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These tools secure items to each other while they are being glued or nailed together. C-clamps hold items steady by securing them to a workbench and offer the firmest grip; spring clamps work like clothespins and are good for jobs with smaller items.
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Stock up on nails, screws, eye and cup hooks, bolts, wingnuts, plastic anchors, screw eyes, wall anchors, thumbtacks, and picture-hanging wire. Keep each separate, sorted in an organizer with small compartments.
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For most tasks, 9.6 volts will do; for heavy-duty jobs, such as drilling into brick, choose a 12-volt model. A keyless chuck (the mechanism that allows for changing bits) is convenient. One downside to a cordless drill iss that it's heavier than a corded model.
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This tool tells you when something is prefectly straight. Move it around until the bubbles balance inside; that's how you know where the straight line lies. A carpenters' level can identify 45-degree angles, but a torpedo is tiny enough to fit in small spaces.
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Dedicate a pair of standard scissors to the toolbox so you won't ruin the house-hold pair. For more detailed jobs, use a utility knife with a retractable blade; choose one that can be locked, so it won't be likely to pop out of place while you are in the middle of cutting.
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The best material for a straightedge is metal, because wood and plastic tend to get nicked by cutting blades and are more easily scratched. Use a 25-food-long measuring tape to calculate longer distances.
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Model weights vary, but a 16-ounce hammer is the standard option. If your hammer is too heay, you might bend nails; too light, and you might have to use extra strokes to drive them in. For comfort and a good grip, look for a style with a rubber handle.
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Use slip-joint pliers for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts (a too-tight nut, however, calls for a wrench). You'll also need a needlenose pair, perfect for twisting wire. In addition, the thin tips on the pincers are useful for working in a cramped space.
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A multihead tool has interchangeable tips, which saves space. One with "ratchet action" means that you won't have to rese thte tool after each turn. Four regular screwdrivers are also adequate: a small and a large each of the flathead and Phillips models.
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The primary purpose of this tool is for smoothing over putty, mendnig plaster, and the like. However, it can also function as a scraper, for peeling away loose paint and caked-on glue. Opt for one that has a 1 1/2-to 3-inch-long blade.
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Use this versatile tool to install screens, attach upholstery, and cover objects with fabric (such as a bulletin board). Pick a small- or medium-size version; it will fit well in a toolbox and is easier to handle than larger models.
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One with a 15-inch steel blade is long enough for a variety of tasks and short neough to fir in many tool kits. Look for "general purpose" on the label, which means the saw cuts both with and against the grain.
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Wear protective glasses when working with harmful chemicals or sawing. Leather gloves prevent blisters and injury, and also improve your grip for jobs such as carrying firewoods; latex gloves are handy when working with paint and grease.
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There's no need to purchase an entire wrench set when you've got an adjustable one, with a movable lower jaw that can be adapted for almost any job. Use it to loosen bolts that are too tight (pliers tend to strip them) and to assemble furniture, toys, and bikes.
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Add these items to your tool kit: a pencil, a flashlight, for repairs in dark spaces; a selection of sandpaper, for smoothing edges; felt pads, for preventing scratches underneath items; and a bottle of adhesive items; and a bottle of adhesive remover, for eliminating tape and glue residue. Keep carpenter's glue on hand for wood and paper. Tapes in 1- to 2-inch widths are invaluable as well, in cluding masking; painter's; duct, for holding items together temporarily; and electrical, for wrapping wires and cables.