All Contents in Tools & Workshop (A-Z)

Tools & Workshop Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows

  • "DIY True Value Stories"
    True Value launches a Facebook web series chronicling the progress of its three DIY contest winners.   Thick black pa...
  • 10 Great Tools to Give Your Recent Grad
    Equip the recent graduate in your life with the tools necessary for life in the real world—and we don't mean that metaphorically!
  • 10 Great Woods for Woodworking
    Woodworking pro, Spike Carlsen, shares his pick for the top ten best woodworking woods, along with the characteristics, best uses and cost range for each.
  • 10 Surprisingly Simple Woodworking Projects for Beginners
    Woodworking doesn’t have to be daunting! Most of these fun, novice-friendly projects use scrap lumber and require just basic tools and some simple instructions. Tackle one, and we guarantee you'll be itching to take on another.
  • 10 Tools for Your Apartment That You Never Thought You'd Need
    While renters don't need to worry things like the furnace or lawn, they are not safe from all maintenance woes. Here are ten tools to keep your digs in good shape.
  • 11 Things to Know Before Visiting the Lumber Yard
    Choosing the right wood for a home improvement project can be tricky for experienced woodworkers and novice DIYers alike. Luckily, knowing a few key lumber facts can make it easier to select the right woods for a whole range of projects—from framing to decking to furniture making. What is the real difference between hardwood and softwood? What does a wood's grade say about it? Which is more durable, pressure-treated lumber or composite decking? Should you opt for plywood or oriented strand board? Before you choose a wood for your next home project, understand the wood's benefits and drawbacks. Here are 11 facts you should know before you buy lumber for your next DIY.
  • 17 Brands Born and Loved in the U.S.A.
    In honor of the Fourth of July, we decided to recognize some popular made-in-America brands. From garage doors to blankets to exterior paints, these companies are committed to providing sustainable jobs and fair industry practices. They are also dedicated to producing the best quality products in their categories. So go ahead—shop American!
  • 17 Reasons You Need a Good Multi-Tool
    We’d all like a little more time. Unfortunately, you can’t buy it. You can, however, save some time as you go about y...
  • 3 Products for Mounting Your Tablet Device
    Tablets are designed to be functional as well as beautifull, so why not display your iPad as if it were an art work, ...
  • 3 Top Apps to Help You Plan a Remodel
    Are your project plans hidden in piles of folders, each overflowing with clips, notes, and paint chips? You can save ...
  • 5 Basement Workshop Essentials
    You’re probably thinking I’m about to list my all-star tool picks. Nope. My five must-haves for a basement workshop h...
  • 5 Easy Ways to Contain Sawdust and Drill Debris
    In the spring, summer, and fall at our house, we're pretty active cyclists—for recreation, exercise, and transportati...
  • 5 Home Improvement Apps for Your iPad
    Big, clunky metal toolboxes are so 20th century. These days you can fit rulers, levels, manuals and even a whole squa...
  • 5 Tips for Successful DIY from DIY Network Star Amy Matthews
    Amy Matthews offers tips on using recycled and salvaged materials and advises DIYers on best ways to complete a successful remodeling project.
  • 5 Top Tool Apps for Your iPhone
    The number of tool apps on the market leaves smartphone-equipped DIYers with few excuses for putting off projects. Si...
  • 5 Ways to Get Perfect, Clean Cuts in Plywood
    Plywood sheet goods are an essential in any home improvement project involving wood. But due to their layered structu...
  • 6 Beginner Ways to Use a Woodworking Router
    Any woodworker is well-acquainted with the router's myriad uses. The tool comes in handy for many projects around the house, both functional and decorative. It's a great power tool to own because it is portable and can be used for a range of cutting, trimming, and shaping tasks on wood, plastic, metal, and laminates. Indeed, many woodworkers consider the router to be the single most versatile woodworking power tool in their arsenal. At its most basic, a router is used to “rout out,” or hollow out, a hole or groove in a piece of wood, metal, or plastic, producing finished edges, cutaways, curved contours, and precise holes. Routers are frequently the go-to tool for cabinetry and decorative molding. There are literally hundreds of router bits available, all designed for different patterns and uses. Here are a few of the most common applications for a router.
  • 7 Essential Measuring Tools for Any Job
    Besides "righty tighty, lefty loosey," there's one DIY phrase that nearly anyone can recite: Measure twice, cut once....
  • 7 Essential Woodworking Tools
    A few key tools and considerations bear discussion. Tape Measure.  When it comes to marking and measuring and laying ...
  • 7 Not-to-be-Missed Pumpkin Festivals Around the Country
    Celebrate the joys of the season at one of these fun, family-friendly pumpkin festivals—and see how you might find one closer to home.
  • 8 "Unbreakable" Radios Ready for the Work Site
    As you drive screws and hammer nails, crank your favorite tunes on a durable, portable radio specially designed to weather the dusty, jolting, and sweaty rigors of home improvement.
  • 9 Handy Uses for Your Cordless Drill/Driver
    Some folks swear by their wet saws for cutting tile, while others couldn’t bear to part with their trim router. But there's at least one power tool that any DIYer worth his salt keeps within reach and uses at least weekly—the cordless drill and driver. It’s portable and can be used for everything from hanging pictures to framing a house. But to those in the know, a cordless drill can help out with plenty of other tasks as well. Its rotating motor and adjustable chuck mean you can insert all kinds of things and make them spin—and this flexibility, it turns out, can be quite handy. Here are 9 new ways to use a cordless drill/driver.
  • A "Young House Love" Affair
    Sherry Petersik is glowing. Her husband John is nearby. Baby Clara, one of the cutest child co-stars of the blogging ...
  • A Conversation with Amy Matthews
    [Editor's Note:  Bob Vila's interview with Amy Matthews took place the day before she was expecting to deliver her ba...
  • A Conversation with Bob Tedeschi: "The Pragmatist"
    [Editor's Note: Bob Tedeschi has a deep, diverse and celebrated journalistic background, having covered everything fr...
  • A Tape Measure with a Story
    This old tape measure follows me around everywhere.   My father gave it to me, and it does the trick.   Sure, it’s a ...
  • Add a Decorative Touch to Your Woodworking Shop
    There's no reason why your woodworking shop can't be easy on the eyes, outside and in. The one pictured above was cre...
  • All About Calipers
    Calipers and their near relations, the compass and dividers, have been in use at least since Roman times. While their...
  • All About Glass Cutters
    The glass cutter is a clever tool about the size of a pencil. Its han­dle, whether made of wood, metal, or plastic, a...
  • All About Miter Boxes
    A miter box made of wood (usually beech) or plastic is an inexpensive way of making sure the finish cuts you make wit...
  • All-Weather Scribbling: Rite in the Rain
    Tech is great, but a lot of times tech can’t cut it, especially mobile technology. Thus, a fool and his smartphone ar...
  • App Review: DIY Kids
    Social media doesn’t have to be an inactive activity. DIY. org is a good example of social media that works best when...
  • App Review: Houzz Interior Design Ideas
    Let’s say you love Asian home design. There are plenty of places you could turn for design inspiration. But Houzz. co...
  • Band Saw
    Some cabinetmakers of distinction assert that the band saw is the single most important stationary tool in the worksh...
  • Band Saw Safety
    This is a powerful cutting tool and must be used with proper respect and care. The Saw Table. Keep it clear of debris...
  • Basic Grinding 101
    I've never seen the guy so angry: His wife used a favorite chisel to open a paint can and my friend Dominick took it ...
  • Become a BobVila.com Forum Moderator!
    Do you work as an architect, contractor, or interior designer? Or are you a diehard DIYer? For friends and family mem...
  • Belt Sander
    The belt sander always seems to be in a hurry. When fitted with a coarse paper, it will sand away dense layers of pai...
  • Bench Dogs
    The only thing canine about a bench dog is that, in a sense, it's like a tooth protruding from a jaw. A bench dog is ...
  • Bench Furniture
    Whether your workbench has a working surface the size of a sheet of plywood or one that more nearly resembles the sch...
  • Bench Planes
    Bench planes are a loosely linked category of flat-bottomed planes. The cutting irons are usually set at a forty-five...
  • Bevel Gauge
    A near relation of the try square, the bevel gauge also consists of a handle or stock with an attached tongue (or bla...
  • Bit of Knowledge: Choosing the Right Drill Bit for the Job
    Drill bits are designed to do one thing: make holes in stuff. That is, except when they are intended to drive hardwar...
  • Blog Stars: In the Workshop
    DIYDiva Kit Stansley They are the heroes of their own dramatic real-life home makeovers. They save buildings from de...
  • Bob Tedeschi's 5 Tips for DIY Beginners
    During a recent interview with The New York Times columnist Bob Tedeschi, a. k. a. "The Pragmatist," I asked if he ha...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Adhesives
    To get the job done right, you need stick-to-it-iveness. Here’s how to choose the right glue for your next woodworkin...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Basic Saw Cuts
    One way to dress up a room is by installing new woodwork around doors or windows, or putting in new crown molding or ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Circular Saw Safety
    Although circular saws are one of the most useful tools you can have in your toolbox, they can also be one of the mos...
