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(This post was originally called…”the one where I try to be like Tremayne.” If you don’t follow Mandy….You should. She is super handy and amazing with tools. and the molding…oh. the molding. She totally made me think,”Crap. I can build stuff myself. I don’t need no stinking man!” And she totally inspired me to knock off her photo shelves
mine! My first project I did start to finish by myself.
Anyways. I don’t call myself a DIYer. I call myself a crafter. (even though they are ridiculousy similar) but in my mind DIY is BIG–redoing houses and building coffee tables from scratch…while crafters are smaller scale. Little diys-paint, yarn, signs, etc.
So this roundup is a roundup of tools that CRAFTERS need (maybe not need..but will definitely make life easier.) These are not tools that will help you build a house. And I am not brand specific. My husband is ADAMANT about “you get what you pay for” (if I had a dime for every time he said that–I’d have a pile of dimes.) So I usually don’t buy the cheap cheap option. But since it’s being used from crafting and not heavy-all-the-time use…I usually don’t splurge and buy the most expensive option. Just a happy in between!
#1 This was my first purchase….a Jigsaw
I was so excited.
I was SURELY going to cut off a finger.
and I let the sawdust fly.
It’s handy and light and easy to use–and my favorite part is that it takes up no room. I can grab it off the shelf and go. I think it’s the most versatile…it can do shapes (the chop saw can only straight cuts) it can cut big or small and it can do straight lines (and the scroll saw is more for curves and shapes) Coincidentally it’s the cheapest of the “power tools” So it’s totally a great starting point!
I have used it to cut out my rustic state art
and SOOOO MANY wood frames
It use this 90% of my time over other cutters. (I talk about the chop saw down in the post) and while I love the exactness of the chopsaw…there are some things a jigsaw can do that a chop saw can’t!
2. Drill with bits.
A. Have you ever assembled a piece of store bought furniture with just a screwdriver vs. a drill? It takes 90% less time to use a drill. So much less work!
and B (the real reason I use it….HOLES!)
Buy a set of different size drill bits to get a range of fun sizes!
I used it to add holes to run my rope to hang my rain gutter planters
and I just used it to make these fun crayon/marker holders (head here to see the whole how to!)
It’s great for creating pilot holes for screws and even cute knobs
I use it to drill holes in corners of signs to hang ribbon or wire–
It’s seriously super handy to have around!
#3 Hand sander
I use it the most when redoing furniture…Remember this dresser?I use my sander to get off the shiny finish and then primed and painted it!
and distressing furniture is super popular!
I know…I know…this isn’t a power tool! Forgive me! My husband has these from his dry wall days…and I totally have overtaken it! I love it so much! The speed square has a little lip that rest on the side of wood to help make perfectly straight lines and perfect angles! It’s so quick!
My husband has this BIG T-square….so big I can’t get it in the picture…but it basically does the same thing but on a large scale…plus the measurements across the top are a double whammy!
Now…if I wasn’t so lazy I could cut and paste this right under the jig saw (#1) because they go hand in hand! It’s hard cutting straight lines with the hand held…but this makes it a lot easier!
and since we are at—Get yourself a good level!
(another non power tool!) it makes hanging shelves and board and batten a breeze!
5. Nail gun (with air compressor)
It sinks small little holes–quickly. (a drill requires screws that are bigger and bulky and take time to screw down in there)
and it’s got a great safety function–you have to have it pressed firmly into the wood before it will shoot.
I use this a ridiculous amount. (which is funny because 2 years ago I had no idea what it was!) When I made 85 wood frames….
for this shelf
and this shelf
and it makes putting up board and batten so easy! (since it sinks the nail…it’s really easy to add a little wood putty and sand and paint! You can’t even tell where it was!)
(this isn’t EXACTLY board and batten…but I don’t have any good pictures of my board and batten yet!)
and let me tell you a little secret about the air compressor that it attaches too….You put on an attachment and you can use it to blow all the crap out of the garage. I seriously use it to “sweep” my garage! true story! You can also use the air compressor to blow up swimming pools or inner tubes–things like that! It’s seriously handy! When my husband came home with it I totally rolled my eyes (his hobbies are so expensive!) but now I love it!
6. SCROLL SAW
So I think Jig saw and scroll saw are pretty similar. The scroll saw has a blade that moves up and down and you are moving the wood around. The jig saw you are holding in your hand moving it through the wood. The scroll saw is AMAZING and getting into small spaces and can cut really intricate designs. The jig saw is a little more bulky cuts and takes little more finesse to get small cuts. I use my jig saw 75% more than my scroll saw…BUT I really want to get into the scroll saw more. Our first project was making this planter (we cut out the grow with the scroll saw. It’s a little shaky but we will take it since it was our first attempt.)
(we gave it away)
My ONLY complaint with this one is that it bounces around a lot if set on the work table. It has holes where you are supposed to bolt it in to secure it….but since we don’t have a real set up yet for it –we can’t bolt it down. I can lift it though…(and I’m a weakling) so I think that’s a pro! I don’t have to wait for husband to help me!
LAST and maybe least…
Okay. This one is a little more spendy…and I don’t think you HAVE to have this. (I think the jigsaw can cut pretty straight if you go REALLY slow) BUT
If you are a perfectionist (I am not) or if you are making legit frames, or need things to match up perfectly….the chop saw is perfection. It makes those cuts so nice and straight. and it’s so easy to adjust (just push a button and slide it over to get nice angled cuts!)
and it can cut through 4×4 and other thick pieces of wood.
I used it with my rain gutter planter (because the end caps had to fit perfectly!)
It’s also super easy to adjust and make 90 degree cuts.
I made all these triangles in about 5 minutes!
The problem I have with the chop saw is this…
It takes up a lot of room in the garage. and I like to use my garage to park my car in so I can pretend like I’m not home when people come over. So we actually store it up on a shelf. WHICH means I have to wait until husband drags it down and sets it up for me. Which is why I opt out for the jigsaw most of the time!
So I think unless you are throwing up board and batten left and right…or mass producing signs–You can opt out of this one! (AND remember–Home Depot actually can cut wood for you! It can even do HUGE pieces! Our next purchase is a table saw but for now I usually just have HD do it for me while I’m there!
Okay guys! I just wanted to write this post because I was scared of power tools…but once you know what they do and aren’t afraid to cut off a finger….it’s awesome how many new ideas pop in your head! I love it! I hope you get over your fear and embrace the power tools! and if you are a power tool fan–let me know what you LOVE and use the most!
and remember to always wear your super stylish safety glasses!
(and I devoted a crappy pinterest board to it…HERE)