Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Good Article

6 Power Tools Every Woman Should Have in Her Arsenal
Author: Heidi Baker
The ultimate do-it-herselfer, Heidi of demystifies the most important power tools used in home improvement.

“Power tools level the playing field between men and women when it comes to doing home improvement.”

I discovered power tools after I bought my first home and decided to take on the task of home improvement myself. Now, I can do anything that the biggest, burliest contractor can do if you give me the right power tools. It makes me just as strong, I can accomplish the same thing, and I love the feeling of empowerment it gives me. It’s so much fun.

“When I first started with tools, I was surprised at how similar some of the power tools were to things I use in the kitchen and office.”

A power tool set is like a shoe wardrobe. You can always justify adding to it. But I can tell you the six tools that every woman needs to begin making home improvements on her own.

1. The Power Drill

The drill is like the little black dress of power tools. You’ll always need one and as long as it’s a nice one, it’ll get the job done – whether it’s putting on new doorknobs on your kitchen cabinets or putting up curtains or installing floating shelves. And, like the little black dress, you’ll always find a reason to buy another one. I own 5 – from 9 volts all the way to 21!

My introduction to the drill came when I worked on my kitchen cabinets. After sanding, repainting and adding molding to the cabinets, I made holes with my drill and used it to attach new knobs. It was a little intimidating – it is shaped like a gun, you know – but after one hole, I was using it like an old pro.

2. The Power Sander

A lot of women are really into refinishing furniture, but you can’t get started without a sander. You do not want to sand by hand if you don’t have to. It’s just not worth it.

I use an orbital sander, which works really fast and moves in circles. Because it creates a lot of dust, I recommend wearing face and eye protection and sanding outside, if you can. Also, sawdust fries your hair by pulling all of the oils out of it, so if you still want to look like a girl after the project’s done, protect yourself!

3. The Reciprocating Saw

This tool still scares me because you can cut through some pretty major stuff with it, like studs, wallboard and paneling. But if you really think about it, it’s just like a carving knife. If you’ve carved a turkey, you can use a reciprocating saw. The saw shakes a little more than the turkey carver, but it’s just about the same thing.

You’re not going to let a little uncertainty about a carving knife scare you into carving it by hand, so why would you use a regular saw to cut through a wall when you can use a power tool for it?

4. The Power Stapler

I’m meeting more and more women who are interested in upholstering—myself included. I especially love upholstered headboards, which can cost anywhere from $1000 to $1500 if you buy them in the stores. With a power stapler and some supplies in tow, I can make my own for around $100.

What’s great about a power stapler is that it sinks the staples deeper than you’re going to be able to do it by hand, and it will enable you to have more cushion on whatever you’re upholstering. When you use a manual stapler or even a staple gun, your hand starts hurting pretty quickly and the staples never go in the right way.

5. The Power Nailer

With the power nailer, there’s no fear of getting a black thumbnail from hammering. On top of that, it makes your project go much faster—and it’s so much fun.

The first time I put up crown molding, I used a regular hammer and nails. The second time, I used one of these puppies. I did it in a third of the time, and it came out gorgeous. Also, because it sinks the nails in deeper, they are easier to hide.

6. The Compound Miter Saw

This compound miter saw is my favorite tool. It’s a little scary looking, but believe it or not, this is the safest saw that there is because it tells you where not to put your hands. There’s also a safety cover that protects the blade until you come down.

A compound miter saw is really the thing that helps you finish off a room. With it, you can create all the extra added touches like crown molding, baseboard molding and chair rail molding.

There are many other useful tools out there, but these are my favorites. Remember, it’s normal to be a little intimidated by these loud, scary-looking tools. When I first started doing home improvement, the only tool I’d ever used was my garbage disposal. But trust me, once you start figuring out what you’re capable of, you’ll want to push yourself more and more. And soon you’ll be ready to take on any project!

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About the Author:The ultimate do-it-herselfer, Heidi of demystifies the most important power tools used in home improvement.

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