Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Since my wife and I recently downsized, I am making do with a much smaller basement workshop these days. Large stationary power tools may be out of the question, but there is undoubtedly sufficient room for me to fix things and build small projects like wooden toys and picture frames. Because I like being able to see the items I need, the design for my new workshop involves a great deal of shelving on which I plan to store everything from hand tools and portable power tools to drill bits and bottles of glue.
Plastic tubs (with insert trays for small items) organize job-specific tools and supplies that I don’t use frequently. The trick to working successfully in a small workshop is always to keep the area clear of clutter and ready for action. Everyone ought to maintain a Home Inventory List to document their home assets for insurance purposes.
The Inventory Spreadsheet includes some of the common locations and items that you might want to consider when creating your own inventory list. Taking photos of your property for your home inventory will make working with your insurance company go a lot smoother.
Download our simple inventory spreadsheet, made specifically for listing the contents of your home for insurance purposes. Keep track of warranty information, purchase price, condition, serial numbers, and model numbers. Home Inventory Worksheet (pdf) - Use this printable PDF worksheet to give you ideas about what you may want to inventory. Search for inventory management software, inventory control, inventory system, and inventory spreadsheet on Google. Asset Tracking Template - Track office equipment, repair equipment, and other valuable assets. Software Inventory Tracking Template - Track hardware, software, licenses, expirations, etc. Excel can be used as a database in the sense of storing and working with tables of information, but inventory control can quickly get too complicated for Excel. Instant online prices, quotes and ordering for health and safety posters click on the links below.
Alternatively you can with the contact details including all your contact and billing details & the last 4 numbers of your credit card. Use only tools and equipment with non-conducting handles when working on electrical devices. Never use metallic pencils or rulers, or wear rings or metal watchbands when working with electrical equipment.
When it is necessary to handle equipment that is plugged in, be sure hands are dry and, when possible, wear nonconductive gloves, protective clothes and shoes with insulated soles. If it is safe to do so, work with only one hand, keeping the other hand at your side or in your pocket, away from all conductive material.
If you ever read about current passing through human body you will know, so remember – work with one hand only. Minimize the use of electrical equipment in cold rooms or other areas where condensation is likely.
If water or a chemical is spilled onto equipment, shut off power at the main switch or circuit breaker and unplug the equipment. If an individual comes in contact with a live electrical conductor, do not touch the equipment, cord or person. Do not rely on grounding to mask a defective circuit nor attempt to correct a fault by insertion of another fuse or breaker, particularly one of larger capacity.
Drain capacitors before working near them and keep the short circuit on the terminals during the work to prevent electrical shock.
Never touch another person’s equipment or electrical control devices unless instructed to do so.
Enclose all electric contacts and conductors so that no one can accidentally come into contact with them. Never handle electrical equipment when hands, feet, or body are wet or perspiring, or when standing on a wet floor. When it is necessary to touch electrical equipment (for example, when checking for overheated motors), use the back of the hand. Be aware that interlocks on equipment disconnect the high voltage source when a cabinet door is open but power for control circuits may remain on. Thanks for the following useful blog, safety is first and must while dealing with electrical work.
I like the rules they will help me as I train non-technical staff in the University system and also those that use consumer electronics. At times accidents do not occur due to negligence but unintentional short cuts in the process of rushing to get unplanned work finished. Electrical Corner StoreCheck out our new #Electrical Corner Store with selected Electrician's Books, Testing and Safety equipment and other electrician's stuff! Instructables has a short post on a quick way to make your own bicycle lockring, or head race, pliers that I find quite elegant in its simplicity. About a year ago, I made this valve spring compressor for Ecotec motors as a way of saving myself about $300. Will you be seeing Goblirschrolf brand cranes at the local big box next year?  Most likely not — but you can see his place all cleaned up because his truck-mounted crane moved literally tons of wood so he didn’t have to.
