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  • Safety (7)
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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...
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10 Toolbox Hacks for Your Next DIY Project
There's a little MacGyver in all of us. And when it comes to DIY, who couldn't use another shortcut? Whether your toolbox is fully stocked or you're slowly acquir...
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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 ...
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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...
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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 rath...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 tool...
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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...
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Quick Tip: Propane Torches
A propane torch is portable, inexpensive, and just about indispensable for many household chores. A valve controls th...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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!
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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...
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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...
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Quick Tip: Tool Belts
Sometimes it's simple tricks that make home improvement easier and safer. Tool belts are always a good idea, especial...
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Tool Time: My Favorite DIY Things (Move over Oprah!)
Sweetie told me Oprah revealed her latest list of favorite things again. America's High Queen of taste-making likes some ...
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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...
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Think Outside the Toolbox: 9 New Uses for Old Tools
When it’s finally time for old tools to retire, don’t ship them off to Florida. Give them a second career as a crafty DIY project.
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Tool Talk: Which Sander Should I Use?
Sanders Let’s talk tools. Many of us DIY bloggers use a wide variety of tools. Tonight our tool talk is going to b...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Tool Obsession: Channellocks
Channellocks recently came out with a new line of upgraded tools called the e-series and, since they know I'm a huge fan...
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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...
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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 ...
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Disk Sander
Sanding disks are prefabricated disks of abrasive paper. They can be mounted on a variety of tools, including the rad...
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Finishing Sanders
Names like orbital sander, pad sander, and oscillating sheet sander are used to identify finishing sanders. You'll fi...
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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...
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The Scraper
This is a tool for minimalists, for those who admire simplicity of form and function beyond all else. That's because ...
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The Compressor
The compressor is a machine that compresses the gases in the air around us to pressures greater than that of the norm...
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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...
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Clamps
Clamps, specifically hand-screw, bar, spring, strap, pipe, and C-clamps remain the basic tools on which any workshop ...
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The Plate Joiner
The world of woodworking got along quite nicely, thank you very much, without the plate joiner. Yet making furniture ...
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Doweling Jig
A convenient method of joining boards is a dowel joint. Especially useful when two or more boards are being joined (b...
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The Shaper
For those woodworkers for whom a molded edge, a contoured decorative curve, is the difference between a proper job an...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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....
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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...
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Radial-Arm Saw
There are always ongoing debates within a universe of people who are committed to their work. One such argument among...
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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...
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Jigsaw
The jigsaw resembles the band saw in that the workpiece is presented to the blade atop a small table (nine inches by ...
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Band Saw
Some cabinetmakers of distinction assert that the band saw is the single most important stationary tool in the worksh...
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Tilting Arbor Saw
For many woodworkers, the single most important workshop tool is the table saw. Though it is most often referred to b...
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Freestanding Saws
In the thoroughly equipped workshop, there are more tools than you could shake a furring strip at. You know the works...
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Chain Saws 101
Chain saws—the forest primeval has seen few tools with such devastating utility, not to mention sheer volume. If a st...
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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...
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Spokeshaves
Most tools seem to develop in families. There are resemblances from one generation to the next, and cousins are recog...
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Rasps, Files, and Surfoams
Files are easily taken for granted. They've been around for thousands of years, predating even the ancient Egyptian c...
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The Router
The router has, in recent years, become something of a must in the cabinetmaker's and even the finish carpenter's wor...
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7 Essential Woodworking Tools
A few key tools and considerations bear discussion. Tape Measure.  When it comes to marking and measuring and laying ...
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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...
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Molding Planes
For woodworkers with old-time tastes, using a molding plane is like drinking a vintage port. The planes are not for e...
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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...
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Bench Planes
Bench planes are a loosely linked category of flat-bottomed planes. The cutting irons are usually set at a forty-five...
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All About Calipers
Calipers and their near relations, the compass and dividers, have been in use at least since Roman times. While their...
