Hand Tools vs. Power Tools in a SHTF Situation

This is a guest post by John H and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.

I have read so many excellent and relevant articles on this  site about prepping and survival that I am a little sheepish about submitting  my own for your consideration.  I just would like to contribute  some knowledge that might enhance someone’s life or help them develop  a skill that they can barter or make life easier in the event of a collapse.   Here goes.

Having spent time (8 years) teaching woodworking,  drafting, metal work, and leatherwork; I thought that I might have some  advice on what tools one might gather in the event of the SHTF.   Perhaps the first question might be “electric vs. hand powered”  tools. The obvious answer is both as there is likely to be few services  available and what are will be able to charge “whatever’ the market  will bear.  Being able to fix and construct projects makes you  more valuable as a barterer or to a community of preppers.

In the event of a collapse electricity will very  likely be a luxury that many might not have so one may think that it  would be much better to go heavy on the hand powered tool side.   Granted, there are some obstacles to overcome with power tools.   Even if you have a solar/ battery system (www.ironedison.com) you will  need some sort of conversion to AC current to allow use of the corded  tools.  A better solution might be the battery powered tools that  are very common these days.  These can be recharged at your home  and taken out to the field or outbuilding for use.  Buy commercial grade if at all possible.   Some of the warehouse tools may be cheaper but the life of the batteries  will fade over time and with repeated charges.

I recommend Milwaukee  brand but that is just my preference.  I have a corded Milwaukee  drill that I’ve used for over 25 years and it has performed flawlessly.   I’ve used it for everything from mixing paint to drilling concrete.   The cordless variety come in “kits” that contain multiple tools  (more later) and batteries so one is always charged up.  Another  advantage is weight.  If you have ever wrestled with 50 feet of  extension cord while on a 12’ ladder with the drill over your head  you’ll know what I mean.

Be sure to think about accessories for the  tools.  These can collected over time.  At any rate, regardless  whether you have corded or cordless be sure you know how to properly  use them.  Dealing with a nasty circular saw cut with no medical  services could be life threatening.  Any power tool can make short  work of fingers or hands.  Steel Vs. Flesh – guess who wins?   Here is a list of the power tools I would recommend and I’m sure others  will complete the list.

  1. Commercial Grade 18V Lithium Ion Battery Multi-pack -

These come in several configurations but should at least have:

  1. Drill- Impact or Standard – Don’t forget drill bits and screw driving bits (check garage sales).
  2. A “Saws-all” This is a tool that has a reciprocating blade from 4”-8”. It’s excellent for cutting pipe, pruning trees, drywall, demolition,     and metal (if it’s not to thick)  Blades for this tool are disposable and     depending on what you’re cutting will determine their life.      Remember a dull blade is a dangerous blade.
  3. Circular Saw- Standard size is 7 1/4” but some come with smaller blades.  These are used primarily     for construction, framing, and cutting plywood.  Remember, blades, blades, blades.
  4. Other tools that may come in these kits are
    1. Radios
    2. spotlights
    3. angle grinders

 

  1. Small Contractors Table Saw – You can spend as much as you want on these.  Sears makes them     and there are some extremely expensive Swiss made saws that will     exceed the capabilities of much larger saws.  This tool is used     for making straight cuts from dimension lumber (2×4’s etc) and plywood.      They are almost mandatory for cabinet work (although some of the finest     furniture ever made was done with hand tools)
  2. Angle Grinder – An angle grinder is used to smooth metal of any thickness or cutting     large pipe.  With a wire brush bit is can prepare rusted metal     for painting or smooth metal cut with a cutting torch. I even     recently used one to cut off the barrel of a .22 rifle to make a more      “convenient” size weapon. Remember, blades, blades, blades.
  3. Palm Sander or belt-sander – Used to smooth wood and metal.  Remember, paper,     paper, paper. Sandpaper comes in 8”x12” sheets.  Cut to fit     on the palm sander.  In belts for the belt sander (think small     treadmill).  They come in varying GRITS.  The larger the number,     the finer the grit.  40 grit paper looks like it has sharp pebbles     glued to the paper.  600 grit is almost smooth to the touch.  To     get wood smooth you start with the low grit papers and work up successively     to the larger numbered grits.  Belt sanders can also be clamped     down and used to sharpen a variety of hand tools (good use for the angle     grinder as well).