  • Bob Vila Radio: DIY Dolly
    The next time you need to move something big and heavy in the workshop or around the house, save your back and build ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Dowel Joinery Tips
    Here’s a technique professional carpenters use to conceal screws in fine woodworking projects: use wooden plugs. List...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Drill Drivers
    Did you know the right drill bit can make or break the job?LISTENListen to BOB VILA ON DRILL DRIVERS, or read text be...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Handsaws
    With all the great power saws available today, the lowly handsaw has kind of faded into the background. But there are...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Headlamps
    Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing)...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Hearing Protection
    If you’re exposed to it long enough, any noise level above eighty-five decibels—like what you’d hear on a busy city s...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Installing Toggle Bolts
    Installing wall hooks or fasteners into plaster walls isn't difficult—that is, if you use the right approach. Probabl...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Installing Versatile Pegboard
    Perforated hardboard, more commonly known as pegboard, has been a staple of workshops and retail stores for decades. ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Ladders
    If your last-minute fall chores have you climbing a ladder, here are some tips to save time and stay safe up there. L...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Left-Handed Tools
    If there's a leftie on your gift list this season, they might appreciate a tool or two that's meant for them. Listen ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Levels
    Do you want to make sure that shelf you’re putting up is really on the level? Then you need. . . well, a level. Level...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Lithium-Ion Batteries
    Cordless power tools, and now lithium-ion batteries, have revolutionized the home improvement world. But anyone who’s...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Lumber Grades
    If you feel a bit confused when you walk down the lumber aisle in your local home store, you’re not alone. For a basi...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Nail Sets
    If you have stubborn nails that pop out of your floorboards, or you need a way to get a finishing nail flush against ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Plumb Bob
    A plumb bob is an amazingly simple tool, basically just a pointed weight on a string. But whether you’re putting up a...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Power Drill
    A power drill does more than just drill holes. With different attachments, it also drives screws, turns a sander, or ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Pulling Nails
    You may be pretty good at swinging a hammer to drive in a nail, but there are plenty of do-it-yourself jobs that will...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Reciprocating Saw Safety
    Reciprocating saws—the ones with a motor and a thin, straight blade that juts back and forth—are one of the most usef...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Rust Removal
    Reviving rusty metal tools or furniture is a great indoor winter project, and there are three ways to remove rust. Li...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Screw Starter
    Many small home improvement projects start with drilling a pilot hole. (That’s a small hole that prepares a material ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Screwdrivers
    When it comes to screwdrivers, make sure you're using the right one for the job. LISTENListen to BOB VILA ON SCREWDRI...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Squares
    One tool that should definitely be in any do-it-yourselfer’s toolbox is a good carpenter's square. A square helps you...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Stripped Screws
    Inserting or removing a screw is one of the simplest jobs there is. But a stripped screw head can turn a simple job i...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tape Measure
    I can barely think of a home improvement job that doesn’t require a tape measure! Whether you’re framing a new room o...
  • Bob Vila Radio: The Saber Saw
    For a saw that’s great on the curves, no workshop is complete without a good saber saw. CM_BVILANOTES-4 Tool Tip- Sab...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tips on Cutting Plywood
    Plywood is a versatile product great for lots of building projects. Cutting it can be a little tricky, however, as th...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Belts
    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a tool belt is just for pros! Even if you’re just doing quick jobs around the...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Circular Saws
    If those holiday gift cards are burning a hole in your pocket, a good circular saw is something you really shouldn't ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Clamps
    In carpentry, the first key to a good joint is proper clamping. The clamp is responsible for pulling together the pie...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Flashlights
    Save your eyes and shed a little light on the job you’re doing with the right flashlight. LED flashlights are illumin...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Laser Level
    No workshop should be without levels in various lengths, but for lines longer than 3' or 4', traditional bubble level...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Nail Guns
    As time-saving tools go, it's hard to beat the pneumatic nailer; aka the nail gun. But before you run out to get one ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Pliers
    The tool we think of as pliers only evolved from “tongs” fairly recently, but it’s hard to imagine life without a var...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Power Sanders
    Good sanding can make or break a woodworking project, so every do-it-yourselfer should have a power sander in the wor...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Ratchet Sets
    Tool sets are popular gifts, but none is more useful for the home and garage handyperson than a really good ratchet s...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Sandpaper
    Despite its name, sandpaper isn’t made of sand, and often doesn’t even involve paper. Listen to BOB VILA ON SANDPAPER...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Staple Gun
    It's a ‘staple’ in every tool and craft kit, it can save you lots of time banging tacks or nails, and it can get into...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Table Saw
    You don't have to undertake too many do-it-yourself woodworking projects to understand that a table saw is a must-hav...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Tin Snips
    Don't wreck a good pair of scissors trying to cut metal; you need a good pair of tin snips. Listen to BOB VILA ON TIN...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip - Toolboxes
    Most home improvement projects require at least some moving around from place to place with tools, and that can get t...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip: Claw Hammers
    It’s been in every tool belt since the 16th century. The claw hammer is a must-have for driving and removing nails an...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Top Tools
    Not every homeowner needs a workshop full of professional tools, but there are a few basics you should have if you pl...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Types of Chisels
    Chisels are sharp-edged metal tools used to cut stone, wood, or metal, and they have a spectacularly long lineage. In...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Types of Screws
    There are many different types of screws, and each kind has its own job to do. Before you make the first turn of the ...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Wood Glue Types
    There are several adhesives that can hold pieces of wood together without screws or nails. The cheapest and most comm...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Woodworking Chisels
    No woodworker’s toolbox is complete without a set of chisels. If you’re just getting started on do-it-yourself woodwo...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Woodworking Tips
    Even experienced carpenters make mistakes, especially when they're cutting a lot of different pieces. Listen to BOB V...
  • Bob Vila Radio: Wrench Roundup
    When you have to tighten a nut, bolt, or other standard fastener, you need a wrench. But what kind?Listen to BOB VILA...
  • Bob Vila's 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Tool Lover
    Whether you're looking for a stocking stuffer or a gift to slip under the tree, our top tool picks will help you shop for the tool-loving handyman or woman in your life.
  • Bob Vila's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Tool Lover
    If you're stumped at what to buy the tool-lover in your life, never fear — Bob Vila's 2013 Holiday Gift Guides are here!
  • Bob Vila's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Woodworker
    Shopping for the woodworker in your family? Browse our top picks for gifts that will delight beginners and experts alike.
  • Bob Vila's 7 Essential Woodworking Tools
    As any homeowner will attest, there is always something to fix at home. If it involves woodworking, you’ll want to equip your workshop with the right set of tools. Here are 7 essential woodworking tools to get any job done—or on its way.
  • Bob Vila's Toolbox—Now on Your iPad!
    Months in the making and brand new to the App Store, Bob Vila's Toolbox is your ultimate guide to the essentials of r...
  • Bob Vila's Top 5 TV Shows & Movies
    I was amused to see James Marsden geared up in a tool belt on "30 Rock", as his character set about fixing loose floo...
  • Bolts and Screws
    In general, a screw is driven by a screwdriver, alien wrench, or other device whose tip fits into an opening in the h...
  • Books for the Love of Home
    Experts on all things home aren't always confined to hammer and nail. Many have picked up another set of tools altoge...
  • Brad, Jeremy, Harrison and Bob? An Oscar Salute!
    It may strike you as odd for a home improvement web site to publish an Oscar-related blog post, but while Bob Vila is...
  • Builders' Show, Day Three
    Today is my third and last day at the Builder's Show in Orlando, and while I have a bit of "building product" overloa...
  • Builders' Show, Day Two
    Day two at the International Builders' Show in Orlando turned up some more great introductions. I started the day tai...
  • Capturing Your DIY in TimeLapse
    It's a ritual that dates back to cave times—DIYers showing off their proud achievements. 'Before and after' shots are...
  • Carpenter Squares
    Every time I pick up a carpenter's square, it feels familiar. This is one of the practical, substantial tools that al...
  • Choice Apps for Garden Geeks
    Every gardener has a favorite tool. For some, it's a trusty old spade. For others, it's a pair of pruning shears that...
  • Choosing Essential Tools for Woodworking
    Whether starting a workshop from scratch or enhancing an existing one, few woodworkers will come up with the same wor...
  • Clamps
    Clamps, specifically hand-screw, bar, spring, strap, pipe, and C-clamps remain the basic tools on which any workshop ...
  • Closet Workshop
    One frequent complaint of homeowner-handypersons is tool inaccessibility: It's a pain to do even simple jobs if findi...
  • Cold, Masonry and Brick Chisels
    Cold chisels aren't for cold weather; they're for cutting cold, hard metal. A cold chisel will cut any metal that is ...
  • Combination Square
    This tool is essentially an adjustable hand square, with a couple of clever advantages. It consists of a rigid steel...
  • Compressed-Air Tools
    Paint a house, fix a fender, build a deck, shingle a roof, pump air into your car's tires — you can do it all with th...
