What is a drill press?

drill press

A drill press is a stationary power tool designed to drill precise holes in wood or metal.

A drill press is a power tool designed to bore accurate holes in wood, metal or plastic. There are 2 types of drill press, bench-top and stationery. Bench-top drill presses are used by handymen and stationery drill press are used in industrial situations. Stationery drill press are heavy and large, and bench-top drill press are smaller and better suited to small home workshops.

You can use all the usual drill bits and use it for sanding curved wood projects. When you need to dill precise holes a drill press is the tool for you.

How a drill press works

The drill press is a drill on a pole. It has a electric motor which transfers it’s power to the chuck via a set of spindles and belts, allowing you to vary the speed of the drill bit. There is a rotating handle to lower and raise the spindle, which holds the chuck. A depth stop is a feature that allows you to drill holes to a consistent depth.

Which drill press should you get

There are several factors to consider when choosing a drill press. Such as type, size, power and speed.

First choice is either bench-top or stationery. Bench-top models are smaller and easier to move if needed, where as stationery models are large and heavy and don’t get move around much.

A drill press is a significant investment with some variables that you need to understand to purchase the right tool for you. Here are the main things to consider when shopping for a drill press.

The size of your drill press will determine the maximum width of material you can fit on your drill press and the depth of holes you can drill. Bench-top models usually only have 50mm to 75mm (2 to 3 inches) of downward travel, where stationery models can have up to 150mm (6 inches) of travel.

Power of your drill press is dependent on whether it is a bench-top or stationery model. Bench-top models are usually have around one third of the power that stationery models have. Stationery models are normally about 1,000 watts.

Speed is another consideration when choosing a drill press, bench-top models have five or six speeds, where as a stationery model can have up to sixteen speeds.

Other features

LED or laser guides is another handy feature you may want. All drill press have an adjustable table where your work piece sits. The table moves up or down and can be tilted to all angles, the large stand alone drill press tables can rotate 360 degrees.

Projects that drill press are used for

You will use your drill press for many projects you undertake. Any project where boring accurate holes is important, is a job for your drill press. Stair railings, coat racks and boring dowel joints are just some jobs ideal for your drill press.

Sanding curved wood projects is another job for your drill press.

In conclusion

You will not appreciate a drill press until you actually have one and realize how much you use it. A drill press is a great addition to your workshop and need not be an expensive model to be of great use.

Here is a great model at an economical price.

drill press

How to build a timber fence

timber fence standard

I’ll show you how to build a timber fence to define your home’s boundary. Timber fences are a classic DIY project most handymen can achieve.

Planning your fence


Consider what you want your timber fence to look like and what the fences main objective. You should consult your neighbour regarding the fence height and costs. Neighbours may agree to help with the cost of the fence, but are not bound to make any payment.

Fences can be a cause of conflict between neighbours for many reasons. Check your boundary and if there are any doubts, consult a surveyor for professional advice.

Also check with local authorities regarding fencing in your area, and check that there are no underground services that may be impacted.

A standard timber fence is 1.8m high, but can be 1.2 or 1.5. Corner posts are 100 x 100mm and posts in between are 100x75mm. Fence rails are 75 x 38mm and 4.8m long.

Tools needed

You’ll only need basic tools tools to build a timber fence, but power tools will make the job a lot easier. See my post on basic handyman tools here.

A post hole shovel and crowbar or a power auger.

Saw, hammer, level and a string line. Or circular saw, nail gun to make the job easier. A coil nail gun is very handy for fencing and a circular saw is a must for any handyman.

Setting out your timber fence

Once you have found your boundary, stake each end of the fence and run a string line the full length of the fence line. Dig holes for the post 300mm diameter by 600mm deep. Place 50mm of gravel in the base of the post holes for the posts to rest on.

fence post hole diagram

Place your posts in the ground and put a couple of stays on the posts to keep them straight and upright. Use your level to make sure the posts are vertical and straight. Fill each post hole with post mix available from your local hardware store, or mix your own.

When you have your corner posts in, run a string line between the two posts and mark out the post holes for the rest of the fence. Posts are usually 2.4m apart and the posts are set flush to the string line you have between the corner posts. Place your post as you did with the corner posts and fill the post holes with post mix, keeping the post straight with stays.

String lines for fence

Allow 24 hours for the post mix to set.

Placing the rails

After your fence posts have set, it’s time to put the fence rails on the posts. Each post needs to be checked out for the rails to be put in. This requires you to saw the fence posts the width of the rails, so they sit flush with the face of the fence post. While you got your saw, cut the tops of the fence posts off about 75mm from the finished fence height.

