|Home Improvement Information|
Used But Not Used Up
Some DIY Maintence will put Used tools back in Main Stream Operation:
Professional grade tools are made to withstand long hours of use and abuse. Many home shops have a number of Professional grad tools but for the most part most home shops have tools that are some what less in quality.
No matter what grade of tool you have none of them are made to be the "last tool you will have to buy".
What is nice is that for the most part the average grade as well as the professional grade tools are designed and built to be reparied which will translate into many years of service.
For the home shop items such as pads, electric cords, on/off switches and motor brushes can be easily replace and done so without a huge pinch in the pocketbook.
A lot of these repairs can be done without even taking the housing off the tool. So to extend your tools service life and get the most from it lets examine a few things you can do.
Always remember SAFETY FIRST:
The first thing before anything else is done is always remove the power source. Make sure that the tool is unpluged or if it is cordless remove the battery. Do this before you pick up any other tool.
If you are going to have to unassemble any part of the tool you need to remember that you will at some point have to put it back together.
When I start to take something apart I get a shallow cardboard box to lay the parts in so that I can keep them seperated and organized. This will make reassembly go much smoother. Watch for different lengths of screws and bolts. A perfectly good tool can be ruined because you try to put the wrong screw back in and strip out a thread.
The number one power tool killer is HEAT. If you want your tools to last you have to keep them running cool. Any motor by its very nature has armature windings, gears, and bearings that turn at high rates of speed. A natural law says that with any action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So if while your power tool preforms a certain operation the opposite reaction is that it will create heat. If your tools are so hot that they are uncomfortable to hold in your bare hands then its time to do something or the end is near.
Remember a Cool Tool is a Good Tool.
So what is the best way to maintain a Cool Tool?
Keep it clean. Any tool expert will always tell you that keeping dust and dirt from gathering around the motor of a power tool is one of the most important factors of long tool life. All your tools that use universal motors have air intake slots so that air can be sucked through with a fan. A natural byproduct of woodworking is dust and that dust will get sucked into these intake slots. Besides these intake slots every tool has plenty of other nooks and crannies that will grab that dust and hold it.
If your shop is equiped with an air compressor then daily cleaning will be a snap. Make sure you know which slots on your tools are intake and which are exhaust then while it is running shoot a nice refreshing jet of compressed air into the intake side and watch that ole dirt and dust go flying.
If you are not so lucky as to have compressed air then the maintaince is a little more difficult but just as important. You will need to take the housing of the tool off and manually clean the air intakes with a clean brush. If dust and dirt are caked onto the fan blades it will be necessary to remove that also. Just make sure you use something that can not scratch the surface of the blade so as not to upset the blade balance.
Just this one simple maintance procedure will put many extra hours of use into your tools.
Motor Brush Replacement
I have a Craftsman 3/8" electric drill that was one of the first power tools that I ever could say was mine. My father gave it to me when I left home after graduating from High School. This drill and I have been through some times. I used it and to be honest abused it quite a bit.
Finally one day I need it for somthing I was working on and when I got it pluged up and pulled the trigger, nothing happened. I checked the power supply, and all of the other things like wiggling the cord with no results. Then I happened to grab the chuck and kind of twist it a little and since ole dummy me had the trigger squeezed all at once the thing took off and tried to take my fingers along with it.
This brings me to a simple DIY operation that if done on a regular basis will avoid those skin burns that I got.
Check and Change the motor burshes.
If your tool wont start up without a little help from you or you see a lot of sparks flying around the motor housing ( a little sparking is ok just not more than 1/4") or if that motor just doesn't sound or feel right it could be the brushes need replaced.
Now saying the brushes need replaced might have you going off looking for brushes, which you will never find. What you will really find that everyone calls brushes are small blocks of hard graphite with little springs attached to them.
Accessing the brushes is easier on some tools than others. You may have to remove the tool housing or you might be able to access the brush cover from outside the housing.
By whatever method you need to acces the brushes once you have removed the covers the tension on the small springs will be released and they will jump out at you. Gently pull on the springs and the brushes will slide out. The brush will be curved to fit the curvature of the rotating armature. In most instances if it is less than 1/4 inch from the bottom of the curve to the bottom of the brush it should be replaced. If your owners manual is available you may want to check to see of they have a different specification. You will want to remove and measure both brushes as they will not always wear at the same rate.
