Posts Tagged ‘ryobi’

Sanders Which One Should I Use? Let’s Talk Tools

Mouse Sander

Sanders –

That’s right…you read the request…Let’s talk tools.  Many of us DIY bloggers use a wide variety of tools. Tonight our tool talk is going to be about sanders.  You heard it correctly, sanders.  There are many types of sanders on the market, and if you’re new to woodworking it is important to know which sander should be used for which project.  Don’t just buy a sander because it’s what you saw on a blog or in the Sunday sale papers.  With this post we will talk about what truly counts when you are looking to add this magnificent tool to your shop collection.

First, you need to understand just what each tool can do for your project.  For instance, a detail sander helps reach into tight corners, or helps smooth molding profiles, where a heavy belt sander, if not used properly, can bring your wood working projects to a grinding halt (no pun intended :-).  Other factors to consider with your sander include variable speed, dust collection, size and weight, choice of abrasives, and ease of changing abrasives.  Since I am a smaller woman, I personally, I look for weight/size first then narrow down the other features.  If I can’t hold the sander comfortably it will not matter what I purchase, it will never work for my project.

Currently in our garage, we have a few types of sanders.  Each is used for just a little something different.  Here is how we attempt to answer the question: which sander should I use?

Our oscillating sanders help provide detail sanding.  This sander helps to provide wood projects with those wonderful profiled edges that make people swoon.  Oscillators, in my opinion, are the workhorse of the sander.  These babies will fit into corners like no other sander, come with loads of accessories, and never let you down.  But it’s not used for everything you need to sand.

Oscillating Sanders








The  orbital sander is for finish work  like prepare new molding, or clean up between finish coats This sander helps to remove material by using a sandpaper disc that spins in a circle while moving in an oval loop.  The remarkable thing about orbital sanders is they never hit the same path twice.  This sander will give you a swirl-free finish both with and across the grain.  It works quicker than a vibrating sander, but is not aggressive in removal of material.  I think this is the most gentle sander in the shop.  The down side, if use the wrong grit for your project, it can leave those little digs in the wood surface.

Orbital Sanders





When the Orbital Sander is not right for the project, we use a belt sander.  The belt sander is best for large surface sanding.  Because this sander removes a great deal of wood material fast,  use care to prevent wood gouging.  I admit, this is not my favorite sander due to the speed, it can get away from you quickly and before you know it, bam, high/low grooves and you’re starting all over.

Belt Sanders








Our newest addition of sanders is the Mouse Sander.  This little sander is the jewel of my garage 🙂 .  So much so, I have two so we do not fight over it!  We have the Ryobi battery operated and The BLACK & DECKER plug in model.   Mouse Detail Sanders have a compact design,  weigh only 2 lb., and provides an easy, comfortable sanding experience.  As a women with small hands, this sander is ideal.  This little tool reaches into corners, and contours curved surfaces. The soft body grip and lock-on switch provide comfort while standing for long periods of time and the dust collection system helps keep the project area free of dust (can you hear the voice of Tim the Tool Man Taylor in this description? argh, argh, argh!)









While choice of sander is important, technique is also important.  Here are some guidelines:

1 – Use even hand pressure – don’t bear down too hard

2 – Do not move too fast

3 -Work each surface in a consistent pattern with slight overlaps

4 – Start with course grit (80 -100) and move to fine grit (120-220) for an incredible smooth surface

With the correct sander and these techniques you can smooth uneven edges, flatten rough panels, and provide for an even painting surface.

This tiny choice of sanders only scratches the surface (no pun intended) of the sanders out there, but these are the main tools for sanding in our garage.  We have seen loads pictures in articles where sanding is taking place with the wrong sander.  With many years of working projects, I have totally come to appreciate using the right sander. Let’s face it – if you’re using the right sanding tool, the project  is done faster, looks better, and is less tiresome because you will not have to redo it again later.  Sanding is a task that has to be done; so it is best to use the right sander the first time around!

