Maintaining the livability of your
home is a constant challenge in prosperous times as well
as periods of recession or worse. Roofs leak, siding
falls apart, porch studs, beams, and pillars may rot from
the bottom, causing a dangerous condition. In hard times,
hiring a repairman (if even available!) at $40.00 per
hour for simple home repairs may be impossible. With a
few basic tools and a beginning carpentry book on home
repairs as a guide, most anything can be repaired by a
determined person with the will to keep his house in
Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA 10849)
markets a book called "Build It Better Yourself" which
has plans for almost everything. From gardening, cold
frames, food dryers, etc, to construction and home repair
projects, it is all there. You will need my "Booklets by
Miles" for ultimate survival, as the unique information
in these packed guide books is not easily found
elsewhere, if at all.
Still useable carpentry tools are
often to be found at flea markets, complete with a
carpenter s carrying tool box to keep them together and
organized. If you have to assemble all of the tools
yourself, it gets more expensive and time consuming.
Common carpentry tools include 12 and
16 ounce claw hammers, nail pullers, a rip saw, cross cut
saw, carpenter s square, hack saw, staple gun, 8" and 12"
levels, miter box and saw, counter sink, hand drill and
bit selection, screwdriver set, wood rasps, etc.
A more advanced set of tools would
include draw knives, calipers, spoke shaves, hand planes,
scrapers, brace and bits, chisels, soft faced hammers,
etc. These items can often be found used at good prices
on eBay. A word to the wise: Buy a good assortment of
nails, screws and bolts and nuts. Build your own water level. You will need these
to rebuild everything, and they might be impossible to
find in a crisis situation.
In the event of a disaster, or an
evacuation to the deep woods, the tools listed above (and
the tools listed in woodcutting) are all you need to
build a livable log cabin or other shelter where you can
be warm, safe and protected from the elements - an
absolute necessity for long-term survival. It
normally takes two strong men to build a log cabin, but
with levers and pulleys, the job can be done by one
person. Look at the photo below. That log cabin,
faced with 1 x 12's on the upper floor to cut the draft,
was built by my father and grandfather - I was born
there! The photo was taken 45 years after the log
cabin was built, so ignore the telephone/electric pole -
the cabin was built without electric tools, just the hand
tools listed above.
One point that is not readily apparent
to novice builders should be mentioned. Nails are
not mandatory! Everything does not need to be
joined through the use of heavy hammers and huge nails.
Take a look at #14, Gardening, and see the greenhouses
and patio I built. Check out #3 Water and see the shed
building I constructed to cover my water storage tank.
That construction was entirely done using plated decking
screws. Screws cost more than nails, and the holes should
be predrilled, so it takes more time as well. But, the
screws can be removed! This is a huge advantage. If
damage should occur, a single stud or beam can be removed
and replaced. This renders the repair job much easier.
And if the water tank develops a leak (God forbid!), the
entire building can be easily disassembled, the tank
repaired, then the shed rebuilt piece by piece. If the
water tank shed was built using nails, I would be hard
pressed to salvage any useable lumber at all. In most
situations, only one side of the shed would be dismantled
to repair the water tank leak, and that is only possible
if screws instead of nails are used in
construction. And in a survival mode, wooden pegs
in holes made with an augur will secure wooden
construction quite securely.