  • Concrete Blocks: Foundations to Art
    I know what you're thinking—a concrete block. Big deal. But take a look at it. Solidly built. Produced with hollow ce...
  • Creating the Ultimate Garage Workshop
    To some, a garage is much more than a place to park the car and store junk. To the car enthusiast, it is a nerve cent...
  • Cut Nails: Hammering Home Authenticity
    Cut nails bring a bygone air to wood floors, doors, cabinetry, or fencing. With their heads showing on or above the s...
  • DIY Deals: Tools
    At BobVila. com we are dedicated to providing the tools and information necessary to help you with all of your home i...
  • DIY Workbenches: 5 You Can Build in a Weekend
    The workbench is a DIY project's hub. It's where supplies are kept and progress gets made.  Sure, you can buy a workb...
  • DIYdiva Kit Stansley: In the Workshop
    Kit Stansley has a zest for building and a talent for blogging about it. The 5’3,” 115 lb. powertool addict, tackles ...
  • DesignVision: Jenn-Air's New Augmented-Reality App
    Augmented reality (AR)—the ability to overlay digital information over what you see through a lens—is expanding into ...
  • Disk Sander
    Sanding disks are prefabricated disks of abrasive paper. They can be mounted on a variety of tools, including the rad...
  • Do-Good Adventures: 9 Exciting Summer Volunteer Opportunities
    Vacations can be about more than rest and relaxation. Engage your spirit of adventure and sense of civic duty with a vacation that helps those around you. With volunteer vacations that range from performing maintenance on the Appalachian Trail to saving snowy plovers on the beaches of the Central Coast of California to building homes in the wake of disasters, you're sure to find a program to suit almost every interest and skill level. Here are 9 volunteer vacation opportunities around the United States that should inspire you to action.
  • Doweling Jig
    A convenient method of joining boards is a dowel joint. Especially useful when two or more boards are being joined (b...
  • Drawing a Workshop Floor Plan
    Your head is swimming with the challenges presented by the size of your machines, the limitations of the available sp...
  • Drill Bits for Different Jobs
    An electric drill without bits is like a bow without arrows. And the better the bit (or arrow, I suppose), the better...
  • Drill Press
    The drill press is a fixed-in-place version of the simple hand drill with a worktable beneath. A hole at the center o...
  • Drilling with Care
    Drilling isn't difficult and, at least in comparison to sawing, it isn't particularly dangerous. Still, skilled drill...
  • Electric Drills
    The electric drill is about as versatile as a tool can get. It drills holes of many kinds, of course, but it can sand...
  • Feng Shui for the Home with Your iPhone
    Someone once asked me to describe feng shui. I said it was like believing your meal tasted bad, because the food was ...
  • Filing Techniques
    The first time I saw my father cut a piece of stock with a handsaw, he made it look easy. When I tried it, I discover...
  • Finishing Sanders
    Names like orbital sander, pad sander, and oscillating sheet sander are used to identify finishing sanders. You'll fi...
  • Finishing Wood
    Let's talk about the surface of the object you are making. How smooth is it? Are the heads of the nails or screws flu...
  • Fireproof Your Workshop
    It hardly needs to be said, but you should of course do everything you can to reduce the risk of fire in you workshop...
  • Flexible Tape Measures
    Today, the tape measure may be the carpenter's best friend, but in dozens of other trades, too, the tape measure can ...
  • Free-Standing Workshop
    If you're serious about working, you may want to consider building a special structure, or converting an existing one...
  • Freestanding Saws
    In the thoroughly equipped workshop, there are more tools than you could shake a furring strip at. You know the works...
  • Garage Workshop Foundation and Slab
    As with any structure, a new garage foundation plays a crucial role in the integrity of the building above: A quality...
  • Get a Grip: 8 Clamps to Help You Handle Any Project
    Clamps are immensely helpful (even essential) in performing cer­tain tasks. But, which clamp—among the various hand-screw, bar, spring, strap, pipe and C-clamp—is the right one for the project at hand? Here are 8 popular clamps and what they can do when put into service.
  • Get to Work! 15 DIY Workbenches, Craft Counters, and Potting Tables
    Whether you’re a woodworker, gardener, or avid DIYer, you need a comfortable work surface at which to complete your projects. While there are many workbenches, craft tables, and potting centers available for purchase, you can save money and tailor a work space to your needs if you make it yourself. Build a workbench from scratch, or incorporate premade materials like bookshelves, countertops, or cabinets. Repurpose a dresser, or recycle some pallets. Put it on wheels, or fold it into the wall. You can even make it completely portable! The options are truly endless. No matter what kind of projects you do, there’s a DIY work space designed for you. Check out our favorite examples from around the Web.
  • Getting to Know HGTV's "Kitchen Cousins"
    The kitchen has always been considered the most important room in the house, the warm heart of the home. When you add...
  • HGTV Opens the Door to a Beloved 90s Star
    Color us impressed: Best known for her role in the long-running series 90210, Jennie Garth has opened her large-scale...
  • Hammer Time: The Art of Roy Mackey
    As you know from my prior posts, I am as fascinated with tools for their purpose and usefulness as I am for their sha...
  • Hand Squares
    Traditionally the larger metal squares, like the rafter square, were thought of as carpenter's tools. In contrast, sm...
  • Handling Your Hand Saw
    How to Make a Crosscut Crosscuts are cuts that go against the wood grain. Once you've properly measured and marked yo...
  • Household Hints: Vintage Trading Cards with a DIY Theme
    I am a casual collector of vintage paper goods and assorted ephemera. My stash includes vintage dictionaries and ency...
  • How Many Tools Does a Good Multi-Tool Need?
    A century ago, knife-maker Wenger (of Swiss Army Knife fame) started a debate that only got louder in 1983 when Tim L...
  • How To: Build Temporary Scaffolding
    To safely work on your house, use scaffolding that you can build yourself. Nail a three-foot and a five-foot length o...
  • How To: Build a Sawhorse
    The sawhorse is an indispensable piece of work-site furniture. It's part workbench, part scaffold, and now and again ...
  • How To: Choose the Right Saw for the Job
    Muscles or electricity are required to power a saw, but the sawteeth really do the cutting, reducing the fibers of th...
  • How To: Choose the Right Screw for the Right Job
    Back in the day there were just two options, slotted or Phillips. You picked one, picked a length, and were good to g...
  • How To: Clamp a Glue Joint
    A properly glued wood joint is very strong, but one that is glued improperly is likely to fracture given a minimum of...
  • How To: Clean Your Toolbox and Workshop
    While spring is generally considered the month for cleaning windows, airing out the house, reorganizing the cupboards...
  • How To: Cut Straight Lines with a Circular Saw
    Despite its name, the portable circular saw (or any circular saw, for that matter) cuts only straight lines. The name...
  • How To: Distress New Beams for an Century-Old Look
    Creating hundred-year-old beams is an art form that Juan Santos of Emilios' Woodworking has perfected. In the Malibu ...
  • How To: Drill Straight 90° Holes (Without a Drill Press)
    Except in special cases—when you intentionally choose a specific angle or bias—it's important to keep all drill holes...
  • How To: Drill a Clean Hole
    Here's how to drill a hole when you need to see both sides of your work. Drill on the front side of the board until t...
  • How To: Get Clean, Chip-Free Cuts in Melamine and Veneer
    Melamine-coated particleboard is a great material for storage, basement, garage, home office, and kid's room projects...
  • How To: Install European Hinges
    To hang heavy cabinet doors and conceal the hardware, use mortise European-style hinges.  Use a 35-millimeter drill b...
  • How To: Install Pegboard in Your Workshop
    Does it look like a bomb went off in your workshop? Even the best tools are useless if they are nowhere to be found w...
  • How To: Keep Your Tools Accessible
    One of the great advantages of a workshop—as distinct from a tool­box carried to a workplace—is the opportunity to pu...
  • How To: Make Cabinet Doors
    Here's how to dress up an old kitchen with new cabinet doors. Use a fine-grade plywood, such as birch, for the new do...
  • How To: Make Decorative Cuts with Your Jigsaw
    Here's how to cut a decorative design out of the middle of a board. After choosing your design and carefully marking ...
  • How To: Make Homemade Clamps
    Here's an easy way to improvise when you're running out of clamps around the woodworking shop.  After spreading glue,...
  • How To: Make New Wood Look Old
    Here are some tips on how to distress wood, making new lumber look old. First, trim off machined edges with a hatchet...
  • How To: Make a Biscuit Joint
    Here's a way to join two pieces of wood without visible hardware or nails by using oval wooden biscuits.  With a bisc...
  • How To: Make a Deck Rail Planter
    Last year, I was dying to have some deck rail planters to grow spinach and lettuce in, but I couldn’t find any that w...
  • How To: Make a Mitered Corner
    A mitered corner is formed by joining two pieces of wood, each cut to a 45° angle. One of the easier joints to cut, a...
  • How To: Make a Mortise-and-Tenon Joint
    Mortise-and-tenon joints are the preferred style of joint for furniture and cabinetwork. It's strong, durable, and li...