Generally the check outs will be 38mm deep and 75mm wide.

Fence rail check outs

Fence rails are 4.8m in length and you need to stagger any joins on posts.

On standard 1.8m timber fences there are 3 rails, the top rail is 150mm from the top, the bottom rail is 175mm from the ground with the middle rail centred between the top and bottom rail.

Putting the palings on

Basic paling fences a butted up together, make sure your 1st paling is vertical and check every 4 or so palings adjusting as required. Using a coil nail gun makes this job very easy and does not knock the fence around to much.

You need to saw the top of the palings off to the correct height once they are all nailed on. The easiest way to do this is to nail a batten onto the fence and use a circular saw to cut the paling tops.

Types of palings

There are 3 styles of palings, standard flat top, colonial and paddle pop.

Colonial palings
Colonial profile palings
Paddle pop palings
Paddle pop profile palings

Ways to use your smartphone for DIY

iPhone utilities apps

In this post I will show you many ways to use your smartphone for your DIY projects.

As a Camera

There are many reasons to use your smartphones’ camera, from taking before and after photos to recording specific details about your project.

Before and after photos of your DIY project is a great use of your smartphones’ camera. You can also record steps along the way to completing your project. As an example you could check out my post on building a cubby house, I only used my smartphone for all the photos in that post.

If you need to pull something apart, using your smartphone to take photos of the parts and how they go together is an invaluable tool. Also taking photos of the serial or part number makes getting the correct part alot easier. Maybe taking a photo of the dimensions of your project would be handy.

Another way I’ve used my smartphone camera is to take a photo of the back side of an object I cannot see due to no room for my head to fit.

As a Measuring tape

Most smartphones come with several utilitiy apps, one is measurement on newer smartphones.

iPhone utilities apps

Opening your measurement app will enable you to measure things when you don’t have your tape measure at hand.

To measure an object:

  • Launch the Measure app from your Home screen.
  • Move the white dot to your start point. …
  • Tap the + button to select your start point.
  • Move the white dot to your endpoint.
  • Tap the + button to select your endpoint.
  • Look at the final measurement located in the middle of the line.

As a level

Another utility app is a level which you get to through the measurement app. This can be handy when you only need a approx level hanging pictures on the wall or getting an idea of where level will be.

iPhone SE level app
Not quite level
Level in iPhone SE
Spot on

As a Calculator

Having a calculator handy is also useful at different stages of your DIY project. From figuring out the area of a slab or floor to how many cubic metres of concrete you need for your slab.

To calculate your area, simply times the length by the width of the area, as an example 3m x 3m equals 9 square metres.

3m x 3m = 9m

Calculating cubic metres is taking the area m2 and multiplying it by the depth, for example a slab 3m x 3m x .1m would equal 0.9 cubic metres.

3m x 3m x 0.1m = 0.9m3

Maybe your at the hardware store and need to work out how many lineal metres of decking you need.

To calculate the lineal metres required for a 3m x 3m deck with 90mm boards, times 3 x 3 and divide it by .093 allowing 90mm for your board and a 3mm gap. This will give you 96.77 lineal metres, now to allow for wastage and offcuts times 96.77 lineal metres by 10%, which is 9.67 lineal metres to add to the 96.77 lineal metres, giving you a total of 106.45 lineal metres of decking required.

3m x 3m x 0.093 = 96.77 l/m then 96.77 x 0.1(10%) = 9.67

96.77 + 9.67 = 106.45 l/m

As a torch

The torch app can be useful when looking into dark spaces in an attic or roof or behind a sink in a cupboard. You can use the camera app at the same time and get a clearer picture that you can see in the dark.

iphone torch app
Iphone torch app
Using an iphone torch

These are just a few ways to use your smartphone for your DIY.

If you have any more ways that use your smartphone for your DIY projects, please email me at thehandymancentral@gmail.com

How to paint your house exterior

How to paint your house exterior

Painting your house exterior is one of the easiest ways to spruce up your home and add value.

Painting your house exterior yourself will save you mega bucks. Labor is the expensive part of painting.

A professional painter will charge around $50.00 per hour for labor, and the average total for a exterior paint job starts around $2500.

You can do many of the painting preparation work yourself, saving a lot of money. And if you have done all the preparation, why not finish the job and paint the house yourself.

It is a huge job to paint your home, but breaking it down into smaller steps is the way to go.

