Must Have Tools For
There are many tools that you must have handy
when building a house but there are a few that get used often
in the building process.
I'll start with the obvious. A hammer. In
this day and age, many builders use compressors and framing
nailers. The hammer still has a place on the jobsite. Most
carpenters still use the hammer to frame floor joists, walls,
ceiling joists and rafters. The feeling is that they can draw
connections tighter with a hammer. I'm in favor of using a
hammer for framing and using a nail gun to nail off plywood on
decks, walls and roofs.
Another obvious tool is the circular saw. I
like to have at least two on the job. one for me to do laying
out of plates and roof cutting and one for the crew to cut
headers, cripples and whatever else they might need it for. I
prefer a worm drive saw. Its a heavier saw but I like to use
that to my advantage when cutting. I also like the fact you can
see the blade cut the line. Others prefer what is called a
sidewinder. The blade is on the other side ofthe saw thus the
name. A righthanded user will ususally find himself leaning
over the saw to see the blade and follow the cut line. This is
a lighter saw so it may fatigue the
user less than a worm drive.
Layout tools. These include pencil, speed
square, framing square, chalk line, dry line and tape measure.
Obviously the pencil is a companion to most of the other tools
for making layout marks and lines. The speed square is used
primarily to square lumber and laying out plates for wall,
floor joist, ceiling joists, and rafters. It can also be used
for rafter cutting layout but I prefer a framing square,which I
feel is more accurate. The framing square is also used to
square up wider lumber like 2x10's and 2x12's. Pages can be
written on the many uses of a framing square. I've even heard
stories of guys being able to figure their paychecks with one.
A chalk line is a necessity and is one of the first tools used
to start building a house. Lines are snapped on top of
foundation walls, on decks for wall
layout and for cut lines on plywood, OSB and wall sheathings. A
dry line is used to keep things straight. Its used to
straighten tops of walls, basement steel, and hip rafters among
other things. Last but not least is the tape measure, the most
important of the layout tools. It would be impossible to build
a house without it.
There are also what I like to call lifting
and persuading tools. A handy tool to have on site is a prybar.
On my jobs its primary function was to lift a wall to put a 2x4
block under the top plate. This is for finger room when it is
time to lift the wall. The main persuader on any job is the
sledgehammer. Also called a trim hammer for moving that heavy
wall that last 1/8th of an inch to the line. I also like to use
it to tap a wall square before sheathing it. Another necessary
use for the sledgehammer is to tap tongue and groove
Don't forget the erasers. Sometimes we make
mistakes. Thats why we keep nail pullers (cats paw) and a
sawzall or reciprecating saw on hand. I prefer the sawzall. I
like to cut the nails rather than pull them. I feel its quicker
and makes for a cleaner job.
Don't forget a 4 foot level. I almost did.
This is considered a layout tool. You'll need one to level
interior walls to brace them off and to install window and
doors. Other than this thats almost all you'll need it for
except for an occasional check for plumb and level.
With the above mentioned tools, you've got
what you need to build a house.
(c) Mike Merisko