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

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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.

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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

DIY Two-Ingredient Wood Stain

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As I was sitting down to write this post my wife made it home from work just in time to burst my bubble, the explanation follows.  I have written several articles like this one discussing spoon carving and make quite a few wooden kitchen utensils.  Though I enjoy the natural look of the wood when finished I have seen spoons that have color added to them that look great and wanted to figure out a food-safe method of adding color to some of mine.  After researching and experimenting with homemade vinegar-coffee stains, I decided to get creative and make my own type of stain by subtracting the coffee and using a vinegar-food coloring mix to stain wood.  After testing my creation I felt brilliant.

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Piece of Pecan with all four colors applied to it.

Being the humble creative genius that I am I allowed my wife to dwell inside of our home upon returning from work about two and a half seconds before bragging about my ingenious concoction and you know what she politely said?  “Oh cool, that is how you make Easter egg dye.”  Womp-Womp.  Even though I am not that bright, or aware of how the most popular food coloring agent in the history of the world is made, I spent too much time and made too much of a mess to not share this process with you regardless.

Below are some pictures of pine that I stained.  The left is unstained, the right is stained.  Each stained piece is just a mixture of a liberal amount of food coloring and white vinegar.

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Blue
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Green
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Yellow
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Red

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I tried the homemade stain on different types of wood just to make sure that it would show up well on more than just pine, and it did. Pictured from top to bottom is Elm, Oak, and Pecan.
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Unbeknownst to me at the time, this is probably my only semi-original stain idea. This is a mixture of paprika and water that turned the wood a pretty orange color.

Whether you use food coloring and vinegar or paprika and vinegar to stain wood it can definitely add a nice colorful flare to your woodworking projects, especially those projects designed for child or kitchen use.  From spoons and cutting boards to kids blocks and wooden toys, it is nice to be able to add color to projects without sacrificing safety.

If you do not want to reinvent the wheel as I did, you can just opt for some Easter egg dye and call it a day.  I honestly did not know that vinegar and food coloring, when combined, enhanced woodworking projects as well as the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.  I learn something knew everyday.

Below are a few more nontoxic options for staining and finishing wood.

Food Safe Wood Stain

Butcher Block Oil & Finish

Easter Egg Dye

White vinegar

Food Coloring Variety Kit – 12 Pack

Thanks for reading!  Be sure to like, comment, follow, and share on social media.  To learn how to make your own wooden spoons check out my tutorial How to Carve Spoons With Basic Hand Tools.