That old saying that "necessity is the mother of invention" was never truer that doing home renovation projects or working in the workshop. As a rule I don't mind doing home reno projects, but I like to work at them at my own speed. This is because the always take at least four times longer for me to complete that what I calculated they would take. Not long ago, after having an "Energy Audit" done on our house, it was deemed that several areas of the house needed to be redone, including some previously un-insulated concrete walls and all the windows in house, to name only a couple of the projects.

Both of these projects required major renovation work to be done in my woodworking shop which meant it would be out of commission ... and guaranteed, for longer than I would expect, since two of the walls needed complete rebuilding, insulating and re-surfacing. I was fine with doing the work, and have done this kind of work before, but I am slow at it because I am not a pro at doing it.

This combined with the fact that the walls would need to have all pieces custom cut, and that I had to work around all the existing power and shop tools as there was no other place they could be stored. Next I knew would be the dredded re-surfacing ...

Everything was going fine until it came time to start installing the sheetrock or gypsum board. I had no problem putting it up, but I could never seem to find the screws, or when I did I was always running out of them. I tried using a puch apron but that was awkward and it made wonder what the pros do? I'm sure they must have some sort of a method?  Every time I would install a new sheet, I would always be looking around for some screws to hold it in place while so I could go and get more screws to secure it to the wall. What I ended up doing was installing a strip of self-sticking velcro onto my drill-driver. On the exposed side, which was also sticky I stuck three little 1/2 inch round earth magnets. These magnets hold a LOT of sheetrock screws, so now finding them was easy. I wondered about the earth magents affecting the drills motor, so I placed it as far away fromt he motor as possible. I checked the magnets and found that they really have very little affect on anything unless they are tuching it, so their field of magnetism is very small, and not enough to penetrate the shell of the drill, and certainly not enough to worry about affecting a battery driven motor.

After using my driver with the magnets on it for a while, I started to realize just how handy this was. I often seem to be re-doing or un-doing something or other, and usually there are nuts and bolts and washers to worry about, not I just plunk them onto the magents and I know where they are. A very easy and simple way to keep track of drill-driver nuts, bolts, screws, washers and other connectors, and it's a simple easy way add productivty to your drills and drivers.

 ... and by the way, I did find out what the "Pros" do, apparently (I am told) they simply hold a fist full of screws in one hand and the drill in the other and with this method, they can plow through a sheetrock job in no time. I'm sure their dexterity with holding the screws and getting them ready would be something we would all love to achieve. Amazing what necessity achieves!!

Copyright - Colin Knecht


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