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What? Just because we are women we can’t use power tools?

I love to repurpose wood! To do so, I have had to become familiar with power tools most women shy away from. Once you get the hang of it, they are so fun to use! You will feel empowered! In today’s economy most people can’t afford to buy custom made pieces or hire someone to do simple jobs around the house. My goal is to help women learn to use power tools and get comfortable being a “handy woman!” In this first post I am going over saws!

I have a new found obsession with pallets! I have found so many projects I want to do! For my first project I decided to keep it simple! I made a simple shelf to hang on my barn to place plants in. I got free pallets from my local hardware store! This is a more worn pallet which is why they gave it to me for free! Usually they sell for $2-3 a pallet or more. The free one was perfect for the rustic look I was going for!

For this project I used a power tool called a reciprocating saw (aka recipro saw or sawzall). It is a saw that cuts through metal and wood with a large blade that moves in a back and forth motion. There are a variety of brands of this type of saw. You hold the piece down that you are cutting with your foot to control the movement of the saw.


Tips for a woman using this tool for the first time…

• wear safety goggles
• hold saw with both hands! It is a bit heavy but not bad.
• do a test run before actually using to get used to the power
• press blade to the spot you intend to cut and make sure you have your foot firmly placed on the piece before pressing trigger
• you can draw a line or mark where you want to cut for more accuracy
• blade gets hot after use
•you control speed by how much pressure you place on trigger- start slow!

The sawzall is great for a pallet repurposing because it will cut right through nails with ease and quickly cut through wood. To make this shelf I cut off the end of a pallet at three boards. I then cut an extra board off and nailed it to the bottom side of my shelf. The back of my shelf had three boards and the front one. I didn’t sand or repair anything because I was going for a rustic look. I used a gel rubbing stain to darken the wood and then used a spray waterproofing agent since it was going outdoors.

That’s it! It can’t get more simple than that for a first timer! I hope this project seems do-able for the women out there interested in wood work and using power saws for the first time! I think the sawzall is a great place to start since it doesn’t require a lot of direction or skill. I promise you WILL become addicted to power tools after your first successful project!

I am woman, hear me roar! 😉


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