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Old 04-01-09, 08:16 PM
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Hi all!

Hi all,
My name is Randy T and this is my first post here at doityourself !
 
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Old 04-01-09, 09:07 PM
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Welcome. Do you have an area of expertise or are you here mostly to learn? You'll find a bunch of friendly people here so just dive in.
 
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Old 04-02-09, 06:52 AM
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I am here to learn how to improve my first home. I am getting ready to purchase my first home and want to learn how to improve it without spending a large amount of $$$.
 
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Old 04-02-09, 03:33 PM
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Well, you're in the right place. When you get ready for help, look through the list of different forums and pick the one that you think will provide the best help. Say, you are working on installing a door, go to the door and window forum and post your question. Try not to post the same question to several forums, as we browse around all the forums and help where we can. We have an enormous amount of professionals ready to help, so we'll see you soon.
 
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Old 04-02-09, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rt_truong View Post
I am here to learn how to improve my first home. I am getting ready to purchase my first home and want to learn how to improve it without spending a large amount of $$$.
Welcome. There are all kinds of things to learn - and tools and testing devices that can help you get the job done.

I could start out with a list of things, but won't. Ask, and we can answer.

But this is something interesting: We all know that they invented galvanized nails and screws so they do not rust when in wood. Well, my big box store discontinued their galvanized screw line! The reason is, they discovered that they were rusting when in treated wood and some other woods. Now they sell a different screw with a tan coating for doing outsided decks and such, or you can use stainless.
 
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Old 04-02-09, 06:39 PM
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I'am starting to like this place already!!
 
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Old 04-02-09, 08:24 PM
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Speaking of deck screws and dry wall screws they are usually a better choice then nails. When I was doing home repair I kept a selection from 1" to 4" on the truck. Always drill a clearance hole the size of the screw in the top board and it will draw up nice and tight. Using a screw gun (or drill with driver bit) instead of a hammer the work won't bounce around and will hold together a lot better. And finally if you do screw up (pun slightly intended) it is easy to take apart and redo.

If you can afford only one drill get yourself a 3/8" or 1/2" corded hammer drill. It will do everything from putting in those screws to drilling holes in concrete. Battery drills are nice but they just don't have the power and will quickly die in heavy duty use.

You will be amazed with how many things a Sawzall or similar reciprocating saw will do. I've used them for every thing from general demolishing to cutting both cast iron and galvanized pipe. Then there is tree trimming and cutting the rusted, frozen nuts from toilets.

When you get a circular saw be sure it is a good one and be sure it comes with a rip guide or you can buy one for it. That rip guide is real life saver when you need a board width other then standard. I've seen a lot of pros that don't use them and the edge has more waves then the ocean. Use a carbide tipped blade and it will last a long time. About the only time not to use it is when cutting veneer doors. Use a new plywood blade and throw it away after four or five cuts. Always use a straight edge to guide the saw when cutting doors.

You may not want to do it with your main circular saw but you will find that a circular saw is good for cutting things you might not have thought of like rebar and bricks.

Ok, I think there is a forum rule against writing a book so I will shut up.
 
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Old 04-03-09, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rt_truong View Post
I'am starting to like this place already!!
Be sure you own a volt-ohm meter (multimeter). This one inexpensive electronic device could save you hundreds (and even more hundreds of dollars) in diagnosing your car's battery, alternator, wiring, - washers, dryers, refrigerator, range, water heater, furnace, smoke detector and other small batteries, motors, compressors, electrical outages in your house -an endless list of things you may not then have to call a service contractor in on.
 
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Old 04-03-09, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Always drill a clearance hole the size of the screw in the top board and it will draw up nice and tight.
Excellent advice not everyone thinks about!!


Battery drills are nice but they just don't have the power and will quickly die in heavy duty use.
Unless you own my $19.95 cordless Harbor Freight drill that, to my surprise, whose battery charge really holds a long time, even drilling in battery-draining steel! Of course if always is good to have that second battery pack on hand.

When you get a circular saw..... That rip guide is real life saver ......
And, something not everyone might think about - but if say your board is bowed, and you use a chaulkline, the piece you are cutting will get gradually wider or narrower in the middle (for the first cut board, only). But if you use the fence, even if the board is bowed when you cut it, you will still wind up with a uniform width, where you then can bend it straight when nailing or screwing it!
 
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Old 04-03-09, 08:21 AM
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Unless you own my $19.95 cordless Harbor Freight
Awh yes. I thought of those Harbor Freight drills as not just rechargeable but disposable drills. Drop a $100 drill from a ladder or force it beyond its limits to get the job finished and you are p***ed the rest of the day. With a Harbor Freight tool it's just a good excuse to go back to a great toy store.

When you get that multimeter (volt-ohm) meter be sure it is analog. Digitals can give false readings in AC work.

One more tip on screws if the bit starts slip back out the screw and go with a new one. You wallow the head our with it part way in your really screwed. Of course you should drill a pilot hole but often you don't need one or, like me, are lazy. Never lazy about the clearance hole, that is a must do. Always had plenty of 3/16 drill bits for that.

Need a quick disposable drill bit? Cut the head off a nail and chuck it in your drill. Nailing a piece of trim near the end and don't want to split it? Cut the head off one of the nails your using and use it to drill for the nail. It makes a perfect size hole.
 
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