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Get Free Read & Download Files Ultimate To House Framing 3rd Edition PDF. ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HOUSE FRAMING 3RD EDITION. Download: Ultimate. Design. Guide. A State-of-the-Art Engineering. Resource for Light-Frame Homes, This document is a unique and comprehensive tool for design professionals. Ultimate Guide to House Framing, 3rd Edition, leads homeowners through the steps of building a structure by means of platform framing, the most popular style .
But this is the real world and, unfortunately, not every contractor is honest. When the couple called to nd out why the contractor hadnt shown up to do the work, the phone number provided by the contractor turned out to be disconnected. So please, take care. TIP Protect trees and vegeta- tion. If you want trees, vegetation, and other site features to be preserved during the construction process, rope them off before the work begins.
Heavy equipment can damage roots that are close to the surface. It can also compact soil, limiting water absorption. Mounted on a post, this temporary setup consists of a meter to measure power consumption, a ser- vice panel to turn electricity on and off, an outdoor receptacle where extension cords can be plugged in, and conduit that runs back to the main power lines.
A clean, well-organized job site enhances safety and improves construction efciency. Remember, youre going to live in this neigh- borhood. Theres no time like the present to be friendly and to get to know your neighbors.
If youre building in a remote area, youll probably need a generator to get electricity to the site. Ive built many houses using a portable, gas- powered generator. Make sure your generator is capable of supplying power to several tools at once. Provide a fence for safety and security Installing a fence around your site is a good idea. It can deter or prevent the theft of tools and building materials.
It also makes the site safer by discouraging unauthorized visits. Liability insurance is also a good idea, and it may even be required if youre borrowing money from a bank. Always work to keep your site safe, organized, and free of debris, especially boards with nails protruding from them.
Stack unused materials neatly, keep trenches covered, and limit access to any unsafe areas. One nail in a workers foot or a bad ankle sprain from tripping into a trench can cost a lot of time in medical attention and recovery. To increase the cost of a house, all you need to do is complicate its design.
Affordable housing is, by nature, small and simple. The same formula that makes for a safe house in earthquake countrysmall, low, and lightmakes for an affordable house anywhere in the country.
Money-saving design ideas The houses featured throughout this book are some of the most cost-efcient designs you can build see the photo on the facing page. On a small lot, where setbacks seriously limit the footprint of the house, you may need to consider a small, two-story design. Habitat for Humanity has a good selection of basic house plans that t the needs of most families see Resources on p.
Admittedly, the bedrooms are not discothque size, but you can do your dancing in the living and dining room. In a house, quantity of space doesnt necessarily translate into quality of life. When my children were young, I enclosed our front porch and made two 5-ft. They were cozy, sun-lled spaces; one was used for study, one for music.
To my surprise, those two tiny rooms became the most popular parts of the house. A well-sited, well-designed house elicits that kind of reaction see the sidebar at right.
Another way to conserve space and save money is to choose a oor plan that reduces or eliminates hallways. As you look over a house design, remember that doorways need to be at least 32 in. Such a building is a stranger to its land. Sometimes we can do better than that. Ideally, a house should be of the land, not merely on the land.
Pay attention to the natural lay of the land, the path the sun takes overhead, the direc- tion from which the prevailing wind blows, the good views that long to be seen, and the bad views that really should be hidden. Try to position the house so that you bring some of the outdoors in, but take into account the landscapes features.
In high-wind areas, the gable end of a house should be turned so it isnt exposed to the prevailing winds. A great way to get information and inspiration for a new home design is to camp out on your building site. Youll learn about the path of the sun, prevailing breezes, and nice views. But building is more than just a physical and intellectual feat. Open your heart, and let it tell you what feels good.
Trust your intu- ition. Youll wind up with a much better house. TIP Practice building with a scale model. By as- sembling a scale model of your house, you can troubleshoot the building process, solving prob- lems before you begin full-scale construction. You can download balsa wood in different dimensions and other model-making supplies from a well- stocked hobby shop or craft supply store.
Habitat houses are affordable and easy to build. Like most Habitat houses, this one in Charlotte, N. And keep in mind that the direction in which a door swings can affect how well a room works and where you can place the furniture.
Other cost-saving strategies have more to do with materials and energy use. Keep the kitchen and the bath on the same side of the house to minimize rough plumbing expenses. In cold regions of the country, run plumbing lines in in- terior walls and enclose the porch as a mudroom to minimize heat loss when coming and going.
To nd out which house designs work well in your area, seek advice from local builders, build- ing inspectors, designers, or architects.
Youll nd its not too difcult to modify basic plans to suit your needs and meet building-code requirements in your region see Resources on p. Check with your building department to see whether your house is required to have a garage.
