Achievement Course: Handiwork
Recommended Ages: 10-18 years of age
Approximate Completion Time Frame: 3-6 months

Handiwork is the basic understanding of proper tool use in the work of craftsmanship or repairing things by hand as applied to plumbing, electricity, automotive, appliances, and wood. Throughout history man has been using his hands to build or repair things around home and work, from Adam to Noah to Joseph and Jesus to the present day. St. Joseph and Jesus, as carpenters, used their hands to carve and build things out of wood for their home and for others.

Objective: To demonstrate the use of basic tools needed to accomplish tasks, repairs, and building objects.


I. Handiwork Overview

  1. Plumbing
    • Inside
    • Outdoor
  2. Electricity
    • Installing
    • Replacing a fixture or outlet
  3. Automotive
    • Oil change
    • Fluid levels
    • Tire change
    • Belts
    • Hoses
  4. Appliances
    • Dishwasher
    • Clothes washer
    • Clothes dryer
    • Refrigerator
  5. Wood
    • Painting
    • Stain
    • Finish
  6. Safety Gear/proper use
    • Gloves
    • Goggles
    • Hearing protection
    • Dust mask
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Safety assistant/spotter
    • 9-1-1

II. Plumbing

  1. Primary Focus
    • Proper directing of clean water supply
    • Proper directing of wastewater to the intended destination
  2. Pipe overview
    • Pipe classifications
      • Metal
      • Plastic
    • Metal pipe
      • Copper
        • Resistant to corrosion and can withstand high temperatures
      • Steel (stainless or galvanized)
        • Primarily used in marine applications
        • Galvanized pipe coating prevents rust
      • Plastic pipe
        • PVC
          • Most general use pipe
          • Not made to handle hot water as PVC can warp
        • CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chlorine)
          • Can handle both hot and cold water
        • PEX
          • Can also be used for both hot and cold water
        • PolyPipeCopper
  3. Cutting Pipe
    • Cutting metal pipe to the correct length
      • Hacksaw
      • Metal rotary wheel blade attached to a rotary hand saw or “chop” saw
    • PVC pipe cutting
      • Hacksaw
      • PVC cutter (scissor/ ratcheting style)
      • Miter saw using a basic 10 Tooth per Inch (TPI) wood blade
      • Coping saw
      • Wood saw (various styles)
  4. Connecting pipe lengths
    • Methods
      • Glue
      • Threads
      • Solder (or sweating) connections
    • Dry fitting
      • Dry fit pipe connections to ensure proper cutting and arrangement before final gluing, screwing, or soldering.
    • Metal pipe
      • Typically threaded or soldered
      • Threading connections; apply thread or Teflon tape
    • Copper pipe
      • Soldering uses a torch and flux solder forming an air and water tight connection.
    • PVC pipe
      • Glued with a primer and glue
      • Primer and glue must be applied to the entire circumference of the pipe.
  5. Stopping the water
    • Turn off the water at the city valve in front of one’s house to cut off the water supply.
    • Pressurized water pipes usually terminate with a valve to stop or start water flowing.
  6. PVC pipe
    • Learn where PVC is used in the following and how to repair and add onto an existing PVC line
      • Indoor plumbing
      • Sinks/toilets
      • Outdoor sprinkler systems
  7. PVC pipe requirements
    • Cap the end of a PVC pipe.
    • Splice a puncture in a PVC pipe.
    • Connect the drainage pipes under a bathroom or kitchen sink after cleaning out the “P” trap.
    • Replace a sprinkler head on an underground sprinkler system (where available).

