Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Building Site Set Out Tip - 3,4,5 Method

A simple DIY tip to determine a 90 degree angle when setting out your building site is the 3,4,5 method. Basically if you mark out a triangle that has sides measuring 3 feet, 4 feet and 5 feet (or metres) you will end up with a right angle triangle. This is a very simple solution that can be handled by just one handyman, a tape measure and some pegs.

NOTE: Keep in mind that the measurements can be multiples of 3,4,5. You can use 6,8 and 10 or 9, 12 and 15 etc.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Must Have Tool Tip - The Plumb Bob

A simple tool that was even used back in ancient Egypt to build the pyramids, the Plumb Bob uses gravity to establish "plumb" or exactly vertical. The tool is simply a string with a pointed weight on the end. By holding (or fixing) the line on a high point and dropping the line so the weight is close to the ground you will establish an accurate vertical line from one point to the other. This example from Tajima (click here for more info) shows a more elaborate example with a retractable line and also a magnet to be used on metal surfaces and a pin to help with timber.

Here is an image that I found on the "thisoldhouse.com" site
 showing one of these plumb bobs being used by a handyman to help fit a door frame.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Must Have Tool Tip - The Water Level

One of the cheapest and accurate tools that a handyman will own. A water level is simply a length of clear, flexible tubing filled with water. The one I have is 10 metres (32')  long with a 10mm (3/8") diameter.

This type of level works simply with gravity. You will find that water will naturally, and acurately level itself. The height of the water at both ends of the tube will always be level - the length of your tube is your only restriction. Warning - you must check that you have no air bubbles at all in the water for acurate levels.

NOTE: Here is something I have never heard of... an Electric Water Level (image on right). This seems to work exactly as above but has audible tones to indicate levels. This product is by Zircon Corporation. Click here for more info.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ozlogs - Timber look, Concrete durability

Thinking about a DIY backyard renovation. Here is an alternative to timber sleepers and posts when you are after that natural look to your landscaping. These Australian made "Ozlogs" are made from concrete reinforced with steel, and yet have that natural timber sleeper look about them. No more having to replace your posts or retaining walls due to termite or water damage. 

Get more info from the Ozlogs website.