Saturday, September 3, 2011

DIY Skills You Should Have

Everyone should know the basics to DIY. This will help you stay alive and not have to suffer so much.

I would recommend knowing what the following tools look like.

Hammer (Claw Hammer)

Phillips Screwdriver
Flathead Screwdriver
Crescent Wrench
Vise Grips

Socket Wrench
Needle Nose Pliers
Hot Glue Gun
Tape Measure
Wire Cutters

Wire Strippers
Pliers (linesman pliers)
Pipe Wrench
Those are the most common tools you will be asked for when fixing things. 

There are a few tasks you should know how to do when living by yourself.
Items in italics are not necessary but very recommended.
  • Change a light bulb (bulb or florescent)
  • Fish hair out of the drain
  • Plunge a toilet
  • Unscrew a screw
  • Screw in a screw
  • Bolt something together
  • Unbolt something
  • Start a lawnmower
  • Read a manual
  • Change a fuse
  • Use a circuit breaker
  • Check tire pressure on car
  • Fill tires with air
  • Check oil in car
  • Fix bicycle tire
  • Replace bicycle tire and inner-tube
Screwing Stuff Together
It is also a good idea to know what clockwise and counter clockwise is. This is how you will screw or bolt something together.

This should be simple but many have never learned it. To screw something in you will rotate it in the same direction the second hang turns on a clock. This is why they call it clockwise. Another easy way to remember this is, "Righty tighty, lefty loosy". To unscrew something you will turn it the opposite way you screwed it in. Generally things are screwed in using a clockwise method. Generally things are unscrewed in a counterclockwise direction.

When you screw most things in you want to screw it down snug. If you keep trying to screw it in after it is snug without knowing you have to tighten it more you will probably strip the threads.

~ If you tighten it too tight... ~
Stripping the threads means that bolt or screw is going to tear up the surface that you are screwing it into which will make it not hold as well anymore if at all.

It is also possible that if you keep trying to tighten a screw down that the part where the screw driver goes into will strip out. This means that it tore up the mating surface. This makes it impossible to tigthen or loosen later.

Sometimes if you tighten down a bolt too hard the bolt head will shear off. This means the top part actually rips off. This is very bad.

~ Getting out a stripped bolt or screw ~
If you do end up with a stripped head or a torn off bolt the only way to remedy the situation is to use a drill and drill out the bolt or screw.

~ Threading to a stripped out hole ~
If the hole that you have to thread something into is torn up you can insert toothpicks into the hole or wrap the thread of the bolt or screw in some thing plastic. This will give the screw or bolt and the hole something to hold onto once again. This is a temporary fix and isn't a fix all method. For plastic wrap I would recommend using plumbing tape. It is a thin plastic that is used to wrap onto plastic pipes that thread together for a perfect seal.

NOTE: This post will be updated with more of the basic tools and updated with the input I receive from the comments section.

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