .
Rubber Gloves, Work gloves
Leather palmed, canvas backed gloves protect hands from sharp, hard and
dirty, some heat $10.
A shaped beam for stiffness with flat sides and bubble (or digital)
displays to show level or vertical for upright construction. $10.
Flat pry bar*
Spring steel with fairly sharp ends and notches for nails with an abrupt
curve at one end and a slightly angled other end. $10-$15. For lifting and
prying up molding, siding, flooring, baseboards. --
Sandpaper* Emery cloth
Paper or cloth with grit glued to it. Grit may be coarse sand or fine
material. For removing wood and rust, for smoothing surfaces and edges.
Often used with a holder for a flat surface or spinning disk. $2 a box and up.
A metal bar with sharp grooves and cutting tips carved in it. 4 sections
consist of flat file and rasp and curved file and rasp. A rasp looks like
someone took a sharp point and raised splinters a fraction of an inch apart.
8-inch, $8. Use this for coarse and fine shaping of wood, rounding off a rough
corner or sharp edge.
$4.88 for 8 ounces. White costs less than Yellow, but is not water
A bow saw with a fine tooth replaceable blade normally used for cutting
metal. The bow is not large (3") so it is used for bar stock, not sheet
metal. In a tool kit, the Junior saves a lot of space and both can be used
for wood although the fine teeth increase the cutting time and the bow limits
the length of cut. 2008-05-31
Handsaw* Rip saw Crosscut Saw
Wood cutting saw with wide flat blade for straight cuts. American saws cut
on push stroke. Rip has wide set teeth to go down grain, cross cut has narrower
for cuts across grain, Japanese cut on pull stroke, very thin blade.
20-inch blade, $12-$18.
Has handle wrapped around blade for small size. To cut through metal and
vinyl (such as plumbing or irrigation piping), $3.98.
Pliers with an adjustment nut in one handle and a release lever on other,
clamp and lock after being adjusted to size. Vise-Grip and RoboGrip are a few
brands. $12 and up. Very handy for putting a handle on things and hanging on
while other pliers or tools are brought into play.
Pliers with tapering end for fine work, picking up small items, making
small wire loops $6. For working in narrow areas.
Heavy handled tool with jaws opening to side at one end adjusted with
roller, designed to clamp harder as pulled. $16-$30. To loosen and tighten
plumbing pipes, hoses. Never use a pipe wrench on plastic piping, may scar or
Plastic putty knife*
Flat wide blade for working putty into place. $3 and up.
Wood handle with large suction cup for moving waste blockage in toilet and
basin. $3.98 for a basic model. More for improved shapes that fit better or
apply more force.
They have replaceable blades like a cheese grater. Easy to use to plane down
a sticking door or drawer. $7-$10.
Holds single edged razor blade for leverage and protection. $2.
Razor knife* Box cutter
Replaceable razor sharp blade in end of handle. $4-$10. Get one with a
retractable blade; it's safer. May have snap off tips to resharpen. May be
heavy or light weight.
Soft latex one use or thicker black rubber protect hands from harsh
chemicals, stains, soaps.
Flat piece of steel or wood with inch or meter markings to make straight
line measures A set of three stainless steel rulers, 6 inches, 12 inches and 18
inches, for $37.50 at www.garrettwade.com
Traditional pliers with a figure 8 shaped hole that allows two pivot points
for smaller and larger objects. $5. To hold, turn, tighten, loosen round
or odd-shaped things, and to bend things. Never use them on nuts and bolts. |
And ChannelLock brand and style which use grooves to hold pivot postion,
allowing more choices where jaws are nearly parallel.
Metal tape with Inch (and Metric) markings rolled up by a spring into a
square case. Various widths and lengths. Wider ones will stay straight
when extended to reach up or out. May also be cloth. $7 and up for a
Safety goggles* Safety mask
Clear or colored lens plastic covers or eyes or whole face to protect
against flying hard bits, liquid spatter and glare. $8.
Screwdriver* Phillips, Flat, Torx, Square Drive
with a variety of flat (slotted) and Phillips (x-shaped) heads. Good
starter a ratcheting screwdriver with multiple bits stored in the handle, like
the Kobalt 13-in-1 ratcheting screwdriver at Lowe's for $9.98.
Use it to attach insulation or weather stripping, to fasten plastic
sheeting over a window or attach fabric when you reupholster a chair seat.
* By JUDY STARK St. Petersburg Times Newspaper article.
SOURCES: Al Heavens, Philadelphia Inquirer, Tim Carter, "Ask the Builder"
columnist; Reader's Digest Complete Do-lt-Yourseif Manual (Reader's Digest,
$35); Do-it-yourself Home Improvement A Step-by-Step Guide (DK Publishing, $35);