Habitat for Humanitys policy is to build for people, not cars, but some municipalities require garages. Sometimes, however, you can get a variance to build off-street parking rather than a garage. Design for the future Consider building a wheelchair ramp leading to an entry or at least providing room for a ramp to be built in the future.
An accessible ramp has a 1-in rise 1 ft. When designing a house, its smart to look beyond what your needs are today. Try to think about and allow for expansion in the future.
An addition to the familywhether a new child or an elderly parentoften requires adding a bedroom. If you plan ahead, youll have room to expand when you need to. This can save a lot of work and money down the line. Small doesnt mean boring Whether we admit it or not, we all respond emotionally to our surroundings. Buildings create interior environments that can be drab, Small is beautiful.
With some thoughtful design, a small house can have a warm, cozy feel while still offering plenty of conve- nience and privacy. How a building looks, how its laid out, the materials usedall these inuence how we feel. Ive vis- ited huge, expensive homes that were not very inviting.
Just because a house is big does not mean that it is warm and attractive. Even a small, plain house can be made to feel inviting and uplifting, giving us pleasure, raising our spirits, and making us feel safe and secure see the photo on the facing page.
In the years that Ive been a Habitat volunteer, Ive had Details make a difference. Built-in drawers, painted wood paneling, and a well-crafted va- lance above the window make this small space extra special. In this book, Ive tried to include many of the lessons Ive learnedthings such as ensuring that there are two sources of light in every room.
For example, add an easy-to-install tube skylight in a dark area. Simple things like this can help make rooms bright and cheery. Ask the right questions Getting the details right will make life more convenient when you move into your house. Details also present many opportunities to make spaces special by using color schemes, hardware, unique materials, and built-in features see the photo at left.
As youre work- ing out your houses design, ask yourself these key questions: Is there a place to set groceries when I enter? Where will we hang up our coats or take off our boots when we come inside in the winter? Is it easy to get food to the table and to clear the dishes? More than anything else you do, thinking about how you will actu- ally live in the house will help you rene its design and ensure that the experience of living in it is a pleasant one.
Let me suggest that your building experience will be immeasurably more positive, productive, and efcient if you view the build- ing department as a resource and think of the building inspector as someone who can help you. Certainly there are exceptions, as there are in any eld, but, by and large, building depart- ments and building inspectors exist to protect prospective homeowners from unscrupulous or incompetent builders and owner-builders from themselves.
The building inspector knows the building codes, which have been developed over the years to ensure that safe, durable houses are built.
With it you can see the size of the building, the arrangement of the living spaces, and the location of doors and windows. HIGH Using this plan, a concrete contractor can build a crawl-space foundation for your house. Other foundations can be on a slab or include a basement. It also shows where utilities like water and electricity are located. He or she wants a house that doesnt leak, isnt a re hazard, complies with zoning requirements, and can stand up to every- day use and all but the most severe natural disas- ters.
Building inspectors really are on your side. Taking the plans to a building department to request permits need not be a big affair. I have often submitted basic plans on in.
Plans do need to be drawn to scale, and the most common scale is 1 4 in. Using graph paper can help with preliminary designing, but an inexpensive computer-aided design CAD program makes professional-looking plans that are simple to draw and easy to change. For a simple house, most building departments need the basic types of drawings shown on pp.
The oor plan shows the location and size of doors and windows and often the location of electrical, plumbing, and heating system components see the symbols explained in the sidebar at right. Even the location, spac- ing, and direction of the roof trusses can be found here. Think of a wall section drawing as an apple thats been sliced in half to reveal its core see the drawing on p.
Both section and detail plans see p. Besides the terminology of building plates, braces, lined walls, plumb, toenail, and the like , theres also the visual vo- cabulary of lines, symbols, and notations found on building plans. Fortunately, most of these symbols are fairly easy to understand see the illustration below. Its important to become familiar with building plans so that you can begin to visualize, from a two- dimensional representation, what the house will look like with the walls framed and the xtures and appliances in place.
Its far easier and less expensive to make a change at the planning stage than after the walls and rough plumbing are in place. Symbols are also used on plans to tell us where to place a window or where a water heater goes or when to install a bifold door, for example.
These are use- ful for providing clarication or additional detail that isnt shown in the other drawings. If you can draw it, you can build it If youre drawing your own plans, the process though slow and often frustratingwill give you a clearer understanding of your house than many builders ever have.
It can save you from making costly mistakes and will likely contrib- ute to building a better house. A good way to test your ability to visualize a house design based on plans is to visit some building sites where you can examine both the plans and the actual construction details as the house goes up.
