Stairs For Church Basement

Old Church

This church had not been taken care off for a good length of time, and the Stairs for Church Basement had rotted away on the bottom of the stringers.Old Church


The old stairs were more of a ladder then anything else, and very difficult to go up and down.

They also went down so that you had to walk into one of the walls, not good.

The best thing to do in this situation was to take the old stairs right out and replace with new ones that would go out into the church basement.Ladder for temporary stairs


As the floor in this basement is still dirt and rather uneven the total rise could not be overly accurate, but after measuring in a few places you can come up with a figure that is fairly accurate.

Stair Calculators

There are many automatic stair calculators on the internet you can use once you know the total rise.

A comfortable step height is usually seven inches, but can be a little one way or another and the thread depth is often ten and a half inches with the thickness  being inch and a half in this case.

Stair Gauges For Your Square

Once you have all the calculations figured out you can use a square to mark off the stringers. The stringers are usually two by twelves or two by tens.

A set of stair gauges that attach to your square work very well, putting them at the height of the riser and width of thread.Stair gauge


Also remember to cut off the inch and a half for the thread from the bottom of the stringers, which will make each step equal in height.

If your stairs are three feet wide is best to put another stringer in the center at the eighteen inches.

You can use the cut outs from the first stringer to make this extra stringer with a two by six. Just line it up against the first stringer for accuracy, and screw your cut out pieces into it.Stair stringers

Attaching Stringers

Now that you have three stringers cut out and made it is time to fasten them below the finished height of the upper landing.  In this case it is eight and a half inches down, and once the inch and a half thread is screwed in you have a seven inch step.

You might have to add a two by six for support where the stringers will come. Also at most hardware stores today there are metal fasteners that can be used to support the stringers.


The next thing is to cut out the threads the planed width of your stairs and install them with screws.

Usually the top two by six thread and the bottom are installed first and screwed down, as this is to insure the stringers are lined up right.

You can also leave an inch overhang of the thread nose on the steps, and can be rounded off if you like.Putting threads on


After your steps  are all screwed down then its time to put up the handrail.

It can be supported with four by fours or two by fours that are attached strongly to the stringers, if there is no solid wall for this.

The desired height of the handrail is thirty four to thirty eight inches measured from the top of the threads on your stairs.

Handrails can be bought premade at most hardware stores, or you can make one out of a two by four if you do not wont something to fancy.Handrail for stairs

Stairs for Church Basement Headroom

Another thing to remember is to keep about eighty inches headroom where the stairs descend below the top floor, can hurt a little when your head hits the top floor.

So you might have to extend the opening at floor level to give you the right amount of clearance.Finished stairs


If the opening to your stairwell does not have a railing around it, then probably best to buy or make one and install. You can save someone from having a bad day.

Any comments are always appreciated,



Church Windows

Old Church

In this old building we need to replace two basement Church Windows. This church was built around eighteen seventy or some where around that time period.Old Church

Window Frames

The old window frames had rotted away on the bottoms, and only one pane of glass was left in good shape.

The rough framing for the windows was not in the greatest shape either, and would have to renew half of one of them, and repair the sides on the other one.

As one was used to toss wood into the basement for the furnace over time it had seen some abuse.Window frames

Matching the Old Design

To match up the design of the old windows you can use a two by six pine eight feet long, which will give you enough wood for the two windows.

A table saw can be used to cut out the pieces for the windows where the glass will fit into.

Size of Old Church Windows

The bottom rail of the window was three and a half by one and a half inches , and the top and side rails were two and a half inches.

After cutting out, these can be routed out for your glass to sit in or use the table saw.

In this case the two muntins were made an inch wide and cut on your table saw or router for where the glass sits.

Once all the pieces are cut out then the muntins can be mortised into the lower and top rails.

Putting Frames Together

Now that ever thing is ready to be glued together with the help of a couple of pipe clamps. The glue is recommended to dry in half an hour, but I usually leave overnight.

You can also add some three and a half inch screws to the corners, and it should last for a very long time.Window Frames


Now that everything is glued a light sanding is recommended and then is time to give your windows a coat of primer paint.

I recommend one coat of primer, then two top coats that should preserve the wood for a good length of time.Painting frames


Once the paint has dried then is time to buy some glass. Most hardware stores will have glass and can be cut to the exact size you wont. In the case of these windows they are fifteen by twelve inches.