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Woodworking Gauges
These simple tools haven't changed much in generations (no doubt the old cliché about not fixing things that aren't b...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Plastering Tools
Hanging drywall is often one of the first tasks taken on by the novice renovator. Plasterboard or Sheetrock, to call ...
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Electrical Tools
For many people, electrical work is daunting, to be feared and avoided. If you feel that way, then you should remain ...
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Plumbing Tools
Plumbing makes possible the cleanliness we know today. Yet solving some kinds of plumbing problems involves sink trap...
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Wrenches
The first nuts and bolts, which were put to use during the early years of the Renaissance, had square heads. The hexa...
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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...
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Pliers
Pliers are used to grip, position, tighten, loosen, and cut certain metal elements. Learn about five types of pliers:...
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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...
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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 ...
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Wood Clamps
Wood is a remarkable material. It's widely available, handsome, and immensely diverse. Many of its varieties can easi...
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Screwdrivers
To the uninitiated, a screwdriver is a screwdriver is a screwdriver. The truth is, however, that’s simply wrong. Most...
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Mallets
Wooden MalletsMallets are hammers that are used to drive chisels, gouges, or to shape soft metals. Firmer chisels are...
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Types of Hammers
Today, there are hammers of a dozen or more different designs manufactured for many kinds of tasks, which will be dis...
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The Block Plane
Quality planed stock can be bought from most lumberyards today, but wood that has been dressed on all four sides wasn...
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Scrapers
I've lumped together, under a single heading, a family of tools that are used to perform many tasks. They resemble on...
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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 ...
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Wood Chisels
Suppose you borrowed H. G. Well's time machine and traveled back into history a few centuries or even a millennium. S...
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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...
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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...
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Pocketknives
A pocketknife is, simply, a knife with one or more blades that fold into its handle, of a size that will fit convenie...
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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...
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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...
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The Hand-Held Circular Saw
The circular saw was invented in England at the turn of the nineteenth century, though there is considerable disagree...
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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...
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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...
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Carpenter Squares
Every time I pick up a carpenter's square, it feels familiar. This is one of the practical, substantial tools that al...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Japanese Saws
The difference between a Japanese saw and an American saw is more than just the place of origin. Japanese saws have d...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Levels
In making or repairing small rectangular objects, a square is invaluable in helping ensure the joints are tight and t...
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The Transit Level
The practice of plane surveying (determining the position of buildings, boundaries, and topographical features as if ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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5 No-Kink Garden Hoses That Test True
Loads of hoses claim to be kink-free, but is there really such a thing as a no-kink garden hose? As it turns out, there is.
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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...
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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!
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Building Custom Tool Storage Just for the Heck of It
Chris really can't stop himself when it comes to building things. And neither of us can really stop ourselves when it co...
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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 ...
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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...
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Tool Obsession: Stanley Functional Utility Bar
After a polite invitation from our HOA to promptly remove (demolish) our front door overhang, I decided that I needed to...
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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...
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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...
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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.
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Tool Obsession: Skilsaw
Quick note: we weren't compensated in anyway for this post, but if anyone wants to send us free stuff, I'm not going to ...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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Bob Vila Radio: Lithium-Ion Batteries
Cordless power tools, and now lithium-ion batteries, have revolutionized the home improvement world. But anyone who’s...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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 you...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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,...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Top Tools 2012: Ryobi Tek4 Digital Multimeter
Why You'll Love It: The Ryobi Tek4 Mulitmeter is a versatile diagnostic tool that can measure voltage, curr...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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, ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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RoboReel: Next Generation Cord Winder
Coming from a Navy family as I do, I take pride in my ability to neatly loop and stow anything rope-like, including e...
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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 ...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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....
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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)...
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How To: Use a Saw Properly
PreparationPreparation is the most important ingredient for making clean, accurate, safe cuts. To properly prepare fo...
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How To: Determine If Your Carpenter's Square Is True
To determine whether a carpenter's square is true, all you need is a straight line. Sound too simple? First you lay t...
