Awesome Home Maintenance Idea Offered By Acadiana Contractor.

The old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” may be most true when referencing home maintenance.  Your home is an active, complex, and ever-changing structure comprised of numerous systems affected by many factors .  It was not until I completed a Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors training program some years back that I realized how quickly home integrity issues can not only arrive but also affect other systems of the home ultimately leading to major repairs and their expenses.  Fortunately many of these compounding home degradation issues can be avoided with a little knowledge and pro activity

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Teche Handyman Services, LLC would love to help you gain peace of mind and avoid costly repair bills when possible with one of our Monthly Home Maintenance and Health Assessment subscription options.  Regardless of the size, age, or condition of your home, one of our four subscription options are sure to fit your budget, decrease surprise repair bills, and provide you with more time to do things you actually want to be doing.
Below are our Monthly Subscription Plan Options along with what the homeowner gets each month.
*Subscription to any of our Monthly Plans entitles the subscribing homeowner to a 30% discount on hourly and daily labor rates on additional work performed at the customer’s home.*
BAYOU PLAN – $100/MONTH (Approx. 45min-1.25 Hours)
Replace Home A/C Filter (We provide filter)
Replace Light Bulbs
Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector Check
Fire Extinguisher Check
Plumbing/Appliance Leak Assessment
Vacuum HVAC Register Coils
Check/Repair Clogged Drains
HVAC Drain Check
Suggest Repairs
Comprehensive Interior and Exterior Home Health Assessment
RIVER PLAN – $200/MONTH (Approx. 1-1.5 Hours)
Includes all Bayou Plan Services Plus The Following
Vacuum Refrigerator Coils
GFCI Check
Water Softener Maintenance
Clean Dryer Vent
Clean Garbage Disposal
Clean Hood Range Filter
Garage Door Opener Check
Backup Generator Check
Debris Removal
Main Electrical Check
Outdoor Faucet Check
30 Minute Repair/Handyman Work
1 Roof/Gutter Cleaning Per Year (If accessible by ladder)
BASIN PLAN – $400/MONTH (Approx. 1.5-2 Hours)
Includes all Bayou and River Plan Services Plus The Following
Vacuum A/C Vents
Attic Check (roof leaks/pests)
Check/Clean Outdoor A/C Components
Attic Fan Check
Attic Light Check/Repair
Crawlspace Assessment/Maintenance
Sump Pump Check/Maintenance
Sanitize/Deodorize Indoor Trash Can
Pool Sweeping/Maintenance
1 Annual Backup Generator Oil & Filter Change
2 Roof/Gutter Cleanings Per Year (If accessible by ladder)
CUSTOM PLANS
Teche Handyman Services, LLC will gladly work with you, the homeowner, to create and customize a list of monthly services to be performed at your home.  Our custom plans allow homeowners to purchase services from all three plans that may not be included in one set plan.  Monthly plans can also be customized for multiple locations for those homeowners and landlords with camps, pool houses, rental properties, and recreational vehicles.  Whatever your need or concern, we will work with you to ensure your home maintenance needs are met.  With each custom plan differing, prices of each plan will vary as well.  Contact Teche Handyman Services, LLC today to set up an appointment for a free Custom Plan Monthly Subscription estimate!

Check out techehandyman.com to learn more about the program.
(337) 943-7969
techehandyman@yahoo.com

Blogger Recognition Award

A few weeks ago tool-school.com was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Cordelia’s Mom, Still, which I gratefully accepted.  I am very appreciative of the nomination and would encourage any and all to check out her blog for good reads on a variety of topics.

 

There are a few rules to formally accepting the award listed below, all of which I intend to satisfy by writing this post.

-Write to show the award

-Thank the blogger from which the nomination was received and provide a link to their site

-Write a brief story of how your blog started

-Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers

-Nominate 6-12 bloggers that you believe should be recognized and let them know of their nomination.

So here I go…..

I began tool-school.com with the intentions of creating a site that would be a resource for diy’ers and serial project undertakers.  As someone with a need for tinkering, constructing, building, making, and creating, I often have to search the internet from one end to the other to get the information that I need in order to successfully complete projects and tool-school.com is an attempt to shorten the search in terms of time and information needed.  Though my site is still in its infancy, I have been surprised by the successes and failures that have been appreciated by others in its short existence.  I have even been fortunate enough to have one of my articles published in the October 2018 edition of the UK woodworking magazine The Woodworker, something that I am very proud of.

Two pieces of advice for new bloggers:

  1. Do not get too caught up in networking with only bloggers in your “niche,” if you do you can very well miss out on good relationships and opportunities with people who can truly help you learn how to better your site.  Cordelia’s Mom, Still is a great example of this, though our blogs are not in the same “niche” I have received more encouragement, recognition, and kind words from her than any other blog or blogger.
  2. Do not be a blogging hermit.  Read other blogs that interest you, some of the most enjoyable reads in my opinion are written by bloggers that have blogs completely opposite of mine.  Comment on the blogs you enjoy and always respond back to those who comment on your blog because they obviously enjoy/appreciate what you have written.