If new brushes are called for then you have a couple of options. The first and best is to replace with the manufacturer's replacements. If that is not an option then generic brushes are available and will do an adaquate job.
Many times new brush ends are flat but they will conform to the shape of your armature in a short time. "Seat" the new brushes by running your tool with no load for a while.
Brushes are not expensive and will make that old tool run smoother and last longer.
That old Craftsman drill that I told you about. I still have it and have replaced the brushes several times. By the way it was new in the 60's.
Here is still another common problem with power tools and it is not that hard to fix.
With the newer tools that have variable speed triggers if they get worn you may go from variable to just one or even no speeds. Could be a defective switch.
Now I am sure that all of you are organized and when you get a new tool you safely file that owners manual away for future reference after you finish reading it. So you now need to go to the archives and find that manual for the particular tool you are having problems with and get the part number for the problem switch. Now you can easily order a new replacement from the manufacturer. Get the cost and compare and decide if it is worth replacing before you order.
If it is and you have that new switch in hand you will need to get inside the tool housing. Once in there get yourself a pencil and paper and do a simple drawing of the switch and wires. Note the position and colors and look at the new switch to make sure the wire colors and positions are the same. Remove one wire from the old switch and attach the comparable wire from the new switch. Do these one at a time until all of the wires have been attached. Position the switch and make sure it operates smoothly before reassembling the housing and hooking up the juice.
Along with replacing switches and in the same vein of maintance is power cord replacement.
It is a good idea to inspect your power cords on a regular basis and look for things like fraying, missing grounding pin or the cord pulling out of the tool housing. Any of these conditions can pose a shock hazard or short circuit your tool.
Again the best course of action is to obtain a replacement from the manufacturer.
One you have done that it's time to open up the housing again and compare the wires on the old cord with the ones on the new. If they are not the same before you continue you need to contact the manufacturer. If the "hot" and "neutral" wires are switched it is sometimes possible to damage a motor. This is know as reversing the polarity and it is better to check before you burn your motor up.
If everything is ok a simple way to keep track of everything is to cut the old cord off about 4 or 5 inches from the terminals. Slide the new cord into place. Remove one old wire and replace with the corrosponding new one and continue until all of the wires have been replace. Following a simple system like this will eliminate any chance of hooking up a wire in the wrong place.
In conclusion by doing some of these easy and inexpensive routine maintenance procedures you can take a good used tool and keep it from being used up.
Always keep safety in mind and have fun with your woodworking projects.
About The Author
Gene Miller is the Owner and Webmaster of www.woodworkingtoday.com. His amateur woodworking experience started as a young teenager when he designed, built and raced several Soap Box Derby cars. Later he assisted his father in remodeling several rooms in their home. Through the years he has tackled many woodworking and Home Improvement projects. With each project he has added to his information of tools, tips and methods.
How to Use Do-It-Yourself Toxic Mold Test Kits
VANCOUVER, CANADA. Many homeowners, landlords, renters, property managers, business owners, and employees want to know, and need to know, the precise identities of the various toxic mold species inhabiting their home, rental property, or place of work, according to Phillip Fry, Certified Mold Inspector and author of the mold book Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation.
Designing Great-looking Window Coverings on a Budget
Window coverings are one of the most important focal points in a well-decorated room, but choosing the right ones, at the right price, is a prime consideration for most home decorators. Here are a few tips for creating great-looking window dressings, without breaking your budget in the process:
Change The Style Of Your Interior With A Minimum Of Costs
The style of your interior depends for a great part on the decoration on the walls. Using the right picture on the right place can make your room look bigger. I experienced this for myself when I came in this business. I do sell reproduction paintings, you know.
Sump Pump Installation for Do-It-Yourselfers
According to recent surveys, over 85% of all homes with basements will experience some form of wet basement problems in their lifetime. Installing a sump pump in the basement can be a great benefit, even if it's only to keep the water from getting deep or to act as a floor drain.
Get New Floors And Save A Bundle When You Do It Yourself
After years of use, your floor will need to be refinished and that can cost over $1000 for just one room! But if you want to put in a little time and elbow grease, you can refinish the floor yourself and have the beautiful look of warm wood in your home for a fraction of the cost.
