Is Your Deck Summer-Ready?: Maintenance Tips from Teche Handyman Services.

As temperatures rise and Easter nears in South Louisiana, people will undoubtedly take to the great outdoors for recreation, entertainment, and quality time with family.  Whether it be grilling steaks, boiling crawfish, or simply relaxing outside, we often enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of our own deck or patio.  Decks not only add to the aesthetics of a home, they often add value to a home as well along with providing a great area for recreation and relaxation.  As enjoyable as these structures are, I have been surprised in my work as a contractor to see how many of them go unattended in terms of maintenance which eventually renders them both unsightly and unsafe.  To help you avoid some of these mistakes I have listed a few maintenance and safety tips below that will help keep your family safe and enjoying your deck this summer.

deck collapse
photo from TODAY

According to the Director of Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University Don Bender, “Decks cause more injury and loss of life than any other part of the home structure.”  The Virginia Building and Code Officials Association says that much of this is due to faulty construction methods, incorrect or unsuitable materials, and lack of maintenance.  Below are five tips that should help keep you from becoming one of those severely injured or worse.

  1. Examine support posts and beams for rot, splitting, or shifting

rotten post

2. Examine all attachment points between house and deck if attached to home

deck ledger

3. Inspect all fasteners (nails, screws, bolts, brackets, etc.) for improper use, rust, and             corrosion.

4. Inspect guards and railings to ensure they are securely attached.

5.  Use grills, heaters, fire-pits, and bbq’s cautiously and ensure safe guards are in place (such as this grill mat ) to prevent fires.

 

Regular deck inspection and maintenance is key to the longevity of your deck.  I believe that much of the degradation that decks suffer is due to the belief of homeowners that it is an outside structure made of treated wood, therefore it does not require ongoing maintenance.  The unfortunate fact of the matter is that any structure or system of your home needs regular maintenance to perform as well as it should for as long as it should.  Yes it cost a little time and money here and there to properly maintain your deck, but replacement will cost a lot of time and money at once should you neglect it..  Thanks for reading.

If you are not exactly sure what to look for when performing a deck inspection or have any questions, call Teche Handyman Services, LLC @ (337) 943-7969 for comprehensive deck assessment, maintenance, and/or repair.

Teche Handyman Services is Acadiana’s Premier Home Improvement Contractor.

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

.
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

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.

DSCF6717

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.

DSCF6716

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

DSCF6718

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)

DSCF6712

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.

DSCF6713
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.

DSCF6714
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

DSCF6720

 

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!

DSCF6277
1
DSCF6552
2
DSCF6235
3
DSCF6660
4
DSCF6670
5
DSCF6664
6
DSCF6665
7
DSCF6674
8
DSCF6668
9
DSCF6678
10
DSC_0127
11
DSC_0129
12
DSC_0134
13
DSC_0125
14
DSC_0117
15

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.

DSCF6561

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.

DSCF6278

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.

flying pig 3

flying pig 2

flying pig 4

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

A Workshop’s Best Friend

The angle grinder is one of the most versatile tools in any workshop.  Part chop saw, part grinder, and part sander, there are no metal working projects in my shop that do not rely heavily on this tool.  Angle grinders come in a variety of sizes and with numerous power output and rpm ratings.  The most common sizes are 4 1/2 inch, 7 inch, and 9 inch grinders, with the 4 1/2 in being most common,  and these numbers reference the diameter of the disc, or wheel, that can be run safely by them.

Disc types for angle grinders are numerous and although some discs are multipurpose, many times specific discs are designed to perform specific functions or for specific materials, like the metal grinding disc pictured above.  Not only can other discs  be bought to cut, polish, sand, and grind metals, but wood working attachments have become more common for angle grinders as well.  With the introduction of wheels designed specifically for carving and sanding wood, like the carving attachment pictured below, the ever-useful angle grinder has managed to become even handier.

The angle grinder’s usefulness stretches even farther than wood and iron working, there are also discs sold specifically for concrete and masonry applications like the one pictured below.  Whether cutting into a brick wall, concrete slab, or mortar, this tool definitely comes in handy for those DIY stone and masonry jobs.

If anyone knows the value of an angle grinder it would have to be welders.  Primarily used in metal fabrication, the angle grinder is just as important as a welding machine itself in insuring a quality weld.  From material preparation and beveling to grinding down a weld, the angle grinder definitely beats hand filing to accomplish the same task.