Quality of Glass

When buying glass there are different qualities and thickness. Of course the better qualities are more expensive, and actually can be very expensive.

At this time I decided to use the same thickness glass that had been originally used when the church was built back in the eighteen seventy, thinking if they lasted for a hundred forty seven years then mabey it will go another hundred years.

Putty or Caulking

To put the glass in the frames you can use putty or go modern by using caulking around the glass.

I actually prefer to use the caulking as it comes in a tube and is real handy to put around the glass. Just always make sure to buy the type for windows and that it is paintable.

Stain Glass Windows

The other windows in the church are stained glass and are in fairly decent shape , except for one that is facing the road that has a small hole in one of the triangle pieces of glass.Stained glass

These are set in a lead frame work so a piece  is not to difficult to remove or put back. Will have to repair this one day, as it is nice to keep these old buildings in good shape.Stain glass window

Painting the Other Windows

After installing the basement windows I decided to scrape the other window frames and give them a primer and top coats. The scraping always seems to consume a lot of time, but after all is done they sure do look better.Church windows

I hope this has given you a few ideas on repairing old windows, and if you have any comments they are always appreciated.




A Stone Arch Monument

Stone Arch

Here is a few ideas on building A Stone Arch Monument, and having never built one before this turned out to be an interesting project.A Stone Arch Monument

Time to Build

This arch took about two weeks or more to make with the help of my son. We built it for a local man in the community, who had lost his son to drugs and wonted a monument to remember him by.

The Base

To start building this you will require a very strong footing and base, and where we decided to build this the bedrock is only a foot or so down, so not much digging to do.


It would be recommended to use any of the larger stones on the bottom, and cementing them together as you build up. Sitting on bedrock there less likely to move in any direction.

Length of the Base.

Is best to extend the base out from where the arch will start, we went out about four feet for this one. The base needs to be very well made and sturdy.A Stone Arch Monument

Design of Arch

Once the stones are up high enough to start the arch, then I made a few drawings on plywood to give the owner the curve of the arch he liked best.

The Supports

After picking one of the arch designs out, then comes the project of making a support to hold the arch up while you build it.

You can make this out of plywood and two by fours making sure to support the arch very well. We used four by four post for supports under the plywood forms.

Stones for the Arch

The arch stones are usually wedge shaped, and as we were using stones from a river and old stone walls in the area. This took time to come up with the right  stones to fit in.

The stones can usually be shaped into a wedge design with stone hammers and chisels, With some practice you can become quite good at shaping stone.A stone arch monument

Finding Center of Arch.

The center of the arch, or the center distance between the columns is where you will fit the keystone that will finish holding your arch up. You can measure the distance, and then holding a level mark the center on your plywood forms.

Continue the Arch

After your first row is complete just continue on in the same way until you have the thickness of the arch that you wont.

A Stone Arch Monument Supports Removable

On this stone arch monument we waited about a month after it was completed  to take out the supports and plywood forms, giving the cement and stones a good length of time to bond in place.

And well its been over ten years now and its still standing, with nothing moved.

Working With Stone

Today there are saws that cut stone and brick to the desired shape you like, so this way is much easier then the hammer and chisel. Have seen brick and stone already shaped for arches at some cement suppliers.

So I hope to have given you some ideas on creating an arch for your home or backyard. They do take time to build , but once finished will probably out last you.

Wish you the best of luck on these projects , and if any questions just leave a comment and will get back to you.




Making Maple Syrup at Home

Syrup Season

Its that time again in southern Quebec for the maple trees to start producing  some sap, and giving you a chance for making maple syrup at home.Making Maple Syrup at Home


For the sap to run really well we need cold nights below freezing, and warm days with temperatures up to ten celsius or forty to fifty Fahrenheit.

Amount of Sap for Gallon of Syrup

It takes about thirty to forty gallons of sap to produce a gallon of syrup, so lots of work involved in the process.

Buckets to Plastic

When I first started making maple syrup it was buckets on the trees, where as today its all plastic tubing working by vacuum pumps.

The tubing does save a lot of work and not nearly as much work as gathering sap from the buckets.

Many today also use reverse osmosis, which removes most of the water from the sap, and thus reducing the boiling time.

Tapping and Boiling

If you wont to make a little syrup for yourself, then just tap a maple tree with your drill and hammer if your lucky enough to have one on your property.

You can gather the sap and boil it down on the kitchen stove, but just keep the windows open or stove vent running for steam to go out.

