Tool.BOX Facts And Tips

  • To tighten a loose hammer head (for hammers that have a wooden handle), keep it overnight in water. This will make the wood expand and tighten the hammer up. This occurs when the wood becomes too dry and it shrinks.
  • A vertical striped pattern on walls will make the ceiling seem higher than it is.
  • The frequency of teeth on a saw blade is measured in tpi (teeth per inch). It is also measured in points per inch, which is always one point more than the number of teeth.
  • A gripe is a type of clamp used specifically when building a clinker boat to hold a strake, the individual planks that make up the hull of the boat, securely.
  • The Allen key was invented by Italian Egidio Brugola in 1926. Other names include brugola, Inbus, and Unbrako. It is also known as a hex key, although it is available in a large variety of screw shapes other than hex.
  • The world's largest bulldozer measures 5.8x12m and stands at 4.8m high! It must be transported between construction jobs in pieces it is so large, which requires seven trucks.
  • The circular, or "buzz-", saw was invented in England in 1780. Originally the large saws in saw mills were powered by a large wheel turned by the flow of a nearby river.
  • Pliers were invented circa 2000 BC
  • Most hammers have a claw end that is used for drawing nails out of timber, but the ball-peen hammer features a rounded end, which is intended for peening (shaping metal) and to close rivets.
  • The spirit level was invented by frenchman Melchisedech Thevenot in the 17th century.
  • The grit size of the particles on sandpaper, determining how coarse or fine the sandpaper is, is measured in micrometres (µm). The smaller the particles used for the abrasive surface, which can be composed of a variety of materials including emery, garnet, and silicon carbide, the finer the sandpaper. Chromium oxide is the material most often employed for the finest of sandpapers.
  • Another name for a stone chisel, which is used to cut and shape stone or bricks, is "bolster."
  • The steps of a ladder are called rungs while the stiles are the verticle parts connecting the rungs together on a rigid ladder.
  • If you blunt the tip of a nail before hammering it in to wood, it will crush the wood fibres instead of shearing them and splitting the wood.

Calculating How Much Wallpaper To Buy

When buying wallpaper for a room, it is important to get the correct amount of rolls so as not to end up with sections of wall left uncovered, or too much wall covering left over afterwards.
number of rolls = (Perimeter of room ÷ width of the roll) ÷ (length of roll ÷ drop + 10 cm)

The perimeter of the room should include the windows and doors regardless.

What's the difference between an awl and a centre punch?
An awl is a tool and a centre punch is both a tool and a procedure. While the awl is a tool with a pointed tip for making small holes in a surface, centre punching is the process of making holes to guide a drill using a cone-tipped tool.

Converting Between Imperial And Metric Units for:

1 inch = 2.54 cm
1 foot = 30.48 cm
1 yard = 91.44 cm
1 mile = 1.61 km (approximately)

1 inch² = 6.45 cm²
1 foot² = 929 cm²
1 yard² = 0.8361 m²

1 ounce = 28.35 g 1 pound = 453.6 g 1 stone = 6.3503 kgs 1 long ton = 1.016 tonnes

5 Hand Tools You Can't Live Without

By Johnathan Bakers (writer for Inside Woodworking web site)

A well-equipped workshop is the first step to making sure you are ready and able for any do-it-yourself home improvement project. With a few basic workhorses you can saw, nail, sand, shape, and sharpen the way the pros do it.

The Top Five Tool List
There are thousands of tools on the shelves of the hardware stores and the work benches of seasoned do-it-yourself gurus, but if you were to break them down into categories they all do some of the same things. So with five basic pieces of hardware as your foundation you can build anything and then work from there to build your own workshop.

The first power tool to have is a circular saw. With this you can cut straight lines and large curves. Setting a board along the top of two sawhorses can create a work area to hold wood being cut.

Next, for larger wood working projects a table saw or radial arm saw is in line. Choosing one that rotates to different angles is important if you plan to cut picture framing or crown mouldings for your home. The angles allow you to create the 45 degree mitre cuts for a perfect fit.

Third, the well-equipped workshop has an electric sander. All of this work could be done by hand, but the electric belt sander gives each piece of wood a professionally finished look. It prepares long strips of moulding or the edges of table tops and other furniture for staining or painting.

Fourth, every woodworking workshop should have a router. This handy tool allows you to make woodworking patterns and grooves that take a piece of furniture or moulding from that plain look of the Shaker style to the ornate French provincial elegance.