For anyone looking to begin welding as a hobby or career I would strongly suggest buying a good angle grinder such as this one and learning how to use it before even buying a welding machine.  I have learned from personal experience that buying a cheaper grinder will only find you on the market for another grinder in the near future.  My DeWalt 4.5 inch angle grinder cost a little more than $80 when I bought it close to a decade ago, and after hundreds of hours of use it is still going strong today.  The cheap $35 grinder that I bought from a well known big box store prior to purchasing my DeWalt did not even make it through its first job.  I would also encourage any beginning welder to check out this article on how to get started without spending a fortune.

Below I have linked to a few useful angle grinder attachments as well as a few sources on angle grinder use and safety.

OSHA Angle Grinder Safety

How To Use an Angle Grinder

Metal Cutting Discs

Paint Stripping Discs

Metal Grinding Discs

Sanding/Flap Disc

Wood Carving Attachment

DeWalt 4.5 inch Angle Grinder

Thank you for reading!  Please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share on social media.

Jake with tool-school.com

Turn Your Old Cooler Into A Portable Air Conditioner

A few years ago I was fixing up an older Jeep Cherokee XJ and when she was finally up and running a problem was realized.  It was June in South Louisiana and the Jeep’s a/c system was leaking Freon.  With no room in the budget for a/c repair or replacement I took to the internet to see what could be done for me to drive my baby without sweating bullets.

My first stab at staying cool was by purchasing the RoadPro 12V Tornado Fan.  Though it was pretty loud, the fan was quite strong and very impressive.  The conditions inside the Jeep were definitely improved, but I knew that I could do better.

Back to the internet I went, more specifically to YouTube, and this is where I found my second, and final temporary solution to my Jeep a/c issue.  I discovered that you can make a portable air conditioner using only a fan, a cooler, ice, and some PVC pipe.  I happened to have all three laying around so I was good to go.  Below are the tools I used to make my portable a/c and the steps involved in the build.

TOOLS

Jigsaw or Oscillating Multitool

Hole Saw

Electric Drill

Silicone Adhesive

THE BUILD

At the end of this article I have posted a link to the video that inspired my portable a/c build.  I put my own spin on the project by using different components than the one seen in the video due to the fact that it was what I already had on hand.

DSCF6648
Trace the outline of your fan onto the top of the cooler.
DSCF6637
Using a jigsaw or multi-tool cut out the hole for the fan.
DSCF6647
Using a hole saw or multi-tool cut out a place for your PVC pipe.

This is where the cool air will exit the cooler.  If this particular cooler had enough area on the lid to put a PVC 90 degree elbow on top I would have place it there, but I put the pipe on the side due to the smaller size of this cooler’s lid.  If you put your exhaust pipe on the side of your cooler do not put it too low, as the water from the melted ice could leak out through the exhaust pipe if it is too low.

DSCF6645
I used a rubber gasket and silicone to seal the exhaust pipe then added two screws for good measure.
DSCF6646
The silicone is really all that is needed to seal and hold the pipe in place.

Your new portable a/c is practically done.  Just place some ice in the cooler and the fan in its hole, plug it in, and enjoy the constant cool breeze.

DSCF6642
Your portable air conditioner is complete!

I will be the first to admit that this is not the sexiest contraption in the world,(it was not always this dirty) but it is literally a very cool project that is a lot of fun to complete.  I was skeptical at first but this thing rode in my passenger seat and worked great.  Believe it or not I actually had temperature readings in Fahrenheit ranging from the upper 40s to the lower 60s exiting the pipe.  The large variance in temperature was due to the amount of ice and type of ice used (packs vs. cubes).

Chances are you have everything you need to make your own portable a/c already laying around your house as I did, but if you do not but would still like to undertake this fun little project I have linked to some affordable components below.

48 Qt. Ice Chest

110V Fan

12V Vehicle Fan

Oscillating Multi-tool

Or you could just splurge for a store bought portable a/c unit like the Black and Decker 8000 BTU Portable A/C.

Here is the link to the YouTube video that inspired my own portable cooler a/c build.  Portable A/C Video

Thank you for reading.  Be sure to like, comment, follow tool-school.com and share this post on social media!  Have a great week!

Jake with tool-school.com

15 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Handy Moms

I will go ahead and let you know that this is not a list of pink and purple tools for mom made by brands and companies no one has ever heard of.  This is a list of 15 legitimate tools and gadgets that any gender into DIY projects would benefit from having at their disposal.  I have bought tools for my own mother in the past that may not have been cute, but they are definitely reliable. All but one of these tools can be purchased for around $100 or less. So if your mom is not scared to get her hands dirty and tackle a project, read on.