If your making just a few small containers for yourself it works ok. But if you don’t wont to get your house and kitchen messed up, you can boil it outside using a propane stove as this works well also, and just might be a little more family friendly.Making Maple Syrup at Home

When Syrup is Ready

To tell if your sap has boiled down enough and reaching the syrup stage use a large spoon to see when it starts to drop off in flakes, and also when the syrup is turning a brown color and boiling up in your pot.

There are also thermometers for this to tell when its ready. But if your just doing a little for your self, you can tell how thick it is by watching it skim off a large spoon or other metal utensil.

With a little practise you can get it just right for your own taste.

You might also wont to filter it when hot  by straining it through a cloth, which removes any sugar sand from the syrup.


Syrup has also been tested to show that it has healthy benefits with over fifty four antioxidants plus high amounts of zinc and manganese, that help the immune system.

Some people also just save the sap, putting it in containers and freezing it, then use it as a drink year round. With all of its health benefits is most likely a good idea.


Any syrup you make can be stored in your freezer, and will keep for years. Just don’t fill your containers too full as they will expand a little when freezing.

There are also many different recipes where maple syrup is used, and on pancakes for breakfast is a favorite.


The only tools you will need for this home project would be a battery drill and hammer, and a few buckets or pails and spouts.

If interested in any tools for this project have a look.

Best of luck to anyone wishing to try this, and comments are always appreciated.


Laying Your Stones in the Right Place

Working With Stones

If you ever have to do some work with stones then this article should give you a few ideas for laying your stones in the right place.stone work

A Wall of Stones

In this case we are building  a stone wall for an old blacksmiths shop, and I am guessing that this building was built around one hundred fifty to two hundred years ago.

The old cement holding the stones together has not stood the test of time  to well, and has mostly turned to sand with very little holding the stones together.

A temporary fix for this was not possible as the wall had moved out and in  by at least seven inches in places.Stone Work


One of the first things to do is remove a few stones at the top under the roof beam, so that you can get some supports set up to carry the weight of the roof.

For the supports you can use four by four post  under the beam which will be sufficient  to hold the roof up.

As some of the wall  is left standing and only removed as you work along there is no danger of roof moving.Stone Work

Cleaning Stones

Now you can start removing  the old wall and taking your time to clean any old cement off the stones as you go. A small stone hammer works very well for this. The wall for this building was twenty eight feet long and eight to ten feet in height, so is best to do a small section at a time and the rest still standing will help support the roof.

There are two windows in this wall so we went as far as the first window before starting the rebuild.Stone Work

Grading Stones

The stones you take out and clean  are usually graded into size, the piled about three feet from your wall. This makes it easier to find the proper size and thickness of the stones when starting to rebuild.

I also try to keep the larger heavy stones closer so they can be laid on the bottom rows.

On this project there was bedrock at the bottom, plus we also widened the base by an extra foot on each side for the extra strength.Stone work


The original wall was twenty one inches wide so decided to make it the same so everything matched up to the original design of the building.Stone Work

Moving Larger Stones

If you find some stones too heavy  for lifting then just use a plank, and a couple of old water pipes about twenty inches long by one inch. Then you can lever the larger stones onto this and roll them into place.Stone Work


A pre mixed motor was used for this which had a glue already mixed into it, and wet your stones before laying them in the mix.

We purchased a small cement mixer from Canadian Tire for a couple hundred dollars which saved a lot of mixing by hand, and this was well worth the dollars spent on it.


As you lay the stones it is a good idea to place a row or two before cementing them in place. This will give you a good idea of how they are going to look and match up.

Also have the stones overlap the joints in the row below them as much as possible.Stone Work

Keeping Things Level

You will also wont to keep your wall level, and as in this case the wood beam was not perfectly straight from one end of building to the other.

On the outside of the beam you can use a line stretched tight from one end to the other, and then level down from this and your wall will remain straight with your line to match up with the top beam.

You can also run a line along the bottom to match the top level, but as this line is in the way most of the time is best just to use it to check how the level is every once and a while.Stone Work


For the windows on this wall we put the old frames  back in place and leveling them to give the right size to build the stones around, as new ones were being made for this.

The stones around the window frames can be left about an inch away as the new window trims will cover this gap.

