Basic DIY questions?

Discussion in 'suburban75' started by UnderAnOpenSky, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    I've recently moved house and my DIY experience to date has been, well, limited. I'm learning fast though. Rather then starting a new thread every time, I thought I'd throw them all in one place...

    My plan for Sunday is to start putting up some of the many shelves I said I would do. Starting in the cupboards which are out of sight if things aren't perfect.

    I've got an old hammer drill donated by my Dad, but no bits. I want to put up shelves that will hold a decent amount of weight. What size rawl plugs, drill bits and screws do I need to buy?

    In the house I grew up in, I remember the walls were either solid or sounded like cardboard when tapped and wouldn't take any weight. Is this broadly a good rule thumb or is there more I should know? I think my house is either 50s or 60s ex council.

    One of my projects is a very deep little room where I want to put very wide shelves to hold heavy stuff. Looking on websites like B&Q shelves are sold as much narrower then I need. I've got an old jig saw. Tips for cutting something resembling a straight line and best place to buy it?

    My drill is quite old, mains powered and two handled. I assume a lighter weight cordless thing would be handy at some point. What's the cheapest I can get away with out being totally shit? I know buying quality is worthwhile, but I have a lot of stuff to buy and it's coming into winter when my income drops and I become time rich to get on with my many projects! Good suggestions and deals appreciated!

    Other project for now is varnishing some doors that were untreated wood. I bought some decent Varnish after learning the hard way buying cheap paint. The tin did two thin coats, but looks like they will need a lot more. I'm going to sand them down next. What grade of sandpaper should I use and how much sanding do they need? I'm trying to get a high gloss to match the, Umm, intresting ceiling the last owner installed installed the living room. Has anyone used the screw fix Yaught varnish? Seems a lot cheaper then the Johnson stuff I did the first few with.

    Phew. Thinks that covers it for now...And thank you in advance.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  2. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Oh more questions! My house seems like it was filled with good intentions from the last owner, just badly implemented or just not finished.

    I have a shed with half a roof. Or rather the wood is there, but only half covered. Luckily there looks to be a huge roll of roof covering in there. Is it as simple as cutting it to shape and nailing it down? There are a fair few gaps in the woods itself. Can I just squeeze a product in between the gaps to weather proof it a bit better?

    The kitchen was painted a dubious blue. Really badly. There is paint on everything. I'm slowly scrubbing it of things like light switches and cupboards. Like he had a painting party and they all got pissed first. As it a really dark colour what's the most efficient way to cover way to cover it before repainting?

    On the plus side I've painted all the upstairs and with the help of my girlfriends Dad fitted carpets. All very satisfying. However I don't want to keep blagging him for every job. Especially as I'd rather like to help me fit a gas hob which is going to be a serious project.....
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  3. MrSki

    MrSki Who am I to say you're wrong

    Look on youtube for advice regarding re-roofing a shed. It is pretty easy if you follow their advice. :D:thumbs:
    UnderAnOpenSky likes this.
  4. maomao

    maomao 四月她爹

    Outer walls and obviously load bearing walls are almost always good for shelves. Look out for electric cables and be especially careful anywhere near a light switch.

    Shelving should either come with screws or with instructions saying what size screws you need. You need the same size as the rawl plug not the same size as the screw.
    UnderAnOpenSky likes this.
  5. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    I'm going to be buying wood to use as buttons in these internal cupboards so will need to buy all these separately. Ive got some old wood I'm going to try cutting up for the shelves for my first few experiments on Sunday!
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  6. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Walls: exterior walls can usually take more weight than interior walls. Don't drill into hidden pipes or cables.

    I'd suggest buying a box of maybe 8 drill bits of different sizes. You will need all of them eventually. In fact make that 8 masonry and 8 wood drillbits.

    And then a big bag of yellow red and brown rawl plugs. And a small box of screws for each size.

    There are loads of YouTube DIY tutorials - many of them pretty good but some useless.
  7. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Oh balls, beaten to it. Another thing is if you have a local DIY shop just go in and ask them stuff - if they aren't friendly you can take your business elsewhere.
    cesare, Manter and Pickman's model like this.
  8. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Also definitely take lots and lots of photos and maybe also a video/film of the whole place before you do too much.

    Then when you have a low moment and think "what the fuck am I doing with my life" you can look back on it all and remember all the graft you have put in and what a state the place was in the beginning.
  9. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    OK. I was considering buying just a couple to start with. Kinda like kitchen knives... Buy a few good rather then a load of cheap ones or does it not matter so much?

    What size rawl plugs and screws then are best for heavy loads?
    Pickman's model likes this.
  10. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. No matter where; of comfort no man speak..

    As said above there are lots of ideas and projects on YouTube but you have to be selective. I started out watching how to repair a staircase and ended up leaving that and going for a bike ride!
    plurker and Pickman's model like this.
  11. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    Don't buy the cheapest shite poundand/ebay ones.

    mine were made of something like cheddar and had to be chucked out after a couple of goes.
  12. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    I'm in a similar situation. I moved in to my first house a couple of months back.

