Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tools of the Trade

When I moved into my first real place after living on the university campus for a couple of years, my dad got me a tool kit. He knew I was useless at anything involving tools, but that when you rent you can't always rely on the landlord so you may just need a wrench or hammer. I have moved this tool kit with me now to 3 different homes and it has lost countless pieces, but it is still one of the most useful things I own.

See how much is missing? Apparently it once held a hammer. How do you lose a hammer?? And where is my wrench? This is why I can't have nice things...

I actually use this tool kit so much that it doesn't get stored in the locker- it sits under my bed for easy access! To prevent it from scratching the hardwood when I pull it out (it is HEAVY) I attached felt pads under it. Practically everything in this condo has felt pads under it. And I have engineered hardwood, which is much more resistant to scratching!

So I thought today I would list the key tools you should have when you move to your first place, and some tools that you should slowly accumulate as funds allow, but are very handy.

Crucial Items

It is such a basic tool and comes in handy for so many projects, like hanging pictures, closing paint cans, and breaking ice to make pina coladas

There will come a time when you need to tighten a nut- maybe on an Ikea item or maybe for a leaky sink- it will eventually be a life saver

Screwdriver- Phillips head and flat (or slot) 
The majority of screws will be phillips or flat so be sure to have these in your arsenal. You might just want to invest in a screwdriver that has multiple tips and therefore save some space AND always have the correct screwdriver

Needle Nose Pliers
Hair clog down the sink? Jammed paper shredder? Need to pinch annoying people? No problem if you have Needle Nose pliers

Measuring Tape
Sooooo key if you want to make sure furniture will fit. I often go to Ikea WITH my measuring tape!

I use my level a lot- if I didn't all my pictures would be crooked! Trust me, you cannot eyeball it. Get a level

Not Crucial, But Nice Items

I just got my drill and we are already BFFs. If you want to hang anything heavy, you WILL need a drill.

Power Screwdriver
Ikea bows down to me now that I have a power screwdriver. I use it way more than I thought I would and it makes every project so easy and fast!

Stud Finder
This goes along with the drill- hanging something heavy means you need to find a stud. And I am not talking about sweet-talking some handsome man into hanging things for you! Though, that would work too.

Heavy Duty Stapler
One of these will really come in handy for any upholstery project, like recovering chair seats or making your own headboard from scratch

Socket Wrench
I think I lost my socket wrench, because I don't see it in the above photo, but I DO remember using it about a year ago with my dad. Dad, did you steal my socket wrench?? This tool is very handy for tightening bolts in an awkward spot.

Some Sort of Jigsaw/ Table Saw
I have no saw (well, I think I have a hand saw, but come on), but I would LOVE a saw. I would build a castle if I had a saw!!

I don't have any clamps, due to my lack of saw, but they would come in handy for any sort of woodworking project- especially if you are by yourself and have no one to hold the wood steady!

There may be more tools, but that is all I have for now! Currently I am looking to get a giant level so that I can level two objects that are far apart, like two frames. My dad found about 50 levels when cleaning his basement, so I am going to steal one of those. I am also working on building up a collection of screws, because every darn project I start seems to need a different size/type of screw.

What are your go-to tools? Have I missed any?

1 comment:

  1. You should have a good sharp utility knife. Handle can substitute for a hammer and the blade as a screwdriver.


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