The new frames can later be secured into the cement with metal screws into anchors put into the cement.Stone Work


As you progress up the wall then a strong plank can be used between two ladders to work as a scaffolding to stand and put your stones on, and remembering to wet each stone to give a good bond in the cement.

A garden hose with a spray handle works great for this, and also for the mixing of the motor.Stone Work

New Window Frames

After you have cemented each section between the windows then you can cement the stones up tight to the beam, and this will have time to set hard as you go along.

Then once the new window frames which in this case were two inch oak are installed level, then you can finish the stones above and below the frames.

This is one of the last things you will need to do on the wall.Stone Work

Clean Up

At the end you can go over the stones with a wire brush and water to clean off the cement that has run down on them.

Also any small stones left over could be thrown in at the base of the wall that is below ground level.

Then sit back grab a beer and admire your work.Stone Work

Tools Needed

1   A couple step ladders and planks

2   Levels, I find a six, four and a two foot level work very well.

3   A few pails for carrying cement, and a few good cement trowels.

4   A few stone hammers which are a must, and pry bars.

5   Also knee pads are handy, as the stones get kind of rough on the knees after a while.

6   Some wire brushes to clean off the stones after your wall is up.

7   A cement mixer and garden hose

8   Wheelbarrow for moving stones and a few shovels.

Any questions about laying stones just leave a comment and I will get back to you.

And if interested in any tools for these projects try your local hardware store.


Building an Outdoor Playset


If anyone is interested in building an outdoor playset then here is a few ideas to help you out. My son and I built this one this past summer for children to play on during the apple season. Is also best to use treated lumber for this project  as it will be outside year round.

Almost completed plays
Play set nearing completion

No Plans

This DIY playground has no plans , as the ideas just came out of my sons mind as we went along. So if your interested in building one take a good look at the photos, and there should be other plans on the internet for some of these.


First thing to do is to build a couple platforms, and in this case  they are six feet by six feet. Using the four by fours by eight feet long for the corners and two by sixes for around the base to square them up.

Leveling the platforms
Getting things level for the play set

Cement Blocks

The four by four post are set onto the cement blocks that are designed for them. With the wider bases the blocks will not sink into the ground in time.

Platform Height

The platform will also have two by sixes at the six foot height so you can install a floor on them. Later the slides can be attached onto the floors giving good support to them.

The floors for these platforms are made from one by sixes and also are treated lumber, plus two by sixes spaced at two foot spacing to give support to the floor boards.

Getting height for play set
The right height for play set

Squaring the Platforms

To keep everything square while building the platforms a few braces can be used, and attached  to the four by fours to keep them level in both directions.

The Bridge

The second platform was spaced ten feet away from the first one, so a bridge could be built connecting the two together.

We used metal brackets designed to fasten  the ten foot two by sixes to one platform and then to the other one.

Bridge being set up for play set
Play set bridge

Bridge Width

In the center of the ten foot span  are also four by four post for support, and the bridge was spaced at a three foot in width and three ten foot two by sixes are used. Then the one by six boards were put on for the floor.


Decking screws were used for the whole project, plus some bolts  for the four by four bridge railing supports.

The four by four post  to support the railing had the bolt holes drilled through them and through the ten foot two by sixes for extra strength. We used  cordless drills for the project, a twenty volt Makita and a Dewalt, both worked very well.

The bridge post were four feet in length, with one at each end of the ten foot span, and two more at an equal distance in the middle. Then two by fours were attached top and bottom between the post with metal brackets, and leaving about a two inch space at the bottom.

The boards for the railing were spaced at two inches, but this can vary depending on codes in your area.

Supports for bridge railings
Railing for play set

Play in the Railing

We found that after the railings were finished there was a small amount of movement at the top of the four by four post and railing. In order to fix this pieces of two by six were installed between each of the ten foot two by sixes and also at each post. After this was done there was very little to no play in the railings at the top.

Another Platform

The next thing you can build is another six foot by six foot platform with again the four by four post and two by sixes to square it up and the floor at a four foot height, with two by sixes spaced at two feet for the floor to be supported on. Then a stairs can be built from the bridge platform down to this one.


On this platform you can attach one of the DIY playground

slides which in this case is a three foot wide drainage plastic tile. With the groves on the outsides of the tile it is easy to anchor to the platform , by just installing a two by six across the top and bottom and one by five boards on the sides.