As I mentioned before, the really great furniture  was made with hand tools.  Hand tools are IMHO absolutely mandatory  in a SHTF scenario.  Personally, I almost always choose power tools  over hand tools if power is available, but in skilled hands man powered tools are every bit as effective  as power tools.  Two things need to be remembered about hand tools.   One, they need to be sharp (a dull tool is a dangerous tool), and two  they are tiring! The first makes the second even truer. If you have  ever tried to cut through a 12 “diameter tree trunk with a bow saw  you’ll know what I mean.  Even cutting a 1×12 with a hand saw  is a work out.  A properly sharpened plane, saw, or chisel will  be much easier and produce a better product with less effort when used  properly.

Using hand tools takes skill and as with  any survival technique skill requires practice.  The more you use  them the easier they become.  Start with small projects and work  up to bigger ones.  Make a wall shelf (basically 3 boards) and  concentrate on getting the edges square (90 degrees) and the board smooth.   Don’t be discouraged by your first efforts.  No one makes Queen  Anne furniture on their first try.  These are some hand tools that  I recommend but is by no means complete:

  1. Screw driver set – both flat and Phillips head.  You can add star, square   and other types of drivers as you go.  Try to collect as many different   sizes as possible.
  2. Socket set- get a set that has metric as well as standard size sockets.    I use S&K but I also have many Sears Craftsmen sockets as   well.  The good thing about them is they will replace any broken   items no questions asked (as long as there is still a store).
  3. Hand saws- Get a cross cut (for cutting across the grain) and a rip   saw (for cutting with the grain or length of the board). Remember,   you are powering the saw.  Using the wrong saw for the job just   makes it that much harder.
  4. Bow saw- Think of a very coarse blade where the string on a bow is.    These are excellent for cutting firewood or demolition.
  5. Hand drill with an adjustable chuck- Yep, for making holes.
  6. Several crescent wrenches- get as many different sizes as possible.    They fit every size nut and bolt.  The older the better.    The steel and fit of the moving parts is so much better than todays   tools.
  7. Hand planes- Get a small jack plane (4-6” long) for rounding   off sharp edges and smoothing edges of lumber.  If you can find   one, get a jointer plane.  These are up to 2 feet long and are   for planning the faces of lumber for say a table top.
  8. Axe & hatchet- for felling trees and making kindling.    Again, keep them sharp.
  9. Clamps and vises- there are many different kinds.  Bar, C-clamp,   pressure, and table top.  Collect as many as possible as they have   a multitude of uses.
  10. Squares- Get a framing square that has a etched table for cutting   common and hip rafters.  Small squares to carry in your tool belt.    They allow you to mark a line square (90 degrees) to an edge.
  11. Levels- Try to get a 4’, 2’, and pocket level.  The have small glass vials embedded in them   with a trapped air bubble.  When you lay the level on the   project and the bubble is between the two lines on the vial you know   its level.
  12. Plumb bob- This is a brass or steel cone shaped tool (think of a top)   with a string attached that when you need to mark a spot directly beneath   a roof (for a column).
  13. Crowbar- The come in many sizes and lengths.  Two of the handiest   are a “Wonder bar” it is made of flat iron (2” wide) and has v-notches cut on both ends to help remove nails.    Handy for reclaiming dimensional lumber.  The other is made   of octagonal solid steel bar with a hook on the end.  They can   also be used to remove stubborn nails and their shape makes them great   for leveraging and lifting great weight.
  14. Hammers – Again many sizes.  Usually sold by weight of the head.    I recommend a 20 oz. framing hammer, a smaller cabinet hammer,   and a tack hammer for small nails.

Obviously these are just a few of the many different tools that you can collect (pack members will no doubt add some suggestions) and  use.  Collecting double gives you barter material and replaces  broken ones.  The great thing about tools is that you can pick  up many of the hand tools for next to nothing at flea markets and garage  sales.  Learn to sharpen and maintain you tools and they will provide  many years of service.  I have tools my great grandfather used.

Having a skill in producing and maintaining your bugout location or  just your current home is a skill that will make you a valuable team  member in troubled times.  You can “sell” your skill for other  necessities as well.  As with any craft, making or maintaining  items is a rewarding and satisfying pastime that might just save your  bacon (or buy you some) in the future.

