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strut your stuff and make a statement!


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hard Core Remodeling but Were Afraid to Ask

It's the day we've all been waiting for...
 Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hard Core Remodeling but Were Afraid to Ask!
 We're going to start the whole house redo on a 1970's condo and revamp it into 
not only a Coastal Carolina style cottage, BUT it also needs to accomodate
a woman who is newly disabled in a wheelchair.
Get ready for a total transformation, plus we're going to show you how to
do all of this yourselves, step by step.
If you've never tackled a tool, this is your tutorial.
 And this is our first piece of equipment, the Porter Cable Circular Saw.
This little baby makes quick, accurate cuts on lumber, like the 2x4's we'll be using today.
(First hint from your middle aged Tool Time Heidi: a 2x4 is NOT 2" x 4"; it's actually
1.5" thick and 3.5" wide. Plan accordingly!)
The blades of a saw turn counter clockwise and should always be installed 
with the pretty letters facing out.
UNPLUG THE SAW WHEN REPLACING THE BLADE.
The number of teeth on a blade determines how fine a cut it will make.
The more teeth, the smoother the cut.
This is a framing blade, and it has 24 teeth, which makes a rougher cut.
Got all that?
 Do not use an extension cord you'd plug the hair dryer into.
1 amp of power can kill you.
A power saw has 15 amps.
That equals Crispy Critter.
Use a heavy duty cord at all times.
 That little red line you see is a laser.
Not only uber cool, it will help you follow a straight line.
 And this...is a CALCULATOR!
 A darned near unbreakable calculator, I might add.
As you all know, "unbreakable" is a valuable asset around the Rehab crew.
This will help you figure things like measurements, sure, but it also does angles,
lines, and even the pitch of a roof!
Bonus? No batteries needed.
 With that thick lip, it makes your marks  for your 90 degree cut lines perfect.
Now then, to cut a board to size, measure the length.
Do it TWICE.
If you measure twice, you'll cut only once.
Mark the length with a carpenter's pencil, which is basically a flat sided 
version. Why?
Um...so it won't roll away, duh.
 Set the blade so it just juts out far enough to go through the wood.
 All set?
 Get that carpenter's calculator out.
 Use your calculator to draw an accurate, straight line.
Now, grab your safety glasses or goggles.
 The short end is what we're cutting off, so here's a little secret
that's even less talked about than Grumpy Cat's happy place:
set your blade on the side of the line that you're cutting off.
You'll lose 1/8" with the blade, and you don't want that off of the board you'll be using.
Set the laser on the line, start the saw a few inches AWAY from the edge of the board,
and follow the pretty red line.
BOOM!
Easy stuff.
Take a couple of practice cuts before getting to a real project
to get the feel of it, and don't be intimidated.
It's kind of like getting the Minions to clean the house:
The tools do the work, you just guide them.
Oh, and hang onto those practice pieces.
We have a project coming up later you'll need them for.

2 comments:

Michelle L. said...

Yay to this! I am going to follow along and probably come back to your posts many times. I envision a great resource for all aspiring Tool Time Heidis (middle aged or otherwise)! So great to see Vannah getting her circular saw on, it makes me feel like even I could try.

Heather Rodman said...

Thank you for doing this- I'm no stranger to power tools, but precision's not been demanded of me all that often- this is GREAT!

-Heather R., The Real Leopardstripes