Parts, Tools, and Inspiration

Parts, tools, and inspiration are three things you’ll need to be a DIYer.

Make a habit of collecting nuts, bolts, brackets, metal and wood scraps then organizing them so they can be used in the future.  I have several old handy wipes boxes that contain my collection of miscellaneous nuts, bolts, and washers.  2x4s and scraps of plywood, not to mention drywall should be retained when a project has “leftovers”.  You never know when you might need to patch a hole in the wall or need to replace a bolt on your dirtbike.

In my opinion, tools are ALWAYS a worthwhile investment.  You should buy the best you can afford.  Of all places, Sears has great wrenches, ratchets, and basic hand tools.  I’ve owned S-K Tools for over 30 years.  Snap-On are good too, although I always thought they were a little pricey.  Good power tools include Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, and Ryobi.  Engine hoists and stands can be found at big discount stores, at very reasonable prices.  Buy quality and treat them with loving care and you will have them for a lifetime.

If I were a 25 year-old man starting a family and buying a house, one of the first tools I’d get my hands on would be a good, solid chipper-shredder.  I can’t tell you how many branches, leaves, and yard debris I’ve had to bundle and leave by the curb.  Even though a good shredder will cost you $3000, amortized over 30 years at 7% interest would be meager $19.96 per month.  Grinding everything up and recycling through composting puts all those valuable nutrients back into your yard.

Lastly, real DIYers need inspiration.  You might be inspired to learn a new craft, like precision woodworking.  It might be that you want to make that old wreck of a car, like new.  It might be that you want to grow your own vegetables, so your kids can get big and strong.  There is always a good reason to take on a new challenge and do a job, yourself, that you’ve never done before.

With practice, at some point, you’ll confidently be able to say “how hard can it be?”.  Not only that, you’ll know that you can tackle any job you put your mind to.

Now get busy!


About Rob Reilly

Rob is an independent consultant, writer, and speaker, specializing in Linux/Free software, hacking of just about everything, DIY and Maker Movement, and tech media. He has a BS in Mechanical Technology from Purdue University. Contact him at
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