Below are my nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award

weekendcampervanning

craftedincarhartt

ourblankcanvas

two branches homestead

Cooking is my sport

Zac Builds

Thanks again to Cordelia’s Mom, Still for the nomination and thank you for reading.  If you enjoy tool-school.com please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share on social media.

Jake with tool-school.com

Repurpose An Unused Kid’s Toy To Improve Your Golf Game By 5+ Strokes

toy box

In case anyone is curious I will go ahead and let you know that I am no Stephen Hawking, in fact, I am no Bill Nye the Science Guy, or even Beakman.  With that out of the way I will also tell you despite my lack of credentials in the scientific community I am a big fan of sample size.  An example of the use of sample size in my daily life is student behavior, as a coach and teacher I can see a student perform a similar negative behavior 9 times and apologize when issued a consequence each and every time only to commit the same or similar offense a tenth time.  In these cases I have all the samples I needed to know that the apology meant nothing and the behavior was likely to occur again.  I believe that most logical human beings allow sample size to shape how they see and view a particular person, place, thing, action, or event even if they are not aware of what to call it.  With all that said, there is a phenomenon in my life (and millions of other lives) that renders the belief in sample size importance useless, golf.

Like millions of other humans on Planet Earth I love golf, but I hate it.  I can play 18 holes on any given day and leave the course feeling like pre-scandal Tiger Woods and return to the course the following day, with all of the confidence in the world, and leave feeling like Tiger Lilly, it is frustrating.  Sample size means nothing to me in golf, I can hit 100 shots, 99 of which are garbage, but that one good shot keeps me thinking that I am on the cusp of “figuring this game out”, and I am clueless as to why.

rodney-dangerfield-caddyshack

Prior to last month I had not played golf in about two years and had been itching to do so for some reason since about Easter.  With the end of the school year in late May I quickly took advantage of my less busy schedule and headed to the local golf course to play.  I have played in spurts over the last 15 years with several layoffs of a year or more in that span but typically shoot in the low to mid 90’s with an occasional mid to upper 80’s score when playing consistently over a few months so I was not surprised that I shot a 101 in my comeback debut.  Despite my poor score I hit enough decent shots to hook me back in.

driving range

My next four rounds saw me shoot a 97, 93, 96, and 98, which gave me a 5 round average of 97.  Though not horrible scores, the amount of decent shots that I was hitting led me to believe that I could do better if I could just get in some consistent practice but the nearest public range was 45 minutes away and not very practical to visit daily.  This is when I knew that I would have to get creative, so I did.

After checking the prices of golf practice nets online I knew that I had to have something hanging around my house or shop to use that would save me the 50-300 bucks being charged for the nets on the internet.  It did not take long for me to remember my kids old disassembled trampoline and safety net stored in our garage and it was on from there.

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I admit that it is far from beautiful, but it has been effective and I did not have to spend a dime.  This one is hung from a tree branch by rope and the sides are tied off to a tree and fence.  Though not aesthetically pleasing, it is tucked away in the corner of my backyard where only those in the backyard can see it.

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The trampoline material is pretty much perfect for hitting with golf balls.  It is hard enough to withstand the abuse of the golf balls but also soft enough to cradle the balls to the ground without them flying back at you.

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My homemade setup has allowed me to hit hundreds of practice shots that I would otherwise not been able to due to the distance between my house and the nearest driving range.  I can even practice while hanging out with my wife and little ones in the backyard (they like using it too).

The proof that my sketchy looking backyard driving range works is in my scores.  I mentioned the first five rounds that I played this summer (pre-trampoline range) saw me shoot a 101, 97, 93, 96, and 98 for an average score of a 97 per round.  I have played an additional five rounds of golf since setting up and routinely practicing on my trampoline golf net and have shot rounds of 87, 91, 89, 95, and 87 for a round average of 89.8.  My upcycled trampoline mat has improved my game by just over 7 strokes per round!

Of course not everyone has an old trampoline mat at their disposal and there are more expensive and aesthetically pleasing tools that can be bought instead of made to improve your golf game and I have linked to a few below.

optishot complete 2 simulator

10×7 Golf Net

10′ Practice Net

Netting For Homemade Golf Net

Practice Putting Green

Hitting Mat (So you do not tear up your yard)

Thank you for reading!  If you found this post to be helpful, entertaining, or informative please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share tool-school.com on social media!

