This post is a combination of two of the seminars that I
attended at Haven, "Power Tools With Ryobi" and
"Basic Carpentry With Ana White".
(If you did not get to go to Haven, other posts I have done as recaps of the seminars are
At the Ryobi seminar I learned some interesting things:
A power drill has two speeds. The first speed gives you
more torque (turning power) and the second speed makes
the bit turn faster.
The clutch on a drill determines the depth that you can
drill/screw and eliminates over driving.
Nickel cadmium batteries have been in power tools for
about 75 years. Some companies began putting lithium
ion batteries in power tools about 8 years ago because
they are lighter in weight and their charge lasts longer.
On average, you could drill in 450 drywall screws on
one charge of a battery. It is a good idea to get a backup
battery to be charging while you are using one battery
in a power tool so that if it does run out of power, you
can keep going with the backup. Most batteries take
10-12 hours to charge up. These days you CAN leave
a battery on the charger without damaging it. The
18 volt Ryobi tools come with a 1-hour charger.
Speaking of voltage, the instructor said that you can
compare the voltage of a tool to the gas tank of a car:
4 volts = 1/4 tank of gas
9 volts = 1/2 tank of gas
13 volts = 3/4 tank of gas
18 volts = full tank of gas
In 1995 Ryobi came out the the 18 volt tools.
In 2007 Ryobi added the bright green color to some of their tools.
They involve women in the design and development
of their line of power tools.
Two ladies were part of the Ryobi vendor team at Haven. They were very helpful and well informed.
Part of the Ryobi seminar was to use their drills to make our
own wine racks. They provided everything we needed to
complete the project free of charge...very nice.
Here is Heather with the Lazy Wife blog and her wine rack.
Ryobi now has a tool similar to a Dremel for those
of us not quite ready for major power tools.
Also, Ryobi has a really cute
green fan that runs on batteries that could be used at the
beach, for camping, on the porch, etc.
Ryobi has a new website called "Ryobi Nation" that you can
join free of charge. You can share your projects there, win
prizes, and learn of special promotions.
At Ana's seminar on the first day of Haven, she constructed
a locker/cubby out of PureBond plywood. PureBond is a
decorative hardwood plywood made without formaldehyde.
On her second day seminar which is the one I attended,
she was finishing the piece for one lucky Haven
attendee to take home.
I was probably the only person there that did not know who
she was until the conference. She has the blog
Ana White Homemaker which is a treasure trove of plans
to build all sort of things. She also has tips and tool suggestions
for those of us just beginning with power tools. Ana is
movie-star gorgeous so very nice. She and her husband
and daughter live in Alaska.
After she completed the cubby/locker, we all went to
different stations of power tools to try them out ourselves.
This is the Kreg tool representative showing how to use the jig, that was given to each Haven
attendee, that enables you to drill screws at the correct angle to join corners of wood together.
This was the biggest power tool there:
I don't have space for big tools like that so this little
contraption caught my eye:
It is a guide that you can use with a regular circular saw
to make long cuts in wood if you don't have a table saw.
The MinWax representative also gave a presentation
of tips to staining wood. I found a link Top Ten Staining Tips
for you that covers briefly what he talked to us about.
At the end of the seminar, the Ryobi and Kreg vendors had
a drawing to give away all the tools that had been used at Haven...
...and the batteries to run them.
On her blog, Ana says that before she and her husband started
building their own house together, that she had "power tool
phobia". When he broke his ribs during framing, she had to
get over her phobia so they could get the house finished
during the short Alaska summer. She says that if she can
learn to use power tools that we can too.