Do It Yourself: Get Some Tools #30DaysofGOOD
Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do 30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for July? Do It Yourself.
Tools: What to Get and Where to Get Them
A key component of "doing it yourself" is using the right tool for the job. All DIYers should have a toolkit with at least a basic set of hand tools. Then add specialty pieces for the type of projects you do the most. Below is a quick rundown of what to start assembling.
Here's my list of must-have hand tools. These are the ones you'll need for the projects we'll talk about this month:
- Screwdrivers: Phillips head (size #1) and slotted head
- Adjustable wrench
- Tape measure (25' tends to be a good length)
- Hammer (16oz curved-claw is a good general-use size)
- Tool box or bag (something open and easy to access works best)
Additionally, here are some useful, but not crucial, hand tools to start looking into. These become more important when you start doing mechanical/automotive work and woodwork:
- Socket set and ratchets
- Wrench set
- Clamps (There's a saying: "You can never have enough clamps." As you start working on projects, you'll find this is very true.)
- Sandpaper of various coarseness
- Saw (A general purpose handsaw is great for wood projects. You'll want a hacksaw for cutting metal.)
Beyond hand tools, power tools are very common and affordable additions to your kit. The first and most useful piece to get is a drill—cordless, if you anticipate moving locations frequently, but don't discount corded drills as they're cheaper, longer-lasting, and more reliable (nothing sucks like discovering that your batteries are all dead just as you start a project).
Lastly, for large projects, check with your local library for a tool-lending program. Many communities offer a wide range of tools that you can borrow and use, as long as you're a member of that library. I've done demolition with a jackhammer I borrowed from Berkeley's tool library (housed on the side of their regular book library), saving me a lot of money and time from having to buy or rent that tool for the job.
We're giving away $1000 for you to share your own DIY skills with others. Participate in our Host a GOOD Workshop challenge.
So You Think You’re a Foodie? Pop culture was onto these trends way before you were. A sampling of the screwball comedies, sob stories, and sci-fis that anticipated our culinary moment
Dear Nine-Year-Old Me The transition is going to be difficult for you, but whenever you feel a little lonely and left out, take comfort in the knowledge that you are honing one of your greatest superpowers.
What to Do When Your Country is Drowning The wild and desperate ways island nations are fighting the effects of climate change
The Rise of Drone Pizza Delivery Why the skies will soon be filled with flying, snack-bearing robots
How Helsinki Became a Public Transporation Paradise One European city plans to make car ownership obsolete within a decade.
Follow the Crowd NanoCrafter and the rise of group intelligence Why online gaming may just be the future of science
The Empathy Mirror Neurofeedback enables us to better see ourselves in the other. Recent discoveries in neurofeedback can teach you to be less of a dick.
Robots On Ice Probe the Arctic Why a team of research robots is investigating disappearing sea ice, and why you should care
Don’t Turn Away Colin Finlay photographs the consequences of climate change. You will never see more beautiful photos of the deteriorating state of our planet than the ones in this photo feature.
Puppy Love How dogecoin spawned an improbable community of giving What a canine-emblazoned cryptocurrency can teach about philanthropy
Positive In, Positive Out: How a USC Alumna is Coping with Lymphoma Coast Guard Reserves member Cassie Sulfridge, 28, had just graduated from MSW@USC, the Southern California university’s web-based Master of Social Work program, and was working two jobs when her life was turned upside down.
Politics by Yummier Means An Israeli-Palestinian popup restaurant and the precarious art of gastric diplomacy Two chefs win over hearts, minds, and stomachs in Jerusalem.