Jake with tool-school.com

 

Simple Bandsaw Maintenance Trick: Changing the Tire

The vertical bandsaw is an awesome tool that serves many functions in a home workshop.  Whether cutting plywood, plastic, or even some softer metals such as aluminum, the vertical bandsaw makes quick work of many types of materials.  I have discussed my pleasure with the price and performance of my WEN 10″ Bandsaw in this previous post, but I also have an older Craftsman 12″ bandsaw/sander that I have used for a few years now as well.

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Though a good saw, the particular Craftsman bandsaw that I was given (pictured above) had seen its better days in terms of aesthetics and working features.  With no miter gauge, rip fence, or instruction manual, it seemed that this saw’s potential in my shop would never be fully realized and that is why I ended up getting the WEN saw.  Nevertheless, a new blade was all that was required to get this donation up and cutting wood shapes for a variety of projects.  I even found some sanding belts that fit the saw on ebay and have sanded a good bit with it too.

After meeting expectations for a few years, the old Craftsman eventually lost a tire from one of the pulley wheels rendering it basically useless.  No sweat, after some internet research and a stop by amazon , my new tire was in the mail and on its way to South Louisiana.  Upon arrival I quickly followed the advice of many internet users and let the new tire soak in very hot water for about 10 minutes, grabbed a screw driver, and headed to my shop to install the new part.  It was not as simple as I had hoped.

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After a few annoying attempts at installing the new tire per internet advice, I quickly got creative and added a step that saved me both time and headache and did not require me to remove any wheel from the saw.  The process is discussed below.

HOW TO CHANGE A BANDSAW TIRE WITHOUT REMOVING THE PULLEY WHEEL

Tools Needed:

-slotted screw driver

-new bandsaw tires

-two small C clamps

-bucket or bowl of very hot water

THE PROCESS

Step 1

Soak the new urethane tire(s) in very hot water for 10-15 minutes to enhance elasticity

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Step 2

Make sure that the pulley wheel is free of dirt, debris, and old tire remnants

Step 3

Remove the new tire from the water and clamp it very lightly to the bottom of the pulley wheel in two places (tighten the C clamps just enough to hold the tire in place, overtightening the clamps can damage the pulley wheel which is often made of aluminum)

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Step 4

Once clamped, simply pull the tire up and around the remainder of the pulley, using the slotted screw driver as a guide if needed.

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This is just a reenactment shot of the installation. Obviously I did not try installing this tire with the blade on.

Step 5

After getting the tire on, go around the wheel ensuring that the tire is seated correctly around the entire pulley.

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The finished product.

If you follow these steps with the installation of a new bandsaw tire you will not only eliminate the need for removing the pulley wheel from the saw, but you will also save time and knuckle-skin in the process.  After the 10-15 minute soaking of the new tire, this process should take a maximum of 5 easy minutes to complete using these steps.

NEVER WORK ON A BANDSAW THAT IS PLUGGED IN, TURNED ON, OR HAS AN INSTALLED BLADE, DOING SO COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY OR WORSE.

P.S.  If you have a Craftsman 12″ Bandsaw/Sander similar to mine in the pictures, the link below will take you to the exact replacement tires needed for your saw.  It took a decent bit of research for me to put my thumb on what I needed, so I hope that it will save you some time.  Also included is a picture of the packaging.  These particular saws take 80″ blades that can be up to 1/2″ in width.

Craftsman 12″ Bandsaw/Sander Replacement Tires

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Thanks for reading!  If you found this article to be helpful, informative, or entertaining please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share on social media.

Jake with tool-school.com

Take the Pecan Challenge!

pecan tree

I have accidentally become a huge fan of Pecan wood.  The majority of the spoons and kitchen utensils I make are from found Pecan limbs and branches.  Pecan is a hardwood species belonging to the hickory family of trees.  It does not seem to be overly popular for use in woodworking and I can not figure out if this is due to its geographical distribution or if it just has a bad rap in the woodworking community.

Despite its perceived lack of popularity amongst woodworkers, I have really come to rely heavily on the beautiful wood of the Pecan tree in my projects.  It is everywhere here in South Louisiana and finding large fallen limbs and branches takes little more effort than keeping your eyes open when driving down tree-lined highways.  It always amazes me how different Pecan wood can vary in appearance not only from tree to tree, but at times even from different sections of the same tree.  Milling Pecan limbs into lumber is always fun due to the fact the end product can rarely be predicted.

Below are some pictures of spoons and utensils that I have made from Pecan and a few other species of wood.  My challenge to you is to see if you can tell which pieces have been made from Pecan and which pieces are made of a different species.  If you are anything like me you will be surprised to discover how different this wood can appear.  Please let me know if you think you have all of the Pecan pieces identified and I will let you know if you are right.  Good Luck!

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If you are a wood identification master and think you have it all figured out please email me or message me on my Facebook page tool-school.com.  If you would like to learn how to make your own wooden spoons check out my article on how to make wooden spoons with hand tools here.