Follow the steps below and you will be able to paint your home with confidence.

preparation – clean & inspect your home exterior

Clean the exterior of your house with a pressure washer and inspect for any damage that needs repairing.Pressure washer to clean your home exterior

Remove and replace any rotten or decaying timber. Fill any holes or cracks with an exterior grade filler.

Remove any loose or flaking paint and sand any timber that has been exposed to the weather.

Tip – Get a power sander, we found it cheaper to buy a sander than to hire one, and have used it for other projects since buying it.

Different materials used on your exterior require different preparation.

Timber exteriors

As above, clean exterior and remove any loose or flaking paint. Repair any rotten timber or holes and cracks. Then give it a good sand with a power sander and clean off sanding dust.

Render, stucco and concrete exteriors

Render or concrete exteriors always require preparation before painting. New render or concrete must be allowed to cure for a minimum of 28 days before painting. Previous finishes on old render or concrete will need to be removed and sometimes special primers or sealants applied before you can paint. Fill and fix any holes, cracks or chips

Metal exteriors

Rust or damaged areas are the main concern when prepping metal exteriors for painting. After cleaning and repairing any damage give the metal a light sand to provide a key for the paint to bind to. A metal primer is required for any bare or new metal prior to painting. Never apply oil based paint directly to bare metal as the finish won’t last very long.

Vinyl cladding

Plastic or vinyl cladding is usually easy to clean with a sugar of soap and water. Once it is cleaned and any repairs made vinyl cladding can be painted.

Previously painted exteriors

If you’re freshening up your exterior or just changing the color to something more appealing, you should test the current paint finish. Scour the paint finish in several places with a sharp knife and apply adhesive tape to the cut. Remove the tape quickly and if any paint comes away the paint will need to be stripped or sanded back to  a solid paint finish.

Flaking or peeling paint

Paint that is flaking or peeling can be caused by several reasons. Moisture may be getting in behind the painted surface through cracks or condensation. If condensation is a problem, install vents to improve the air flow.

Or the paint may be exposed to the elements  for long periods of sunlight or heat. Dark colors are also more likely to flake or peel as they retain more heat from the sunlight.

When you have determined the cause of the flaking paint and repaired the cause. Remove any flaking or peeling paint with a scraper and heat gun and sand edges down to a smooth surface.

Mould

Mould can be removed from your exterior with a solution of 1 part bleach with 3 parts water. Apply the mixture to the surface with a scourer pad and leave for 15 minutes, then rinse off with water. It may take several applications to remove the mould.

Which paint is best, water based or oil based

For exteriors a water based paint is the preferred paint these days.

Water based paint retain their color better and last longer as oil based paints yellow and become brittle when they age.

Cleaning up brushes and rollers is much easier when using water based paints.

how much paint will you need for the exterior of your home

A gallon of paint will cover approx. 300 sq ft.

To work out your sq ft, measure the length and times it by the height.

For example a wall that is 10 ft high by 30 ft wide will equal 300 sq ft and will use a gallon of paint to cover this area.

Allow an extra 10% to 20% extra to insure you have enough paint for the job.

tools required to spruce up your home exterior

Painting your house exterior doesn’t require many tools, brushes and rollers, scraper and ladder are the bare essentials. Better quality tools do help make your painting job easier.

Depending on the size of your house will determine what size ladder you’ll need, a single storey house on level ground will only require a 12 ft ladder.

Paint brushes for painting your home exteriorFor cutting in around windows and doors a 2″ sash brush is required. A 4″ brush for larger areas and a 12″ roller and roller pan for the smoother wider areas. An extension pole for your roller is always handy for high areas.

Extra paint tins or buckets.

Tools for preparation include a scraper, heat gun, sander, chalking gun and a pressure washer.

Tip – Keep 2 brushes when painting in the summer, keep one in a bucket of water while using the other one. Swap them over to prevent paint drying in the brush.

Check out my post on basic tools for handymen and women HERE

Plan your painting job

Always paint from the high areas down, large areas then smaller detail areas. Windows and doors should be painted in the morning, giving them time to dry before having to close them for the night.

Avoid painting in direct sunlight, as it may cause lap marks or blistering paint. When painting in direct sunlight, paint smaller sections to keep a wet edge and avoid lap marks.

Windy days can cause pint to dry to quick and may blow dirt into fresh paint and don’t paint if there is a chance of rain.

Cover areas you don’t want paint on with cover sheets.

