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Home Site Map - Techniques - Tools -

General Tools

Star Tools and tips to help you build your house.


Wood working

Measuring tape 

Drawing square 

Chop saw / mitre saw

Miter Chop Saw    Chop saw


TableSaw Ryobi    Tablesaw


This is my cutting instrument of choice even for intricate cuts.


Circular saw

Unlike most builders, I don't use a hand held circular saw for cutting.  What I use it for is cutting grooves to a particular depth.  Ideal for routing PEX piping in the surface of 2x4s.  I make a series of cuts about 1/4" apart and then break off the bits between with a chisel.

Circular saw 

A circular saw is also useful for demolition type applications, eg cutting away bracing timber and window bracing.

Diamond Saw 7in Blade    Diamond blade

Scroll saw

Scroll Saw Wen    Scroll saw


Pillar drill

Wherever possible (ie the lumber is not too long or wide) it is best to use a pillar drill rather than a hand held drill because it makes holes that are exactly 90 degrees to the timber face.  This means the hole is in the same location on the back side as the front side.

Pillar drill 


Drill block

Drill block    Drill block


Pocket hole jig

Kreg mini jig    Pocket hole jig


Buscuit joiner

Buscuit joiner Chicago    Buscuit joiner


Glue gun (28oz)

Glue Gun 28oz Yellow    Glue gun


Belt sander

Belt sander 4"x24"Belt sander

Spreader Clamp

Spreader Clamp    Spreader clamp



Self leveling laser

Self leveling laser    Self leveling laser


Laser distance measurer

Laser Measurer    Laser distance measurer


Plumb bob

Plumb Bob    Plumb bob

Long spirit level

Long Spirit Level 6 Feet    Long spirit level

Short spirit level

Spirit level 16in    Short spirit level

Tape measure

Tape Measure    Tape measure

100' tape measure

Tape measure 100 feet    100' tape measure 


String Orange    String


Right angle laser square

Laser 90 Degrees     Right angle laser square

Angle finder

Angle Finder    Angle finder 



Craft knife

Craft Knife 9mm    Craft knife


Foam gun

Foam Gun Great Stuff   Foam gun


Flat sanding rasp

Sheet Sanding Rasp    Flat sanding rasp


Footing spreader

Tool Footing SpreaderThis home made tool that I call a Footing spreader is used when fitting and gluing the EPS to the sides of the foundation footings.


Hotwire cutter bench

Hotwire Cutter Outside Bench side    Hotwire cutter bench




JackHammer    Jackhammer


Digging bar

Digging bar    Digging bar


Large hoe

Field Hoe 8in    Large hoe

Soil filter trommel

Trommel Drawing End    Soil filter trommel



Club hammer

Club hammer    Club hammer




It is worth having a range of ladders of different lengths.  It is best to use a ladder that is not overly big for the application because moving a big heavy ladder is a real pain.

Long ladder

Ladder End Protectors

Ladder End Protectors    Ladder End Protectors

Work platform

Work Platform On Slab    Work platform


Concrete placer

Concrete Placer With Wood Handle   Concrete placer


Concrete vibrator

Concrete vibrator    Concrete vibrator


Magnesium float

Magnesium hand float for concrete    Magnesium float


Slump cone

Concrete Slump Cone    Slump cone


Concrete nailer

Concrete nailer    Concrete nailer



Cable tie cutters

End Wire Cutters    Cable tie cutters


Remote grabber

Remote grabber tool    Remote grabber



Concrete mixer

Concrete Mixer Harbor Freight     Concrete mixer


Flat trowel

Flat Stucco Trowel    Flat trowel


Plastic float

Plastic Stucco Float    Plastic float



Wire strippers

Wire strippers    Wire strippers


Screwdriver extension

Screw Driver Extension    Screwdriver extension


Data electrical

Punchdown Cat6

Punchdown tool    Punchdown Cat6


Cable jacket stripper

Cable jacket stripper   Cable jacket stripper


Cat 5/6 tester

Cat 5/6 Tester    Cat 5/6 tester



PEX crimp

PEX Crimp Tool    PEX crimp



Ridgid LevelMax Lippage Reduction System

Ridgid Tile Leveler 




Hard hat

Head Protection Helmet    Hard hat


Dust mask

Dust Mask 3M Full    Dust mask

Face and breathing protection 


Fall harness

Guardian Fall Harness    Fall harness



Gloves Construction Blue    Gloves


Knee protectors

Knee Pads    Knee protectors


Soft shoes

Slipon Soft Shoes    Soft shoes



Head light    Headlight

Sun hat

Sun Hat    Sun hat

Waterproof socks

Waterproof Socks    Waterproof socks


ChainSaw Chain

ChainSaw Blade S56    ChainSaw chain

Tree wedges

Tree Wedges    Tree wedges


Torque wrench

Torque wrench    Torque wrench


Mig Welder 170 Harbor Freight    Welder

Wet and dry vac

Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner Lowes    Wet and dry vac



Measure allowing for jigsaw cut width 

Markings on reverse side 



Tool cart

Radio Flyer tool cart   Tool cart



Car lift

Car Lift Dannmar 7000X   Car lift


My Building Creed

Do a CAD drawing for everything


Cut to CAD, not to measure


Design from Building Science


Stick to commodity products

By that I mean try to avoid using proprietary building products.  Proprietary products are much more expensive because they are single sourced, typically have a design royalty, have the cost of middle men and or a sales network, and have a high shipping cost from their single manufacturing location.