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As far as doing projects yourself goes, the first time you try one typically becomes a complex and frustrating attempt. Either you don’t understand the rudimentary basics of what you’re trying to accomplish, or you don’t have the proper work area or tools.
For many first-time DIY projects, it’s a case of all three. Yes, you can get better each time by trial and error, but here are a few tips that will help you improve your DIY skills.
Video De Jour
Today, the internet is full of how-to videos. Suppose you decide to build an AR from the ground up, but you haven’t the foggiest notion of what to do first. Searching for videos on building your firearm is the first thing to do.
Then watch it over and over until you’re satisfied you can perform the steps. Get comfortable with the efforts of attaching your high-performance barrel to the upper receiver and the best way to tighten the barrel nut. Watching a video will also help you learn what tools and supplies you’ll need to build your rifle and eliminate a lot of frustration in the process.
There’s A Course To Improve Your DIY Skills
Although most videos for DIY projects are comprehensive, you may decide to immerse yourself in your project entirely and know everything there is to know about it. Improving your DIY skills may be as simple as taking a course. There are hundreds of online courses that cover almost every DIY project you can imagine. YouTube is also a great resource with thousands of videos about how to put together your AR-15 upper receiver or any other part of your build that you need help with.
Popular home improvement or maintenance skills courses will even teach you things such as identifying load-bearing walls and how to handle many different types of power tools. Whether online or a class at a local hardware store, taking a course will always help you improve your DIY skills.
Another excellent way to gain knowledge and improve your DIY skills is to talk about a project you want to try with your friends and acquaintances. You might discover your friends and acquaintances share mutual enthusiasm about DIY projects.
It’s also highly likely they’ve completed the very same task you’ve been thinking of trying. Getting tips and tricks from them is excellent for improving your DIY skillsets, primarily when that tip they provided worked. The more discussions you have, the more knowledge you gain. You may even want to share your knowledge with others which is a great way to improve your own focus on the steps necessary to complete a DIY project. Sometimes
If most of your friends and acquaintances are not interested in tearing down walls, laying tile floors, or building a firearm from scratch, don’t worry; you can still improve your DIY skills by joining a DIY Community. You can discover many forums where DIYers like you discuss how to pull off a project successfully. Sometimes learning from the mistakes of someone who has built hundreds of ARs is the way to go.
The conversations are engaging, and you’ll learn the things you should do and the things you must never do. You can even attend improvement and repair parties where you’ll meet like-minded folks and where everybody adds their tips and tricks to complete the project.
The Right Tool for The Job
A tool is just a tool unless it’s the right one for the job. Improving your DIY skills means understanding which tools you will need and having them waiting in the wings before you start.
Failure to concentrate on having the right set of tools needed for your project is the same as putting a square peg into a round hole. You may be able to get that peg in the hole, but the project results won’t be pretty.
Cutting twenty planks of wood with a hand saw will work, but it will take a lot of time, and when you do finish, you’ll probably be too tired and frustrated to work on the project that day. By cutting the same planks with a skill saw and proper blade for wood, you have upped your DIY skill and lessened both your spent energy and time. Building an AR-15 requires a few proprietary tools, so make sure you have the right one for the job.
Organize and Simplify
Having the right tools for a DIY project won’t work if you can’t find them. You may spend an entire day searching for that torque wrench you were positive was in your toolbox, only to discover it in a closet cubby.
You’re probably picturing yourself standing there with your hands on your hips, wondering how your torque wrench managed to grow feet and make its way to the hall closet, aren’t you?
Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
One of the best ways to improve your DIY skills is to adopt good habits. Whether you’re renovating a bathroom or building a shelf, the act of increasing your skills correlates to the knowledge you gain on each project. You will want to plan what you’re going to do and prepare all the materials you will need and the steps you need to take to make your project a reality.
The next good habit you need to improve your DIY skills is a simple method known as PDCA. Plan Do Check and Act. You first plan your DIY project; then you start performing the tasks to get it done. With each step, you should check that the work is done correctly and to your satisfaction.
If not, then you need to perform corrective actions. Somewhere along the way of many DIY projects, things may happen that are off-plan and require steps that you don’t expect. Resolve the issue and then return to the plan.
If It Breaks You Can Fix It
Almost everyone doing a DIY project has suffered an epic failure. All DIY projects can sometimes go sideways, from ignoring the measuring rule and cutting boards too short to epic plumbing fails.
Never step back at the end of a DIY project and try to convince yourself that the result will have to do. You are the mastermind performing the task, and you can be the one to correct the issue. If you’re unsure how to fix the mistake, try more courses, other how-to videos, and chatting with your friends.
It’s a safe bet that the people who made the how-to videos and those teaching the classes or your friends have all made the same mistakes and understand how to fix them.