How to paint

All paint needs to be stirred to mix the color through completely.

When the paint has been mixed, decant a small amount into a easy to handle paint pot. Fill about 2″ of paint into the paint pot for cutting in.

Dip your brush into the paint and tap the brush on the side of the paint pot to remove excess paint then lay on paint to the surface. The aim is to get the paint on the surface as quickly as possible, then smooth the paint out once you have a good covering. Only paint an area big enough that you have time to smooth it out and continue to lay on paint along the wet edge.

If you don’t follow the wet edge, you’ll end up with lap marks.

To get a smooth finish use long sweeping strokes, working toward the painted area and lifting the brush while finishing the paint stroke over the wet edge.

Use doors, windows and natural breaks like siding lines to break large areas into manageable sections. When painting siding boards, paint 3 or 4 boards at a time from one end to the other,

Learning to paint with either hand will help with fatigue and will extend your reach when on a ladder.

Check out this video on painting the exterior of your home HERE

Results

If you have prepped your surface well and used the techniques outlined in this post, your freshly painted house exterior shouldn’t need painting for about 10 years. Annual maintenance of your exterior will also help prolong your paint job.

Want a easy sideline to earn more money, checkout this post “How to set up an online T shirt shop”

Build a chicken coop

How to build a playhouse for the kids

Build a playhouse

We show you how to build a playhouse for the kids to have fun in. What tools and materials you’ll need to build a playhouse.

Tools Required

Hammer                    Tape Measure                   Pencil                    Set Square                    Spade                         Spirit Level                         Saw                        String Line                Sliding Bevel            Drill & Bits                           Tin Snips

Materials needed

Timber for flooring and framing and cladding.

Roofing tin

Concrete

first step

The first step when planning to build a playhouse, is to decide what type of playhouse you want and where to put it.

Do you want a playhouse on ground level or a multi level playhouse. Will the playhouse be for adventure or playing house, below are a couple of examples.

Decide on a site that is slightly shady as this will keep the temperature down during the summer months.

Second step

Draw up a plan or buy a plan for the type of cubby house you decide to build for the kids. There are many websites you can get free plans for cubby houses, some of these are the major hardware stores DIY sections an example is here  http://builditsupplies.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/46-Build-a-Cubby-House.pdf

Many of the DIY cubby house plans from the major hardware stores include a cutting list and a list of tools required for the project.

Once you have your plans the next step is to start your building.

Woodworking app
Need to convert mm to inches? Get this woodworking app NOW!
third step

Start building your cubby house. The foundation and floor should be the first to be built.

Set out the playhouse using profiles (profiles are timber pegs to attached your string line to) and a string line. Measure from corner to corner to check that the foundation and floor are square.

Without proper foundations, your playhouse may not be stable and you don’t want to have any safety issues when your children are playing in the playhouse.

Once your foundations are set, build your cubby house floor because this will give you a flat, level area to work. You can use either floor boards or floor sheeting for the flooring, generally sheet is the more economical way to go.

Watch this video for one of the best methods for building a cubby house I have seen.

I would like to thank Bill for allowing me to show his great video in this post.

fourth step

You can build all your wall frames on your floor for the cubby house as you would have seen in the video above.

Cut all your timber for your wall frames and assemble it on the cubby house floor with hammer and nails.

Mark your top and bottom plate where the studs are to go as this will make it easier to nail together.

Add extra timber to the frames where you are going to put the windows and doors.

Remember measure twice, cut once! Materials are expensive, check measurements before cutting any timber.

Fifth step

When you have all your wall frames completed, you have to stand them up. Start with the back wall and brace it once you have it up. Then stand the side walls and finish with the front wall.

Screw the wall frames to the floor as you stand them up and nail each frame to the other frames.

sixth step

The roofing structure is the next step which will stabilize the wall frames and give you somewhere to screw the roofing to.

Attach battens to your cubby house rafters to support the roofing material.

Your roofing material can be either nail or screwed down, depending on the material you are using.

seventh step

It is time to put the cladding onto your cubby house. Cladding may be made of many different materials.

You could use weatherboards or vinyl siding or sheeting. You can paint the cladding or leave it in its natural state depending on your preference.

If you have a multi level playhouse you can now add the ladder, slide and climbing wall or whatever else you want to have on the cubby house.

The final steps are putting the doors and widows into the cubby house and having a cubby house warming party.

Once again I would like to thank Billshowto for allowing me to link his video to this post.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have enjoy this post.

Build a chicken coop