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

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

Drywall hole fix

Drywall damage

Fixing a hole in drywall is a skill all handy people should develop. We’ll show you how to fix damage drywall from a small ding to a large hole.

Before you start your repair, determine what tools and products you will need to complete the repair.

Tools and products

Tools you will require for drywall repairs are Stanley knife, paint scraper, drywall saw, sanding block and painting equipment. These can be added to your basic tool kit, check out our post on basic tools a handyman needs below.

Products you will need for fixing your drywall are plaster or gap filler, drywall tape and paint.

Small hole fix

To fix small holes up to 20mm made by picture hooks or scratches, you’ll only need some filler and spatula plus a small brush and paint.

First sand the hole to remove any protruding edges, rub your hand over the hole to check. Then wipe with cloth to remove any dust prior to adding filler to hole.

Now put a small amount of filler on your spatula and apply the filler with the spatula at a 45 degree angle to the hole. Then hold the spatula at a 90 degree angle and scrap away excess filler. Leave for about half an hour to dry.

Lightly sand the repair once dry and wipe away any dust with a cloth. Apply a light coat of paint to the repair and feather the edges to the surrounding area. It’s better to apply multiple light coats of paint than a single heavy coat.

Quick Tip: 

For pin hole repairs all you need is a bar of soap. Rub the bar of soap over the hole and this will fill until next time your painting and you can use filler to fix before painting.

Medium hole fix

For holes between 30mm – 50mm caused by door handles or the like.

You’ll need a utility knife, sandpaper with sanding block, fiberglass drywall mesh, spatula, filler and painting equipment.

Use your utility knife to remove any torn paper or crumbly edges and the sand the area smooth. Wipe away any dust with a cloth.

Apply a piece of drywall mesh tape to the hole and push in slightly. You may need a more than 1 piece of tape.

Push filler into the mesh and hole with spatula until the hole is completely covered. Smooth filler to remove any excess filler and allow to dry. For deep holes, apply in multiple layers allowing each layer to dry. Feather out the filler 20mm out from the hole.

Using your sanding block smooth the filler and check for any low areas that may require more filler. When repair is flush with surrounding area, wipe away dust with a cloth and your ready to paint.

Apply 2 or 3 light coats of paint feathering out the edges to blend into the surrounding wall.

Online side hustle for free

Big hole fix

Big holes up to 120mm, you’ll need a piece of drywall, filler, joint tape, 120-grit sand paper, utility knife, drywall saw and paint scraper. Paint and a paint roller and tray.

Quick tip

To make small patches of drywall, use your utility knife to score 1 side of the drywall and then snap the board along the score mark.

Cut a piece of drywall slightly larger than the hole to be repaired, this will be the plug. Put the piece over the hole and make around the piece with a pen. Now saw diagonally into the corners from the hole. With your utility knife, bevel the edge of the square hole to allow room for filler. Check for any obstacles behind the drywall.

You’ll need another 2 pieces of drywall the width of the hole and twice as high as the hole as backing boards. Coat each of these pieces with filler and apply to the backside of the drywall hole each covering a 1/3 of the hole and allow to dry.

After an hour you can coat the drywall plug with filler and push onto the backing boards in the hole, wiping away any excess filler. Leave to dry for an hour. 

Now coat the drywall repair with filler and add tape to the repair, spreading the filler out around the repair. Scrap away any excess filler and allow to dry for an hour.

Once the filler is dried, sand the area with 120-grit sand paper, wipe away dust and paint the repair with a light coat of paint. 

For big hole repairs you are best off painting the whole wall to finish off the repair without a patchy finish.

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