Planning Permission Tips UK - Is Todays Popular Quest For Contemporary Design The New Bad Taste
Can you remember when people used to install slatted louvre windows as replacement units in their Victorian semis or the stone cladding revolution of the 1980's.
Pre-drawn House plans the Benefits and Styles
Pre-drawn house plans are those that are drawn by architects or home designers and then offered for sale, unlike those that are drawn for an individual, with input from the customer. While this method may be a great idea, there are definite benefits to purchasing pre-drawn house plans. Architects and home designers that do custom home designing also do a lot of their own designs, and it is these plans that are offered for sale They are adept at making plans that utilize available space to the best possible advantage, and at laying out a floor plan to optimize curb appeal.
The $27,000 Toilet Seat - Funny DIY Story
This story was told to me by a plumber I know and it brings home the reason why there are times to call a professional.
Planning Permission Tips UK - Free Design Advice In The UK - How And Where To Get It
Isn't it funny how people shelve projects for the new year - perhaps the new year feels like a fresh canvas or something - I don't know. Many potential clients I saw in Q4 of last year our now coming through as confirmed commissions - it's a funny old world with no rhyme or reason...
Log Homes - Finding the Perfect Log Home Plan
One of the first steps in building a log home is deciding on a floorplan. Many people spends months, or even years, searching for the perfect plan. However, it doesn't have to be that difficult.
In The Mood
Creating a Designer Home With Lighting
If You Want to Bring Your Bathroom Up to Date, Consider Fitting a Shower Stall
Modern shower stalls look sleek and stylish. If you have the space, adding a shower stall in addition to your bathtub can be a great way to improve your bathroom. As much as people enjoy relaxing in the tub, with the time pressures of everyday life if can be very convenient to just have a quick shower, without having to wait for the tub to fill up. It can be a real luxury to have the choice!
Clearing the Air on What to Look for in an Air Purifier
If you are dedicated to improving the indoor air quality of your home, you're aware that there are certain steps you need to take to reduce the amount of allergens and airborne particles. Two of these, source control and ventilation, you may have already addressed. But the third, finding a good air purifier, can be confusing if you aren't sure what to look for in this type of home appliance.
A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place
Tax season is over...The spring holidays have passed... Hopefully by now you have sent your taxes in and recovered from your spring holiday preparation. You can RELAX! Sit back, get excited for summer.
Portable Air Conditioners Ensure Economy And Convenience
Small is beautiful and convenient and so is the portable air conditioner as it can be shifted from one place to the other very easily. Read on to find out all the other advantages.
Solar Energy Advantages Disadvantages
Many of us know that solar energy is a good thing, but few really understand why. Therefore, I compiled a comprehensive list of solar energy advantages and disadvantages that will enable you to make an educated decision whether on not Solar Power is right for YOU.
A Few Simple Facts About Gas And Electric Heating Systems
To make your home more energy efficient, you need to understand the energy efficiency of different types of heating and cooling systems. Many times people are confused by inaccurate information they receive from manufacturers and sellers of heating and cooling equipment. But all you need to know in order to make wise decisions when purchasing this equipment are a few simple facts.
Glass Sinks ? 4 Unbreakable Rules of Buying a Glass Vessel Sink
1. Know your sinks How durable are these sinks? These sinks are tempered. Tempered glass is regular glass that has been heated to a very high temperature, and then quickly cooled. This procedure strengthens the glass, making it 5-7 times stronger than regular glass.
Add Value to Your House - Interior Remodelling
Interior remodeling can have an amazing impact on the look and value of a house. I would definitely recommend getting professionals to do the job for you unless your good at renovation yourself. Here is some advice on how the get the most bang for your buck when remodeling.
Geothermal Heat Pumps 101
It seems like about three million of you have asked me to explain how a geothermal system works. Well, maybe not three million, but it's a bunch of you and I'm honored that I have the opportunity to do it. Now you've probably already figured out that I'm not smart enough to be real technical, but I do have some common sense. So I will use a common-sense approach to explain how the most efficient heating and cooling system available today can help you.
|home | site map|