Prizes for this round in our non fiction writing contest include…

This contest will end on September 9 2013

Comments

  1. Very nice article on the tools many we have with the exception of the full length crow bar. In going over the list you mention, it was item not replaced, along with hand tools. Believe I have an old hand crank auger(driller) that came from my uncles place, I was going to mount it on the wall for a decoration, now it is going into the hand tool section of the garage.

  2. Nice list. I would add a T square to your list . Of course a good selection of nails,screws,bolts and nuts. If you can find it glue powder has a nice long shelf life as long os it is kept dry.

  3. Winomega says:

    I’m actually afraid of many power tools, mostly ones that use a large circular blade. Combined with hubby’s firm belief that old-fashioned joinery is superior, I should learn a thing or two once I get to building our improvements.

    Mental note, learn how to make glue out of gelatin, wheat, or other natural substances.

  4. Antizombie says:

    On the read more posts at the bottom of the article (thanks for the comments) I noticed the blacksmithing article I read earlier. That reminded me of another tool I picked up recently. Ever since I read that article I have been hunting an anvil. In case you haven’t, they are scarce, sought after, and expensive ( @$2.00 per pound). I was talking to my mother in law (once removed) over the 4th and low and behold she had an anvil that was her Great grandfathers collecting rust in a garden. She said that if I would come and get it it was mine! I didn’t waste any time and it now sits on it’s new stump home on the farm. Just keep an eye out.

  5. Antizombie says:

    Winomega,
    Being a little afraid of power tools is HEALTHY. It keep you from getting complacent. I am missing the first joint of my index finger because of a second of inattention with a miter saw. Like I said in my article, safety first. If it feels unsafe, it probably is. Stop and rethink what you’re attempting. There’s almost always a safer way to accomplish it. I spend a lot more time as I get older planning a project BEFORE I start it. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, ” If I have six hours to chop a mess of wood, I spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe”. BTW, my finger made a good teaching tool for the Jr. High kid’s I taught. LOL.

    • Winomega says:

      Antizombie
      I did manage my fears while work-study in the theatre, mostly; there where some things that I annoyed my boss because I refused… The thing is, I have less of a sense of humor now about my recurring nightmares where various saws would eat me alive.

      I can barely hold a board for someone using… I think it’s the skil saw. Handheld circular. I won’t get closer unless it’s unplugged, and I don’t think I could actually pick up an unplugged one.

  6. tommy2rs says:

    Sledge hammmer, Stilson wrenches up to 36″ and cheater pipes (lol…the roughneck tool kit)

    Cold chisels – You’d be surprised what you can get into or demolish with a good size cold chisel and a singlejack

    Singlejack and large crosspeen hammers

    Yankee screw drivers – the manual version of a drill driver

    Large one (at least 32″) and two man cross cut saws for timber work.
    Timberjack, peavy’s and skidding tongs for moving, rolling and lifting logs and making lumber

    Pinch bars

    And files for both metal and wood, one can never have enough files in all sizes and shapes

    • yanke drivers can be used as drills also. i have a few of them ive picked up at farm sales and flea markets.

      • Winomega says:

        Since I have no understanding of drills beyond how my “Fiskars Fisher” is probably a poor excuse for a hobby drill, that is one thing that I probably should take a deeper look into…… before I have to build a bow-drill shank to fit every bit that I managed to collect.

  7. worrisome says:

    Good article, I am printing it as we speak. Might want to add a couple of bolt cutters to the list?

  8. Thank you for the reminder to double up on the tools! Barter or back up. I have collecting hand tools and hand logging tools for a long time. I do display them on the shelf in the shop, but now I am thinking I should take them down and try to use them.
    I am the firewood cutter in the family, because I am the stay at home to work spouse. I can’t imagine cutting lengths of firewood by hand.
    Many times I have taken the time to load the generator , compressor, and air tools into the back of the truck to work on the farm because My hands hurt so bad sometimes.
    I got a nasty case of carpel tunnel from working in a wood mill.