III. Electricity

  1. Learn about electricity
    • Alternating current (AC)
    • Direct current (DC)
    • 110/220v current
  2. House Circuit
    • Power service from the city
    • Electric meter
    • Main shutoff switch
  3. Plug receptacles
    • Indoor
    • Outdoor
    • After turning off the breaker for that circuit, replace existing broken receptacle.
    • Test and attach face plate to the plug.
  4. GFCI plug fixtures
  5. Switch receptacles
  6. Light fixtures
    • After turning off the breaker for that circuit, check old light fixture for wire connections and used bulbs.
    • Replace bulbs or light fixture if necessary.
    • Test and attach light cover to the light.
  7. Fan fixtures
    • After turning off the breaker for that circuit, check old fan fixture for wire connections and loose blades.
    • Replace blades or fan fixture, if necessary.
    • Test and attach fan cover to the fan.
  8. Electrical Requirements
    • Explain and draw up a diagram of a house circuit with breaker box, plugs, switches and lights.
    • Replace an old plug
    • Replace an old switch
    • Replace an old light fixture

IV. Automotive

  1. Learn about the maintenance of one’s vehicle.
    • Maintenance of fluid levels and upkeep on the vehicle
      • Oil/oil change
        • Oil change and oil filter every 3,000 miles
      • Transmission
      • Water
      • Antifreeze
      • Brake fluid levels
      • Tire rotation
        • Changing the tire location.
        • Switching rears to front and front to rears (as applicable)
      • Tire pressure
      • Air filter
  2. Automotive Requirements
    • Demonstrate how to check all fluid levels on a car or truck.
    • Demonstrate how to top off all fluid levels.
    • Demonstrate how to change the oil and oil filter on a car and or truck.
    • Show how to properly dispose of the used oil and used oil filter.
    • Explain and demonstrate why and how to properly rotate tires on a car or truck.

V. Appliances

  1. Learn about the following appliances.
    • Refrigerator
    • Stove
    • Oven
    • Clothes washer and dryer
    • Freezer
    • Mixer
    • Grinder
  2. Appliance Requirements
    • Changing plug ends on an appliance.
    • Connect up a washer and a dryer in a residence.

VI. Wood

  1. Learn how to recognize the following
    • Different types of wood
    • Hardness of each type
    • Use of each type
  2. Types of wood
    • Oak
    • Ash
    • Poplar
    • Maple
    • Cedar
    • Studs
    • 2 X 4
    • Plywood
    • Particle board
  3. Uses
    • Trim
      • Doorframe
      • Window frame
      • Picture frame
      • Crown moldings
    • Fencing materials
      • Posts
      • Concrete
      • Rails
      • Pickets
      • Gates
      • Hardware
      • Composite substitutes
      • Painting/staining
  4. Wood Requirements
    1. Name and explain the different types of wood and their hardness.
    2. Build a small birdhouse with wood.
    3. Build a small set of book shelves with wood, trim and paint or stain.
    4. Build a Prie dieu (kneeler) or choice project of cadet or leader.

VII. Tool knowledge

  1. Learn the proper name and safe usage for hand tools
    • Screwdrivers
      • Phillips
      • Standard/Flathead
    • Grabbers
      • Pliers
      • Channel locks
      • Wire cutters
      • Needle nose
    • Wrenches
      • Crescent open wrench
      • Crescent closed wrench
      • Monkey wrench
    • Sockets
      • Regular
      • Metric
      • Air sockets
    • Hammers
      • Claw
      • Ballpen
      • Rubber
      • Sledge
    • Saws
      • Copping
      • Hole
      • Wood
      • Hacksaw
      • Tree saw
  2. Learn the proper name and usage for power tools
    • Hand
      • Power screwdrivers
      • Circular saw
      • Jig saw
      • Reciprocating saw
      • Drills
      • Sanders
      • Router
    • Large bench saws
      • Radial arm
      • Chop saw
      • Table saw
      • Belt saw
      • Metal saw
      • Grinder
  3. Tool Knowledge Requirements
    • Discuss the safety features one uses when operating power tools.
      • Ear muffs, foam inserts, ear bands
      • Glasses
    • Demonstrate how to properly use each one of the tools above.
    • Use each one of these tools in one of the projects above.
    • Explain how to render first aid to injuries that might result from misuse of the above tools.

Additional information will be provided within the “blog” section of this webpage.