Tips for learning how to use tools for DIY projects

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Tips for learning how to use tools for DIY projects

Learning the basic tool skills needed to tackle do-it-yourself projects is faster and easier than you may think.

When I’m asked to share these skills, I am ready with a list of a few of my favorite power tools for DIY projects that can get anyone started. I prefer those that are easy to carry and store, have multiple uses, are well made, and are affordable.

I love tools because they help me create what’s inside my imagination. The more I use them, the more skills I collect. The world of possibility opens up exponentially.I like to call this "power tool empowerment," and it’s something that I’ve shared at Habitat for Humanity ReStores through workshops and live demos. I was lucky that the hosts of FYI Philly asked me to teach a private lesson at the Philadelphia Habitat for Humanity ReStore on how to use power tools for their show to convey how easy learning can be.Even though the ladies from FYI Philly had little to no experience, they were able to learn on the fly as they completed two full projects in just a couple of hours.

Some of my favorite essential tools for DIY projects: Hammer, Spray paint, Tabletop saw, Multi-tool, Utility knife, Impact driver, Miter saw, Oscillating tool, Tape measure, Wood glue

Check out the photos below to see how fast even beginners can learn the tool skills they need to complete their own DIY projects.

It may seem a little basic, but everyone had to measure a board before using the miter saw. Practicing hooking a tape on the end of a board and drawing a quick line can save a lot of time and frustration in any project. Melissa is taking the job very seriously. I like that.

Tips for learning how to use tools for DIY projects

The miter saw has been known to make many nervous, and Karen took a deep breath before we got started. It’s healthy and safe to have a little bit of fear, as it can help you be more careful. I like to use this battery operated miter saw, because it’s compact and very easy to carry. My two biggest safety tips for using miter saws are keeping your hands outside of the guard area, and if you feel like the work is not going right, take your hands off. I like to call this the jazz hands safety approach.

Tips for learning how to use tools for DIY projects

The dresser I spotted at Habitat for Humanity ReStore has tons of vintage character, but I wanted to paint it and make it look "today."

Tips for learning how to use tools for DIY projects

I think the dresser now looks amazing. Sometimes it just takes a little tool knowledge to update a treasure into your home style.

You can see more about how this dresser project and an art project were both completed in a video from FYI Philly.