  • How To: Make a Story Pole
    When marking off several measurements of the same size, it's best to make yourself a guide. We call this a story pole...
  • How To: Make a Wood Window Valance
    A decorative wood valance adds charm to your house. You can make one yourself. Here's how. Copy a pattern, or create ...
  • How To: Match End Grain with Side Grain
    As you may recall from science class as a kid, wood is a collection of fibers that run in the same direction. Basical...
  • How To: Pull Nails
    This wooden-handled hammer may look strong enough to pull any nail but because the grain of the wood is actually weak...
  • How To: Remove a Stripped Screw
    It was supposed to be a quick and easy repair. But darn it, one of the screws wouldn't budge, and so by the time you ...
  • How To: Sand Wood
    Sanding is the unsung hero of any project with wood. It can take a long time, and the results are subtle: Sanding doe...
  • How To: Saw Safely
    Every time you use a power saw, you put your very own flesh and blood at risk. I've worked with more contractors than...
  • How To: Snap a Chalk Line
    Using a chalk line is a quick way to give yourself a straight line as a building guide. Here's how. Find the endpoint...
  • How To: Spring Clean Your Power Tools
    Like everything with moving parts—your car, your computer, your body—your power tools will last longer and work bette...
  • How To: Stock Your Workshop
    There are so many manufacturers, and so many kinds and types and models of virtually every tool, that the options may...
  • How To: Use Wood Filler
    Scarred flooring, rotted window frames, chipped furniture—common problems like these can be time-consuming and expens...
  • How To: Use Wood Plugs
    Give your carpentry work that professional look by concealing nails or screws with wooden plugs. Use a dowel bit to d...
  • How To: Use a Block Plane
    Follow these simple guidelines for working with a wood plane and you are sure to have superior results: Assume the Po...
  • How To: Use a Caulking Gun
    Here's how to get professional results when using a caulking gun. Caulking guns aren't expensive, so don't skimp here...
  • How To: Use a Hammer
    At first, I felt a bit foolish explaining how to use a hammer. Most of us have seen children banging away with toy ma...
  • How To: Use a Hand Plane
    Very few workshop tasks can be as satisfying as putting a wood plane through its paces. There you are, just you and, ...
  • How To: Use a Miter Box
    A miter box is a wonderfully simple, affordable tool that allows any DIYer to make accurate crosscuts in wood. Since ...
  • How To: Use a Phillips-Head Screwdriver
    When you're using a Phillips-head screwdriver, make sure that you're not doing it the hard way. Here's how. Be sure y...
  • How To: Use a Plumb Bob
    Professional builders use a plumb bob to make sure their walls are vertical. Here's how. Measure two inches away from...
  • How To: Use a Portable Power Planer
    Power planers are to jack planes as portable circular saws are to handsaws. Both the planer and the circular saw are ...
  • How To: Use a Rafter Square
    The rafter square is designed to take advantage of the geometric laws of the right triangle. For example, the right t...
  • How To: Use a Saw Properly
    PreparationPreparation is the most important ingredient for making clean, accurate, safe cuts. To properly prepare fo...
  • How To: Use a Slotted Screwdriver
    Make sure that when you're using a slotted screwdriver, you're not doing it the hard way. Here's how. Be sure you're ...
  • In Search of Antique Tools
    Lee Richmond’s foray into the world of antique tool collecting was simply a young man’s means to an end. As an engine...
  • In the War Against Wet, A New Weapon
    In the war against wet, homeowners have a new weapon: It's called NeverWet. Designed to repel water and keep surfaces...
  • In the Workshop: Blog Stars 2012
    As more and more doers and makers broadcast their home improvement adventures online, the world of DIY has never been...
  • Inexpensive Ideas and DIY Tips for Storing Sandpaper
    When you first start tackling home projects, it's no problem to hit the hardware store for one of those sandpaper mul...
  • Japanese Saws
    The difference between a Japanese saw and an American saw is more than just the place of origin. Japanese saws have d...
  • Jigsaw
    The jigsaw resembles the band saw in that the workpiece is presented to the blade atop a small table (nine inches by ...
  • Keeping Your Workshop Clean
    Safety and convenience are certainly served by keeping the shop clean. You may even find that a broom-cleaned space i...
  • Keyhole and Reciprocating Saw
    Keyhole SawNot many years ago, I would see keyhole saws in use almost daily; now, for many carpenters, keyhole saws h...
  • Know Your Workshop Needs
    You may think you already know what you need. "Just a practical space, you know, enough for my table saw and to try o...
  • Kobalt Tools: Power and Value at Lowe's
    When I consider the assortment of power tools that I've purchased, collected and inherited over time, I am amazed tha...
  • Lamon Luther: Reclaiming Lumber... and Lives
    Compassion, faith, and hope are not intrinsically wired into the furniture business, but Lamon Luther, a fledgling ma...
  • Levels
    In making or repairing small rectangular objects, a square is invaluable in helping ensure the joints are tight and t...
  • Locating Air Leaks: Black & Decker's Thermal Heat Detector
    It was 99 degrees last night in Chicago and everyone, everyone, was wondering when the power grid would succumb to th...
  • Lowe's Launches "Tile Product Selector" Web Tool
    H. B. Fuller Construction Products, maker of TEC-brand tile installation tools, and Lowe’s have created a shopping-li...
  • Lumber Grades and Numbers
    The grading system for white pine alone consists of about ten levels. If you are going to work with wood professional...
  • Making Friends with a Detail Sander: Refinishing Your Front Door
    I love wood. Maybe it’s the way the surface glows when sunlight suffuses the grain, lighting up any room with golden ...
  • Making Plane Adjustments
    Using woodworking planes whose cutters are out of adjustment is like driving a car in the wrong gear: You may be able...
  • Mallets
    Wooden MalletsMallets are hammers that are used to drive chisels, gouges, or to shape soft metals. Firmer chisels are...
  • Manage Noise in Your Workshop
    Noise is an occupational hazard in any shop where power tools are used. Strategies must be employed to minimize the d...
  • Marking Tools
    When using a marking tool, whether it is a pencil, an awl or something else, surgeon-like precision is the goal and ...
  • Meryl & Chris: Renovation and Romance
    “It’s Chris’s shop that I also use,” says Meryl Phillips describing the 20’ x 20’ garage work space that she and her ...
  • Milwaukee Tool Introduces a Refreshed Lineup
    I traveled to Milwaukee, WI, a couple weeks ago to visit the headquarters of the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation ...
  • Molding Planes
    For woodworkers with old-time tastes, using a molding plane is like drinking a vintage port. The planes are not for e...
  • Multi-Plane
    The multi-plane is truly the muscle-driven equivalent of the router. Its handle is of wood, but that's where its rese...
  • My Workbench Today
    Although I used to have a pretty big workshop back in Cambridge, things changed once we sold the place and became sno...
  • MyLowe's: Managing DIY Projects and Dreams
    This is a test: What type of filter does your furnace or air conditioner require?  What is the paint color of your li...
  • Nail Guide
    The parts of the nail are the head, shank or shaft, point, and the gripper marks - slight grooves incised into the sh...
  • Nailing Techniques
    Nailing a nail isn't just a matter of ready, aim, and swing. Other elements enter in, like the size of the nail, the ...
  • New & Notable: 10 Digital Tools to Help You DIY Your Dream Home
    Even in today’s digital age, you still can’t quite design a dream home in just a matter of clicks. You can, however, use a number of online resources and a phone full of apps to help the whole process operate smoothly, whether you’re a first-time remodeler or an old pro. We’ve rounded up our favorite digital home renovation resources that you can put to work to make your next project easier.
  • New Wave of Brushless Motor Power Tools
    Brushless motor technology has been around for a while, but only within the last couple years have power tool manufac...
  • Opening Day at the Builders' Show
    What's new at this year's International Builders' Show (IBS) in Orlando, FL? Bob Vila for one. After a five year abse...
  • Operating a Drill Press
    The controls vary from one drill press to the next, but there are a number of ele­ments that remain largely the same....
  • Pegboard: Still a Classic Storage Solution for Today
    As a kid growing up, I remember visiting my grandparents’ house and heading straight for granddad’s garage. It was im...
  • Planning Your Woodworking Shop
    Consider some of these issues as you're planning your woodworking shop. Doorways. Standard household doors are often ...
  • Pliers
    Pliers are used to grip, position, tighten, loosen, and cut certain metal elements. Learn about five types of pliers:...
  • Plywood 101
    A manmade material prized for its great versatility, plywood appears in elements of the home as various as flooring, ...
  • Pneumatic Nailers for Homeowners
    Pneumatic nailers, known as nail guns, have changed the way builders work, and are as common on the job site nowadays...
  • Pocketknives
    A pocketknife is, simply, a knife with one or more blades that fold into its handle, of a size that will fit convenie...
  • Power Drivers
    Power drivers are, for practical purposes, redesigned and re-engineered electric drills. Drills and drivers look much...