    Learning everything the hard way, at the moment.

    I've just ordered a shed. I guess I need to work out what it needs to sit on. It can't just sit on the ground, can it?
    Pickman's model likes this.
  13. MrSki

    MrSki Who am I to say you're wrong

    Repair the shed roof first (weather permitting) cos the wood of the shed will start rotting & need replacing.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  14. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Yeah that's my thinking. Spend what I would on a couple on what I would on a set.

    I belive you are supposed to lay concrete first. :hmm:
    Pickman's model likes this.
  15. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Yeah it's on the list as we need storage! First I need to shelve the cupboards as my stuff is all the front room. We've not moved yet as my gf has a few more weeks on her place, but I need to have storage to get mine away and then move hers in!
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  16. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Built like a steakhouse, handles like a bistro

    If you're drilling into masonry, i'd recommend a 7mm drill bit, brown rawl plugs and 5mm screws.

    If it's an internal stud wall, don't bother with plasterboard plugs no matter how heavy duty they say they are. Tap the wall, if it sounds hollow keep moving along until it doesn't - hey presto you've found a sturdy piece of timber to screw directly into, no plug required. They should be at about 45-60cm ish spacing, so fix your battens into these and they should spread the load on the shelves quite nicely.
    Wookey, Mab and Pickman's model like this.
  17. maomao

    maomao 四月她爹

    You can buy a toughened wood platform to put it on but a concrete foundation would be better (not hard, 3 inches of hardcore, 3 inches of concrete).
  18. Boudicca

    Boudicca Seaside Queen

    I have a Makita cordless which has served me well, but I revert back to an old corded Bosch drill for tougher/longer jobs.

    I bought this set from B&Q when it was on offer - it's currently £21. Nice box and duplicates of the ones you use most.

    UnderAnOpenSky likes this.
  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Basically what Zapp Brannigan says below. If money is an issue just get a good 7mm. Or a 5, 6 and 7 and a small one. Cheap ones will just fall to pieces.
  20. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    For good fixings in brick or concrete block:
    5.5mm masonry drill bit
    Red plugs
    Inch+1/4 or inch+1/2 number 8 wood screws (or number 10 for a really secure fit, you will find these hard to screw in by hand though). If you're fixing through thick material then increase screw length accordingly.
  21. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    This is what's confusing. Mm and inches and numbers. :D

    So in screwfix on Sunday morning I buy a 5.5mm masonry drill bit? Will this also go through the wood battons or do I need a seperate wood one?

    Are screws sold by numbers then? Is the number the length or the width? :confused:
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  22. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    The problem with varnishing anything, is that you have to give the varnish a good base to sit on. This usually means using a sanding sealer - a water or spirit-based preparation that seals the grain of the wood (IMO spirit-based is better, as it doesn't raise the grain of the wood) - before starting on varnishing, that way the varnish doesn't sink into the wood, and end up looking like you've not done anything!
    Flat the varnish down with a finer grade of sandpaper - I usually use 240, with light touch, wrapped around a cork block, then use a tack cloth (or a damp cloth wrung almost dry) to remove any sanding residue before applying more varnish.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  23. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Thank you.

    So given its had two coats can I now skip that sealer I should have used and now just sand and revarnish? I've got sugar soap. Can I wash down with that after sending instead? Any milage in using an electric sander if I can borrow on for each coat or just man up and do it by hand?
    Pickman's model likes this.
  24. maomao

    maomao 四月她爹

    You need wood bits. Masonry drill will either rip or split the wood or just fail completely. And brick will blunt a wood bit so don't try it the other way round either.
  25. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    Number is the width. My suppliers sell eg. #6 #8 #10 which I think equates to 3mm 4mm 5mm. If you're screwing into wood for a fixing (eg. a wooden joist within a ceiling or wall) then just screw directly into it. If you're screwing through wood (like a batten you're fixing to a wall) then drill through it first with a 5 or 6mm wood twist bit. Or it may split.
  26. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    *reads thread, sighs, returns to trying to figure out how to assemble a flat pack ikea cupboard*

  27. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Think I'm getting there then. So I need a 5.5mm masonry drill bit, with a 5mm wood bit with number 10 screws. What colour rawl plugs?

    Now I now newcomers to the vaping thread feel.
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  28. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    Red for that drill size and #8 or #10 screws.
  29. keybored

    keybored #NeverUseTheInternetAgain

    How heavy?
    Pickman's model likes this.
  30. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    bear in mind electrics in the walls. e.g. sockets may have wires running up to the ceiling. was thankful for our rcd when i found this out :oops: sparky was impressed i hit the same cable with all 3 holes :eek: i believe a stud finder is cheaper and less chancy ;)

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