Passions, Achievements, and Catharsis

Recently, I have found a new passion in repairing my own house, not as elegant as writing computer software, nor as refined as writing music or producing beautiful photographs, but nonetheless interesting and exciting. You might think it a rather mindless passion, for the likes of the working class or the retirees looking to fill their time, but you would be sorely mistaken. It is quite challenging to do, properly that is, requiring thorough planning and preparation to ensure that the final ‘builds’ look professional. The right tools are necessary too.

The work itself is cathartic, allowing one to focus all their energies on a single task, and for a moment completing forgetting everything else, the worries, the stresses, the responsibilities. And the satisfaction in completing a project is amazing, lasting for days as the product of your labours manifests itself right in front of you, completely surrounding you.

Every great work begins with the right tools. I did not want to start out ‘small’ for fear that not having the right equipment would hinder my progress and challenge the depth of my interest in DIY before it could even get off the ground. I advise you, if you find yourself with similar aspirations, to make sure that you are sufficiently endowed to enable you to succeed – and by succeed, I mean, to keep something as your passion.

And so I began with gathering together the best tools for the jobs I intended to do. I quickly realized that a major decision had to be made early on when getting power tools. There are a couple of basic systems available that are not designed to overlap. Key to this is the power system that is used to run one’s tools can be either mains power-based where power tools are plugged into household electrical outlets, air-based where power tools are connected to an air compressor, or battery-based where tools are essentially untethered. Although a mix tools powered by different power systems is not a bad thing, savings can be made in settling with a single system. Based on raw power output, the range of use, and the future cost of expanding one’s armoury of power tools, I settled on an air-based power system with the central component being the air compressor. There are many different air compressors, each with its own pros and cons, but essentially, as it is the central component of the ‘power’ system, the rule of thumb is to spend as much as you can on afford on this component as the more you pay for the air compressor the greater its range of uses.

And so I went with the Makita MAC5200 for its large air flow capacity needed for a diverse range of air power tools. From here the decision of which tools to buy was decidedly easier. I am now the proud owner of a Chicago Pneumatic CP1014 air drill, a CP26 Series air screwdriver, a Hitachi NT65MA4 finish nailer, and a Husky 1/4 in. Angle Die Grinder, all of which have already seen action and increased my productivity beyond belief. Having seen what I can achieve with such power, the list of additional tools and accessories that I intend to stock my workshop shelves with continues to grow…

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