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A Curbly Girl's DiY Holiday Wish List

created on: 12/12/08
Aside from my family, my favorite things in life are my camera, my sewing machines, and my beloved power tools.  If there's ever a doubt about what to buy a DIY Girl, at least one of these tools should keep her happy and busy for a couple of days.

These are just the tools I have right now. I'm not promoting any specific brand.

First up, Portable drill.  You can't say enough about a good, heavy duty portable drill, lots of drill bits and an extra battery.

created on: 12/11/08

Palm sander and/or sheet sander: One of the handiest and most useful electric tools to have.  Buy some variety packs of sandpaper to go along. There are all sorts of practical uses for a palm sander, plus it's cute.

created on: 12/11/08

Jigsaw: Come on?!  Can anyone do without a jigsaw?  Cutting out circles, headboard designs or even Christmas Tree ornament shapes can't be done without a sturdy, powerful jigsaw. A good variety of blades is a must.

created on: 12/11/08

Dremel: I don't use my dremel much but mainly because I forget about it.  It's hanging off of the side of my workbench and I overlook it when my palm sander is on the shelf.  The dremel is versatile and can cut, sand, shape, drill, buff, polish, etch and more.

created on: 12/11/08

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Router: I've purchased my first router upon the salesman's recommendation but I haven't gotten around to using it yet. I bought it to cut a groove 5 inches from the edge of a headboard frame so I could set in a piece of cording. A router can also do professional beveled edges, cut grooves, shape, drill and carve.

created on: 12/11/08

Upright Belt Sander/Bench Grinder:  I bought this a while ago when I was making decorative knobs with polymer clay. It was a little hefty for my purposes, but I've used it for quick filing down of wood pieces and polishing wood furniture feet with the padded disk attachment.

created on: 12/11/08

Small Bench Grinder/Polisher:  This is the smaller grinder/sander/polisher I got for the knobs.  This is also a good polisher for all things small.

created on: 12/11/08

My New Favorite: My mini-air compressor (68.00 at Menards).  This little tank is portable, powerful and noisy.  I hook up my upholstery pneumatic stapler and cover chair seats lickity split.  My big compressor is in the basement and it's too cumbersome to haul upstairs.

created on: 12/11/08

Upholstery Staple Gun: If you think you'll be recovering a fully upholstered chair and more through the next couple of years, this stapler is IT!  It runs about $129.  It's lightyears above the hardware store electric staple gun.  

created on: 12/11/08

Electric Staple Gun: Available at all hardware stores. They'll tell you it's a gem, but beware!  The staples seem to crumple up when shot into plywood.  If you're doing something lightweight, these work satisfactorily. I just haven't had that much luck with an electric staple gun and I wouldn't even attempt the UNPLUGGED version. (No photo)

Heavy Duty Glue Gun: I don't even need to say anything about this necessity. Don't waste money on the itty bitty ones.  Buy plenty of glue sticks for all temperature settings.

created on: 12/11/08

Heavy Duty Sewing Machine: An inexpensive Singer or Brother machine is great for lightweight frocks and such, but the real DIY Girl needs a heavy duty machine for shower curtains, couch cushions, dog beds and drapes. I have approximately 12 sewing machines and one ginormous Consew Upholstery Machine that can almost sew two slabs of concrete together. Get a machine with all metal parts.  The plastic parts just wear out way too fast and the lightweight machines vibrate themselves all over the place.  Ebay is where I've purchased some good old heavy duty machines. 

created on: 12/11/08

And a more versatile workhorse:

created on: 12/11/08

Miter Saw:  Crown molding, base molding, and quarter round will all require a miter saw.  I use this for cutting multiple pieces of wood posts or 2 x 4's that need to be the same length because it has a nice little backboard piece to stabilize the wood. My husband has done all the molding work. I'm going to learn how to make picture frames this year and the miter saw is a must to cut the 45 degree angles.

created on: 12/11/08

Circular Saw:  I only use this when I'm making a long straight cut.  It's not a must for the casual DIY Girl, but it comes in handy and isn't that expensive.

created on: 12/11/08

My Wish List: Band Saw.  The advanced version of the jigsaw.  Oh, the things I could do if I only had a band saw.....

Other power tools and gadgets the DIY Girl may enjoy: soldering gun, woodburning set, Sawzall, small chainsaw (to make a side table from a tree trunk), small welding equipment, and all the accessories and materials you can find to keep her busy. 

IMPORTANT:  Follow all safety precautions and always, always, always wear GOGGLES!

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ModHomeEcTeacher on Jan 06, 2009:

I bought it and thought it was one of the better ones I've seen. Some of the written explanations were a little too wordy for me, a real photograph would have done a better job of explaining what he was talking about. I learn by watching others do it more than reading how to do it. I try to explain my tutorials as if others, like me, are visual. I'd like to write a really simple DIY Upholstery guide/book soon.


117JPNH on Jan 06, 2009:

I saw Matthew Haly's Book of Upholstery on shelves a couple weeks ago. Bought it and it is great so far. Lots of detailed instruction. You need a lot of tools to get started but there are great resources for everything in the book. Projects range from easy to difficult. Its a really nice looking book and the photos and illustrations are easy to follow. Most upholstery books out there, that I have found, are stodgy and seem old-fashioned -like a 80 year old man wrote them or something. This book is young and hip and easy to relate to... here's hoping you get it for Christmas! I recommend it! two thumbs up.


ModHomeEcTeacher on Dec 11, 2008:

dewonangus-My husband swipes mine from my shop and says " you didn't put "my" hammer back."


lilybee-start collectin' girl


dewonangus on Dec 11, 2008:

Have you heard about Matthew Haly's Book of Upholstery ... I have it on my Christmas Wish List and was wondering what you thought of it???  Hubby and I share each others tools, although I can see him getting twitchy if he thinks I'm not using them correctly.


lilybee on Dec 11, 2008:

I have tool envy!


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