If youve bought stock plans, they may seem bewildering initially; as you work with them, theyll become much easier to read and understand. The ability to both draw and read plans gets easier with experience. Knowing which step follows whichfor example, when to call the electrical company to install a tempo- rary power pole, when to call the plumber to install drains and vents in the joist systemis key to organizing tasks and materials so that work isnt held up.
This knowledge comes primarily from experience, but for the rst- time builder Ive listed most of the steps in the process see pp. When my brothers and I were building houses, we spent many hours planning and organizing so that we always knew what to do next, who would do it, and when and how it would be done. Organizing time and materials is an essential skill for any builder, whether that builder is working with professionals, friends, family, or Habitat volunteers.
Staying organized and on top of the situation is TIP Improve your design skills. Check with your local community college if youre interested in learning how to read house plans or design a house. Most community colleges offer courses in computer- aided design, drafting, and construction management. Careful planning, good organization, and effective communica- tion will ensure that less-experienced workers are able to contribute meaningfully and feel good about the work they are doing.
Display patience, understanding, and openness People of all ages and abilities come to Habitat job sites wanting to work. Try to give them work that they can do successfully, so that more than just a house is built. Sometimes its easy to get along with your coworkers; at other times, its quite challenging. Youll nd this to be true on a Habitat project, on your own construction site, and in every situation in life.
We all know what its like to work with people who are arrogant, have an attitude, or are unwilling to listen and learn. We also know whats its like to work with people who treat us as equals, listen to us, show patience when we are trying to learn a new skill, and praise our efforts even when we fall short of expecta- tions.
Try to be the latter, and have patience with the former. Most equipment rental dealers have a temporary power pole that you can set up at the job site. Mount the service panel, which the electric utility will install, on the power pole. Naturally, there will always be un- foreseen or site-specic steps, but this list should serve as a fairly thorough guide to building a house, from raw idea to move-in day.
Getting started s Look for land and determine whether you can build on it. Most of us dont want to live in a mansion. We only want a clean, safe place where we can live and raise our children.
A decent house uplifts our spirits and provides dignity and hope for the future. It is hard for many people to realize what its like to live in a moldy, leaky house with rat holes in the wall and plumbing thats inadequate or nonexistent.
Yet that is the condition of millions of people living around the world today. Poor housing is not just somewhere else. Every city in this country has its share. Habitat for Humanity has a goal of eliminating poor hous- ing by working with families who need a hand up. There is no magic wand to wave that will produce a new home. Decent housing is built because people like you and me roll up our sleeves, pick up our hammers, and start building.
What we may not be able to do alone can be accomplished when we work together. Lots of sweat, a little skill, and a shared vision get the job done. During this process of working together, we build much more than houses. We meet all kinds of interesting people and develop close friendships as we work side by side, take breaks together, and share stories. Many hands, one goal. Working together gets the job done. Readying the foundation for oor framing. Get bids on work and materials.
Select subcontractors and suppli- ers. Schedule work and deliveries. Foundation s Trench and prepare for concrete footings and a foundation or slab.
Suboor s Have the oor framing and sheathing materials delivered. Walls s Have the wall framing and wall sheathing materials delivered. Frame and erect the walls. Sheathing the oor. Raising the walls. Nailing up sheathwall. Build the porch, deck, and stairs.
After theyre built, cover the deck and stairs with scraps of OSB to protect them until the job is nished. Roof s Order the roof trusses at least two weeks in advance of your anticipated need.
Install the ridge vent. Doors, windows, siding, and paint s Order the windows and exterior doors two to three weeks before your anticipated need. TIP Schedule inspections ahead of time. To avoid delays, contact the building inspector sev- eral days before you expect each inspection to take place. Installing roof trusses. Sheathing the roof. Prime both sides of the wood siding and trim. Install the siding. Installing a window.
Installing berglass batt insulation.
Drywall and paint s Have the drywall delivered. Install drywall on the walls and ceilings. Finish oors s Install the underlayment for the vinyl oor covering. Built-ins and trim s Install the cabinets and countertops. Install the doors. Install the trim.
Nailing up drywall.
Installing an interior prehung door. Touch up where necessary. Finishing touches s Install the nish plumbing and the electrical and heating units.
Set up the mailbox. Plant trees, grass, shrubs, and owers. Painting the interior trim. Installing a wall cabinet. Ages before we began recording our history, our ancestors were shaping and joining materials to create various types of shelters. Today, we are the fortunate inheritors of centuries of accumulated knowledge, experience, skills, and tools.
Although carpentry continues to be transformed by technology from computer-aided design programs to cordless tools and pneumatic nailers , many basic tools and techniques remain unchanged.
It still takes a human hand wrapped around a hammer handle to build a decent place to live. Like basic carpentry tools, many parts of the house have stayed the same over the years.