Well, that’s what I have learned about sanders and we hope we answered the question: which sander should I use.  Today’s talk from Hello I Live Here is now complete.  Happy sanding and see you next post!

🙂 Linda


Master Bathroom Storage

Hello I Live Here - Master Bath Storage

Need Master Bathroom Storage?

You guessed it – it’s all about getting the most master bathroom storage at Hello I Live Here today.  As most of you know, we have started to spruce up our master bathroom.  Last week on my face book page, we discussed paint colors.  Thank you all for your input, we went with the Valspar color, Shaken Not Stirred for the walls, and the vanity color will be unveiled next post 🙂  They are both beautiful and give our master bath that spa like feel we were looking for.

Before we painted the walls, we added some new master bathroom storage.  This storage was placed in between the wall studs and we love the outcome so much we thought we would share that piece with you today.  Keep in mind that we have not picked the hardware for the outside yet as we want everything to match when we are complete.

We all know it’s a big deal anytime you can discover master bathroom storage or any type of storage.  This project took us a weekend to complete, moderate in skill level and cost us less than $100.  I am sure we could have done it cheaper, but I am fussy about using Select Pine Wood from Home Depot when I do a build.  I love the straightness of the wood and the way it sands.

Using the plan from The Family Handyman, we got started following each step.

1. First, we went to our bathroom wall and determined the space we would use.  We then cut a small whole into the dry wall and inserted a mirror to make sure we had no plumbing or electrical behind the wall (after all a small whole to patch is way better than a whole wall)

2. When we knew all was clear we determined the size we wanted our storage and cut out the drywall. The hole for our master bathroom storage shelf spanned a stud, so that was also removed.

Master bathroom Storage -Wall before and after hole cut

3.  We went to the garage and got started by building two simple box cabinets.  To ensure a consistent gap between the two storage cabinets, we added a spacer. We then joined them together with a 1×3 center trim and attached a 1/4″ Purebond cabinet back.  This gave us the double-sided storage cabinet we desired.

Master bathroom Storage - Case and Backing

4. We used or Kreg PH jig to join the storage cabinets, our craftsman saw for cutting the plywood, and our Ryobi nail gun for attaching the cabinet back.  We also used Gorilla Glue for extra hold power.

Master bathroom Storage - tools we used

5. After building the frame we wanted, we took the frame into the bathroom space and dry fitted into the cut out.  (This way we knew if we were square on for our cuts or if we needed to enlarge the hole.)

Master bathroom Storage -Dry Fit in the wall

6.  Once we were confident the master bathroom storage cabinets fit the wall hole, we filled the Kreg holes using wood filler (which I make myself).  The next step was to cut and add the shelves.  For our needs we decided to add fixed bathroom shelves vs movable shelves.  We also wanted to assure the shelves were aligned to each other.

Master bathroom Storage -Shelving

 7.  Next, we moved onto our master bathroom storage door frames.  This was a little tricky since we have not built many door frames, but The Family Handyman did not let us down. We used a saw stop to cut door frame parts to a consistent size.  We then used Kreg to join the door frames.  Using scotch tape we attached dimes to each side and the top and bottoms of the storage case.  This provided a perfect 1/8″ per side gap we need around the door frames.   Once we completed our door frames, we dry fit them to make sure they were perfect for our master bathroom storage.

Master bathroom Storage -Door frames

Master bathroom Storage -Door contruction

8.  Moving on, we flipped the door frame over, filled the Kreg holes and routed a 1/4″ trim the depth of our Plexiglas.  This ensured the glass fit flush to the storage door frames.  We then adhered rice paper, available from Home Depot, to keep the inside private.  Finally we adhered the Plexiglas to master bathroom storage doors with clear caulking.