  • Power Saw Blade Sense
    When you are cutting wood, one of the first decisions to make is what type of circular saw blade will give you the re...
  • Proper Sanding Techniques
    While there are many different products you can use to sand (a palm sander, a block, or sand­ing with paper in ha...
  • Protective Gear
    There's nothing hard about wearing safety goggles or earplugs or a respirator when they are needed. The cost for such...
  • Quenching Thirst on the Job Site
    Working on a job site through a scorching, dusty summer day requires pacing and hydration, and now, perhaps for the f...
  • Quick Tip: Ball-Peen Hammers
    For jobs that require a hammer with a little more heft than a claw hammer, try a ball-peen hammer, sometimes called a...
  • Quick Tip: Bench Dogs
    A bench dog is a great tool for any woodworker's shop.  Bench dogs are often used in pairs, with one pair set into a ...
  • Quick Tip: Choosing Sandpaper
    Sandpaper isn't made of sand, of course, but of fine grains of the natural mineral garnet, or of synthetics like sili...
  • Quick Tip: Circular Saw Safety
    Here's some important safety tips to remember when you're using a circular saw. Remove jewelry and loose clothing fir...
  • Quick Tip: Home Workshop
    There is no one perfect workshop plan: Each of us has different needs, depending upon whether we're cabinetmakers, oc...
  • Quick Tip: Jigsaws
    For a saw that can handle the curves, look for a good saber saw. Sometimes called a jigsaw, it has a small blade that...
  • Quick Tip: On-Site Level Lengthener
    All right, let's say you're raising a stud wall of eight or nine feet and the longest level you have on hand is two ...
  • Quick Tip: Pliers
    Pliers are a relatively modern invention, and it's hard to imagine what people did without them. There are a dozen or...
  • Quick Tip: Propane Torches
    A propane torch is portable, inexpensive, and just about indispensable for many household chores. A valve controls th...
  • Quick Tip: Safety Glasses
    Contemporary safety glasses are much improved. They offer comfort and clear vision as well as protection from flying ...
  • Quick Tip: Sharpening a Spade Bit
    Spade bits, it seems, are always encountering nails, at least in the kinds of rough drilling chores that renovation w...
  • Quick Tip: Staple Guns
    For a lot of jobs around the house, using a staple can be a lot faster and easier than banging tacks or nails. The mo...
  • Quick Tip: Steel Wool
    For tough jobs like removing rust or preparing surfaces for paint or varnish, there's nothing like steel wool. It's m...
  • Quick Tip: Table Saw Techniques
    Your table saw can perform a remarkable number of tasks. There’s probably enough to fill a website, especially when a...
  • Quick Tip: Tin Snips
    Don't wreck a good pair of scissors trying to cut metal. You need a good pair of tin snips. Tin snips look and work a...
  • Quick Tip: Tool Belts
    Sometimes it's simple tricks that make home improvement easier and safer. Tool belts are always a good idea, especial...
  • Quick Tip: Tool Maintenance
    Tool Maintenance. Whatever your storage arrangements, keep your tools clean. After use, remove any sap or resins from...
  • Quick Tip: Using a Chisel
    A chisel is one of the most useful tools in the workshop, but it's important to know how to use it. For example, afte...
  • Quick Tip: Using a Level
    Checking your work for level and plumb is crucial. Here's how to select and use the right tool for the job. I recomme...
  • Quick Tip: Wood Glues
    There are three kinds of adhesives that work best on wood. Polyvinyl resin glue, or white glue, works for china, pape...
  • Quick Tip: Workbench Construction
    Making a bench isn’t especially difficult if you have some basic skills and a good basic tool kit. However, there are...
  • Quick Tip: Working with Wood Glues
    Glues really used to be made from old horses (the hoofs, skins, bones, and other parts, when boiled, produce a protei...
  • Quick Tip: Workshop Dollies
    Here's how to save your aching back next time you have to move something heavy in the workshop. A workshop dolly is r...
  • Quick Tip: Workshop Dolly
    Buy four casters, pick over your scrap pile, and find a few wood screws. With those supplies in hand, you can save yo...
  • Rabbet Planes
    One of the most common wood joints is the rabbet. Consisting of a rectangular slot at the edge of one piece into whic...
  • Radial-Arm Saw
    There are always ongoing debates within a universe of people who are committed to their work. One such argument among...
  • Rasps, Files, and Surfoams
    Files are easily taken for granted. They've been around for thousands of years, predating even the ancient Egyptian c...
  • Router Bits
    Router bits come in about as many shapes and sizes as there are edges to be shaped, quite apart from bits for cutting...
  • Rulers, Straightedges, Compasses and Dividers
    We all learned how to use a ruler in elementary school, if not before. Little did we know at that age how many variet...
  • SEASON'S GREETINGS FROM BOBVILA.COM
     After serving up nearly 25 days of great tips, creative ideas, and how-to projects to make your holidays merry ...
  • SanFranVic's John Clarke Mills: In the Workshop
    At 25, John Clarke Mills, a software entrepreneur with a background in engineering and woodworking, bought his first ...
  • Sarah Fogle: In Love with Fixing It Up
    Sarah Fogle doesn’t want any confusion. Despite her zest for DIY, she is no Mrs. Bob Vila! Her work spaces are a litt...
  • Saw Blade Sharpening
    A good handsaw, when properly treated, is a tool that can be passed with pride from one generation to the next. Essen...
  • Scrapers
    I've lumped together, under a single heading, a family of tools that are used to perform many tasks. They resemble on...
  • Screwdrivers
    To the uninitiated, a screwdriver is a screwdriver is a screwdriver. The truth is, however, that’s simply wrong. Most...
  • Send Yourself to Camp This Summer: 12 Top Learning Destinations
    If you're looking for an activity-laden vacation, or you just miss the camps of days gone by, use this guide to start filling up your summer calendar.
  • Sharpening Chisels
    I know you've heard it before, but it's true: sharp tools are safer tools. The chisel is a perfect case in point. A d...
  • Smart Storage for Small Workshops
    Since my wife and I recently downsized, I am making do with a much smaller basement workshop these days. Whereas I co...
  • Snips
    When I see a pair of giant snips, I think of Laurel and Hardy. Snips do look a lot like scissors, but they tend to be...
  • Solar Power On the Go from Solio
    When you lose power, as many people have recently in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the lights going out isn't the...
  • Some Sharpening Shortcuts
    As the saying goes, sharp tools are safer tools. So here are a couple of hints for keeping your cutting tools sharp. ...
  • Speed Square
    Sometimes called a "magic square," angle square, or protractor square, this tool functions as a square but is shaped ...
  • Spokeshaves
    Most tools seem to develop in families. There are resemblances from one generation to the next, and cousins are recog...
  • Squares, Levels, and Plumbs
    According to the old nursery rhyme, there once was a crooked man who, along with his crooked cat and a crooked mouse,...
  • Stay Charged with Mophie's Juice Pack PRO
    How much would a serious upgrade to your iPhone 4's operating time be worth to you? If your project house is without ...
  • Table and Radial Saws
    One of the crowning achievements of many do-it-yourselfers is to purchase a stationary bench power tool. Unless you'r...
  • The "Merrypad-Dadand" DIY Duo: In the Workshop
    She had a load of lumber to get home from the Home Depot. He had a car big enough to take it. Emily Winters and Pete ...
  • The $20 Japanese Pull Saw: A DIYer's Best Bang for the Buck
    This is not dedicated to the woodworkers, the gear hounds or the power tool junkies. This isn't for the contractors, ...
  • The 10 Commandments of Buying the Right Tools
    Whether you’re a veteran weekend warrior or a newcomer to home improvement, you’ll get nothing done without reliable tools you can wield with confidence. But rather than buy a comprehensive set of tools all at once, opt instead to build your collection gradually over time, so you can give due thought to each purchase. As you deliberate over which are the right tools to buy for the tasks at hand, bear in mind these words of advice from an expert.
  • The 5 Apps You Won't Want to Renovate Without
    If your file folders are bursting at the seams with to-do lists, contractor quotes, spec sheets and inspirational cli...
  • The Backsaw
    Like the word handsaw, the name backsaw is something of a catchall term. In general, a backsaw is a handsaw with a br...
  • The Basic Workbench
    The woodworking bench is to the workshop as bases are to the game of baseball: Without a proper bench at which to wor...
  • The Bench Grinder
    The bench grinder is to the workshop as the trainer is to the team. It doesn't run out on the field when a tool goes ...
  • The Block Plane
    Quality planed stock can be bought from most lumberyards today, but wood that has been dressed on all four sides wasn...
  • The Bow Saw
    One reason for the fascination of antique tools is their visual ap­peal. For many people, the bow saw has just such a...
  • The Cellar Shop
    For most of us, the answer isn't a separate building, a closet, or even the garage. The single most popular alternati...
  • The Chalk Box
    I've admired this deceptively simple tool since I first saw my father use it decades ago. It is used to mark straight...
  • The Compressor
    The compressor is a machine that compresses the gases in the air around us to pressures greater than that of the norm...