Technology has improved some of the parts, as well as created new ones. But the house is still the same basic structure it always was. Before you start building a house, its essential to learn the com- mon language spoken on construction sites and in home centers, lumberyards, and building-supply stores. Tool-downloading Tips When I started working as a carpenter in the late s, almost every task was done with hand tools. I remember spending hours cutting a pile of 24s to length with a crosscut saw.
Floors were sheathed with 16s, both ends of which had to be cut at degree angles. Cutting all the pieces of a house by hand was a big job, to say the least. In , when I bought my rst circular saw, my world as a carpenter changed forever. But what began as a boon the proliferation of new and better tools has over the years also become downright bewildering. Each time I walk into a tool center or receive a tool catalog in the mail, I am amazed by the dizzying array of carpentry tools offered for sale.
When there are 50 differ- ent models, even downloading something as basic as a hammer can be frustrating. Try before you download So what do you look for when downloading a tool? Well, it helps to remember that tools are not like stretch socks, where one size ts all. A circular saw, for example, may have the right combina- tion of power and weight but still feel out of balance or awkward when you hold it.
A tool thats not comfortable is like a shoe that is one size too small. Its never a bargain, regardless of price. A tool that feels good in your hands will most likely be easy and safe to use. So, whenever possible, try before you download. Visit home centers and tool dealers that have good selections of tools. Grip the tool to test its balance and feel. If you have small hands, rule out tools that arent easy to hold comfortably.
Try the controls and adjustments, too. Use this hands-on information to make your selections. Get advice from the pros Talk to carpenters, who use tools daily, and ask them for their preferences.
Research magazines, such as Fine Homebuilding and the Journal of Light Construction, which evaluate tools. And always download the best quality you can afford. Most of us know the experience of wishing we had bought quality rather than a piece of junk. Professional tools cost more initially, but they are more durable, more powerful, and easier and safer to use. Ironically, they make it easier to be a beginner.
download tools as you need them If youre intending to work professionally as a carpenter, youll eventually acquire quite a large collection of tools. If, however, youre only plan- ning to build one house or work with Habitat as a weekend volunteer, a small kit of essential tools should stand you in good stead.
In addi- tion to the basics described on the following pages, you can acquire more specialized tools as you need them, which is the best way to do it anyway. Otherwise, you may wind up with un- necessary tools that clutter your tool belt, your storage bucket, and your life. You can also rent specialized tools if you plan to use them just a few times.
Essential Hand Tools The fundamental tasks of carpentry are mea- suring, marking, cutting, and joining. And though circular saws and power drill-drivers have largely replaced handsaws, braces, and screwdrivers, many carpentry tasks can still be done with hand tools see the photo above. Like power tools, many hand tools have improved over the years. TIP Avoid overload- ing. As you move from one phase of construction to another, make sure youre not car- rying around unnecessary tools or nails in your tool belt.
The added weight can tire you. Have a good job-site handsaw. A compact, tool- box-size handsaw is good to have around in case someone else is using the circular saw or you have just a few boards to cut. Flexible steel tapes have replaced old-fashioned wooden rules, because theyre more compact and capable of measuring much longer distances quickly and accurately. Steel tapes come in many sizes and lengths, but the most common are ft.
I prefer a ft. A ft. Tape mea- sures have moving parts and receive heavy use, so use the following tips to treat them with special care: Measuring and marking. A steel tape measure is one of the most-used tools in a carpenters kit. Just like a ruler, a tape is laid out in feet, inches, and frac- tions of inches.
Knowing how to read a tape quickly and accurately is an essential skill for anyone involved in the building trades.
The key to being able to read a tape is learn- ing and understanding all the subdivisions of an inch see the illustration at right. Each inch is divided into halves, quarters, eighths, and sixteenths. Once you can discern the meaning of all these little marks, youll have no problem measuring 13 ft. Study the drawing and your own tape until you can rattle off accurate readings at a glance. In addition to feet and inches, a tape also has special marks at 16 in.
Some tapes also have decimal equiva- lents and a metric conversion scale on the back. Practice using a tape so your measurements will be accurate. A creased tape will never work properly. Learn to slow the tape with your ngers as the hook approaches the case. A soft rag damp- ened with mineral spirits works well to remove those materials. Moisture inside the tape case can cause rust and friction, which can shorten the tapes life span.
Pocket calculators Building a house involves math problems galore. Whether guring out the amount of concrete needed for a driveway, the square footage of oor space in a house, the number of studs for a wall, or the amount of shingles needed for the roof, these are not numbers you want to leave to chance.
Math challenged or not, I recommend using a small hand-held calculator. There are several on the market, and they work in feet, inches, and fractions see Resources on p.