    Thanks for all the reminders to look for homemade glue recipes everyone. We go through a gallon of wood glue a year easily. Sometimes two gallons.
    Sand paper. Need to stock up on that and learn to make it. My daughter (age 10) is building her own rabbit hutch right now. I am building shelves.
    We love to butcher wood around here. I love to see it, smell it, feel it. It is a beautiful natural renewable amazing resource.
    I will never forget overhearing a conversation with a premier cabinet maker/wood carver who was asked to recreate one of the old highly carved bars in an old hotel in one of our Colorado mining towns.
    He said “Of course I can make one just like it, and besides we have better tools now.”,

  9. My maternal grandfather was an old-time country carpenter who had been a shipyard worker during WWII. He never knew when he might have to build anything from a chicken coop to kitchen drawers from scratch for someone using salvaged boards from an old outhouse or shack. In the 1960s, he helped my parents build their brick ranch house over the course of several summers from a set of blue prints my mother purchased by mail order. In his hand-made tool box were chisels, carpenter’s square, flat pencil, pocket knife, chalk line, fold-up ruler, assortment of different size hammers, nail set kit, various size punches and different sizes of files. He had a variety of hand saws and a beat-up looking miter box. He sharpened his hand saws with a file, ground other tool edges with a foot-powered grinding wheel and always carried a hand-made wooden bench to the job site that doubled as a step stool (you can tell I tagged along as a child who had nothing better to do during summers in the rural South). I’m fairly sure that if he were alive today, he would want one of those fancy Japanese pull saws too.

  10. rainman says:

    A very good article, but be advised (my 20+ yrs background of working in a hardware/building materials/mercantile store) that many of the old tools you have grown to love have been co-opted in industry and are now little more than names. I’d love to have more old (20 yrs ago circa.) milwaukees, rigids etc., but these firms have been bought out, mergered and enlisted (particularly by the big boxes) so you are buying a “name” and little else. check motor data labels; if it says something on the order of moter XYZ type 1 or 2 or another number, (generational labeling) you can rest assured some bean counter went to the manufacturing segment and said we need to produce this for X amount less money. In the end, quality and parts got compromised in order to increase profit. just be aware before parting with your hard won funds and do your homework. caveat emptor.

  11. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Great post – your point about ‘hand tools being tiring’ is soooooo truuuuuuee! Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to acquire some free wood studs (3x6x20′-0″ L.! no less) but have no trailer resources to scare up. So I had to cut them on site with (you guessed it) no electricity.

    I had two choices in my tools, the ordinary crosscut (8 tpi) or 30″ limb bow saw. Progress with crosscut was too slow (duh j.r.!) so it was bow saw. I was lucky my brother was along – we cut for around an hour, about 20 of them. Some were cut in 1/2 (10′ ea.), others at 8′ to have a 12′ remainder – versatility. I’m surprised my arm does not hurt (yet?) – but without those tools, THE OPPORTUNITY WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST.

    Hand tools offer you options is what I’m saying . . .

  12. private idaho says:

    good post. I have pretty much everything on the list, I go to yard sales frequently and pick up old fashioned tools when I find them. a couple of weeks back I picked up a brace and 6 bits for it for like $20.00 also a good item to have is some metal or plastic spring clamps they come in handy for clamping up things like tarps etc. currently looking for spoke shaves and draw knives.

  13. There is a time and place for both , if you have the power tools and can keep them running , use them . If no power for the power tools , then be sure you know how to use the others . Obviously , the less you have to exert yourself , the better off you will be , hand tools are very physical and inefficient compared to the other , You will naturally eat more , chances for injury are increased , etc . ……. long story short ” work smarter , not harder “

  14. Swabbie Robbie says:

    I would be sure to add a brace for augering holes, some cabinet scrapers for smoothing wood should sand paper become unavailable, a draw knife ( the ones with a handle on each end of the blade), Chisel sets – hand for mortise and tennon joints, and maybe some carving tools. There are some good quality gear reduction hand drills that are worth looking for.

    Belts and suspenders: I like having both corded and battery powered tools. If a SHTF event is long enduring, batteries may not work or wear out and be hard to replace. Where as generators can be tinkered with to run on other fuels including wood fired steam engine and wind or water turbines.

  15. Linda briefly mentioned files that lived in the tool box of the man that helped her parents build their house.

    I can’t emphasize enough at least one or two good files and a rasp. I have a Flat Bastard file that I’ve had since I was a kid and it is still my “go to” file for just about any work I need to do. I have no idea how old it is, but I’ve had it for 40 years.