  • The Coping Saw
    Coping is a process by which one piece with an irregular surface is fitted to another. In practice, most of us encoun...
  • The Dremel Multi-Max: Who Let the Tool Designers Loose?
    Because of the popularity of the Dremel rotary tool, most people perceive the Dremel brand as a bastion of the arts-a...
  • The End-Wall Shop
    This is the classic garage work area. The bench is fixed on the end wall and your car is still comfortably situated i...
  • The Essential Toolbox
    Whether you’re a rookie handyman or a seasoned do-it-yourselfer, a range of basic tools is essential to doing the sma...
  • The Essential Toolbox: 12 Tools You Can't DIY Without
    Whether you’re a rookie handyman or a seasoned do-it-yourselfer, you need a variety of basic tools for doing small jobs around the house. The full range of tools you need will be determined by your skills and the kinds of jobs you do, but for the basics, in addition to the usual tape measure, screwdriver set, claw hammer, and electric drill with an assortment of bits, consider making these 12 less obvious, but equally essential, tools part of your DIY arsenal.
  • The Hand-Held Circular Saw
    The circular saw was invented in England at the turn of the nineteenth century, though there is considerable disagree...
  • The Ideal Workshop Layout
    A landscape designer friend of mine tells a story about the college he went to. During his years there, the universit...
  • The Jointer
    The very name speaks to the nature of this tool. If you aspire to be a joiner, a person who specializes in fastening ...
  • The Plate Joiner
    The world of woodworking got along quite nicely, thank you very much, without the plate joiner. Yet making furniture ...
  • The Plumb Bob
    What Is a Plumb Bob?The plumb bob or plumb line employs the law of gravity to establish what is “plumb” (that is, wha...
  • The Portable Table Saw
    For on-site work, a portable table saw is more practical than larger, heavier table saws. It rips and crosscuts; it m...
  • The Router
    The router has, in recent years, become something of a must in the cabinetmaker's and even the finish carpenter's wor...
  • The Saber Saw
    A rule of thumb in the tool world is that the smaller the blade, the greater the variety of cuts. One tool that demon...
  • The Scraper
    This is a tool for minimalists, for those who admire simplicity of form and function beyond all else. That's because ...
  • The Shaper
    For those woodworkers for whom a molded edge, a contoured decorative curve, is the difference between a proper job an...
  • The Story Pole
    To those who have used one, a story pole does indeed have a tale to tell. To the uninitiated, however, the story pole...
  • The Thickness Planer
    The planer is a tool for woodworkers who require large quantities of planed stock and who elect to buy it rough cut. ...
  • The Transit Level
    The practice of plane surveying (determining the position of buildings, boundaries, and topographical features as if ...
  • The Utility Knife
    This is truly a tool of a thousand uses. The thinness of its blade means it can be used for precise marking on cutoff...
  • Tilting Arbor Saw
    For many woodworkers, the single most important workshop tool is the table saw. Though it is most often referred to b...
  • Tim Allen and Bob Vila: Back to the Future
    If you haven't checked out Tim Allen's new ABC comedy sitcom, Last Man Standing, you should. He's an awfully funny gu...
  • Timothy Dahl: Making It Outside in LA
    Timothy Dahl is impressively disciplined. His work week is structured; his workshop is neat. Scheduling keeps Timothy...
  • Tool Collecting: Tips from an Antiques Roadshow Expert
    Woodworkers choose tools for their quality, craftsmanship, and functionality. Collectors who never intend to use an antique tool are more interested in the history.
  • Tool Storage
    The way to avoid the I-can't-find-it syndrome is to have ap­propriate containers for tool storage and transport. Seve...
  • Tool or Art? You Decide
    When does a simple hand tool—let's say a saw—become a work of art?  For tool collectors, the answer is an easy one: w...
  • Tools Galore: The Importance of a Pocket Multi-Tool
    We have been in tool mode here at BobVila. com, posting content from Bob Vila's Toolbox (published by William Morrow ...
  • Top 5 Posts of the Week: Election Edition
    From desktop globes and metal roofs to the Presidential race, we’ve covered tons of ground this week. If the election...
  • Top 5 Tool Buying Tips
    1.   Less is more: While having the 628-piece tool set is an impressive thing to tell all of your home-improvement bu...
  • Top Productivity Tools for Your Smartphone
    Now is the perfect moment to plan your 2013 projects. Be more precise with your time and resources using this raft of...
  • Top Tips for Using a Floor Sander
    Use a floor sander effectively in order to complete your hardwood refinishing project more quickly and easily.
  • Top Tools 2012: Bosch 13-Piece DareDevil Spade Bit Set
    Why You'll Love It: Bosch's DareDevil Spade Bits drill large holes through wood studs with revolu...
  • Top Tools 2012: ChannelLock 13 'N 1 Ratcheting Screwdriver
    Why You'll Love It: The ChannelLock 13 'N 1 combines the efficiency of a ratcheting screwdriver with the versati...
  • Top Tools 2012: Craftsman 145-Piece Mechanic's Tool Set
    Why You'll Love It: This Craftsman 154-Piece Mechanic's Tool Set comes with every socket, wrench, or b...
  • Top Tools 2012: DeWalt 12v Pivot Reciprocating Saw
    Why You'll Love It: The DeWalt 12v MAX Pivot Reciprocating Saw is the cordless little brother to the bigger, mor...
  • Top Tools 2012: Husky Pro Tool Bag
    Why You'll Love It: With pouches, pockets, bays and elastic bands, the Husky tool tote provides easy-to-carry storage...
  • Top Tools 2012: Irwin GrooveLock Pliers
    Why You'll Love It: Innovation hasn't exactly shaken up the world of groove joint pliers over the last few decades. B...
  • Top Tools 2012: Johnson 9500 Magnetic Aluminum Box Level
    Why You'll Love It: Levels don't carry many bells and whistles, but they are important tools for every project, ...
  • Top Tools 2012: Maxxeon WorkStar 220 LED
    Why You'll Love It: The Maxxeon Workstar 220 Pocket Floodlight is a super-slim flashlight that puts ou...
  • Top Tools 2012: Milwaukee 6-in-1 Combination Pliers
    Why You'll Love It: Save room in your tool belt with 6-in-1 pliers from Milwaukee Tools, which can cut and strip wire...
  • Top Tools 2012: Milwaukee Cordless 18v Cut-Off/Grinder
    Why You'll Love It: This cordless grinder combines a 9,000 rpm motor, convenient paddle-switch, and tool-less accesso...
  • Top Tools 2012: Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket
    Why You'll Love It: The lightweight M12 Heated Jacket provides heavy-duty warmth and comfort for up to six ...
  • Top Tools 2012: Ridgid 18v Compact Drill Driver and Impact Driver
    Why You'll Love It: The Ridgid 18v Compact Drill Driver and Impact Driver delivers outstanding performance,...
  • Top Tools 2012: Rockwell Sonicrafter X2 Oscillating Multi-Tool
    Why You'll Love It: The Hyperlock clamp delivers 1 ton of clamping force, while its Universal Accessory system let's ...
  • Types of Hammers
    Today, there are hammers of a dozen or more different designs manufactured for many kinds of tasks, which will be dis...
  • UV Filtration Water Bottle from Camelbak
    There are many reasons you might be working on a project house without running water, but there are fewer reasons to ...
  • Unfastening Tools
    Pry bars, crowbars, pinch bars, flat bars, and cat's-paws; those are the names of some of the sturdy steel tools that...
  • Using Your Router
    Once you've grown accustomed to the router, the tool will fit naturally into your grasp. Initially, however, it may f...
  • What's Your Tool I.Q.?
    We are excited to introduce a new addition to the Bob Vila toolbox—a Trivia Quiz.   Produced by Triviasnaks, the quiz...
  • Why Every DIYer Needs a Thickness Planer
    The thickness planer is not the most versatile tool in your arsenal. In fact, it really only does one thing: it plane...
  • Wood Chisels
    Suppose you borrowed H. G. Well's time machine and traveled back into history a few centuries or even a millennium. S...
  • Wood Joints
    The language of the joiner is filled with words that we know well from ordinary usage but here have new and distinct ...
  • Wood Templates
    Wood templates are patterns or models used in the making of specific pieces, usually those with curved lines or irreg...
  • Woodworking Gauges
    These simple tools haven't changed much in generations (no doubt the old cliché about not fixing things that aren't b...
  • Woodworking Vise Guide
    A woodworking vise, according to its dictionary definition, consists of two jaws for holding work and a mechanism, us...
  • Workbench Types
    Woodworker's Bench.  This is perhaps the most familiar configuration for a workbench. Its top is of hardwood and is u...
  • Workshop Dresser
    An old chest of drawers or desk can be transformed into a combination bench-and-tool cabinet. With the tools stowed a...
  • Workshop Electricity
    Power tools swallow up power the way dogs consume their food: in great, huge gulps. Most tools have two kinds of dema...
  • Workshop Lighting
    At a minimum, you need a conveniently located switch at the en­trance that powers up the main lighting. Most likely, ...