Levels Checking for level horizontal and plumb vertical are construction tasks that carpenters do every day. Both 2-ft. The 2-ft. A 4-ft. More so than perhaps any other carpentry tool, a level must be treated with loving care to remain useful an inaccurate level does you no favors. Check your levels for accuracy before you put them to work see the tip at top left. TIP Check a level for level. To check a levels accuracy, place it edge to edge against another level and against a at surface thats close to level.
If the level vials on both tools read the same, you can assume both levels are accurate. Test the vials that read for plumb in the same way. New calculators that work in feet and inches make it easy to solve many construc- tion problems. Available in different lengths, levels can quickly test for plumb vertical and level horizontal. This may be why lasers are now almost as common as hammers on the job site.
Small, self-leveling laser units cast a beam of light that can help ensure accurate measure- ments. Some of these laser units are small enough to t in the palm of your hand see Resources on p.
Squares Most things a carpenter builds are either square or rectangular. With a good square or two, you can mark square lines exactly and make square cuts precisely. These days, the most useful square is a small rafter square, often called a Speed squarethe brand name of a popular model see the photo at left.
This triangular square ts conveniently inside a nail bag. Its rugged and easy to use and lets you lay out almost any desired angle, in addition to the usual degree and degree angles.
Small laser units are available to help you build straight, square, and plumb. A small, triangular rafter square is designed to lay out degree and degree angles quickly, but its also capable of laying out just about any angle you might need. A carpenters pencil and a lumber crayon, or keel, are the two most common marking tools youll need.
A carpenters pencil is at so it wont roll away if you set it down , and its less apt to break than a regular pencil. A keel marks easily where pencils canton materials such as tarpaper, housewrap, and concrete. Its waterproof, too. A chalkline is also essential. The rst chalkline I used was simply a string pulled through a solid chunk of chalk. Like most athletic endeavors, efcient nailing has at least as much to do with rhythm and coordination as it does with power and force.
Learn to nail using your entire body; make a uid shoulder, elbow, and forearm movement that ends with a decisive snap of the wrist see the illustration at right.
Practice your technique. Grasp the handle near the end with an easy, rm grip, making sure your thumb is wrapped around it. download a box of 8d or 16d framing nails, nd a hunk of wood, and start driving nails.
In time, youll be amazed at the speed and force with which you can drive nails. When pulling nails with a wooden-handled hammer, hook the nail and push the hammer to one side and then the other, rather than straight back see the photo at left. Otherwise, you could break the handle right at the hammers head. To pull nails with a metal-handled hammer, you can lever the hammer side- ways or backward. To increase your leverage, put a block under the head of the hammer.
Drive nails with a fluid stroke, involving shoulder, arm, and wrist action. The hammer face needs to strike the nail head flat. Driving nails is sort of like swinging a tennis racket.
Your grip on the handle should be secure but relaxed, and the swing should involve your entire arm and wrist. Loaded with powdered chalk, a chalkline stretched tightly between two points is snapped to make straight lines quickly and accurately. A corrugated face on the head far left hammer is the best choice for framing, because it tends to slip less on nail heads. For nish work, youll need a smaller hammer with a smooth face. You pull the chalk-covered string out of the case, snap your line, and then rewind the string in- side the case, where it becomes covered in chalk again, ready for the next line.
The chalk comes in many colors, including a few neon shades. Chalk that leaves a permanent line is good for working in rainy weather. Hammers Carpenters can be a bit touchy about their hammers.
You may have more luck borrow- ing a carpenters pickup truck than a favorite hammer. These days, most framers west of the Mississippi prefer a oz. My preference is the well-balanced Dalluge hammer. Women friends in the trade tell me they like the Stiletto, a oz.
East of the Mississippi, I see carpenters mostly using smooth-faced hammers with metal or berglass handles. Hammer faces and weights vary greatly see the photo above. The best advice I can give is to select a professional-grade hammer that feels good to you.
Denitely check out a hammer in person before you download it. It should match your physical strength, feel well balanced, and be comfortable in your hand. When I bring a new hammer home, I usually reinforce the upper part of the wooden handle by wrapping it with electrical tape. Utility knives and tinsnips A few more essential tools round out a carpen- ters basic, must-have kit. Perhaps foremost on this list is a utility knife.
On the job site, a utility knife may be used to open packages or cut building paper, berglass insulation, shingles, vinyl, or drywall.
Youll also need it several times a day to sharpen a carpenters pencil. I recommend using a knife with a retractable, replaceable blade and a handle with space inside to hold several replacement blades.