Instructables user Vestus took one look at the high price of commercially-available router lifts and decided he could build his own a lot cheaper. Charlie R { Conductive hook and loop tape was used extensively in the Space Shuttle program for temporarily installed protective covers on the SRB booster segments. Chris { Rumor has it harbor freight was forced to discontinue the machine for patent issues. Professional Sheet Metal Fabrication (Motorbooks, 2013) is the number one resource for sheet metal workers old and new. Please consider updating your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. Whereas I could fit as many as four workbenches into my old basement, I now only have a five-by-eight-foot area, that is just enough room for a worktable and some compact, well-organized workshop storage. A narrow shelf positioned just above worktable height features bored holes of varying diameters that can hold pliers and screwdrivers. Fill a reusable grocery bag with safety glasses, goggles, dust masks, respirator, gloves and earplugs.


By stretching bungee hangers between the electrical cables between joists overhead, you can create a quick and handy place to hang lightweight items. I must admit, I haven’t yet reached that lofty goal, but these ideas have helped me get at least occasional glimpses of my work surface!
Some of the descriptions in the inventory list, like "Electronics", are just placeholders to remind you to include your electronics. A safety deposit box or even a locked drawer in your office would probably work for an off-site location.
You may want to consider using Microsoft Access (a database program) or other specialized inventory management software. This rule is very easy to forget, especially when you are showing some electrical part pointing with metallic pencil. This precaution reduces the likelihood of accidents that result in current passing through the chest cavity. Disconnect the power source from the circuit breaker or pull out the plug using a leather belt. Highly specialized for design of LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, buildings and industry fascilities.
I’m thinking of doing some electrical wiring myself in my new home, but I want to be sure that I stay safe. I have seen pictures of the hands of individuals who practiced this rule and hand their hand blown to smithereens!
I usually wait four or five minutes -probably longer for the big power guys -and then check the voltages with my DMM before I start working on any electrical equipment. There are 100+ other safety rules to be added, but I tried to write up just the important ones. Unless you have extremely strong hands, the compressor needs a way to hold itself at the proper angle, which is a feature I overlooked. After reading this post on the All-In-One Clamp, and this post on the MilesCraft Saw Guide, I still had no solution for how to cut long, straight lines that’re at odd angles to the edge of a board.
Bustin’ out his shrewd Dealmongering skills he snagged an already-inexpensive Harbor Freight plunge router on sale for $40 and a router base plate on Amazon for another $40. Join veteran metalworker Ed Barr as he walks you through the ins and outs of planning a sheet metal project, acquiring the necessary tools and resources, doing the work, and adding the perfect finishing touches for a seamless final product. This is a great approach to storing clamps or rolls of tape—anything with an opening through which you can string the cord. A simple inventory spreadsheet should suffice, so go ahead and download the free Home Inventory template below.
For insurance purposes, it would be better to list each item separately so that you can include the price, serial #, and model # for each item. Now-a-days, most digital cameras have video capture ability, so you could record a quick video clip of each room in your home, and store the video clips and digital photos on a flash drive with your inventory. Safety rules help you control your and others risk of injury or death from workplace hazards. Would you recommend do it yourself wiring for amateurs or should I call in an electrician just to be safe? It’s NEVER a good practice to contact live conductors even with the back of your hand.
The picture above is from Brian’s Blog showing the Atwood-method wrap on a mini pry bar (the Pocket Widgy® from County Comm).
A larger tub holds paint trays, stir sticks, roller frames, roller covers, brushes and the like. If you need more sophisticated inventory management software for your home or small business, try searching the Microsoft Office template gallery or check out our sponsors. I couldn’t think any other rules, however I would make one change and that would be to combine rule 3 with rule 13. A third is devoted to miscellaneous plumbing supplies: propane torch, igniters, propane canisters, pipe cutters, flux, Teflon tape, solder and so on. So many times I’ve seen guys get hit when they forgot to discharge the input or output caps of a power supply or amplifier before they started to service it and then discharged those caps through themselves. You could also solve the issue by putting the upper hinge in line with the compressing screw, which would kill the tendency to rotate. Otherwise, they can transform perfectly good sheet metal into scrap with astonishing speed and efficiency. Since this only used about $15 in materials, I may produce a more polished version in the future. Fortunately, once you understand the basics of shaping sheet metal, its responses to your input will be less mysterious, so progress will come quickly—you will not need an arduous seven-year apprenticeship to start seeing results and finding satisfaction in your work. For the average person interested in repairing rust spots and making a few patch panels for a historic vehicle, for example, a few basic shaping exercises will endow most enthusiasts with the confidence to move ahead with their intended project.One overriding principle to keep in mind when working with sheet metal is that you often trade thickness for surface area as you shape the metal. Sometimes you increase the surface area, or stretch the metal, making it longer and thinner.
