Some stocking-stuffer suggestions for the do-it-yourselfer

A vending machine filled with safety equipment, including work gloves, at a Suncor Energy site north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on Wednesday September 27, 2017. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network

Today we’re going to be making the Christmas holiday season less stressful by suggesting a few gift ideas for those needing to buy for the little do-it-yourselfer in your home.

First, let’s review the list of DIY what-not-to-buys, which will include most gifts relating to improving one’s personal grooming and/or level of fitness. Even though most do-it-yourselfers could possibly benefit from a facial, manicure, and participating in an introductory yoga class, it would be helpful if those around us simply accepted the fact a bar of soap is all the cleansing product we require, including the washing of one’s hair, and that when our fingernails get long, biting them or trimming them with a drywall knife is a more efficient use of time than sitting in a chair and having them filed. And being asked to touch one’s nose to one’s knee cap is about as desirable as attending a class where it’s the instructor’s duty to repeatedly kick you in the groin.

So, what does the average do-it-yourselfer really need? Support tools.

Now, receiving an actual tool would be great, with there certainly being little chance of disappointment should your DIYer tear open the wrapping paper and discover a 20-volt drill/impact combo, or cordless brad nailer. But, it’s the drill bits, driver bits, and saw blades that wear out the quickest, and what make for much appreciated stocking stuffers.

Start by examining your DIY’s table, circular, and chop-saw tools. You’ll want to measure the diameter of the blade, the size of the hole at the center of the blade, and the number of teeth. Best case scenario, if there happen to be a few blades hanging around, is to bring them into your building supply centre with you. This way there’s zero chance of buying the wrong size or type of blade.

Plus, old blades can generally be sharpened for a reasonable rate. So, while you’re choosing a new blade, leave the old ones behind for sharpening. Or, you can get your DIYer started on the exchange-a-blade program, whereby circular blades are purchased, then returned once they’re worn, and exchanged for a new blade at a much-reduced price. This way there’s no down-time of having to wait for blades to be sharpened, or need of having any more than a few backup blades in the shop.

Note, not all blades qualify for the exchange-a-blade program. So, make sure the blade you’re purchasing has the EAB (exchange-a-blade) stamp.

Grinder type blades, used for concrete or steel, wear out quickly, so stuff a few of those in the sock as well.

Next, if your DIY’er owns a recipro saw (aka sawsall) and/or jigsaw, pick up a few general cutting wood and steel blades for these tools. Recipro saw blades are pretty well standard, whereby any size of blade will fit most brands, however jigsaw blades can differ from one manufacturer to another, so be sure to check the fitted end of the blade for compliancy.

Next, look for various sizes of drill bits for steel, and spade drilling bits for wood, as well as driver bits for screws. Consider picking up a 10-piece multi-driver bit kit, which will accommodate most screw heads, and a 10-pack of the No. 2 Robertson drivers, the most popular size of screw bit driver.

Next, if you’re considering driver bits, then round off that gift with go-to canisters of decking screws (which can be used indoors and outdoors) in the more popular 1.5-inch to 3.5-inch lengths.

Other ideas?

Paint brushes, masking tape, fiberglass tape, a small tub of mud, a drywall knife, a bottle of glue, all the little things one tends to look for in a pinch and never finds, like safety glasses and work gloves. I went to get work gloves from a pail of several pairs of gloves I keep in the garage, all were worn through at the fingertips. This year, my letter to Santa will include work gloves.

Good building.

As published by the Standard-Freeholder
Handyman's Hints Standard-Freeholder Cornwall Ontario by Chris Emard

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