When a blade becomes dull, replace it or restore its edge with a whetstone. A dull blade doesnt cut as neatly and is dangerous because of the extra force required to make it cut. Youll need a good pair of tinsnips to cut steel packaging bands around lumber. Snips are TIP Shrink-wrap strengthens a wooden handle. Available from electrical suppliers, plastic shrink-wrap can add strength to a wooden hammer handle right where it countswhere the handle meets the head. Slip a 6-in.
Stay sharp. A good, sharp utility knife has many uses on a construction site, from sharpening a pencil to trimming shingles to opening packing material. Be careful when us- ing these cutting tools. Accidents with utility knives are common. Cats paws and at bars These prying tools really come in handy dur- ing new construction and remodeling work. Your hammers claw will generally work ne for removing exposed nails.
When a nail is buried, though, a cats paw is the tool to use. With a couple of hammer blows, you can sink the cats paw into a board, grab the head of a nail, and lever it above the surface. From there, your ham- mer takes over to completely remove the nail.
A at bar can also be used to pull nails, or it can be used as a prybar. In new construction, I often use a at bar to separate boards that have been temporarily nailed together and to slip aluminum or vinyl trim under a drip edge see the photo at right. Tool Carriers Once you have a few tools, youll need to carry them with you as you frame walls and install siding or shingles. It doesnt work well to carry a measuring tape in your jeans and to sh nails from a shirt pocket.
Fifty years ago, when I started working as a carpenter, we wore white carpenters overalls with a lot of little pockets for nails and tools. Those soon gave way to cloth aprons, which were replaced by heavy leather aprons with a wide leather belt.
Today, nylon pouches seem to be taking over, and for good reason: The best versions are lighter than leather and just as durable. As with tools, the selection of tool belts, pouches, and holders can be confusing. There are good belt and pouch systems for both men and women. Inexpensive versions are available for novice and occasional builders. If youre serious about construction work, consider some of the tool belt systems that allow you to add pouches and holders as you need them.
For larger items or for tools that are used only occasionally, the traditional carpenters toolbox has given way to the carpenters tool bucket see the photo at left. This is just a 5-gal. Available where tool belts and pouches are sold, builders suspenders can help take some weight off your waist and put it on your shoulders. They look good, too. A at bar has many uses. Here, a volunteer uses a at bar to help slip a piece of aluminum cladding under the roofs drip edge.
Create a tote for tools. Fit- ted with a pouch-covered canvas or nylon insert, a 5-gal. Working on a construction site is not a sunny stroll in the park. There are all kinds of unusual, uncomfort- able, and potentially hazardous conditions you may encounteruneven ground, troublesome weather, boards with protruding nails, and sloped roof sur- faces that challenge your balance.
Learning how to work safely and effectively in a construction environ- ment is just one more skill that you need to acquire, such as hammering a nail or sawing a board. Here are some basic suggestions to keep you safe and productive: N Wear good shoes, clothes that t well, long- sleeved shirts, long pants, a hat with a brim, and sunscreen. Leave jewelry at home, and bunch up long hair, so it doesnt get caught in a power tool. N Protect your eyes with safety glasses or goggles when sawing or nailing.
N Protect your ears. Hearing damage is cumulative and permanent; once youve damaged your ears, you cant undo it. I keep a few sponge earplugs in a 35mm lm canister stored in my tool bucket.
N Protect your lungs with a dust mask. N To prevent back injuries, remember to lift with your legs, not your back. If youll be working on your knees, wear kneepads. N To reduce the risk of tripping or stepping on a nail, keep your work area clean.
N If you see any nails sticking out of boards, either bend the nails or remove them. N Never throw anything off a roof without looking to see whether anyone is below. N Dont drink or do drugs while doing construction work. N No one under 18 years of age should be permitted on a construction site with hazardous materials. N No one under 16 years of age should ever be per- mitted on a construction site. N Work with a clear head and pay attention to what you and others around you are doing.
Be especially careful toward the end of the day, when you are physically tired. N Pay attention to your inner voice. If you feel that something might be dangerous, ask for help or gure out a better way to do it. N Dont forget to rest and drink plenty of water.
Your body can become dehydrated rapidly on a hot, dry day. If you arent visiting the Porta Potti regularly, you arent drinking enough water.
N Keep your tools sharp and clean, take care of them, and treat them well. N Take a course in basic rst aid. Begin to lift, keeping your back straight, and gradually straighten your legs. Finish with both your back and your knees straight, but don't lock your knees. One of the reasons so many carpenters have lower back pain is that they never learned to lift heavy loads properly. For orga- nizing specialized tools collections of drill bits, chisels, or screwdrivers, for example , inexpen- sive storage boxes in many sizes are available from supply stores.