Slides attached to play set
Slides for play set

Slide Supports

At the bottom of the slide you can build another platform wide enough to support your slide about thirty eight or forty inches. Use the four by fours and two by sixes to create the frame  work, then two by fours to lock in the slide at top and bottom. Have your slide about two feet off the ground

We added another slide from the six foot platform and enclosed it the same as the first one. Having more slope it was a little faster.

Slides supported for playset
Building the slide supports

To The Ground

After this there is another platform built at a height of two feet with stairs made down to it, and then another set of stairs down to ground level.

The same was done to the first platform also, making two more platforms at a four foot and a two foot levels then also stairs to the ground.

Bottom Platforms

On the bottom platforms two sets of climbing stairs were made, Four two by sixes were used and ten there top boarded in solid.

On top of the boards one by three cleats were added and spaced two inches apart so children could climb up these, giving them the choice  of stairs or ramps.

Forts For Children

Under the two bridge platforms the openings were boarded in then a couple windows made and a door into the six by six small room. This can create a playground fort for kids.


Another thing  is after everything was constructed a good thick layer of sand was placed all around the structure. It covered the cement blocks that were used to support the four by four post.

Sand to cover cement blocks
Sand for leveling

It also gives a soft landing under the slides so no danger of a child being hurt.


The tools used on this project were a Dewalt cut off saw, skillsaw, two drills eighteen volt a Dewalt and Makita very handy for all the screws we used.

Also a hammer and handsaw, shovel, and a few wrenches  to tighten bolts used on the four by four post of the bridge and slides. If interested in any tools for these projects try your local hardware store.


Now to construct this DIY playground slide set it took the two of us  a week, so if anyone is wonting to build this its not something you can do in a day.

In some of the photos you will see a green canopy  tent , this we put up to do our cutting under as the temperature was ninety to a hundred F. that week. Being Canadian takes us a while to get used to the heat.

Outdoor cutting area
Working outdoor in the heat.

Materials Used

Here is a list of materials used on this project.

Thirty – four by four post eight feet long.

Seventy- two by sixes eight feet long.

Hundred twenty- one by fives eight feet long.

Thirty four-cement blocks for the four by four post.

Sixteen- half inch bolts for four by fours on bridge.

Eight quarter inch bolts for anchoring slides.

Anyway hope you enjoyed reading about this playground design idea, if there are any questions about this leave me a comment and I will get back to you.


Installing Oak Wood Flooring in a Hallway

Oak Hardwood Floor

Here is a few ideas for installing oak wood flooring in a hallway.

First thing to do in this case  was to remove the carpet covering the plywood under it.

Best to start in a doorway and give it a pull, as it is usually just tacked down around the outside edges.Oak Fooring

Carpet Removal

After you have taken up the carpet and rolled it up, if your not saving it then best to take it out to the garbage.

Once its out of the way then you can pull any staples left stuck in the plywood, and all the wood nailing cleats around the outside of room that held carpet down.

Preparing Plywood

Once the plywood has all the staples pulled then its time to add more floor screws to your plywood base flooring. This will prevent any squeaking from your hardwood floor once its laid.

Make sure to put plenty of screws as most people will not appreciate a floor that squeaks.Plywood Flooring


In this hallway there happened to be five doorways, four bedrooms and a bath.

Between the thresholds of the door ways you can install pieces of the oak flooring  cut to size.

These usually go from the door stop to the hallway edge of the door frame, and as door frames need to be cut to oak floor height to allow your pieces to fit under door frames.

Door Frames

Is best to take a piece of your oak flooring and mark all the door frames  at the right height and then cut them out.

I find using a multi craft tool works very well for this.

And if you happen to have steel door frames then there are also metal blades that fit this tool, and will work quiet well.


Once all your door frames have been cut then you can start laying  the flooring .

You don’t wont the joints to end up in the same place, usually ten inches plus separating them. Also you can chalk a line out from wall for a reference point to keep the rows straight, as you will find very few rooms are perfectly straight,

Best to lay out a few rows first to see how they come, and how much will have to be cut off the ends of a run.Oak Flooring


The first two or three rows will have to be drilled through the tongue of the boards and nailed by hand , because the floor nailer will not have enough space to be used yet.

Also be careful when nailing by hand as sometimes the nail can get bent if the hole you drilled is not of sufficient size. And a good nail punch to drive the nails home is required.

Once away from the wall  then its just a matter of laying the floor boards out , staggering the joints and using the floor nailer on them.

