Hi, My Name is Jeremy and Welcome to Mr. Tool Guy!
I Learned from a Young Age that Having the Right Tool is Critical
Many years ago when I was just a young child my father shared with me perhaps the most important piece of advice I ever received “Having the right tool makes every job easier.” It sounds simple enough but when you are faced with a new job knowing what tool is the right one can sometimes be confusing. I was lucky to have a father who shared his decades of experience to guide me along the way and instill upon me a lifelong love for all things mechanical. From my earliest memories I was always working with my hands, building, designing and disassembling. I had to know how it worked, why it worked and more importantly how to make it work better.
Mechanics, Home Improvement and More
When I was old enough I started my first job in an automotive repair shop. I had already been working on cars for a number of years having helped my father restore several antique automobiles so I had a head start over many other people my age. I quickly excelled through the shop becoming the shop manager in only 3 years. This was in a shop of over 25 employees so it was quite an accomplishment. I had a natural knack at problem solving which helped me out greatly and had learned from my father to visualize a solution and not to dwell on the problems.
After 6 more years of automotive work, I was ready for a change. I took the leap into contracting with the help of some of my friends. I learned the trades from masters in the field and when I was ready I took all of the knowledge I had gained and started my own contracting business. Since that time I have bought and sold a large number of homes, I truly enjoy restoring homes to their prior glory and I found that I could make good money doing it. I’ve done all phases of construction, renovation and repair work. I don’t think there’s a single tool out there that I haven’t used and sometimes abused. That brings me to my next point.
Safety isn’t a Four Letter Word!
When I was just 5 I learned a valuable lesson on safety. When you don’t know what you are doing even simple actions can cause injury. I remember it vividly to this day, I had gotten into one of my fathers tool boxes and wanted to work on one of my pine car racers. I knew I needed something to carve the body with so I found an old adjustable wrench which happened to have a folding blade in the base (a really old precursor to today’s modern multi-tool). What I didn’t know is that the blade had a tendency to snap shut. When I started carving, I had to choke my hands up close to the end since it was so large and heavy and after just one pass the blade snapped closed. I looked down and saw blood trickling down my hand. I quickly opened the blade back up and realized I had just about severed my finger. I was panicked and rather than trying to get help I was more worried about not letting my Dad know I had hurt myself.
It didn’t take long for them to figure it out though. The trail of blood up the stairs was pretty obvious. When my mother found me there was some four letter words involved but Safety isn’t one of them. Six stitches and a tetanus shot latter I was home with my wounded pride. When my Dad came home he reminded me of what he had told me before “Having the right tool doesn’t just make the job easier, it makes it SAFER too.” Dad He was the kind of man that wouldn’t get mad at me for what happened he already knew I hurt enough. He just wanted to make sure I understood the real lesson. Working SAFELY is more important than working quickly.
Know What you Want to Do and Choose the Correct Tool for the Job
It’s important to know what you want to do before you select the tool for the job. If I wanted to hang a picture, I wouldn’t go and find my framing hammer. The extra weight of the head and the length of the handle would make it frustratingly difficult to drive the little nails required to install a picture hook. Not to mention, I would probably end up putting a hole clear through the wall. So don’t go and grab your tools before you think about what the job entails.
If you aren’t sure what tool is the best one for the job I offer advice in my how-to section that provides helpful instruction before you start any project big or small. Please check it out and if you don’t see your question answered feel free to contact me, I’ll be happy to help!
My Cardinal Rules
There are a small number of rules that I always consider before starting any project. I suggest you follow them too!
Safety is always your first concern. That means using the right tool in the correct manner. It also means to use all available safety precautions. There are a number of pieces of protective gear everyone should have. Eye protection is critical. Ear protection if you are using loud tools. Respirator if you are dealing with fine particulate matter. Gloves when appropriate will save you from blisters and splinters. The right clothing is also important when using any power equipment – you want to avoid loose fitting and dangling clothes.
Select the right tool for the job. Nothing makes a job go slower than using the wrong tools, except a trip to the emergency room. Don’t do it. It’s not worth the risk of injury and the right tool is often inexpensive and easy to obtain. If your not sure what to use then look in my how-to section for advice.
Work SMARTER not HARDER. The only thing working harder does is increase your risk of injury. You need to work smarter not harder. Part of that is ensuring you have the correct tool but the other part is being able to see the bigger picture when starting a task. Don’t create more work for yourself by approaching a problem the wrong way. You don’t want to get a wall half built and then realize you should have run the plumbing before you put it up!
Don’t double handle material and debris. I’ve seen people time and time again start to demo without a plan on how they are going to handle the debris. They end up stacking it only to have to move it again when the dumpster arrives. Doing work twice isn’t smart and puts unnecessary strain on your body. So have a plan before you move material, your back will be thankful you did.
Know when to hire a PRO. While there isn’t any job around the home that I can’t do I do know when its better to hire a specialist. Sometimes the time savings are worth the expense. If you don’t know your way around plumbing or electrical you should leave that to the experts. How quickly does your savings get wiped out when you flood your house or end up in the ER?
Ask for help and ask for advice if needed. There is no shame in asking a friend, neighbor, relative or contractor to give you a hand with a project. Moving heavy materials and holding things in place can be challenging working by ourselves. So get help when you need it.
Take a Look Around
I’ve compiled a list of tool reviews, how-to articles and brief histories of some of my favorite tools. So feel free to look around and stay a while!