9. We primed and painted the entire master bathroom storage cabinets and doors with Valspar Bare Wood Primer.

10. Once the painting was complete we added the hinges as plans show, and hung our doors, inset the box and screwed the new master bathroom storage to our framed out studs in the master bath.

Master bathroom Storage -routed door frame and paint

We also did an extra step.  We took the time to add some insulation behind the piece due to the shower from the other bathroom being on that wall.  This just helps keep the noise at bay between the walls.   And we are trying to decide if we should leave the inside white or do the back grey for contrast in the piece.  (the small grey patch shown through the glass 🙂 Opinions on this would be nice!

Hello I Live Here - Master Bath Storage

Well, this was the first part of the Master bath re-do and this great master bathroom storage idea.   For our other projects checkout the vanity upgrade, master bath tile and board and batten  🙂

Share your master bathroom storage ideas below – we would love to hear them 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

Linda C.

Old China Hutch Becomes New Again – Part 1

Annie Sloan Paint applied

Never leave an old piece behind – especially if it’s a China Cabinet!

Good afternoon Hello I Live Here readers.  Let’s talk old china hutches today.  Would you pass up a chance to transform an old china hutch?  The other day I was in a thrift store (Red Racks Thrift Store –  DAV Thrift Store) and came across an old china hutch.

Top of China Hutch
Top of China Hutch


Bottom of China Hutch
Bottom of China Hutch









As others were walking past her with a sour expression, Hello I Lived Here saw the potential and swooped in to purchase this little gem for $40 (that’s right both pieces).

Living in a smaller home, space is necessary, so for us at Hello I Live Here this older jewel was the right size and would allow us to display our unopened dishes still stored. Below is a picture of the 1970’s jewel Hello I Live Here found and started transforming.  Here’s how we updated the old china hutch.

We started by taking off the old trim.  Don’t worry, we will save this for our recycle pile for another project! :-).

Old Trim on floor
Old Trim on floor







Hubby was not so sure, but he humored me anyway and started the destruction.  The screws were hard to get to with our regular drill, so Curt removed the trim and piece needing to be cut with the Ryobi 18V Right Angle Drill which was terrific to fit in tight spaces.


Trim Removed
Trim Removed







Once the old trim was removed, we scribed a line and cut off the rounded edge you see at the top in the photo with a craftsman circular saw, giving the china hutch a new square appearance.

Cut Made with Craftsman Circular Saw
Cut Made with Craftsman Circular Saw


Old Trim on floor - Craftsman Saw
Old Trim on floor – Craftsman Saw







Once the cut was complete, we screwed the cut piece back to the china hutch top.  Now the square, craftsman style we love over here at Hello I Live Here, helped to shape rest of the design for the china hutch.

Cut Piece Returned to China Hutch
Cut Piece Returned to China Hutch







Using our Ryobi 18V ONE+ 18GA CORDLESS 2″ BRAD NAILER, we trimmed out the sides with 1×2 into a craftsman type feel purchased from our favorite store, The Home Depot.

Sides Trimmed with 1x2
Sides Trimmed with 1×2









Once set, we added 1/4 round moldings American Wood Moulding WM108 1/2 in. x 1/2 in. x 96 in. Wood Pine Quarter Round Moulding to finish the look.

1/4 Round used at bottom
1/4 Round used at bottom









Making sure the 1×2 did not stand over the bottom frame, I took the 1/4 round molding and turned it into the opening and nailed upside down. This provided a square edge for the 1×2 to sit without overhang.

Moving on to the top, we trimmed out the top using a 1 x 4 x 8 Select White Pine Board and Focal Point DWT3144-16 1-1/8 in. 3-1/2 in. x 192 in. Primed Polyurethane Window/Door trim.

Trimmed with Select Pine
Trimmed with Select Pine


Front 1x3 installed
Front 1×3 installed







To finish the look we added a small matching WM 984 3/8 in. x 1-3/8 in. Pine Mullion Moulding to the bottom of the 1×4 and then added the original trim piece back over top of the doors (I try to use the old pieces in a new way).  We love using the Ryobi brad nailer.  Its airstrike technology truly helps wood from splitting by to large of force.   Below is what it looks like trimmed out – Not bad for an old 1970’s piece!