Space your nails  about six to eight inches apFlooringart and about two to three inches from the ends of your boards.

Stair Railing

Also in the case of this floor there was a steel railing around the stairway opening, some will be wood.

Is best to remove them and then after the floor is installed  you can put it back on top of the flooring.

Any screws holding the railing down  should be predrilled through the oak flooring first.

Overhang on Stair Thread

Also when you are coming to the top step of your stairs, you might wont to make a nose piece out of your oak flooring in order to finish it off and match the rest of the stairs.

It could have an overhang of an inch or more, as that will depend on your set of stairs.


Once all your floor is laid and nailed into place, then the floor mouldings can be put back on to cover the quarter inch space left for expansion.

You might also have some finer mouldings to put around the stairwell opening and these can also be attached now.

Now your oak floor in the upstairs hallway is finished.

If you have any comments or ideas about doing this type of flooring, there always appreciated.


5 Things To Do To Get Your Yard Ready Before Winter

1. Racking leaves

When it comes to racking leaves in the fall you can save them by putting them on your garden for mulch.

I have noticed others just go over them with the lawn mower making a finer mulch that works very well also.5 things to do to get your yard ready before winter




2. Planting Tulip, Daffodils and other flower bulbs

Weather is still warm enough to spend some time out on your yard, if you want to get more colorful blooming on your yard next Spring, time is perfect to plant some tulips and daffodil bulbs.

You can find some stores have them this time of the year, so people can get them easily.

Soil is still warm and soft to dig some holes with the help of your gardening tools and place these bulbs according to each plant directions, just follow each instruction for depth and placing for each plant.

Bulbs can stand winter chilly temperatures once they are planted, and you will enjoy  a nice colorful yard next year.5 things to get your yard ready before winter


3. Keep squirrels and chipmunks out of your house

Squirrels and chipmunks can be a pest during this time of the year, while they live happy in your yard during the nice weather during Spring and Summer, with the first chilly temperatures both will look for the easiest way to get into your home.

They will try to get inside your house walls and make a nest to live in during the long and cold Winter.

To avoid this, check all out side of your home, if you see any holes, you can put some wire net to cover them, this way you can keep them out.

If this don’t keep them out and they keep trying to get inside, you can set some traps to catch them alive and relocate them far from any house or farm.

I find the chipmunks seem to do the most damage as there always digging holes around your house and property. Had one dig a hole under my above ground pool, and before I could catch it the liner in the pool had dropped about a foot into the cavity it made.

Cute little critters but can do a lot of damage around your home.5 things to get your yard ready before winter.



4. Bring inside all your gardening tools

After you finish all the tasks you need to do before cold temperatures get where you live, be sure to bring all your gardening tools inside, if you have a shed or a covered garage it’s better to keep all tools inside, they won’t rust and will last longer saving you some dollars.

Garden hoses should also be drained and stored away, and not to forget to turn off any water lines that go to these hoses.


5. Cover with evergreen dry needle leaves your strawberries plants.

I have found if I cover strawberries with evergreen pine needle leaves plants will stand the chilly winter temperatures pretty well, next Spring when weather turns warm enough you can take off those needle leaves  from strawberries plants and they will continue to grow and produce some nice strawberries for you and your family.

Also works well for other plants that need protection over the winter months.

For your Garden

Once your garden is cleaned out in late fall, then it is a good time to rake some leaves to cover it, and will act as mulch for next years planting.

You can also throw more leaves on in the spring and work everything together.

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You could be surprised to find some plants already blooming.

Now you have a few things to do to get your yard ready before winter weather hits your area, if you need more tips for a particular issue on your yard, leave a comment.

You can read also How to Prepare Your House For Winter

Now it’s your turn, how big is your yard? write a comment.



Best Tips To buy a Cordless Drill

Cordless Drills

If your thinking of buying a cordless drill for some of your projects around the home, then I hope the information here will help you out.Cordless drills

Choosing a Drill

Cordless drills are probably a must for the home owner. When buying one go for the lithium ion battery type as they provide more power and are much easier to work with.

I prefer the lighter drills if you happen to be using one for any length of time, and its always better to have two batteries. Just no fun when your screwing on a sheet of drywall and the battery dies, then having to wait half an hour for a recharge.

Popular Drills

Some of the better drills are Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee,Porter Cable, Hitachi, Ryobi, and there is many more.

