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Shadow288 t1_je6zzw5 wrote

I’m probably in the same boat as you. Have a few projects under my belt but my work never looks as good as the pros. But remember that pros do this all the time, this is like your first or second time doing some of these things. Give yourself a little bit of a break. I saw this video a while back (sorry it’s Facebook, only place the post it) and I realized I was not using my tape measured correctly:

You could also be having issues when you cut your materials to length, are you not getting the saw blade in the correct spot so the item being cut turns out slightly too short or long?

You may want to get some longer levels. I have a 3 foot and a 5 foot for larger projects, helps me when I’m trying to level bigger items. Also, what sort of levels do you have? When I got my first house my mother bought me some basic tools from the bargain bin at Menards. The first level was all plastic and itself was not all that straight. Insert little blip here about how it may be worth a couple bucks more for some of these more essential tools.

When you are mounting shelves are they the ones with the brackets? I usually drill the first hole, then secure the shelf via the first screw to then level the shelf and drill the second hole through the bracket. I don’t trust myself to drill 2 holes without measuring between the first and second.


Chak-Ek t1_je72nx7 wrote

It just takes time and hands-on practice. To this day I still sometimes wonder how much better my projects would turn out if I knew what the hell I was doing.


Maxfjord t1_je737yi wrote

I have a work flow for my renovation projects. When tackling something new like a bathroom tile project it looks like this:

  1. Demo and clean up (vacuum & detail)
  2. Stock Material
  3. Stock tools
  4. Slowly begin - just play with the materials and tools together
  5. Work - do the process discovered in #4
  6. Detail the work
  7. Clean up

Then I see that it turned out pretty well, now I have to do the shower walls because they look old. This process never ends.


skydiver1958 t1_je76hrc wrote

1 and 2 foot levels are not the tools for longer runs. When doing fence posts or door frames you need a 6' level.

As for the Pythagorean theorem? I use it all the time as a reno carpenter and works great for me when need be. And I failed math.

Most people that tackle DIY think carpentry is easy and why do they charge?

Well we charge like any other trade. Years of experience and thousands in tools. All the right tools. You can not use a small level for door installs or fence posts.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for DIY and learning but it comes at a cost. The cost is the learning curve and more important the right tools.

This shit was not that easy to me 40 years ago but dead simple now. I do without thinking.

Keep at it. You will get better. But you need the right tools. And this is what a lot DiYers don't get. You can not do a good build without the right tools. So you need to spend money to save money. And practice. Keep the renos simple and learn as you go.


jrico59 OP t1_je77lj3 wrote

Thanks, I appreciate the reality check on good tools


GabagoolLTD t1_je6ylby wrote

Step one would be identifying what you're doing wrong, step two taking appropriate steps to rectify that wrong


Guygan t1_je749lt wrote

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Diligent_Nature t1_je74rvf wrote

Watch some of Roy Underhill's videos "The Woodwright's Shop". He covers many of the basics and is entertaining to boot. Precision is the key. Use a square Learn to mark your cut lines accurately and don't forget the saw blade has width. So cut just to the side of the line.