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DIY quiz.

Put on your thinking cap and take this month's quiz to see just how smart you are when it comes to DIY. Here's how it works:

* There are easy, intermediate and really tough questions all mixed together.

* There may be more than one correct answer!

* The answers begin on p. 100. Get your DIY rating on p. 102. Good luck!

1. What's wrong with this photo?

A. The operator is sawing in the wrong direction.

B. Too much blade is exposed.

C. Circular saws are not made for crosscutting.

D. The end of the board should be supported.

2. Which gauge nailer is perfect for installing standard casing around a window?

A. 15 gauge

B. 18 gauge

C. 23 gauge

D. None of the above

3. True or False?

When it comes to shutoff valves, ball valves are more reliable than standard valves.

4. What is this tool used for?

A. Making relief joints in concrete

B. Mixing paint

C. Filling mortar joints in brick

D. Filling holes in drywall

5. if your table saw leaves burn marks on the wood, what might be the cause?

A. A dull blade

B. Pushing too hard

C. An out-of-square guide fence

D. All of the above

6. What's the safest way to cut really small pieces on a miter saw?

A. Cut faster than normal.

B. Pull up the blade before it stops spinning.

C. Cut slower than normal.

D. Use a sacrificial fence.

7. What is a painter's comb used for?

A. To clean a paintbrush

B. To texture a wall

C. To clean paint out of your hair

D. To remove wallpaper

8. Where should you use 12-gauge wire instead of 14-gauge?

A. Living rooms

B. Bathrooms

C. Kitchens

D. Bedrooms

9. Why would you wrap tape around your drill bit?

A. To indicate the depth of the hole

B. To clean away sawdust

C. To keep the bit cool

D. As a safety warning to keep your fingers clear

10. True or False? A nail with a blunt tip will cause wood to split more than a nail with a sharp tip.

11. What's the best way to eliminate chipping out the corners when you're routing the end grain of a board?

A. Work clockwise.

B. Work counterclockwise.

C. Rout the sides first.

D. Rout the ends first.

12. Where would you find the rim joist on your house?

A. At the ends of the floor joists

B. Above a deck post

C. Holding up a header

D. Holding up a roof truss

13. Which chalk line color is best for most tasks?

A. Red

B. Blue

C. White

D. Fluorescent

14. Which drill bit creates precise, flat-bottom holes?

A. Forstner

B. Spade

C. Twist

D. Auger

15. If you could have only one size Phillips screwdriver for home repairs, which would be the best choice?

A. No. 1

B. No. 2

C. No. 3

D. No. 4

DIY Quiz Answers

1. (B) Too much blade is exposed. Set your blade between 1/4 in. and 1/2 in. below the surface of the wood. A blade that's set too shallow may not cut all the way through the wood if your saw rocks a bit. And setting the blade too deep is dangerous because more of the blade is exposed while cutting, and the saw is more likely to bind and kick back.

2. (B) An 18-gauge brad nailer is the tool of choice for most trim. It shoots brads from 5/8 in. up to 2 in. and leaves a small hole that can be easily hidden with a dab of putty. Larger, 15-gauge nailers are better suited for hanging doors and working with thicker (3/4in.) material. Smaller, 23-gauge nailers (sometimes called pinners) work great for holding parts together until the glue dries and on small craft projects where supersmall holes are desirable.

3. True. Shutoff valves go unused for years. Standard valves have rubber washers that harden with time and other fussy parts that become caked with mineral deposits, causing the valves to fail. Ball valves are simpler inside. A ball with a hole through it opens and closes with a quarter turn--fewer complex parts and fewer things to go wrong. Ball valves almost never let you down, and this reliability costs you only slightly more per valve.

4. (C) This thin tuck-pointing tool is used in conjunction with a brick trowel to fill mortar joints when repairing a brick wall.

5. (D) All of the above. A dull blade is the most common cause of burning wood, but pushing too hard and a guide fence that's out of whack could also be the problem.

6. (D) To avoid launching small pieces across the room, use a sacrificial fence. Build a two-piece fence for tiny material like this cove molding (Photo A). Or just use a scrap board to back up small cutoffs (Photo B). Mark the location of the screws that hold a two-piece fence together, so you don't accidentally cut into one, or assemble your fence with glue. And always hold the saw down at the end of the cut until the blade comes to a complete stop.

7. (A) Rinsing out a paintbrush with water will get it clean, but combing a brush under running water with a $5 painter's comb will get it cleaner. And after washing, the comb helps straighten the bristles so they don't fan out as the brush dries.

8. (B & C) Bathrooms and kitchens need a dedicated 20-amp circuit, which requires 12-gauge wire. TWelve-gauge wire is often wrapped in yellow plastic sheathing instead of white.

9. (A) Sometimes, drilling too deep is a bad thing. You can make your own stop collar by wrapping tape around a bit at the same depth you want your holes.

10. False. If you're having trouble nailing into brittle wood without splitting it, set the head of your nail on a hard surface and give the tip a tap with your hammer to flatten it a bit. A blunt nail will push through the wood rather than wedging it apart like a pointy nail does.

11. (D) If you're planning to rout the ends as well as one or both sides of a board, rout the two ends first. Here's why: End grain has a tendency to split as the bit exits the end of the cut. If you rout the ends first, the damaged area will be removed when you rout the sides. Another way to avoid chip-out is to clamp a scrap on the end of the cut.

12. (A) A rim joist is the piece of lumber that locks the floor joists together and helps bear the weight of the walls above it.

13. (B) Fill your chalk box with blue chalk for general use. Red stays visible longer, making it a good choice for lines that must survive a few days of weather. White is easy to remove and is best for interior painting and wallpapering, where colored chalk could bleed through. Fluorescent is easier to see on some surfaces but may be too permanent for general use. Check the permanence scale on the container if you aren't sure.

14. (A) Forstner bits are perfectly suited for finer woodworking projects that require larger holes. Spade and auger bits work best for drilling rough holes fast.

15. (B) To avoid stripping a screw, it's important to use the right size screwdriver. A No. 2 screwdriver will fit most Phillips-head screws sold at home centers and hardware stores. There are eight sizes of Phillips screwdrivers, but Nos. 1 - 3 are the ones you'll need for most home repairs.


Beginner: 0-5 correct Intermediate: 6-12 correct DIY Guru: 13-15 correct

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Author:Petersen, Mark
Publication:The Family Handyman
Date:Nov 1, 2015
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