1. Worx Cordless Hydroshot

Not as strong as gas pressure washers, but much stronger than a garden hose, the Hydroshot is a light and portable option for cleaning jobs around the house and shop.

2. Deebot Robotic Vacuum

This vacuum has made the lives of my wife and I a lot easier.  With three little ones running around our floors get abused daily, thankfully deebot shows them a little love every afternoon without either of us having to lift a finger.

3. Black and Decker 20 Volt Max Project Kit

This is a great all around tool kit to have around the house.  Complete with drill and battery, this kit has the tools needed to complete numerous home projects.

4. Aberg Best 21 MP Camera

The only thing better than a job well done is a job well done that can be shown off to your friends and family.  This camera is light, inexpensive, and has great reviews.  Before and after shots of projects are always fun to compare.

5. Worx Aerocart

The Worx Aerocart is the Swiss Army Knife of wheel barrows.  With all of the functions of a typical wheel barrow this tool also has added ergonomic and hauling capabilities that most do not.

6. Echo Dot

Get how-to and DIY information at the sound of your voice.  With all of the interactive capabilities of this little gadget you can play music, answer calls, and control your lights and thermostat without leaving the couch.  This thing is incredible.

7. Ion Tailgater

Play music, sing karaoke, listen to the radio, charge your phone, connect via blue-tooth, all things that can be done with this little speaker.  We actually have two at my house and bring them with us just about every time we go outside.

8. Black & Decker 7 1/4″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw

This is a sturdy little saw.  It can cut 2×8 lumber at 90 degrees and 2×6 lumber at 45 degrees.  It is more compact than 10″ and 12″ miter saws making it lighter and more easily transported from site to site.

9. Keter Folding Workbench

Rated to hold up to 1000lbs and folding up for easy transport and storage, the Keter workbench is a great work surface at home and on the go.  It even comes complete with compatible work clamps.

10. Tack Life 50 ft Laser Level

This level offers horizontal and vertical cross beams that will project from up to 50 feet away.  This is a must have tool for anyone hanging pictures, trim work, or baseboards.

11. Black and Decker Power Hand Saw

This is a very handy little saw that can cut anything from dimensional lumber to tree limbs and branches.  For “tweener” jobs that are in the middle of chainsaw and handsaw this tool works great.  It does not have the power of a chainsaw that may be intimidating to some, but still makes pruning and cutting a lot quicker and easier than going at it with a handsaw.

12. Keter Cool Bar

This 7.5 gallon cooler is great for outdoor gatherings and holds up to 60 cans or 40 bottles with ice.  The top is collapsible which allows for this to function as a closed cooler and there is a built in drain plug at the bottom of the cooler.  With three colors and two styles to choose from this would be a great addition to any backyard or outdoor function.

13. Bosch Compact Lazer Distance Measure

The Bosch Compact Lazer Distance Measure allows for accurate measurements without the need for a tape measure up to 65 ft (in reality it is probably more like up to 40 ft.).  The beauty of this product is that one person can get multiple measurements from one spot without the need for someone running around from point to point with the other end of the tape measure.  This tool allows measuring to be an accurate one person job.

14. Rockwell Blade Runner

If a small table saw had a baby with a jigsaw, this would be the baby.  The Blade Runner is a nice lighter duty craft and hobby saw that cuts through just about any type of material someone would want to cut.  The Blade Runner’s sub 15 lb weight allows it to be easily transported to and from different jobs and it sets up quickly and easily.

15. Husqvarna Automower

I will start by saying I believe all moms deserve this, but the ones that receive this must truly be special.  This is the only product on the list that is well above the $100 mark that I was trying to hover around and under.  This particular model is rated for about a 3/4 acre yard and is sophisticated enough to automatically cut your lawn every day of the week if you so desire.  There is some initial set up labor that is required to get this thing self sufficient, but once it is done you are golden.

For additional information, reviews, and pricing on the products listed in this article simply click the product picture or link and it will take you directly to the product on Amazon.

Thank you very much for checking out my site.  If you are a mother, have a mother, or know a mother that is a serial DIY’er I would love to hear about you/her and see some pictures of your projects.  Feel free to email me some pictures and info about your projects so I can post them on my site or contact me through my tool-school.com page on Facebook.  I hope that you all have a great Mother’s Day!

Jake

jakestoolschool@yahoo.com