Tools - Medium

Old kitchen knife

A Serrated Kitchen Knife that is about 25cm long. I found it in my kitchen when I moved into my house. I do not know what it has been used for in the past, so I am certainly not going to let it touch my food. However it is the ideal tool for cutting the insulation to length. It is also useful for taking the wrapping of the insulation.

F Clamps. This could prompt a debate into expensive tools that work well and last a lifetime, or cheap tools that do not last as long but cost a fraction of the cost. I will just add, I have some quality tools I look after and are a joy to work with. I have others which were cheap, I will use for a while learning how they should be used, then I will buy a quality replacement. Breaking a new expensive tool due to inexperience is very disappointing. These F Clamps are too cheap.

Red handles F clamps

A Pad Saw. I have only used this once, when expanding the loft hatch, to cut away the unwanted plaster board. It has subsequently gone rusty. It was very good at cutting plasterboard, and I would recommend you get one (they are not expensive, even considering I only used it once).

A Junior Hacksaw. Good for cutting small stuff, but not very small stuff. This currently means the silver steel for axles. However I have recently got a razor saw that I now use for some jobs in preference to the junior hacksaw. I actually made this junior hacksaw at secondary school.

Simple junior hacksaw
Vernier callipers with jaws open

Vernier Callipers. This is an accurate way (to 1/20mm or 1/1000") of measuring components such as axles, bearings, motors etc. It can measure internal or external dimensions or even the depth of a hole. However there is a knack to reading the scale. Like many of my tools I got this second hand, not from a dealer, but a member of the public at a car boot sale. He wanted to get rid of the tool, not make a profit, so I think I got a bargain.

A Wooden Block. This was actually a scrap piece of timber discarded by a colleague at a woodworking class. She had drilled out a number of wooden plugs to fill in the top of screw holes, so one side is flat and the other has a number of shallow, but quite large, holes in it.

Simple junior hacksaw

It is not used as a cutting mat. It is the equivalent of the V block used by jewellers. I saw thicker plastic sections across the corner, which raises the section above the bench. I can also cut right through the section with it being supported fully by the wood, not over hanging it. This damages the wooden block, but it is easily replaced.

The wood can also be used when drilling to produce a neater hole because the far side of the material is pressed against the wood preventing it splaying out. This again damages the wood, but so what? If I want to enlarge a hole with a file or knife etc I can place the material over one of the holes. I also use it to catch the drips from the hot glue gun.

Unless you do some form of woodwork (such as flooring your loft or making furniture) it can be hard to get hold of small scraps of wood and it is a shame to buy a good bit to treat as scrap.

TV Guide used as cutting mat

A Cutting mat. An old magazine TV guide) on top of an old newspaper makes a good cutting mat. The TV guide is not 'self healing' like some top-of-the-range cutting mats, so needs to be replaced regularly, but not more often than once a week, which is how often I would otherwise discard an old TV guide.

Zip Seal Bags. A flexible way of storing 'stuff' together. Very useful when dismantling a car to keep all the parts together. Since the bags can change shape, they waste less space than a set of boxes if all the bags are put together in one big box. The zip seal prevents parts from falling out and being lost. This is the problem with normal plastic bags.

Zip seal bags to hold small parts

The zip seal bags are also see through so you can see what is inside quickly without emptying the container. You can also write on the bag with a permanent marker to highlight any special information or notes for later e.g. Needs new motor. These bags came from a supermarket and only come in one size. I have found a cheap source (not available on the Internet so no link) of different sized bags, but not as large as these.

Various old food containers

Old food containers. I also save plastic food containers such as those for margarine or coleslaw for storing stuff. Solid containers are better for storing delicate and fragile items. They are also free depending on your choice of food, other wise you could buy Tupperware containers or similar.

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