Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Energy -

1 Pre­pared­ness

Your lo­cal fire de­part­ment is the per­fect ex­am­ple of pre­pared­ness. When a call comes in, no one rum­mages around to find the truck key, nor does the squad roar out only for the truck to run out of fuel. There are only a few key things to know for pre­pared­ness: Think through ev­ery job be­fore­hand and try to make one run for sup­plies. Make an in­ven­tory of your bits and blades be­fore be­gin­ning. If any­thing is dulled, dam­aged, dirty, or dis­ap­peared, deal with it now, not mid-project.

2 Ex­e­cu­tion

Keep tools, hard­ware, and ma­te­ri­als off the floor as you work. I use a cou­ple of sawhorses spanned by a piece of ply­wood for nearly ev­ery job I do, from con­struc­tion to re­plac­ing a sink. I’ve writ­ten be­fore about my fond­ness for mag­net trays to keep screws, bolts, and parts in one place. As you work, pay at­ten­tion to assem­bly. Make a record us­ing your phone. As to ac­cu­racy and work­man­ship, learn what scale suits the job. A house isn’t built or re­paired like a piece of fur­ni­ture.

3 Clean-up

Clean-up in the me­chan­i­cal realm is not un­like do­ing the dishes be­fore you go to bed. No one likes to wake up to a kitchen that looks like the scene of a drone strike. So it is with your garage and work area. If the job re­quires a se­cond day (or more), you can still re­move scraps, sweep the floor, gather your tools, and take in­ven­tory. If the job is com­plete, the work area should be re­stored to a pre-project level

of or­der­li­ness, which leads you right back to num­ber one.

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