E004 - How to Assemble a Basic Tool Kit, Part II

In Part II of our series on how to assemble your basic tool kit, Rich and I talk about some intermediate-level tools to help you get the job done.

 

Intro Stuff

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We have an intellectual discourse about being a generalist - from working as a framing carpenter to reading Machiavelli. We talk about the importance of getting a range of experiences, building your own house, and the pros and cons of various roofing materials.

The Generalist Tool Kit Part II: Intermediate Tools

Stuff we forgot from the last episode:

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Intermediate Tools

 Standard (SAE) and metric combination wrenches (top), a ratchet wrench with a socket attached, and two common socket-set accessories: a deep-well socket and an extension. The deep-well socket is intended to allow you to access nuts over a long protruding bolt. The extension lets you get the socket into hard-to-reach places.

Standard (SAE) and metric combination wrenches (top), a ratchet wrench with a socket attached, and two common socket-set accessories: a deep-well socket and an extension. The deep-well socket is intended to allow you to access nuts over a long protruding bolt. The extension lets you get the socket into hard-to-reach places.

  • Power Drill - the ONE power tool you should have if you only have one. Drills are versatile and can be used for all manner of tasks.
    • Dewalt Corded Drill - Justin prefers corded drills because he hates having to keep batteries charged. Of course this comes with the inconvenience of having to keep the drill plugged in and using extension cords. Corded drills are also typically cheaper.
    • Dewalt Cordless Drill - Rich prefers cordless drills for their convenience. He can throw it in the truck and drive out to mend a fence without having to worry about power. Cordless drills are extremely versatile and the batteries last a long time, but you have to manage the batteries correctly. Rich also really likes this Hitachi Cordless Drill.
 Justin's drill and a set of bits. Bits should be considered expendable. They break, get dull, and get lost, so don't spend a fortune on top-quality bits unless you really need them.

Justin's drill and a set of bits. Bits should be considered expendable. They break, get dull, and get lost, so don't spend a fortune on top-quality bits unless you really need them.

  • Drill Bits & Accessories: there are tons of attachments for dills. Mostly we think of them using drill bits, but they can also use screw- and nut-driver bits, hole saws, and more. Jigs can make drills even more useful, allowing you to quickly drill precisely-placed holes to a precise depth. Here are the basics, though:
    • Dewalt 20-piece Bit Set. This should accomplish 90% of your drilling needs, and will work with both wood and metal.
    • Dewalt 45-piece Screwdriving Bit Set. Turn your drill into a power screwdriver.
    • Hole Saws. This link is here just to show you what hole-saws look like. They cut larger diameter holes in metal or wood. You probably don't need these unless you get into a specialized task. You can buy hole saws individually in the exact size you need rather than purchasing a whole hole set (pun intended!).
    • Spade Bits. Designed for drilling larger holes (up to 1.5") in wood only. Fills the gap between standard drill bits and hole saws. We only recommend purchasing these if you have a specific task that requires them.
 The screws in this drawer slide were stripped out, so I drilled the holes out and replaced the screws with machine screws and nuts. This drawer is better than it ever was. Be your signficant other's hero: a drill and some simple hand tools can make quick work of a project like this.

The screws in this drawer slide were stripped out, so I drilled the holes out and replaced the screws with machine screws and nuts. This drawer is better than it ever was. Be your signficant other's hero: a drill and some simple hand tools can make quick work of a project like this.

  • Level: again, from hanging pictures to hanging floor joists, there is no substitute for a level. For the average homeowner a 24" level will answer the mail.
  • Circular Saw: the ultimate multi-purpose wood-cutting saw. If you're going to have one power saw, this is the one to have.
    • Corded Circular Saw: This Skil saw is the one Justin owns and is a very good saw. The built-in laser guide is extremely helpful in making straight cuts.
    • Dewalt Cordless Circular Saw: This is a 20V saw and the batteries will interchange with the Dewalt cordless drill we linked to above. When considering cordless tools we strongly recommend standardizing the batteries.

Book of the Week

True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer

"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." ~ Thucydides

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Justin Carroll