1  The Makita LXT 18V

Having used a Makita eighteen volt lithium ion during the syrup season for tapping I can say this is one drill I would highly recommend. I found it very easy and comfortable to handle and not to heavy at about 3.5 pounds.

The newer brushless model eighteen volt LXT Makita is designed  to run longer , with more power and speed plus a longer life before maintenance.

The two Lithium Ion batteries that come with it in the hard plastic case will take about an hour to charge before first using.

I have not tried out any of the newer model drills yet, but from my experience with the older drills I would rate Makita as my number one choice to use around the home for repairs and most jobs.

2  Dewalt Cordless Drills

The dewalt line of cordless drills are also excellent quality as I have had the opportunity to use them a few times.

With the dewalt if the last three numbers for the model end in a zero then the model is a drill driver, and if it ends in a five then it is a combination drill with the hammer function to use for drilling concrete.

As an example DCD780 and DCD995. The seven eighty just being drill driver on the low end of dewalt drills, and the nine ninety five being both hammer and drill on the top end.

The seven ninety five is the first of dewalts brushless motors and id designed to last longer and have less heat.

The seven eighty, seven eighty five, and seven ninety five are for general purpose work, like putting screws in and lighter drilling.

And the nine eighty, nine eighty five, and nine ninety five are dewalts heavy duty drills for harder drilling jobs.

3  Milwaukee Cordless Drills

The Milwaukee cordless eighteen volt drills are also good quality if your looking for one to buy.

There M18 fuel brushless four pole motor features rare earth magnets instead of brushes providing more power, cooler running, and a longer life span, plus lighter to handle.

There M18 brushless combo drill weights in at three point nine pounds with the battery installed, so is light enough for overhead work and tight places.

They have a long battery life but also take longer to charge so having two batteries in the kit is a must.

With 24 clutch settings it is easy to adjust for screws or drilling, and also has the LED light on the front.

4  Porter Cable Cordless Drills

Another model you might consider for around the home is Porter Cable. There twenty volt PCC601 lithium ion half inch drill sells for around a hundred dollars. So if your searching for a less expensive model give it a try.

It comes with the two speed gearbox from 0-350, and 0-1500 rpm. and a keyless chuck for quick bit changes plus an led light on the front to see what your doing in dark places.

The kit for this model has 2 20V Lithium-Ion batteries plus the charger and a couple of Philips bits with a storage bag.

At a weight of only 3.5 lbs is an easy drill to work with for an extended period of time.

5  Hitachi

The makers of Hitachi cordless also make a brushless drill. There DS18DBL eighteen volt lithium ion which has fifty percent more running time, increased power and durability and essentially no maintenance.

This drill is 14% faster then the average 18V class of drills.

With the brushless motor for more efficient performance, and will recharge the two batteries that come with it in about 45 minutes.

If interested in a cordless drill for around the home  you might wont to check one of these out.

6  Shopping for Drills

There are many excellent cordless drills on the market today, so is best to shop around to find one that suits your liking.

Listed above are just a few , there is also Bosch, Ryobi, Craftsman, Rockwell, Mastercraft and many more. The price will vary depending on size and quality, so best to do some home work before purchasing.

7  Black+Decker LDX120PK

This is 20V Lithium-Ion cordless drill with an 11 position clutch.

The kit comes with 1 battery and charger, 10 metal bits, a hole saw kit of 4 pieces from one and a quarter to two and one eighth, 32 screwdriver bits, and about 22 other pieces for a total of 66 pieces contained in a carrying bag.

For what you get with this drill is a good price, and is able to handle many jobs around the home.

The drill itself is light weight so will be easy to use, but having only one battery is bit of a negative.

But then it does give you good value for what your buying.

8  Mastercraft Cordless Drills

At the moment I have two twenty volt lithium ion mastercraft drills, and have been using them for about three years now. Reason I purchased them was the price, on sale for about eighty dollars at Canadian Tire.

I figured for the price that if they didn’t last then I would not be losing very much. But after three years they are still running perfect, and I have put them through a lot of work from drywall to roofs.

Also having one strapped to your belt all day on a roof makes you appreciate the weight of one pound twelve ounces without the battery.Mastercraft


Many of the different  brands of cordless drills also offer the ability for there batteries to fit other cordless tools in that same brand, an example being Makita. Other makes also do the same.

Speed and Clutches

With the older corded drills they usually had only one speed and no clutch. You would get full torque with each press of the trigger.