Label the boxes so you know whats inside. Power Tools Although power tools cant replace hand tools, they sure do make construction work easier and more efcient. It can be a real timesaver to not have to drag a cord behind you and yet have a tool with enough power to do a professional job.
Nowadays there are numerous cordless tools powered by lithium-ion batteries that would be an asset when constructing a house. These include screwdrivers, reciprocating saws, and even circular saws. For years such tools were de- signed primarily for homeowner use, but today they are used on almost every jobsite.
I wouldnt want to be without them. Circular saws The circular saw has been around since the s, but it didnt really catch on until the housing boom began after World War II. TIP Keep portable power tools accessible. Instead of storing your circular saw on the ground or suboor, fasten a stick to a stud or sawhorse to keep the tool handy.
That way, you wont have to bend over every time you need to make a cut. Battery operated tools, like this reciprocating saw, have enough power to rapidly cut through framing lumber. Larger and heavier than a side- winder saw, a worm-drive saw has its motor to the rear of the blade.
Direct-drive saw. Sometimes referred to as a side- winder saw, a direct-drive saw is a type of circular saw. Its motor is on the side, in line with the blade. For a builder, this portable power tool is indispensable. The most popular circular saws are designed to hold 7 1 4-in. In the eastern part of the United States, most carpen- ters prefer direct-drive saws, often referred to as sidewinders see the top photo on the facing page. In the West, carpenters mainly use the heavier worm-drive models see the bottom right photo on the facing page.
Check out both to see which one you prefer. Above all, download quality.
Light, low-priced homeowner models arent in the same league with professional models. Here are some tips for using your saw safely and accurately. Some of them apply to other power tools as well. As with any power tool, be sure to study and follow the instructions in the manual.
Carbide-tipped blades are best for most wood-cutting work. If you are cutting 1 2-in. The less amount of blade thats exposed, the less potential for injury should something go wrong.
With proper support, the cut wont bind on the blade, and the cut-off end will fall free. Hold the saw with both hands, pull the switch, and slowly push the blade into the wood, follow- ing the cut line. Go slowly, guiding the saw, and let it do the work. You can do this with your circular saw if you know how to make a plunge cut.
Dont attempt this unless youre an expe- rienced circular-saw user. Start by leaning the saw forward over the cut line. Rest the front edge of the saw base on the wood, and hold the blade about 1 in. Use the lever on the blade guard to lift the guard and expose the blade. Make sure that the blade is aligned over the cut line.
Start the saw and use the front edge of the base as the pivot point. Lower the blade into the wood, using both hands to control the saw and complete the cut. When you are nished, turn off the saw and let the blade stop spinning before pulling it out.
Another way to make a plunge cut is to loosen the lever that controls the cutting depth and raise the blade completely above the board. Set the saw base in position over the cut line, loosen the depth adjustment lock, and slowly lower the blade into the material. Instead, use a clamp to secure the workpiece while you make the cut. In extreme cases, the saw can jump away from the material with the blade still spinning, harming anything in its path.
To prevent kickback when using a circular saw, follow these guidelines: N Use a sharp, carbide-tipped blade. N Cut in a straight line. N Let the saw do the cuttingdont force it. Forcing the cut can cause the blade to bind and kick back. N Always provide proper support for the stock.
Avoid setups that al- low the material being cut to pinch the blade see the illustration below. N If a kickback does occur, release the saw trigger immediately and let the blade stop. As long as the blade guard is working properly, there is little danger of injury. Dont resume cutting until the cause of the kickback is determined and corrected.
Not enough support The stock sags at both ends, pinching the blade. Proper support The stock is supported on both sides of the cut, so the blade is not pinched. When you are cutting wood, support it properly. Unsupported wood can pinch the blade and cause the saw to kick back. Always set the cutting depth so that the saw just barely cuts through the material.
This saw moves its blade back and forth, as if you were cutting with a handsaw. Its useful for cutting in tight places. Here, a worker removes the bottom plate from a doorway opening. This tool allows you to cut in tight places and make curved cuts. Different blades are available for cutting through wood, metal, plaster, and plastic.
For general use, I download 6-in. Chopsaws The power-miter saw generally referred to as a chopsaw has revolutionized nish carpentry just as the circular saw revolutionized rough- framing carpentry. With a chopsaw, you can make precise square and angled cuts in framing lumber, door and window casings, and base- board trim. These saws are rugged and easy to use.
When equipped with a ne blade, they can make glass-smooth cuts. Sliding compound miter saw This tool, the sliding compound miter saw, is a trim workers dream. It is essentially a chop saw that can cut angles across wide boards. I use it not only to cut baseboards and door casings, but also to cut across wide boards used in closets, blocks, headers, and cripples used in a house frame see Resources on p.