Below are a few tools that make milling lumber from small logs for a variety of projects a breeze.

Jointer

WEN Bandsaw

Carpenter’s Axe

Draw Knife

Kindling Cracker

Resaw Blade

Thanks for reading!  Please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share tool-school.com posts on social media.

Jake with tool-school.com

Transform Your Grinder Into An Orbital Contour Sander

Just about any woodworking project will require sanding to some degree and there are so many routes to take in achieving a nice and smooth sanded finish.  Sanding blocks, belt sanders, sheet sanders, orbital sanders, disc sanders,  and just plain old sand paper and elbow grease can all work well to achieve the desired result for a given project.  Unfortunately many projects have curves and contours that render many of our convenient modern sanding tools useless in providing attractive finishes.  In these cases it is often necessary to spend a lot of time performing labor-intensive hand sanding to get the desired finish as with the bowls of the spoons pictured below.

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These very spoon bowls are what lead me to constantly keep an eye and ear out for any sanding tools that can make my spoon carving life easier.  After spending a few years trying just about any and every sanding tool that will fit in the bowls of my spoons, I had come to the conclusion that the only acceptable option was hand sanding.  It was a time-consuming and harsh reality to accept.  Depending on the spoon it can sometimes take several hours to sand the tool marks from the bowls and get a nice, smooth finish.  To get a glimpse at the process of making one of these spoons check out this article how to make a wooden spoon with hand tools.

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Just as I was about out of hope I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the Arbortech Contour Random Sander.

arbortech sander

This tool attaches to just about any 4 1/2 inch angle grinder and transforms it into a random orbital contour sander.  The soft pad on the attachment allows the sanding pad to contour to curved and uneven surfaces without cutting into the wood or burning it.  The Arbortech Contour Sander has greatly reduced the effort required to sand spoon bowls smooth and has probably reduced the time that I spend sanding the bowls by 80 percent or more.  I have already discussed the many uses of angle grinders in this article, but  considering that bowl sanding is where 60 percent or so of my spoon making time is spent, this attachment is making me fall in love with my angle grinder all over again.

As handy as the Arbortech Contour Sander is, it is not perfect.  The only two issues that I have found with it thus far is that it will get hot after a few minutes of moderate use, and the adhesive-backed sanding disk (pictured above) the attachment uses do not adhere to the attachment’s pad very long due to the heat generated from use.  I am not sure if these two issues can be negated, but they can be lessened by sanding slower and applying less pressure to the surface being sanded.

Overall I really like this angle grinder attachment from Arbortech.  Any tool that gives better results with less effort is welcome in my shop.  If you are a wood carver, worker, or serial DIY’er I would definitely recommend giving it a try and saving yourself time and effort on your projects.  Below are a few links to articles containing information on angle grinder use and safety, spoon carving, and Arbortech Contour Random Sander pricing and reviews, as well as an instructional video.

Angle Grinder Uses/Safety

Spoon Carving for Beginners

Arbortech Contour Random Sander

Arbortech Replacement Sanding Discs

Arbortech Replacement Sander Pad

Thanks for reading!  Be sure to like, comment, follow, and share tool-school.com on social media.

Jake with tool-school.com

When Pigs Fly….

flying pig 1flying pig 5

At some point in my life my mom fell in love with, and began to collect, flying pigs.  My entire life she has been ultra creative, crafty and quite handy.  As a serial diy’er she also has a great appreciation for the creativity and craftiness of others.  I do not know if I got this trait from her genetically or if it was a product of environmental learning, but I do know exactly who my passion to make, build, craft, and create came from.  The greatest benefit of sharing this quality with my mom is that it often affords me the opportunity to have a lot of fun creating, opposed to buying gifts for her come birthday and Christmas time.  Some years back I began to learn a little welding and with my mom’s birthday a few months away I saw a good opportunity to put my developing skills to use.  I made this flying pig for her out of some old metal that I had around my shop and had a lot of fun doing it.  It is not perfect, but I did not want it to be.  I wanted it to look hand-made and somewhat crude and it does indeed.  My mom loved this gift and has it proudly displayed in the foyer of her house as shown in the picture above.  With a little creative thinking, time, and effort anyone can make gift giving more enjoyable for not only the recipient, but themselves as well.  Below are a few more pictures of the porky present.

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flying pig 2

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Below are the tools that I used to construct this flying pig.

DeWalt 4.5 inch Angle Grinder

WEN 6 inch Bench Grinder

Ryobi 18v Drill

Lincoln AC Stick Welder

Metal Cut Off Discs

Grinding Disc

Flap Disc

Thanks for reading!  Be sure to like, comment, follow, and share this post on social media.

Jake with tool-school.com