Old trim piece above doors
Old trim piece above door
Trimmed piece
Trimmed piece









After Hello I Live Here changed up the 1970’s China Cabinet, we primed the piece with a grey Rust-Oleum ultra cover latex primer.










Because the piece was older, a primer was necessary to provide a tight bond for the top coat, and provide a long lasting finish.  So what better choice than the trusted quality of Rust-Oleum 🙂

Primer on china cabinet
Primer on china cabinet









Once dry, we applied a thin coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre purchased from our friends at Wood Icing in the Chesterfield Mall.

Annie Sloan Paint applied
Annie Sloan Paint applied









This unique decorative paint provided the piece the quality look we at Hello I Live Here are used to seeing.  We will be following the Old Ochre color up with a light coat of Annie Sloan brown wax once we complete Part II of our post.  This will give the china hutch a consistent antique look for this old piece that is new again.

woodicing Chalk Paint Annie Sloan
woodicing Chalk Paint Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan paint
Annie Sloan paint



sloan wax kit
sloan wax kit







It is our suggestion that you use the Annie Sloan brush with the paint and wax (purchased at Wood Icing).

sloan small brush
sloan small brush

I know they are pricey, but my last piece I used a regular bush, but noticed I used more paint, lesson learned!  This wonderful brush allowed me to buff the piece just right the first time, conserving both the paint and the wax.  Well, that’s part I of the China Hutch make over.  Hope you enjoyed the first half of Hello I Live Here’s China Hutch make over. Join at our site in a couple days for Part II and the full reveal of the China Hutch!

Happy start to October Y’all!

-Linda C

Entryway Book Case

Entryway Book Case

Hi everyone, sorry I did not post yesterday, we had a laundry room dilemma, but the good news is we have another blog post out of the problem, so all is right with the world!  😉

Today’s post will show you how Curt and I have been working hard on a new entryway book case going into the entryway of our new Villa home built by F & F Homes here in St Louis.  When you enter the front door, there was a large wall/door system leading down to the basement.  We had F&F Homes remove this wall/door when we bought the unit (our’s was the model villa) to open up the entryway.  Once down, it left a large blank wall, and 8×8 ledge along the back side going down the stairs to our finished basement area.

Hello I Live Here - The blank entryway

Every day one of us passed this space and yelled out – “we really need something on this wall.”  Finally, the idea came to me, we drew a plan and started the process to fill this blank, but lovely canvas.  What could be better than some extra storage – Right?

1.  After we completed the plan, we took a trip to our favorite place, Home Depot, (we should have upfront parking by now  with our name on it), and strolled the wood isles.  We purchased 3/4″ PureBond Plywood (  We love this wood because it’s a product that’s Eco-friendly and promotes healthy indoor air quality with no formaldehyde.  We also purchased Select Pine 1×2’s and 1×4’s, Kreg screws, and used our Ryobi Nail gun and screw drivers.

Hello I Live Here - the lumber Hello I Live Here - the lumber

2.  You will also need a Craftsman table, circular, miter Saw, Black and Decker mouse sander, Ryobi nail and screw drivers, Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and our saving grace, our Little Giant Ladder system.  Make sure your batteries are fully charged for your Ryobi tools -there is nothing worse than running out of battery life in the middle of a project.  😉

3.  We cut all the wood to fit our opening (an 8×8 square) – blank canvas about to be constructed.

4.  Next, we measured and cut our 1×2 stringers and attached them briefly to the studs with 2″ nails.  This will form the frame for our Entryway Book Case.  We then used wood screws to attach the stringers to the studs.  This was all reached using our Little Giant Ladder to keep us safe on the stairway.

