…Tools That Are Needed:
( The tools with the ** by them are the must have tools, the others help make the job easier.)
…The carpenter pencil is important because the lead is thick and won’t break as easy as a normal pencil. Most lumber yards will give one of these pencils when you buy the lumber you need for a project.
Utility Knife **
…The box knife or utility knife, comes in handy for many things while you are working on framing your basement. Have one handy, or any thin bladed knife will work, in a pinch. They are very inexpensive and come in all sizes and shapes.
Straight line **
…The chalk box or straight line is very important because you need it to make true lines for your walls to follow, to ensure that your walls are straight. The red chalk, in my opinion is the best because it won’t sweep away, the down side is that it stains, so have a place to wipe your feet or take your shoes off before going upstairs in your home.
…The speed square is the best square to have in my opinion, but the job can be done with a normal square. The normal square that I speak of is a smaller version of the framing square, even just a framing square will work for straight cut lines on the lumber, its just a little awkward to try and carry around with you.
Framing Square **
…The framing square is important because it is the easiest way to square up your lines as you are snapping them. They are pretty inexpensive, but you can always borrow one to save that extra money. There will be more on the uses of the framing square later in the project.
Measuring Tape **
…The tape is one the most import tools needed for this project. You shouldn’t need a tape longer then 25 foot, but its nice to have a longer one. I wouldn’t recommend a shorter one because they will cause you to work harder,you’re your measurements to be inaccurate.
…The hammer that you use can save you a lot of sores on your fingers. The hammer that i use has a waffle face on it to prevent it from slipping off the nail as much. It is also better to have a straight claw so you can take walls apart easier if needed. If you plan to do the finish work too, then get a smooth faced hammer with the straight claw, this way you won’t need to buy another hammer when you start doing the finish work. Any hammer with a claw will work though.
…The cats paw or nail puller makes it easier for pulling nails even if they are all the way in or even sunk in a little. The sharp claw on both ends will dig under a nail when the opposite end is hit with your hammer. This tool is a must if you are using a nail gun or if you give the nail an extra hit while driving it in.
…The level is one of the most important tools for the project. If you don’t plumb the walls as you go, the project will get to be a mess when trying to finish the basement. You don’t have to have a 6 ft. level like mine, you can have a 2 ft. level and make sure it is accurate. This will be covered in the before you start section, and taping it to a straight 2×4.
Carpenter’s Apron **
…Having an apron is nice but not a requirement for the job, it does make things go a lot smoother. There are cloth aprons that are inexpensive, and still allow you to have most of the little tools with you that might get lost, and a few nails.
Drill or Screw Gun
…A screw gun or drill can also be used for framing the wall instead of a hammer. The screw gun takes a little longer but you won’t have the strain on your hands that a hammer can give. Your hands will still get sore, just a different kind of sore. You will need to get the 3″ screws instead of the 3″ framing nails. Fasteners will be covered more a little later.
Skill Saw **
…The skill saw is a must for the project, there will be a lot of cuts to make. A worm-drive like mine is easier to use, but it cost more then the box style skill saw. The box style saw runs the blade directly off of the motor and the worm-drive has a gear to give it more power. If you have to use the box style saw then remember to keep a sharp blade in so the saw won’t try and turn so much when you push on it.
…The saws-all can help out a great deal if you have to take anything apart, and you will have to before you are done. Have one handy for cutting nails. There is also a hand version that will work in a pinch, or put everything together with screws. Screws hold better, but take longer to apply.
6ft Ladder **
…The six foot ladder is very handy to have on this project, but, if you have a 2 or 3 step kitchen ladder, that will work if your basement is only 8 foot high or less.
…The concrete nailer can save you so much headache. They are reasonable if you don’t go for the new top of line ones, stick with the older hit with a hammer style, or the next one up from that. They also have these at rental shops, you might save money though just buying one. If your choice is to hand drive the concrete nails, then get a hammer that is at least 21oz. The concrete nailers work with blank 22 shells and make quite a bit of noise so be ready. The shells are found with the special concrete nails at the lumber yard.
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