What are They?


The lathe machine is one of the most valuable items that you can have in your professional or home workshop. This is because the kind of work that it does would be hard to be accomplished by any other machine. Of course, being the handy man that I am and having established a good workshop in my basement, much to my wife’s chagrin I must say, I bought a lathe machine recently.

The reason why I bought one is because I want to start shaping chair and leg tables and I know this one will help me pull off a perfect job. However, my children have been showing plenty of curiosity towards this acquisition. Thus, I have had to educate them on what it is and how it works.

Wood carving

A wood lathe, as this machine is also called, is used to shape wood into different designs for decorative purposes. If you look at the wooden cots for toddlers, you will find that they have wood shaped like a spindle. They may also have circular legs and so on. All this is accomplished by the use of a wood lathe. What happens is that when shaping the wood, you place it on the spinner arm of the machine and then use different tools, some people even use wood chisels, to shape the wood as it spins. It really is ingenious!

If you do some research, you will realize that in addition to a wood later, many other lathe machines have been fashioned after this one. For example, today, we have metal and even glass lathers. They all work on the same concept as the wood lather and they are used to introduce an element of decoration on the material at hand.

Wooden mortar and pestle set

Lathe machines for wood are also used to hollow out wood. This same process is used to make kitchen essentials like mortar for pounding herbs and spices in the kitchen. Lathing can also be used to hollow out wood to make things like cups, mugs, plates, ladles and even basins. When you think about it, you will see that there is no limitation to the benefits and productivity of a lathe machine.

You may also use the lathe machine for boring through your wooden objects. This is a very important function in woodwork, especially in joinery. You can even bore holes that are six inches deep in your wooden object.

Caution when using a wood lathe

There is quite a lot that you can do with a wood lathe machine. Now, there are some recommendations if you aim to get the best out of it. One, you must first learn how to use the machine. Make use of the user manual that it is sold with. Since this is a spinning and cutting machine, you can appreciate that it poses quite a hazard and you do not want to take chances.

Before you start lathing the wood away, you will need to make sure that the wood is securely held on the machine. Avoid wearing loose clothing lest some loose bits are caught on the moving parts. With caution in mind, you should enjoy seeing what a wood lathe can do.


Get a Screwdriver


Over the time that I have been a “practicing” DIY enthusiast, I have realized that some tools are a must-have. In fact, these tools are so important such that even a person who doesn’t take pride in DIY prowess should still have them. Just imagine what you can do with a pair of pliers on some simple wiring tasks in the house. I have grown with all types of tools all of my life. I know what tools can do.

Of all the tools that I have ever used, the ones I have found to be very helpful are the screwdrivers. They are small yet nimble and applicable in many situations than you would care to count, at home. You can use them to fix your electronics, even laptops and computers. You may lack all of the other tools, but you should never miss having a nice set of screwdrivers at home.

Screwdriver sets last a long time

There are many good things about having the best screwdriver set at home. If you choose carefully, it will last you a long time. Frankly, you can hold on to a set of screwdrivers for the rest of your life. If you take good care of them, talking of which, it is not even hard to maintain screwdrivers, they will always stay in perfect condition for a long time.

It can be a bit hard to buy the best set of screwdrivers as there are so many of them. All of them just claim to be the best, so it is a bit hard to know whether you really have the best that money can get you. However, among some of the features you should look for in a set of screwdrivers is the number in a set and their sizes. Some sets come with up to 17 pieces, some with as few as six.

Handle comfort

Handle comfort should be excellent as you may have to use the screwdriver for a long moment. In some jobs, you may have to hold the screwdriver for long moments to get the job done. You also need to know that the screwdriver can handle many bits, which usually attach by use of a magnet.

Blade quality

The quality of the blade matters quite a lot. It is the blade after all that has to do all the work. Thus, if it is made of low quality material, the blade will start to wear away the minute that you put it to task on a tough job. Usually, stainless steel blades are good as they do not corrode and they do not lose their vigor. You should specifically look for heat-treated steel.

