The Basic Home Repair Tool Kit - Part One October 19 , 2016

The basic home repair tool kit has changed over the years. When I was a boy, I do not remember seeing any power tools in father's vast array of carpenters' tools. The brace-and-bit and folding wooden rule have gone these days. Nowadays, everything needs to be plugged in or recharged. Not a bad thing at all, but not being a carpenter, like my father before me and his before him.


I wonder how mobile power tools makes the professional carpenter. My father's tool bag was a tarpaulin bag that opened with a very wide mouth so that all the tools could be displayed without removing them from the bag, making selection easy. He could take everything he need up onto a roof with him. I imagine that his father's tool bag looked very similar, probably indistinguishable. Now, you need a van to carry everything and leads and a generator or rechargeable tools.FORGE


However, the jobs to be done remain the same and the rule for buying tools remains the same, buy the best you can afford. So, let's take a look at a modern, well-equipped set of tools.


Adjustable Wrenches or Spanners: Often called a Crescent wrench (USA) or monkey spanner (UK). This is a necessity, because you can adjust the size of the jaws to fit the nut you want to turn. It is not a replacement for a set of spanners (UK) (USA: wrenches), because the large jaws make it impossible to use in confined spaces, but it is the first spanner you should buy. However, this spanner comes in various sizes too. The most useful is the 10 inch monkey spanner, which will adjust up to 1.125 inches, but you may like to get a smaller one too.Slip Joint Pliers


Pro Tip: always use the wrench so that the force is absorbed by the fixed half of the jaw.


Pliers: There are several kinds of pliers: the traditional type for holding, twisting and cutting thin wires; tongue-and-groove pliers, which is similar to a monkey spanner and lockable pliers. The first type of pliers is most useful for electrical work. The second type, which has adjustable jaws where a tongued pivot slides along a grooved slot to engage at the desired width, is mostly used for plumbing. The third type is also adjustable, by means of a knurled screw mounted in one of the handles. However, on squeezing the handles together, it will lock fast with a grip like a vise, giving them their common name of vise-grips. They are very powerful and will damage wood.


Pro Tip: keep some slats, like lolly sticks, handy to insert between the jaws and any delicate surface you may want to preserve.Junior Hacksaw


Tin Snips: These are used for cutting relatively thin sheets of metal like lead flashings and aluminium sidings. The are also ideal for cutting wire or fencing like chicken wire. Standard tin snips cannot handle cutting in a pattern, but are excellent at straight lines and broad curves. For more intricate designs you will need aviation sheers, which can handle that job because of their smaller, pointed noses.


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