Lightweight tablesaw It wasnt long ago that tablesaws were cumber- some, heavy, and anything but portable. But times have changed. Now an on-site tablesaw can be moved easily by just one or two work- ers.
But dont be fooled by the lightweight label. These saws are well built, accurate, and with reasonable care will last for years see Resources on p. Drills An electric drill is a versatile tool on any job site. Its capable of boring holes in all sorts of material and can also be used for driving screws and mixing paint or drywall compound. Most TIP A hook can be helpful. Some new saws come with a built-in hook that allows you to hang the saw over a joist or a rafter when youre working up high.
A Skyhook accessory is also available to retrot on saws that lack this convenient feature see Resources on p. Use a chopsaw for speed and accuracy. With a chopsaw, its easy to make precise cuts at differ- ent preset angles. This type of saw must be set on a good worktable, with outboard supports for longer boards. A corded drill is best for mixing paint and dry- wall compound and boring holes in concrete, framing lumber, and metal.
There are numerous tools out there that can be used to drive screws or drill holes. One of the newer models on the market allows you to drive multiple screws in decking material with no fuss. A cordless impact-driver is another tool that makes driving screws a walk in the park. It can set screws with a circular motion or, like a jack- hammer, an up-and-down motion that drives screws into hard wood or other material. New, lightweight tablesaws can be brought to the job site with ease.
Carpenters had their trigger ngers caught and broken from time to time, such as when a drill bit got hung up on a knot in a board and spun suddenly.
For safety reasons, workers often used a hacksaw to cut out the trigger guards. These days, manufac- turers have eliminated trigger guards, but that doesnt mean drills cant do you harm. To use a drill safely, follow these guidelines: N Use clean, sharp bits. N Dont force the drill; let it cut at its own pace. N Use a slower speed when drilling harder materials, and coat the bit with wax or silicone to reduce resistance.
N When drilling thick material, hold the drill with both hands, and use the side handle if the drill comes with one. N If youre drilling a deep hole, pull the bit out of the hole from time to time to clear debris from the bit and the hole. N Dont rely on hand pressure alone to hold the workpiece in which youre drilling.
Instead, clamp the workpiece to a sawhorse or a workbench. N Be especially careful when drilling from a ladder. Make sure you have proper balance. N Release the trigger immediately if the bit begins to bind or catch. When you have multiple screws to drive into deck- ing material, try one of these stand-up screw guns.
A 3 8-in. For general car- pentry work, download either a 3 8-in. To figure out what kinds of things people find valuable, start with these questions: What stuff do you download? To get a hint about what kind of unique value people might be searching for, ask yourself: What things do you hear people complaining about?
A product that solves a common gripe is a product with a real UVP. What improvements do you wish you could see in existing products you use? Beyond just pondering these questions yourself, you can talk to friends or look at social media to see what people are saying on these questions. Another question to grapple with: Do you care? Seriously, do you actually care?
And honestly, is there such a thing as entirely new? The store sells watches, which are — and we double-checked this, then checked again—not a new idea. On the fifth day of every month, the brand launches a new limited edition watch available only to members of The 5TH VIP program. When starting an ecommerce business , then, at least one part of your product needs to be unique: the design, the function, the context, the price.
This is your UVP. For now, write down everything that comes to mind. Want to save this guide and read it later? Generally, get rid of ideas if they have: High shipping costs — This can really hurt a new ecommerce store. Potentially messy legal implications — Say, for example, that you had an idea for some kind of nutritional supplement, but the idea would involve making medical claims that could land you in legal hot water. No relation to your interests, expertise, or passions.
Validate Your Ideas Now choose your favorite ecommerce product ideas from your list. This process is called validation, where you see if an idea stands a chance on the market before you sink a bunch of money into it. Where to start? Analyze Search Terms If you want to pick a product to sell online , it only makes sense to look at Google search terms.
In this realm, Google AdWords is king. Is there any kind of appetite for that product? The key is to just try out some core search terms for your product and see what you find. In gauging search volume, other tools such as SEMRush , can help on this front too. The tool is not free, but it does have a free search function that gives you a few results.
To that end, one of the best ways to see if an idea has any traction is to simply ask people what they think of it.
What you need to do first is identify people who might have interest in the product. In that case, reaching out to people you know—and asking them to reach out to their networks—could do the trick.
Developing relationships on social media can be one avenue. You can also meet people in your area on sites like Meetup. If you talk to a good number of people say, 20 or more and most of them give the thumbs down, your idea is probably lacking. Showing them. How to test this prototype? Meet with people in your target demographic, maybe at a coffee shop, and give them a chance to try it out. Create a meetup group for like-minded individuals and bring the prototype.