Home Repair Level 1

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Our Lord’s father, Joseph, was a carpenter. Do you think that Joseph showed Jesus his tools and how to use them. I’ll bet that he did! In our Bible, Let’s read from ‘Mark’, chapter 6 starting with the 3rd verse, speaking about Jesus, “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon?”. The bible also talks about working with your hands. In ‘1st Thessalonians’, chapter 4 starting with the 11th verse, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody”.

As we begin to talk about home repairs and carpentry, please ask your Dad or Mom to work with you. We will be listing quite a few tools and hopefully you have them in your home. Also, we will be listing a number of typical home repairs. Again, work with your Dad or Mom, so that you can learn about these repairs at home.  If you don’t have some of the tools, talk to your Train Leader and he can show you his tools. We won’t be talking about ‘how’ to do these repairs in this chapter because it would take many pictures and words to describe the repairs. So, working with your Dad or Mom and Train Leader, let’s start ‘working with our hands’!

Why should we learn about home repairs and carpentry?

Now, and especially when you get older and become an adult, you will need a knowledge of tools and repair methods. Starting now, you may have to repair your bicycle. Even now, your Dad or Mom may want you to help them with some of the repairs around your home. In your Pioneer Train, you may be working on wood-working projects and handicrafts. Later on as you get older, you’ll probably have a car and a home some day. All man-made things require repair from time to time. At the present time, if you pick up a knowledge of simple tools and how to use them on simple repairs or projects, that knowledge will greatly help you as you grow up in life. So, let’s start now to learn about tools, carpentry and home repairs.

Hand Tools

There are thousands of hand tools available and most of them have a specify application for their use. Go visit a hardware store and look around at all of the tools available. We will only list some simple hand tools that are normally used around your home. Here’s that simple list:

Hammer Hand Saw Block Plane Staple Gun
Pliers Adjustable Wrench Square Nail Punch
Screwdriver(s) Chisel(s) Level Wire Cutter
Measuring Tape Hack Saw Socket Wrench  

If you want to have a ‘basic tool box’ for the hand tools listed, here are the tools listed above that should be in it: hammer, pliers, screwdriver(s), measuring tape, adjustable wrench, chisel(s), square, nail punch, wire cutter. The other tools listed are either too big or come as a ‘set’ and will not fit in a basic tool box.

Power Tools

We are only going to list three simple power tools. There are hundreds of power tools in the hardware store but many of them are very dangerous and at your current age, should not be used by you. Here are the three simple power tools:

Electric Hand Drill                  Electric Screwdriver               Electric Glue Gun

Simple Home Repairs and Projects

Squeaky Door Clogged Toilet Hanging Pictures
Caulking Sticky Door Leaky Faucet
Hanging Shelving Install a Lock Others (ask Dad or Mom)

Squeaky door:

A squeaky door usually means that the door hinge does not have enough lubricant on it and thus it squeaks. Door hinges have a middle pin that both halves of a the hinge rotate on. From the bottom you should be able to tap the pinup to expose the surface where the hinge halves rotate on. Use a hammer and a punch to drive the hinge pin up. When you can see the rotation surface stop driving the pin up and apply a drop of oil to the hinge.

WD40 is a common house hold lubricant. Make sure to wipe off any excess lubricant. Using the hammer, tap the pin back into place. Repeat this for all the hinges on the door.


Caulking openings in the siding or around windows or doors is vital to keep hot or cold air out of the house during cooling and heating seasons. Caulking takes practice to lay down a caulk line that looks nice.

To start caulking you need to clean the surface you want too caulk. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before you start caulking a crack. You will have to load the caulk tube into a caulking gun. Once this is done you will have to cut the tip of the caulk tube to the approximate width of the crack being caulked. Next you will have to break the seal on the caulk tube by inserting a nail or piece of wire into the caulking tube tip that you just cut. Now you are ready to start caulking.  When you caulk a crack or seam it is called “laying a bead of caulk”. When you start laying the bead you should keep constant pressure on the caulk in the tube to lay an even bead. The bead should be stopped if at all possible as the place you stop will have a larger bead and will not blend into the rest of the bead.

Hanging a Shelf:

Find out the location of the shelf you want to hang and mark the location lightly on the wall. The shelf usually has mounting locations built into the shelf. Transfer these location to the wall, verifying that the shelf is level. Mount the anchors to the wall and slide the shelf over the mounts.

Clogged Toilet:

A toilet can get clogged for many reasons.  The main tool used to clear a clog is a plunger. Most people think that the plunger is used to force the clog down the drain but this is actually incorrect. To effectively use the plunger it works best by sucking the clog back up the pipe and then using the water force to send it on its marry way down the pipe. Toilets can also be cleared by dumping pail of water into the toilet bowl.  The added water pressure helps to push the clog down the pipe.

Sticky Door:

A door sticks because it has swelled mainly due to moisture. You can either wait till the heating season to dry out the door to make it shrink. You can also mark where the door is sticking, take the door off it’s hinges, use a wood plain or sander to take off some of the wood, reinstall the door and see if it opens and closes without sticking.

Installing a lock:

Today all doors come with holes pre-dilled for the door hardware. Take the lock out of the packaging and follow the instructions in the package to install. Make sure that the key opening is on the outside.

Hanging Pictures:

Pictures have two basic type of hangers on them, wire or a toothed frame mounted hanger. Find out what type of mount is on your picture. Locate where you want to hang the picture. Hold the picture in place using the hangers and mark where you are holding the hangers on the wall. Install a wall hanger in the location(s) and hang the picture.

Leaky Faucet:

Leaking faucets can be for a few reasons. It can be due to a hardening of a washer or due to the packing material wearing out.

Changing a washer:

Changing a washer first involves turn off the water either at the facet or at the water supply to the house. Once you have turned off the water, open a facet to relieve the pressure. Remove the handle, take apart the facet mechanism. You are looking for either a flat washer at the base of the faucet mechanism or a “O” ring washer around the mechanism. Replace the washer you find and reinstall the mechanism and the handle.

Carefully turn the water back on trying not to send a water shock throughout the house plumbing as that could be bad. Check to see if that fixed the leak.

Packing material:

Packing material is found around the handle of most faucets. In order to change this you first need to turn off the water as above. Packing material is held in place by a nut at the opening where the handle goes into the valve. Loosen this nut and remove the black

string like material you find in the opening. Replace the old packing material with new material by wrapping the new material around the handle shaft. You will have to estimate on how much packing material you will need. Always put in more than what you took out as the material compresses over time. Put the faucet back together and turn on the water. Check to make sure the leak has stopped.


To pass “Home Repairs and Carpentry” Pioneer Skills, your Train Leader will ask you to demonstrate how to make some home repairs and projects. So, get started now at home working with your Dad or Mom and ‘work with your hands’!

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