Finally, maintaining your saws and other tools is easier with a grinding wheel or knife sharpener. These will allow you to maintain blades and keep them cutting the fine details and patterns that take your handicraft up a notch from amateur to professional.

Solid Brands for Solid Quality
There are some brands of tools that the name alone creates an image of quality. Makita, Ryobi, Rockler, Rockwell, Sears Craftsman, Snap-On, Hitachi, and Ridgid are all names you can rely on. The prices in these brands vary a little, but with any of them you can count on a quality tool that will last decades. It is worth the investment.

Adding On
Once you have stocked your workshop shelves with the basics you can add some of the luxuries that make the jobs easier and smoother. Of course there are the smaller devices such as gluers and clamps that keep projects together while you work. But to that you can add electric nailers, dovetail jigs, jet tools, and more to make life easier.

A well-organised workshop with all of the basics is the ideal way to work. Perhaps your first big project can be building the workbench that will serve as your foundation for many more projects to come.

How to Build a Lamp

Got an odd piece that you want to display, but aren't sure what to do with it? How about making a lamp? You can make lamps out of almost anything, and they make great conversation pieces.
  1. Prepare the piece so it will stand up where you want it and run the wire to power the bulb. This might involve mounting the item on some kind of stand or base and then drilling a hole through the lamp to run the wire. If you do not want to drill a hole for a wire or cannot drill it, you can still make the lamp and have the wire run on the outside of it from the socket to the plug.
    • Wiring kits that include the lamp socket, lamp cord, and plug are available from most hardware stores, or you can buy each part separately (may be necessary if you need a long cord). For most lamps, you will want to buy a #18 size cord.
    • If wiring the plug and the lamp socket yourself, notice that the attachment points (usually two screws) are different colors. The white or shiny screw is the neutral and should go to the widest prong on the plug.
  2. Mount the lamp socket base to your lamp. Usually it will mount to your lamp by way of a small threaded pipe. You must secure this small pipe to your lamp in some way; usually by drilling a hole and gluing or screwing the pipe into the lamp. They also sell long threaded pipes for lamps that can be run completely through the lamp and attached on both ends with a tightening bolt.
  3. "Fish" the wire through the lamp. Sometimes a coat hanger that has been cut and straightened will help in "fishing" the wire through. It is important that all components of the lamp be mounted (except the top of the lamp socket shell) before you run the wire. If you are not going to fish the wire through the lamp, they do sell sockets that allow the lamp cord to come through the bottom part of the socket shell.
  4. Attach the plug to the wire, making sure the "ridged" wire goes to the wider prong on the plug. One wire is ridged to differentiate it from the other and to help you keep the polarity correct (in other words, to keep the white or shiny screw at the plug connected to the white or shiny screw on the socket). Some plugs are made so you just stick the wire into a hole and close a lever. Some plugs require you to physically attach the wires to screws.
    • To attach wires to screw terminals, you must first take off a little insulation to expose the actual conducting wire. This is called "stripping" the wire. Hardware stores sell inexpensive wire strippers or you can do it with a knife. Just be sure you do not cut any of the wires inside the insulation.
    • Notice that the wire in the lamp cord consists of many fine wires for the two main conductors. After you strip the insulation off of the wires, twist these fine wires tight for each conductor. You should end up with two tightly wrapped conductors. The two conductors should be separated enough to allow them to be connected to the screw terminals.
    • Notice that the two screw terminals tighten by turning them clockwise. The twisted tight conductors are wrapped around the screw for at least 180 degrees and the wrap goes in the direction of clockwise so that when the screws are tightened, it pulls the wire toward the screw, not away from it.
    • Reassemble both the plug and the socket as necessary, making sure there is no excess wire sticking out that can short to the other conductor. If any of the wires from one conductor touch the other conductor, you will have a "short." You do not want that. It can shock you or cause a fire.
  5. Attach a shade to your lamp. Shades attach several ways; but the most common is via a mounting bracket that goes below the lamp socket and a heavy wire harness (harp) that attaches to the mounting bracket and has a mount for a lampshade.
Keep in mind that wiring electrical circuits carries some risk. If the wiring is not correct, you can be shocked or electrocuted or the device can cause a fire. If you are unsure of what you are doing, you may want to prepare the object you want to make a lamp out of for wiring (the mount, the passageways for the wire, the lamp socket and shade mounting) and let someone more skilled in electrical wiring actually wire up the lamp.

Also make sure to have the lamp unplugged, and to double and triple check your wiring before switching it on for the first time if you decide to do it all yourself.

Written initially by William Lafferty originally for WikiHow.

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