These days most brands provide a clutch on there cordless drills, which is used to prevent to much torque when driving screws or other smaller things.

There is almost always a two speed setting, a low and high range. The slower for driving larger bits, as when your drilling to install a door knob, or even mixing paint. The higher speed for drilling smaller holes and other things. The chuck on most of these drills is tightened and loosened by hand.


The Lithium ion battery pack can be charged at any time for the mastercraft  drills, so there is no waiting for it to totally run out of juice.

A fully discharged battery will take about sixty to one hundred twenty minutes for a recharge depending on the battery. If the battery is left on the charger it will not overcharge, so that’s something handy also.Batteries

The Better Cordless Drills

I hope the above information will give you some ideas  on cordless drills, and which will be the best suitable for the projects you are working on.

A handy tip for drilling holes is if you know the depth then just wrap some tape around the drill bit at the desired depth.

Most of these drills come with a variable speed clutch, where you can set it at a low number for screws so as not to twist the heads off them, and a higher setting for drilling.

The part of the drill that holds the drill bits is referred to as the chuck and comes in a 1/2 inch size which is used the most often, but some of the less expensive have a 3/8 chuck for light duty work.

With so many on the market today it might even be helpful to try out a few of your neighbours before making a purchase.cordless drills

I wish you the best of luck on your drill shopping and any comments are appreciated.


House Painting Ideas

Preparing For Paint

Spring time again and we can get busy with some outside painting. It is time for a few house painting ideas for your house, and most likely you will have to do some scraping and sanding before you can think about painting.House Painting Ideas

Scraping And Sanding

When doing the paint scraping I usually use a scraper with the changeable blades, and often you can file a new sharp edge on them once they wear down. The blades cost about two dollars at hardware stores and if kept sharp can last a long time. Also have a sponge sanding pad with you to go over where you have scraped, as it will smooth out any rough scraping spots.Paint Scrapers

Keeping Area Clean as you Scrape

Laying some old blankets or plastic canvas on the ground where you are removing the old paint will keep the place a lot cleaner. I usually have a garbage bag with me and dump the blankets with paint chips in this as I work around the house.Blankets

Cleaning after Scraping

Once you have all the scraping and sanding finished, make sure all the dust is cleaned up. an old paint brush works well for cleaning around windows and other tight places. A shop vacuum works great for any places you can reach, such as window sills or parts of doors.Cleaning after Scraping

Primer Paint

Now is the time to put some primer paint onto all the places that have been scraped or you think need the primer. If the old paint is in good shape in places then it is not necessary to go over with the primer, but that choice is up to you. Just trying to save you a little money as paint and the time to put it on can be expensive.

Top Coat

After you have primed all the places that need it, then it is time for the top coat of paint. When buying your top coat always pick the best there is on the market, otherwise you will end up scraping and painting every couple years and that’s just no fun. Start top coats working from the higher parts of your house to the lower.Top Coat

Two Coats Preferred

I personally recommend two top coats for the reason that it will last longer and cover so much better. Many people do only the one coat because of the time and money involved. But if you wont your house to look really good and last longer then go for the two top coats, the choice is yours.

House Painting Ideas

Trim Around the House

Sometimes the trim on a house is a different color and usually is done last. If on the higher parts of the house there happens to be trim to paint I will often do this as I go along painting the walls, as your ladder is already set up and this can save you some time.Trim

Painting Metal

If you have any tin to paint, as in some cases the sides of a garage then also a scraper and wire brush will take care of any lose paint. Most paints used for metal are oil based, so I don’t bother washing the brush but just store it in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out. Once the painting is finished the brush gets tossed. If the brush cost eight or ten dollars then the turpentine or paint thinner plus the time for the cleaning is just not worth it.

Trellis for Flowers

If you have any trellis to paint I would suggest a two inch brush, because it is a very pokey job and a time consumer. Usually start at the top once again and work your way down, and also spread a few blankets around to catch any paint that can spatter. Do one side at a time, or if you have a helper it would be good with one on each side. Best two coats as there always seems to be places that get missed on the first round.Trellis

Clean Up

Once your paint job is finished I will take a shop vacuum and go over any verandas or walk ways to pick up the paint chips that get blown around. Just a good general clean up and you can call it a job well done and you have a better looking home.Finished

I hope a few of these house painting ideas will help you out on your projects around the home.

Best of luck with things and any comments always appreciated.