  • Workshop Locations
    Perhaps you already know exactly where you will be locating your workshop. Maybe you already have a workplace in some...
  • Workshop Planning Checklist
    In laying out your workshop, have you considered the following?  Taking these factors into account will help mak...
  • Workshop Safety
    Workshop safety consists of more than just wearing proper protective gear. Here are a few other guidelines:Know Thy T...
  • Worktables
    Worktable. If there is room for it, make yourself a worktable using a full sheet of three-quarter-inch plywood. It's ...
  • Wrenches
    The first nuts and bolts, which were put to use during the early years of the Renaissance, had square heads. The hexa...
  • Young House Love: 7 Tips for Romantic DIY
    In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are seven Petersik-style wisdoms—culled from the posts of “Young House Love” and from an interview with Sherry—that may help you keep romance up and stress down when your kitchen is covered in plastic and you’re doing the work of eight people.

Tools & Workshop Videos

  • Installing a Chair Rail and Restoring a Corner Cupboard
    In the dining room, carpenter Bob Ryley installs a chair rail and works with carpenter Danny Ruffini on the glass doors that will be added to the corner cupboard—one of the original features of the house.
  • Creating a Cornice Molding for the Dining Room
    Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley create an elaborate five-piece cornice molding in the dining room.
  • Installing Wall Paneling in the Entranceway and Visiting the Completed Tiled Shower
    Inspired by designs found in the Isaac Bell historic house, paneling is installed on Bob’s entrance door to the living room. Bob looks at the completed tiled shower in his guest bathroom.
  • Installing a Decorative Inlaid Vinyl Floor and Reviewing the Workshop Layout
    The generously sized workshop has a functional layout and a unique vinyl floor designed by architect Gregory Rochlin.
  • Making an Armoire into an Entertainment Center
    Bob works with carpenter Bob Ryley to construct an insert for an antique cherry armoire to house his bedroom TV and video collection.
  • Replicating Old Window Moldings and Replacing House Trim and Boards
    Experts review the replication of old house moldings and the use of Western Red Cedar for house trim and boards.
  • Crafting Custom Countertops
    Bob assists Princeton Custom Cabinetry as the crew crafts custom countertops on-site for the Miami Beach condo remodel.
  • Designing and Crafting Historical Reproduction Crown Molding
    Brent Hull, of Hull Historical Millwork, is on location to help with the installation of the dining room's crown molding.
  • History of the North Bennet Street School
    Bob takes a trip into Boston to visit the North Bennet Street School.
  • Building Planter Boxes
    Bob Ryley is in the garage workshop building a planter box for the sunroom.
  • The Dominy Workshop at Winterthur Garden
    Bob takes the first of many visits to the Winterthur Garden and Museum in Delaware's Brandywine Valley.
  • Locksmithing at the North Bennet Street School
    At Boston's North Bennet Street School, Bob visits the locksmithing classroom.
  • Installing Corner Cabinets
    Carpenter Paul Anderson joins Bob to hang corner cabinets in the kitchen of the modern Colonial project house.
  • Installing Molding on the Kitchen Cabinets
    Paul Anderson attaches pre-finished crown molding around the kitchen cabinets in the modern Colonial project house.
  • Furniture Making at the North Bennet Street School
    Bob visits with Alex Krutsky at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. Bob and Krutsky discuss the school's admissions process, which requires previous carpentry experience.
  • Hand-Carving a Mahogany Drawer Front
    Furniture maker Tommy MacDonald demonstrates a few of the techniques he employs to create hand-carved furniture details.
  • Installing Trim on the Back Porch
    Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley install trim on the back porch of the Habitat for Humanity house in Yonkers, NY.
  • Installing Built-In Cabinets
    Carpenter Bob Ryley installs loft shelves in the upstairs hallway.
  • Engineered Wood Floor Joist System
    Bob discusses the advantages of engineered wood flooring with Steve Barth (from Willamette Industries).
  • Laying Plywood for the Front Porch Ceiling
    General contractor Kevin Kalman and carpenter Bob Ryley lay plywood to the soffit of the front porch ceiling.
  • Interior Trim Tips
    Carpenter Bob Ryley and the finish carpenter install interior trim in the dining room.
  • Applying the Wood Moldings
    Having reviewed the progress made in the basement, Bob checks out some of the finish carpentry techniques used in applying wood moldings.
  • Baseboard Replicas
    In the Virginia governor's mansion, Bob and Bob Ryley look at baseboard replicas and inspect how the space behind the baseboard is used.
  • Baseboard Molding Installation
    Bob Ryley installs replica baseboard molding inside a room of the Virginia governor's mansion, which is under restoration.
  • Restoring the Mantel
    Carpenter Bob Ryley and Greg Cowan (from Tidewater Restoration) discuss the process of restoring the antique mantelpiece.
  • Installing the Restored Mantelpiece
    Bob returns to the Virginia governor's mansion to see the restored mantelpiece reinstalled in the ballroom.
  • Building Cabinets
    Bob visits Todd Allen's cabinet shop, where he helps to mill and assemble the cabinets for the loft conversion project.
  • Bookcase Building
    Bob gives assistance to carpenter Todd Allen, who is building a bookcase for the built-in cabinet array.
  • Building and Installing Cabinets
    Bob confers with carpenters Bob Ryley and David Ives, as they construct and install cabinets in the loft conversion unit.
  • Hanging Blueboard and Installing Corner Beads
    Bob interviews Brian Dauphinee, who's hanging blue board, installing corner bead, and applying the scratch coat of plaster.
  • Discussing the Hallway Walls
    Bob highlights the long curved wall in the loft's hallway. The wall provides a great deal of storage, and serves as a divider between the private and public spaces within the apartment.
  • Reviewing the Blueprints
    Bob joins the contractors from Crosswinds Enterprises. With framing for the accessible home nearly complete, Bob gets a sense of the layout and looks over the blueprints.
  • Building a Wooden Corner Bracket
    Carpenter Bob Ryley lays out and constructs a corner bracket for the accessible home.
  • Building a Wooden Corner Bracket, Part 2
    Carpenter Bob Ryley continues to fashion a wooden bracket for the exterior of the accessible home.
  • Installing Custom Window Sills
    Bob pays a visit to the site of another unit's construction in the Roxbury development. Here, a carpenter is adding custom sills to windows.
  • Building a Handicapped Access Ramp
    Carpenter Bob Ryley builds a handicapped access ramp for the accessible home in the Roxbury development.
  • Installing a Railing on the Hot Tub Deck
    Carpenter Bob Ryley helps install the new railing on the hot tub deck.
  • House Five: Queen Anne Victorian Porch Restoration
    Bob meets with Judy Lee, the owner of the fifth Elmwood project house. The front porch, built in 1892, must be replaced.
  • Porch Restoration: Custom Reproduction Moldings and Chatsworth's Columns
    Porch restoration continues on the fifth Elmwood project house, with Forester Moulding and Lumber re-milling many porch elements.
  • Porch Railing and Screen Door Installation
    Carpenter Bob Ryley helps install a new porch railing and new screen doors. An underground sprinkler system is also installed.
  • Final Tour of the Restored "Bench" Porch House
    Bob tours the finished house, the fifth in the Elmwood neighborhood project. Better grading and gutters have been added to prevent future water damage.
  • House Six: Portico Restoration, Hardscaping, and Landscaping
    Bob meets the owners of the sixth Elmwood neighborhod project house and reviews the proposed portico plans. Built in 1892, the Victorian home needs a new front porch.
  • Fighting Carpenter Ants and Repairing the Porch
    The restoration of the front porch continues with workers putting the decking down and replacing the old columns. In addition, anti-termite control stations are placed in the yard.
  • Installing Sprinkler System and Replicating Porch Balusters & Railing
    For the side porch to be sturdy, it will need additional support. An underground sprinkler system is installed and replicating old railings is discussed.
  • Restoring the Front Porch
    The front porch is undergoing full restoration, due to excessive water and pest damage to the columns and other structural elements. Demolition begins and repair work starts on the foundation.
  • Preparing the Turret Room for the Spa Tub
    The turret has been reframed and the floor is prepared to receive the spa tub.
  • Removing the Porch Columns
    Bob helps remove the front porch columns, so they can be replicated and used on the home's new back porch.
  • Building an Interior Soffit
    Bob confers with carpenter Cortney Lofton and cabinetmaker Brian Comeaux on the milling and construction of an interior soffit for the bungalow.
  • Kitchen Cabinet Construction
    Bob helps in the process of joining the lengths of wood that will be installed in the kitchen.
  • Building a Pergola and Gate
    Bob confers with contractor and carpenter Cortney Lofton, as he builds a pergola at the Studio City bungalow, which will serve as a gate to the backyard.
  • Custom-Building a Cabinet
    Bob helps cabinetmaker Brian Comeaux custom-build a cabinet for the dining room.
  • Installing a China Cabinet
    The newly built china cabinet is installed. The unit was constructed in several peices, so it would fit through the front door. Several final cuts and adjustments are made to fit the cabinet around the existing trim.
