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    DIY -- Tools of the Trade Explained

    Discussion in 'MFK Articles' started by Pharaoh, Nov 18, 2009.

    1. Pharaoh

      Pharaoh epitome of obsession
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      Many people come to the DIY section interested to build their own setup or aquarium feature, but state that they wouldn’t even know where to start. Well……this is where you will start.

      DIY projects can range from building a simple 2x4 framed stand, a finished stand, canopies, custom tanks or putting in the drip system or overflow that you have always wanted.




      Additional input is always welcome, but I would like to keep this thread clean. Please do not be upset if your info is placed into the sticky and your post gets deleted.


      Thanks,
      Pharaoh
       
    2. Pharaoh

      Pharaoh epitome of obsession
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      Standard/Cordless Drill
      - This is one of the first tools that you should have in your tool arsenal. This does the majority of the work on my projects when drilling holes and installing screws.

      Hammer Drill
      - Hammer drills come into use when you are drilling through very hard materials such as concrete. these have a slower rotation speed with a combined impact ability allowing you to break through hard surfaces.

      Drill Press
      - This is a stationary drill that allows you to drill precise holes on a repetitive basis. These can come in handy for drilling awkward holes in PVC for example.
       
    3. Pharaoh

      Pharaoh epitome of obsession
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      Drill Bits
      - Drill bits come in many different styles and sizes. Drill bits are made from different materials according to what type of material you will be drilling through, such as black oxide, carbide, or diamond coated.

      Countersink Bits
      -Countersink bits allow you to drill a hole as well as drill out a larger portion of the hole to account for the screw head. With this, you can have your screw flush or just below the surface of the wood.

      Wood/Acrylic Hole Saws
      - These are the standard hole saws that people see in the hardware store. They can be used to drill holes in wood or acrylic for items such as bulkhead fittings and plumbing through the stand.

      Glass Hole Saws
      - The idea behind a Glass hole saw is the same as with the wood/acrylic hole saw, but it is used to cut through glass. Notice the flat edge and diamond coating that is designed for glass.

      Step Drills
      - Step Drills are generally used when drilling through thin metal surfaces. the allow you to quickly drill the hole to the desired size without changing bits.

      Kreg Jig
      - This is a great item to have if you are doing a lot of finish carpentry. These sets allow you to drill precisely angled holes in the edges of wood in order to attach via screw from the inside. This eliminates having to use a lot of wood plugs and wood filler when screwing something together.
       
    4. Pharaoh

      Pharaoh epitome of obsession
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      Hand Saw
      - Old fashioned tool for cutting wood. Not many of these around these days, but if you're up for a little arm workout, this is the tool for you.

      Chop Saw
      -The style linked is used for cutting metal tubing and the like. Gives you a consistent, repeatable cut at specified angles.

      Miter Saw
      - This saw comes in handy working with lumber. Almost a necessity when it comes to building stands. I typically use my miter saw to cut my PVC lengths when plumbing.

      Table Saw
      - Perfect tool for ripping down plywood for stands. Generally able to handle full 4x8 sheets of wood. Will ensure you get a great cut that is repeatable and right on the numbers.

      Circular Saw
      - Saw used to make strait cuts on boards such as plywood or 2x4s. Not as accurate as a table saw for boards, but can be a staple if you don't have the room for a table saw and use a guide to ensure precision.

      Jig Saw/Saber Saw
      - This saw will come in handy when you are cutting holes in tops of stands. I have used one multiple times to make holes for bulkheads and plumbing.

      Reciprocating Saw (Sawzall)
      - This is the absolute demolition saw. I can't count how many times I've needed one of these. Useful for tearing out plumbing as well. I speak from experience on this one.

      Band Saw
      - Just another option for cutting those awkward patters or corners. This saw gives you a bit of an advantage when making repetitive specialty cuts.

      Scroll Saw
      - Used for cutting intricate designs. Not typocially found in most of your average DIY builds. Although, there are a few threads where members took it to the next level.

      Radial Arm Saw

      - Not found in most homes, but if you have one at your disposal, you understand the beauty of these bad boys. These will make super quick work of cutting boards for you build.
       
    5. Pharaoh

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      Belt Sander
      - Belt sanders are great for quick removal and trim-down of wood. Work well for those nasty high spots or point that aren't exactly level.

      Orbital Sander
      - Random orbital sanders can be set up to sand very quickly or very smoothly, with the added advantage that the random action will leave very few sanding marks on the finish.

      Bench-top Sander

      - Depending on the pad chosen, these sanders will allow you do cut down or smooth up just about anything that you can hold in you hands. Great for doing that last little touch up to make things fit.

      Hand-held Grinder
      - The handheld grinder is such a tool that makes the chisel seem obsolete. The handheld grinder can be used to accomplish many different tasks in metal working, including grinding welds.

      Bench-top Grinder
      - Depending on the grade of the grinding wheel it may be used for sharpening cutting tools such as lathe tools or drill bits. Alternatively it may be used to roughly shape metal prior to welding or fitting.
       
    6. Pharaoh

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      Standard Router
      - A router is a woodworking tool used to rout out (hollow out) an area in the face of a piece of wood.

      Plunge Router
      - The plunge router is used for routed areas that begin in the middle of the wood, as opposed to starting at the end or edge of the wood. Most standard routers have available plunge kits that turns your standard router into a plunge router.
       
    7. Pharaoh

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      Standard Bar Clamp
      -A bar clamp can also be used when screwing or nailing two pieces of wood together. A properly placed bar clamp makes it possible for the user to hold the pieces of wood in place while working on them.

      Corner Clamp
      - A corner clamp is used for holding two pieces of wood at a 90* angle in order while screwing or nailing to obtain that perfect corner.
       
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      Standard Bubble Level
      -A spirit level or bubble level is an instrument designed to indicate whether a surface is level or plumb.

      Laser Level
      -Laser levels are built into bubble levels and are also available in a separate form. A laser line is projected to give you that ultimate level of precision when leveling tanks, stands and any other project on your table.
       
    9. Pharaoh

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      Standard Caulking Gun
      - Standard tool for laying beads of caulk. Ratcheting action and plunger allow you to use the larger tubes of caulk.

      Power Caulking Gun

      - Super efficient way to put down caulk. Saves you from the nasty hand cramps.

      Caulking Spreader
      - I saw this little guy on an infomercial and thought this would be perfect for making that professional seam when resealing or building a glass tank. They're a bit pricey, but I'm sure you could DIY something similar.
       
    10. Pharaoh

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      Brad Nailer
      - A brad nailer works well for using making quick work of tacking items in place or installing finish trim. These come in really handy when you are just trying to hold a piece in place while you screw it down.
       

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