    I even made a spanner wrench out of a quarter inch pipe nipple so I could disassemble an Enfield Mk. IV I once owned. I used a butane camp stove to heat it red hot and let it cool to soften the metal. I filed the threads off and got it down far enough to fit in the space I needed it, then moved it in the vice, cut the teeth for the span, then hammered a 90 degree angle on the other end for leverage. I heated it up again, quenched it, an viola, my first homemade gunsmithing tool. I gave it to the guy I sold the rifle to as a pot sweetener.

    A rasp will make short work of wood or fiberglass… Or cheese. Where do you think the kitchen micro planes came from?

    Great article. It’s one that needs to be repeated from time to time just as a reminder.

    Heh, as a side note, I agree with the chisels too. I still have the two (as well as the torpedo level) that came with my Handy Andy tool kit when I was a boy. I use those when I do locksmithing.

  16. Don’t forget a good supply of replacement handles for hammers, hatchets/axes and any other wood working or even gardening tools. Eventually they will all need to be replaced. After an extended period of time you will more than likely have to make new ones from raw stock. A good draw knife and spoke shave will be worth their weight.

  17. Donna in MN says:

    When I was young we didn’t have power tools. We used hand saws, a hand jig saw, a hand drill and auger, and files. Those were the days. I still use the files to sharpen my lawnmover blades and chain saw edges, and to file wood edges from splinters. I believe they are an imortant tool to have.

    I have also substituted sandpaper with flat sandstone blocks. They last forever unlike sandpaper. It can also be used for knife, axe or tool. sharpening Often while I am working in the forest and snag a nail, (for you women out there) I find a rock and file my nail smooth, and use a small rough rock for space saving in striking wood matches instead of carrying the whole box. . I have also used flint rock for cutting, scarfing deer hides, and cutting meat, rope, and wood, as well as using a smaller piece for weaponry tied on a stick for arrows and spears. I have a pounding tool made from a rock to crush, grind, or pulverize things besides making it a useful weapon. Useful tools can be found laying on the ground, in streams and lakeshores.

  18. Me and my dad were cutting trees yesterday and his chainsaw busted, we ended up using a back up one but my vote goes to hand tools for being simple to repair.

  19. As someone who likes multi-purpose tools, I’d add a combination Plumb Bob & chalk line. I have two and a decent supply of chalk.

    • Brace & Bit(s)
    • An assortment of wood Chisels
    • A log peavey along with a sledge hammer and wedges, and an adze, froe, and draw knives. These allow you to make useable lumber and shake shingles from logs.
    • Hacksaw & blade, blade, blades

    Finally, if you have a chainsaw, there are fixtures to allow you to make rough cut limber with it.

    Remember that in times past, the first things that many carpenters constructed, were their own tools.

  20. SheepDog says:

    There are times manual tools are safer to use and I take advantage of that aspect when working in areas I am unlikely to get any help if needed or at times like disasters when I am unlikely to be able to get out.

    Working several miles out of cell phone range with an arbor saw for many projects seems a better idea than a chain saw for instance.

    SD

  21. +1 for the Milwaukee. Been using one for 10 years and while it’s definitely an old model and outdated in terms of power and security features, it has never failed me – not once.

    Now that I think of it, would be nice if there was a form of course on things you can build with these types of tools in a SHTF scenario. Obviously everyone can practice doing regular home projects, but I’d like to see projects that will prove directly helpful in a borderline situation.

    • David- compose a short list of a few projects you’d like to see and I’ll see what I can do for you, and others who may be interested.

  22. Winomega says:

    David, what sorts of projects would be useful? I can think boxes and crates, knowing how to carve cooking and eating utensils, fences, roofs, buildings. how to make new tools and weapons.

  23. Here’s a couple more ideas on things to add to our tool boxes:

    Cut resistant gloves – will at least help protect our hands from slips with knives, chisels and saws

    Leather chaps – will help protect the legs from kick backs from our saws

    Safety glasses or goggles – preferably the kind that entirely covers the eye area (top, bottom and sides). Eye doctors may be scarce and the eye is very sensitive.

    Ear protection – several kinds (the foam kind, the headphone looking ones – visit a supply store and you may be amazed at what is available). Remember we were only given two ears and they are sensitive to noise. I have found if I work only a few hours in a noisy environment without ear protection I get real grumpy.

