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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Hand tool backups



Don't you hate it when power tools die in the middle of a job?

A good friend of mine gave me a much better gun safe than the one I was using. The only problem was that the old lock would not open. Little tip, don't try and reuse a padlock that spent time on a sailboat in salt water. When sailing I kept it well oiled and it never froze up. Just sitting for months it slowly corroded into a solid block.

No problem, I've got a reciprocating saw. It took a couple of strokes and died. The thing was just 22 years old too. That's when I was glad I had a hacksaw and some sharp blades. It didn't take too long to cut the lock.

It never hurts to have hand tool backups for all your power tools. Last year it was a skill saw that died on me -only 21 years old. Good thing I had some handsaws I could use to finish the job.

I've a drill that was bought at the same time as those other tools. Wonder if it's about to die too? No matter, I've got an old fashioned bit brace that could fill in as needed.

Just about every power tool has a manual tool that could do the job. It's a good idea to have them around. Sure beats being unable to finish a job. It's also sometimes darn handy to have tools that work off the grid. The sort of storm that takes down the grid is exactly the sort of thing that could require emergency home repair.

Now and then I'll reach for the hand tool before the power tool. Sometimes it's easier and quicker to do it by hand. You don't want have to set up an air compressor and an air nailer just to tack down a loose board.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. I've got power tools and hand tools and use them all on occasion. If I had to chose one over the other, it would be hand tools, since that's what I grew up with. My dad never had an electric drill untill he was over 50 years old and I bought him one.

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    1. I grew up using both. I know professional builders who aren't that good with a hammer as they use air nailers all the time.

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  2. Many times hand tools are more pleasureable to use and can end up producing a better finish. Just gotta know which one to choose and when. Or be whimsical, and use whatever's to hand.

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  3. It's actually really good advice, especially since some of the old hand tools are getting really hard to come by used anymore.
    It used to be you could pick up an old hand drill or plane pretty cheap at yard sales but that generation is fading fast now.
    The last couple of yard sales I stopped at pretty much had nothing but what I consider to be disposable plastic crap.

    Estate sales are the way to go now.

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    Replies
    1. I noticed at the auction I went to that good used hand tools commanded top dollar.

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  4. I have an old hand drill (non electric and not a bit brace), the kind with a round hand powered gear on the side. It bit the dust but I can not find a replacement in any of the hardware or home repair stores. I keep looking at the flea market, but none have turned up there, either.

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    1. You know, I haven't seen one of those in a long time. Wonder if they still make them?

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  5. Being a "tinker" don't be so quick to trash those corded tools out unless you let the smoke out:(. I have found many that needed little to get them going :)
    Mike

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    1. When the magic smoke comes out there's not much you can do.

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  6. I have one of the hand drills Dizzy Dick is talking about also, I want to say you can buy one brand new still but the price will scare you. I would go to EBay and start looking around.

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    Replies
    1. Good to know they are still around. Scared to look at the price.

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