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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...
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Top Tips for Using a Floor Sander
Use a floor sander effectively in order to complete your hardwood refinishing project more quickly and easily.
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The Best Floor Sander for Beginning DIYers
Unless you plan to sand many floors in your lifetime, the best choice for do-it-yourself floor refinishing is the ran...
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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, ...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Quick Tip: Tool Maintenance
Tool Maintenance. Whatever your storage arrangements, keep your tools clean. After use, remove any sap or resins from...
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Protective Gear
There's nothing hard about wearing safety goggles or earplugs or a respirator when they are needed. The cost for such...
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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...
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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...
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Power Drivers
Power drivers are, for practical purposes, redesigned and re-engineered electric drills. Drills and drivers look much...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Marking Tools
When using a marking tool, whether it is a pencil, an awl or something else, surgeon-like precision is the goal and ...
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Hand Squares
Traditionally the larger metal squares, like the rafter square, were thought of as carpenter's tools. In contrast, sm...
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Speed Square
Sometimes called a "magic square," angle square, or protractor square, this tool functions as a square but is shaped ...
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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 ...
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Combination Square
This tool is essentially an adjustable hand square, with a couple of clever advantages. It consists of a rigid steel...
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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 ...
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Drilling with Care
Drilling isn't difficult and, at least in comparison to sawing, it isn't particularly dangerous. Still, skilled drill...
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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...
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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...
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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,...
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Installing Sound Attenuation Insulation
The house is insulated for sound control to provide a quiet environment for baby. The installation of the insulation is demonstrated along with the necessary safe...
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Removing a Hazardous Tree
A large rotted tree is removed for safety reasons.
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Building the Roof Deck With Ipe
Bob watches the ongoing installation of the roof deck, which is being built woth a sustainable tropical hardwood decking called Ipe.
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Kitchen Cabinet Installation
John Wellborn (from Wellborn Cabinets) and carpenter Paul Anderson join Bob for the kitchen cabinet installation.
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Building Planter Boxes
Bob Ryley is in the garage workshop building a planter box for the sunroom.
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The Dominy Workshop at Winterthur Garden
Bob takes the first of many visits to the Winterthur Garden and Museum in Delaware's Brandywine Valley.
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Installing Molding on the Kitchen Cabinets
Paul Anderson attaches pre-finished crown molding around the kitchen cabinets in the modern Colonial project house.
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Sanding Wood Floors
In the sunroom, Howard Brickman is at work sanding the floors.
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Wall Stenciling
Decorator Leslie Curtis joins Bob in the modern Colonial project house parlor to discuss the room's wall treatments.
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Wall Stenciling, Continued
Artisan Ken Forcier are applying the second "layer" of the stencil he's using to decorate in the parlor of the modern Colonial.
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Picture Framing
Interior designer Leslie Curtis shows off another of her decorating ideas in the dining room.
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Leveling the Floor
Bob meets lead carpenter Connor McKenna from Thorough Construction, who is working with the original floor joists in preparation for the hardwood floors.
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Installing the Subfloor
Thorough Construction's lead carpenter Connor McKenna applies panel adhesive to the tops of the new, sistered joists before laying four-by-eight sheets of Georgia...
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Steel Bulkhead, Cedar Siding and Metal Flashing, and Standing Seam Steel Roof Installation
In a progress report, Ted Riley shows Bob the pre-primed red cedar siding , the heavy-duty metal Bilco bulkhead installation, and the Quechee home's standing seam...
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Building the Foyer Staircase
Bob visits with carpenter Mark Fortunati, who is building a traditional-looking staircase in the foyer.
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Home Technology Update
Bob meets up with Tim Woods (of the Internet Home Alliance) in the basement of the Quechee home to hear about the progress made integrating the connected home tec...
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Reviewing the Features of OnStar and the Home Entertainment Center
Bob checks email from his truck using GM OnStar's Virtual Advisor functionality. He then meets with Tim Woods (from the Internet Home Alliance) to check out the P...