Hello I Live Here - Attaching the header  Hello I Live Here - Attaching the header

5.  We next ripped PureBond plywood into 8″ pieces for the top, bottom and sides.  The top and bottom were secured by nailing to the 1×2’s.   We caulked all the open gaps after adhering with 1 3/8″nails.

Hello I Live Here - The bottom frame Hello I Live Here - The Entryway Book Case Framework Hello I Live Here - Chaulk the Entryway Book Case

6.  When the frame was complete, we used our Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to place pocket hole into both the top and bottom of the PureBond used to construct the center for shelving.  We then attached with Kreg screws.  We also mounted to studs in the back wall.  We decided to mount shelves as were were going along just encase we needed to remeasure any of the openings.

Hello I Live Here - Kreg the shelves

7.  To ensure each shelf was equally spaced us cut four scrap stringers using the remaining PureBond, each 21″.  We held the stringers temporarily in place using a small wood scrap and our trusty Irwin clamp.  We rested the shelf on the stringers and used a level for accuracy.  It turned out we had one shelf (there’s always one), not level, just off a small amount.  To level, we shimmed by placing a quarter and a small tag under each side and leveled.  It worked like a charm.  A girl trick but you’re welcome to use it 😉  We continued the process until we had all the shelves mounted.

Hello I Live Here - Using stringers for accurate shelf spacing Hello I Live Here - Attaching the columnsHello I Live Here - Attaching the shelves Hello I Live Here - Attaching the shelves

8.  Each row of shelves were cut using a Craftsman Miter Saw.  The first three rows were cut using a guide stop to ensure a consistent shelf length.  The final row of shelves were measured one by one, just in case there was a slight adjustment (which there was).  We used Irwin clamps and scrap wood to hold the shelf in place prior to attaching with Kreg screws.  Then we trimmed our Entryway Book Case using Select Pine 1×2′ s.  The top was trimmed using 1×4’s and attached with nails using our Ryobi nail battery operated nail gun (she does have power).  We chose 1×4 trim because we plan to add crown molding in the future.  We then stood back and admired our handy work before going on to the finish work and we got to painting.

Hello I Live Here - Attaching the header trim Hello I Live Here - Attaching the trim

9. Before we started painting we made sure we filled every nail and screw hole with wood filler and caulked the gaps.  Kreg holes are deep and take extra wood filler, so I came up with system.  I took a baggie that you would use to frost a cake, and filled it with 3 large scoops of Elmer’s Wood putty.  I then cut the end just like you would with frosting, and placed the edge into the holed areas.  Squeeze, fill, and use a putty knife to scrape the excess.  No fuss, no mess, easy clean up,–our patent on this procedure is pending :).

Hello I Live Here - Fill the Kreg hole Hello I Live Here - Fill the Kreg hole

10.  Once all the prep was completed, and sanded,  we used Behr Marquee Paint and Primer in Polar Bear White.  To make the Entryway Bookcase stand out, we painted the inside wall to the butter yellow we had left from our villa being built (thank you F&F Homes for leaving us the extra paint behind-another great customer service provided!)

Hello I Live Here - Painting the Entryway Book Case Hello I Live Here - Painting the Entryway Book Case

Over all, a pretty easy build of about 12 hours including prep and paint!

The result, a beautiful, useful entryway.  Storage it’s a great thing, but even better when it becomes a functional, and helps raise your properties value!  The price you ask, total, no kidding $195!  That’s right – under $200.  🙂 We were told by a company who gave us a bid that if we had them install the shelving, we would pay a good $1,500 – Doing it ourselves saved us a whopping $1305!  That’s right readers, sticker shock can make you a DIYer in no time 😉

Hello I Live Here - Finished Product - The Entryway Book Case   Hello I Live Here - Finished Product - The Entryway Book Case

Well, that’s our post for today.  Hope you enjoyed our Entryway Book Case – Happy Building and thanks for stopping by!


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