  • Installing Baseboards and Making Moldings
    Bob meets with carpenter Bob Ryley to install baseboard, then visits Paul Morse's workshop to see how specialty moldings are milled.
  • Installing Baseboards and Window Casings
    Bob meets with carpenter Bob Ryley to install baseboard and window casings. Time-saving techniques are discussed, as are the tricky cuts one can make to ensure a tight fit. Ryley measures out a window and adds a new casing.
  • Building a Deck and Stairs
    Bob meets with contractor Bill Wilcox to help build a landing and steps up to the French doors. Bob reviews the footings that support the deck, as well as the methods used to fasten the deck to the house.
  • Framing the Deck and Laying the Deck Boards
    Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley continue working on the backyard deck. Once they've finished theframing, they begin laying the deck boards.
  • Building a Bookcase
    Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley meet in the workshop to build a set of bookcases for the home. Ryley demonstrates the various cuts and joining methods used to make the furniture sturdy. Face plates are added for a finished look.
  • Plaster Cornice Reconstruction
    Bob surveys the plaster cornice in the project home. Water damage has ruined a large section and much of the remaining plaster needs repair. Bob and restoration contractor Richard Sparks discuss the different elements of the reconstruction process.
  • Adding Detail to the Plaster Cornice
    Bob observers the expert plasterer add detail to the cornice, which is under reconstruction due to water damage.
  • Decorative Woodwork Restoration
    Bob assists Patty Hettich in stripping paint from decorative woodwork, then making rubber molds to create new details in the Federal-style home.
  • Plaster and Cornice Work
    Bob joins restoration contractor Richard Marks to see how the existing plaster and cornice work is blended with the new drywall.
  • Bench Construction
    The wood has arrived for the perimeter benches, so Bob and contractor Bob Ryley begin constructing the architect-designed benches for the greenhouse. The wood is a cypress, which is excellent in damp environments.
  • The Home's Exposed Framing System
    Bob discusses the home's framing with contractor Bob Ryley.
  • Distressing Wood Beams
    Juan Santos shows Bob how to distress the new Douglas Fir ceiling beams so they look like they're hundreds of years old. By using standard construction tools in an artistic form, Santos can even add the appearance of termite damage.
  • Visiting Tecate, Mexico
    Bob travels to Tecate, Mexico to meet tilemaker Javier Ramirez. Javier shows Bob the different kinds of clay common to the Baja region of Mexico, and demonstrates how the clay is used in different types of handmade and painted tiles.
  • Framing the Barn
    Bob confers with Paul Pacella (from Maine Post and Beam of Cape Cod) about framing the barn. Eastern white pine is being used; this type of pine is a popular lumber choice in New England thanks to ready availability and low cost.
  • Discussing the Framing and Selecting a Garage Door
    Bob and contractor Bob Ryley review the building plans and the progress made on the post-and-beam garage. Framing continues, and Bob discusses the various joints and tools used. He and Ryley also choose a large door for one end of the building.
  • Placing the Engineered Wood Glulam Roof Ridge Beam
    Bob and Paul Pacella (of Maine Post and Beam) discuss the cutting and placement of the engineered wood glulam ridge beam for the garage.
  • Cutting Joists Using 17th-Century Techniques
    Bob heads to Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, MA, where artisan-carpenter Pret Woodburn shows Bob how mortise-and-tenon joinery was cut back in the 17th- and 18th-centuries.
  • Working With Exterior Trim
    Bob and contractor Bob Ryley create an overhang detail with eyebrow returns and cedar plywood siding.
  • Talking Indy Race Cars With Lyn St. James
    1992 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James visits Bob at the garage project to share her automotive expertise. With temperatures falling outside, Bob parks his 1974 Jaguar E-type B-12 roadster in the barn for the winter.
  • Roof Framing and Constructing a Turret
    Bob confers with contractor Bob Ryley, who is beginning demolition work on the roof dormer in order to make way for the planned turret.
  • Reviewing the Frame and Attaching the Verge Board
    As contractor Bob Ryley attaches the gingerbread-style verge board on one gable end of the Martha's Vineyard Victorian project, Bob remarks on the notable features of the building's wood frame.
  • Creating the Porch Railings and Balusters
    After reviewing the final stages of the septic system installation, Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley install the decorative porch railings and balusters that Ryley has made by hand.
  • Building the Farmer's Porch
    Bob discusses the process of building the farmer's porch with contractor Larry Landers. The natural crowning of wood is discussed, as are methods for ensuring a level surface.
  • Building a Medicine Cabinet
    Bob helps contractor Bob Ryley hand-craft a medicine cabinet using a radial arm saw, Dado blade, router, screws, and carpenter's glue.
  • Applying Exterior Trim to the Dormer Window
    Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley apply exterior trim to the gable end dormer window. Ryley demonstrates how to avoid seams, how to transfer an angle from the roof to the trim, and how to create the perfect triangular cut for the ear board.
  • Building the Porch Rail
    The carpenter shows Bob the new railing on the deck off the master bedroom, explaining that code requires that it be 36 inches tall. The carpenter then builds a piece of railing from scratch, showing how to line up the holes and pre-drill them.
  • Creating the Built-in Cabinets
    Bob meets with Ryley to discuss the site-built, built-in cabinets of birch plywood. Ryley demonstrates many of the cuts and jigs used in crafting the cabinets, and the techniques used to make the panel doors.
  • Constructing a Clapboard Sunburst Fan
    Bob joins siding contractor Brian Quinn, who is constructing a beautiful gable-end sunburst fan from clapboard siding. Quinn explains how to lay out the center moon, how to calculate the spacing and size of each fan, and how to cut the material.
  • Building the "Floating" Deck
    The "floating" deck is built off the master bedroom, over the kitchen. Under the decking, rubber padding is placed.
  • Pine Porch Ceiling
    Contractor Larry Landers installs V-groove pine on the ceiling of the new front porch and demonstrates how to stagger and miter boards for an attractive, old-fashioned look.
  • Building a Custom Stair Railing
    The carpenter explains details of the stair railing to Bob. For example, using a mortise joint adds strength and rigidity to the railing, while using a biscuit joiner makes short work of the cutting.
  • Custom Built-in Bookshelf Unit
    Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley assemble and install bookshelves in the den, and Ryley shows Bob how to scribe the trim on-site.
  • Custom Crown Molding
    Bob tours the factory where the project house's custom crown molding is cut to custom specifications, while, back at the site, carpenter Bob Ryley struggles to install the molding on uneven walls.
  • Front Hall Mirror
    Carpenter Bob Ryley demonstrates how the front hall mirror is custom-built in the workshop.
  • Framing the New Entryway
    Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley start building the frame for the new entryway.
  • Crafting New Cabinet Doors
    New cabinet doors, which have been made in the workshop, are installed in the project house kitchen in order to dress up the old cabinets.
  • Installation of Paneling in the Basement
    Refinishing the basement continues with the installation of wood paneling.
  • Building and Painting a Plate Rack
    A plate rack for the dining room is built from scratch and is finished with a faux-antique paint job.
  • Installing Kitchen Cabinet Panels
    Bob demonstrates how to fabricate off-site, and install on-site, wooden kitchen cabinet panels.
  • Bulkhead Entrance and Trim
    Bob helps carpentry contractor Bob Ryley install a bulkhead from a kit and put trim (a soffit, fascia, and drip edge) on the front façade.
  • Putting Up Exterior Trim
    Carpentry contractor Bob Ryley puts up exterior trim around the windows.
  • Installing a Floor Safe
    General contractor Ron Gan shows Bob how to install a floor safe in the master bedroom.
  • Custom Trim, Windows, and Pocket Door
    General contractor Tim Berky trims out the windows with custom millwork created from a profile of the home's original trim. Bob looks at the four-panel cherry pocket door that's been installed between the mudroom and kitchen space.
  • Installing Cedar Deck Railings
    General contractor Tim Berky is building the cedar deck railings, first by notching the edge board to receive posts, then by fitting one post into each notch. Once assembled, he attaches sections of railing to posts by driving in screws.
  • Completing the Trim on the Oriel Window
    General contractor Tim Berky is completing trim on the oriel window that faces onto the deck. He begins by covering the underboard with MDO (medium density overlay). Then, he adds an ice and water barrier, and copper flashing, before finishing.
  • Deck Framing with Pressure-Treated Lumber
    Rick Kleiner (from the Southern Forest Products Association) joins Bob to talk about using pressure-treated deck members. Such lumber resists fungal growth, termites, and decay, and is capable of supporting a strong and stable deck for decades.
  • Building the Deck Frame
    General contractor Tim Berky and his crew remove existing cladding in order to fit the ledger board for the deck tight against the house, with an ice and water barrier to protect against water penetration.
  • Plans for the Multi-Level Backyard Deck
    The extensive new deck will have multiple levels and various sections. General contractor Tim Berky digs holes for the footings before setting them in concrete.
  • Matching Original Victorian Frieze Board
    General contractor Tim Berky is creating a new frieze board to match the existing board and molding on the 1890 Queen Anne Victorian project house.
 
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