Maybe you should consider buying your screwdriver set from some of the renowned brand names only. However, this would also mean that you would be missing on a good product. Thus, the best thing is to read the reviews left by other users. That way, you do not buy a set of screwdrivers blindly.

Here are two reviews of screwdriver sets that you can buy for your long-term use:

Wiha 32092

Wiha 32092

This is a good set of screwdrivers that you can use professionally if you are an electrician, or that you can use at home. The handles are insulated and the full set comes with six pieces.some of the pieces in this set are actually rated for up to 1500 Volts of DC and 1000 volts of AC. You will also realize that the screwdriver is made in such a way that the handle is molded onto the steel blade so that it never starts peeling off.

Pros

  • Insulated handle makes this set good for electrical jobs
  • Heat-treated steel blade lasts a long time
  • Nice and soft handles give a perfect grip
  • Good for electrical jobs

Cons

  • It is a costly set

Craftsman Six Piece Set Extreme Grip

Craftsman Six Piece Set Extreme Grip

The one thing that you are going to really love about this set is the comfortable grip handles. The steel blades are also tipped with diamond for durability. Once you have bought one of the best wood lathes for your basement workshop, you need a good set of screwdrivers to work with. Craftsman is one of the most renowned names for screwdrivers, never disappoints.

Pros

  • Incredibly good handles
  • Nice, long lasting diamond-tipped ends
  • Just the right size – big without being too big
  • Sold at an affordable price

Cons

  • The handles seem a bit too hard

How to Use One


Some hand tools are so common in our homes such that we assume that everyone knows how to use them. However, it should come as no surprise to you that for some people, even using a screwdriver can be a hard call, because they do not know how. Today’s screwdrivers are quite sophisticated, with more features than what we had a decade or so ago. In fact, some even come with LED lighting to light up the work space for you. As you can see, with some of these additional features, a so-called simple screwdriver can be somewhat hard to use for a beginner.

How it works

Man fixing cabinet hinges

The most basic thing for you to learn is how the screwdriver works. It is used to loosen or tighten screws. Now, to loosen the screws, you need to match the screw to the correct screwdriver. Some may require a flat screwdriver, which, as the word suggests, is just that – flat. You may also need the Phillips style screwdriver, which in some circles is also called the “star” because the tip looks like a star. You should always be guided by the screw that you are loosening or tightening.

To loosen the screw, you should turn your screwdriver in the anticlockwise direction. To tighten the screw, you need to turn the screwdriver in the clockwise direction. Mostly, this is something that you can do by hand. For jobs that need much torque, you may need to use a real badass screwdriver, a large one.  

Please note that the star/Phillips and flat/slot head screw heads are just two of the available designs. Examine the screwhead before working on it to determine what type of screwdriver you should use.

Make sure the screwdriver fits snugly in the screw head

Screwdriver and screw picture

Knowing the type of screwdriver to use is one thing, using it is determined by other factors. One thing that you have to do is to find a screwdriver that fits snugly in the screwhead. This should not be too hard to do because you can just test all the screwdrivers. Usually, the experienced hands find no trouble at this at all as they can identify the size of the screwdriver needed just by looking at it. Once you have found the right fit, commence working.

The size of the screwdriver matters

Small jobs require small sized screwdrivers. Some may even require tiny screwdrivers. Thus, in your tool box, you really do not need a set of 15 screwdrivers. You just need a few of them, say, about four or five. You just need to make sure that you have a small screwdriver, a medium-sized one and a big one for the heavier jobs.

After you are done using your screwdrivers, you should store them in the best way possible, so that they can last a long time and so that they do not pose a safety hazard. It is easy to slip on a badly places screwdriver. You can wrap them up and keep them in the tool box or you may store them in the drawer of your workbench in the workshop. Usually, they will last tens of years.