So after reviewing safety lessons in Engineering and getting a little scare when the 7th graders were using the jigsaw, I’ve decided to devote this blog post to tools and safety. We’ve recently learned about pilot holes and pocket holes, simple but smart ways of attaching two pieces of wood together. Pilot holes are literally just holes… You drill into two pieces of wood and create a hole to prevent splitting the wood, as would happen if you just drilled in a screw. Pocket holes are an inconspicuous way of attaching wood at 90-degree angles – you make an angled hole that is basically hidden, and a screw will do a right good job of keeping those pieces of wood together.
But what’s really cool, for me, about pilot holes and pocket holes are the tools you use to make them. You really only need a basic drill, but there are so many cool drill bits that you can put in and use. For pocket holes, there’s a cool kit that gives you everything you need to make the holes! Since pocket holes are super-common in making a bunch of furniture like cabinets, shelves, bed frames, and anything else with 90-dgree angles, I was interested in more tools. Through the happy coincidence of being Ms. Deeter’s teacher’s assistant during a workshop class, I was introduced to the jigsaw, which I came to love within 5 minutes. I think we can do some real work with it! But furthermore, I was led to this blog post that lists the ten best tools for any and every DIY job. I think that it will be helpful to our class, when we get to building, and it’s genuinely interesting. Who doesn’t want to learn about how to build things? It’s only a couple of steps from this list to power tools to building your own anything (couch, workbench, sawhorse… house!)
The list is cool, and we can definitely use these items (we already have some – kudos to Ms. Jo):
- Drill/driver – it’s what we use. You can change out drill bits, and can also put in screwdriver bits so you can do other things besides just make holes.
- Claw hammer – a classic hammer, just make sure that the other side has that two-pronged thing. That’s a nail remover, and comes in super-handy.
- 5 in 1 – not just a random number, this is a very specific type of tool. It’s for painting jobs, which we’ll get to probably in April and May.
- Ratchet screwdriver – the word ratchet in this sense does not mean jacked up… Actually, the blogger says that this is her most-used tool. It’s one of those fancy manual screwdrivers that you can turn clockwise to tighten something, but when you turn counterclockwise, it won’t loosen.
- Pliers – I think you know what these are. “Needle nose” trump “lineman’s” (the classic more bulky kind), though with what we’re doing, it may be a toss-up.
- Torpedo level – I Googled this thinking that it’d be some really cool shape, like a torpedo missile… Actually, it’s just a level that has a horizontal, vertical, and diagonal bubble-thingy, ensuring complete level-ness of whatever you’re making.
- Power sander – It helps to not have to hand-sand rough surfaces.
- Tape measure – Obvious. “Cut once, measure twice,” you know.
- Handsaw – Not sure if we’ll be using this type of saw much, but it is definitely useful. Nothing like some manual labor and elbow grease!
- Staple gun – I read a book in which somebody was killed with a pressurized staple gun… Or maybe it was a nail gun… Anyways, very useful for things like upholstery and fabrics.
Well, happy late Valentine’s Day! Hopefully you’ve not been too bored by this… I’ll write another post sometime next month, so zing-bang! Until then, adieu!