Other times you will decrease the surface area, often called shrinking or upsetting, making the metal shorter and thicker. If you were to mash down with your thumb in the middle of a pie crust, for example, you know instinctively that the crust would get very thin under your thumb as the dough compressed. If you mashed the crust a few times in close proximity, the entire crust would spread out ever so slightly as a result. Metal doesn’t behave exactly like a crust, of course, but I think this image makes it easy to understand how to change the shape of metal by influencing its thickness.Bending Sheet MetalMetal can be shaped without changing its thickness as well, such as when you bend it in a vise. The bend could be sharp, like when you hammer a piece of metal over at 90 degrees, or the bend could be gradual, like when you bend metal around a large pipe. According to Butler, shape and form were used by men such as Scott Knight and Red Tweit at the now defunct California Metal Shaping to differentiate between two distinct modes of working. Out of respect for the tradition of shaping started at California Metal Shaping, and in an effort to develop standardized terminology among metal shapers, Butler continues to use the terms.
I, too, will use shape to refer to a process involving a thickness change and form to refer to a process that does not involve a thickness change.To illustrate the idea of the relationship between the thickness and length or surface area of a piece of metal, I have taken three identical 4-inch lengths of mild steel square stock and heated two of them to make them easier to shape. Obviously, the upset piece got shorter and thicker, whereas the opposite is true of the stretched piece. Keep these simple principles in mind as you begin shaping metal; they will help you achieve the results you want and hopefully answer some of your questions as you grow in your craft.
Thus, whenever metal is sandwiched forcefully between a hammer and dolly or between two hammering dies in metal shaping machine, we can expect the metal to be squeezed thinner directly at the point of contact.


Likewise, we can expect an increase in surface area because that squeezed metal must go somewhere—it will compress to a degree, but any metal that does not compress will squeeze out to the sides around the point of impact. There are a few exceptions to the thickness versus surface area equation, but do not be concerned with those now. For the demonstration, I have selected a hammer with a polished crowned face and a 7-inch diameter 20-gauge steel panel. Lay the panel exterior side down on a blemish-free hard surface, and work your way around the panel with light, overlapping hammer blows beginning in the center. Just like your finger in the hypothetical piecrust, the hammer mashes the panel so that it conforms to the profile of the hammer’s face. As you progress from the center out, you displace a miniscule amount of the unworked metal to the outside as you go.
By the time you’ve worked your way to the edge of the panel, you may have lost your mind, your elbow may never be the same, you’ll have a curved panel like the one in the Image Gallery, and most importantly, you will forever be able to predict exactly what will happen when you hammer sheet metal against a hard surface. You would get the same result by hammering a panel with a flat hammer over a rounded stake as well, only the panel would curve away from you as you progressed rather than toward you.Stretching and Shrinking MetalYou will be pleasantly surprised by the degree to which you can shape metal in a controlled manner simply by thinking in terms of its thickness versus its surface area. To explore this point further, draw a relaxed S curve 14 inches long onto a piece of cardboard or thick paper and cut it out.
I am using a piece of annealed aluminum sheet in the demonstration because it is easy to form. Meanwhile, the rounded edges of the head leave fewer hammer marks than would be the case with a chisel pointed hammerhead, which would mar and possibly cut through the metal.
Because you have lengthened the flange you have been hammering, the metal on the adjacent leg begins to curve in response to the added length.