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Skylight and Gable Window Installation
Bob goes up to the attic of the Victorian project house, where an ODL tubular skylight is being installed. Also, Bob looks back at the installation of windows on ...
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Installing Copper Gutters
Bob watches as gutters are installed along the copper-roofed breezeway.
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Building the Backyard Deck
Bob observes as general contractor Charlie Tomaszewski finishes up the picture framing for the mahogany deck.
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Building Cabinets
Bob visits Todd Allen's cabinet shop, where he helps to mill and assemble the cabinets for the loft conversion project.
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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.
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Installing a Brick Walkway and Porch Lighting, and Milling the Railings and Balusters
Contractors put in the brick walkway. Forester Moulding and Lumber replicates the porch railings and balusters. Also, new security and sprinkler systems are insta...
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Block Wall Demolition
Bob and contractor Ed Weller meet to demolish a block wall in order to open up the room for remodeling.
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Laying Redwood Decking
Bob confers with carpenter Cortney Lofton, as he lays the redwood decking for the back porch.
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Wood Floor Repair
Bob and homeowner Gavin repair and refinish a 75-year-old oak floor. Because the new patch floor panels have a different thickness from the original, a belt sande...
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Shingle Siding
Bob joins carpenter Bob Ryley, who is putting sidewall shingles onto the exterior of the new addition.
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Skylight Installation
Bob joins contractor Bob Ryley, who is installing a Velux skylight on a curb mount. Ryley describes the screws and mounting hardware used, and Bob demonstrates th...
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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 ...
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Removing Trees from the Project Site
Bob joins contractor Bob Ryley and the tree removal specialist to discuss clearing the site. Special tips on chainsaw use and safety are provided.
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Finishing Touches in the Kitchen
In the kitchen, where the white pine cabinets have been installed, Bob Ryley demonstrates how to adjust a European door hinge before he finishes putting in a plat...
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Adding Clapboard Siding
Contractor Bob Ryley explains the process of installing the new clapboards. Using galvanized nails, the boards are added in a staggered pattern for better visual ...
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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 l...
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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.
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Blueboard and Plaster
Bob joins plastering contractor Bob Fragakis, who will install blueboard, then apply a skim coat of plaster over it. Fragakis explains the tools and materials use...
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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-fash...
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Recycling a Hardwood Floor
Flooring contractor Leo Boudreau shows Bob how to recycle hardwood flooring. First, the floor must be salvaged. A pry bar is used to lift and remove the wood, pie...
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Installing Fixtures in a Tiled Bath
Bob checks out the handmade tiles and selected plumbing fixtures in the remodeled bath. When general contractor Tim Berky drills into the tile, he stresses the im...
All bookworms need a good bookmark that inspires them to keep reading. To make this colorful bookmark, cut a rectangular p... It turns out that many bath and kitchen cleansers contain chemicals that are dangerous to the skin and eyes, and often pro... So often we paint tiny nooks white to make them appear larger, but opting for a dark, dramatic wall color like this one—Be... Chocolate-colored walls and large window frames allow the exposed wood beams to take center stage in this small screened p... If you're not crazy about the idea of commingling plants and pool, this modern variation may be more to your liking. The s... Yes, a freestanding garage can become its own tiny house. Artist Michelle de la Vega has all the comforts of a modern resi... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... Pursue what's known as the stack effect. To achieve it, open the windows on both the upper and lower floors, and as warm a... Like no other floor type, a checkerboard design works wonders to underscore the retro kitchen theme. Vinyl flooring, ceram... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... For the cost of a can of exterior paint , you can totally transform your porch. Paint the floor a hue that complements yo... In this urban apartment, a standard-issue patio became a serene and green perch by replacing the typical concrete with gro... If you put the washing machine in the mudroom, you can stop the kids from walking through the house in dirty, grass-staine...
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