  24. I have a set of 18Volt tools and they are a godsend, especially the impact driver.
    Another tool many here might not consider is the small engine lifting crane. These little cranes are about $200 on eBay and can lift up to 2 ton. Thats a hell of a lot of lift when you think about it. And not just lift, but pull as well. You could pull just about any pipe set in the ground with one of these babies. Imagine having to move a safe around, or a massive toolbox, a 44 Gallon drum of food?

    The one I am buying on Monday is rated at 2-Ton, has 6 castor wheels, and an adjustable boom. For the price I think they are worth consideration, you could even mount a winch on the end of the boom if you wanted and use it to lower heavy supplies down a hole. I have a cheap chinese motorcycle lift that I use as a forklift, it will lift 650kg up about half a meter and comes in damn handy I can assure you.

  25. LOVE, I adore lists! I am a list keeper, and knowing exactly what a tool is called, being able to write it down and look it over for my prep tools is awesome. Thank you!!!!!

  26. Chuck Findlay says:

    I make my living as a handyman / home repair guy. I have a van full of tools and supplies to do just about any repair a home or apartment would need. I have hand tools but I don’t carry them in my van because they are slow to use. Power tools are so much better for doing a job in a timely manor. I use a lot of battery powered tools and I installed an inverter in my van to charge them while driving to and from jobs. Also I have a few hundred watts of solar panels at home that I could use to charge the battery tools at home. I really don’t see hand tools (saws, hand drills and the like) as a good way to go for doing work efficiently. I know we preppers are supposed to expect no-grid situations to happen. And I prepare for that in two ways. I have hand tools as a last resort, but I also plan for a way to use my power tools with wind, solar and a generator to keep the charge in the batteries topped off. If we do have a SHTF grid-down or even a sporadic grid-down situation I still will use the most efficient tools to get repair work & upkeep done. I think if we do get TEOTWAWKI we will have a very buys time surviving, I don’t think it’s going to be a good idea to take 45 min cutting wood for framing a doorway when a power tool will do the same cutting in 2-min. Also hand sawing and drilling will burn a lot of calories that will need to be replaced by a potentially limited food supply.

    PS: When buying power tools you should buy quality tools (No Harbor Tools junk!) Milwaukee, Porter Cable are in my opinion the best there is. DeWalt comes in at third place. In 35-years I have not had any problem with these brands of tools doing their job well beyond what you could expect them to do. One of my Milwaukee cordless drills was made in 1987 and I still use it almost every day. I know these are more expensive tools, but other then battery replacement every 10-years or so these tools last me (a guy that uses them hours every week for years) 20+ years. I see them lasting the casual user a lifetime.

  27. As John H. mentioned “Remember a dull blade is a dangerous blade.”

    So those knives, axes, hatchets, drill bits, razors… they all need to be sharpened to perform as best it can.

    A couple of good sharpening stones at stepped grits; the higher the grit the less material is removed and the smoother the cutting edge becomes.

    I keep all my blades sharp, I hone my straight razors and I could shave with all of my knives. I use two bench stones at 600, 1000, 4000, 8000 grit levels (each stone is double sided), and I also use a Belgium Coticule stone which has variable grit ratings depending on the thickness of the slurry used. If all I needed to sharpen was a knife and razor I would take the coticule before any other stone.

    For an axe or hatchet, going higher than 1000 grit may not be worth your efforts as you can get a sharp axe using the 1000 grit.

    For more intricate work on saw blades and drill bits, use a set of small metal files with multiple shapes and cut patterns to sharpen them. A thick bastard file about an inch wide, if you can find one made from high carbon steel, can also be used as the ‘steel’ for flint & steel fire starting, and can be used for sharpening axe/hatchet.

    In a go condition, I have my minimum needed to keep most items sharp is a 6-inch carbon steel file that is shaped and sharpened on one end like a chisel, a double sided grit stone, and small coticule in a pouch.

  28. Larry D. says:

    Don’t forget files.
    Several different sizes for keeping things sharp.
    Some sharpening stones (and the skill-set to use them) are a good idea, too.

  29. AntiZombie says:

    Dear Pack,
    Thank’s for all the great comments and additions to the article. I knew you folks would be able to flesh out my partial list. Gave me some ideas for things I need to scrounge for. Thanks, especially, to MD for this site.

  30. Regardless of project, or tools used, being able to make it square matters. A compas and stringline need to be in your kit. You do know how to use a compas to make a perfect 90 corner, dont you?