If more passes are needed, change the angle at which the hammer face meets the stretched flange to prevent over thinning the metal. As soon as you feel you understand the stretching process, turn your attention to the opposite end of your test piece, which will need shrinking.Shrinking is always more difficult than stretching. One time-honored way of shrinking sheet metal is to create crimps—also called tucks or puckers—in the area needing to be shrunk and hammering the folds of metal flat, thereby upsetting the metal into itself.
The best results are obtained when the tucks are restrained in such a way that they cannot simply unfold when they are struck. These resembled blacksmith tongs, having one single jaw straddled by a double jaw.Tucking tools may be hand-held or mounted in a vise, depending how resilient your metal is.
For this exercise you want the tucks to rise up on the topside of the flange so that you can hammer them down against a flat surface. This decision will be based solely on which orientation gives you the most advantageous position for hammering the tucks flat. In this demonstration the crimps were easily created by hand with a tucking tool and then hammered flat against a metal surface with a rawhide mallet. When cold-shrinking, or shrinking without heat, you will be less likely to stretch the metal accidently if either your hammer or your work surface is softer than the metal work piece.On the S-curve panel, create a single crimp and first try holding the metal firmly against a hard surface by hand while you hammer the pucker flat. If the crimp wants to unfold, clamp the panel to a table on each side of the crimp so that the metal has no choice but to upset when you hammer it. If you lack a suitable table, clamp a flat steel bar or piece of angle iron to your panel straddling the pucker. Clamp the piece in one of the ways just described, heat the crest of the crimp until it’s a dull red, and then gently hammer it flat with a steel hammer. The heated spot in each case will be softer than the colder surrounding metal and will readily upset or shrink. Because the metal will be soft while it is hot, you will not need to hit the metal very hard—the blow is similar to driving a tack.
If you hit the metal too hard you will compress and therefore stretch it, which is the opposite of what you are trying to do.
Consequently, the adjacent leg of the panel curves toward the flange you have just shortened because of the pulling action the shrinking induces.The process of tuck shrinking you used on the S-curve panel is useful for shrinking metal when you do not have access to more elaborate machines for the same work.
If possible, try tuck shrinking first with annealed aluminum because this soft metal responds so well to coldshrinking.
Create a crimp in the edge of a test piece at least an inch long either by hand or using a homemade vicemounted tucking tool. Now lay the panel down on a hard surface and begin hammering the pucker flat with a plastic hammer, starting with one hit on the outer end of the tuck, then back to the origin of the tuck, and finally working your way out to the edge. The traditional way to shrink a tuck is to start at the origin of the tuck and move toward the edge. Ryan Heller, a former student of mine, suggested an alternative method to me two or three years ago, and I think it works better, however.
Hitting the end of the tuck first creates a tiny cul-de-sac into which you can chase the rest of the tuck. By hitting the outer end first, you work-harden the end of the tuck ever so slightly so that it is less likely, in my opinion, to unfold as you hammer the rest of the tuck.
Whatever sequence of hammer blows you follow, remember that you are just flattening the raised fold of the tuck to upset the metal against the resistance offered by the wrinkled sides of the tuck and the work surface. You should not hit the metal so hard that it is compressed against the table and therefore stretched. Plastic hammers don’t have a lot of uses, but their lack of mass and soft faces are easy on annealed aluminum. Experiment with tucks on the inside of the panel, which are shrunk against the table, and tucks on the outside of the panel, which may be shrunk against a stake.
If your tucks try to unfold, try supporting the back side of your tuck against a hollowed out stump or concave depression in a piece of wood. The curvature of the wood offers additional support to prevent the tuck from unfolding.If you are working with steel for your tuck-shrinking exercise, you should be prepared to try the stump technique just described or heat shrink the tuck.
Cold-shrinking is certainly possible with steel, but the puckers left by your tucking tool are much more likely to unfold as you work them than if they were of aluminum. Simply heat the end of the tuck until it’s red hot and gently hammer it about halfway down. This method seems to be just right to prevent the tuck from unfolding, and yet it can be hammered completely flat once the rest of the pucker has been upset.



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