308. Family Tool Chests.--Much inconvenience and considerable expense might be saved if it were the general custom to keep in every house certain tools for the purpose of performing at home what are called small jobs, instead of being always obliged to send for a mechanic and pay him for executing little things that, in most cases, could be sufficiently well done by a man or boy belonging to the family, if the proper instruments were at hand.
309. The Cost of these Articles is very trifling, and the advantages of having them always in the house are far beyond the expense.
310. For instance, there should be an axe, a hatchet, a saw (a large wood saw also, with a buck or stand, if wood is burned), a hammer, a tack-hammer, a mallet, three or four gimlets and bradawls of different sizes, two screw-drivers, a chisel, a small plane, one or two jack-knives, a pair of large scissors or shears, and a carpet fork or stretcher.
311. Also an Assortment of Nails of various sizes, from large spikes down to small tacks, not forgetting some large and small brass-headed nails.
312. An Assortment of Screws, likewise, will be found very convenient, and iron hooks of different sizes on which to hang things.
313. The Nails and Screws should be kept in a wooden box, made with divisions to separate the various sorts and sizes, for it is very troublesome to have them mixed.
314. And let care be taken to keep up the supply, lest it should run out unexpectedly, and the deficiency cause delay and inconvenience at a time when some are wanted.
315. It is well to have somewhere in the lower part of the house, a roomy light closet, appropriated entirely to tools, and things of equal utility, for executing promptly such litle repairs as may be required from time to time, without the delay or expense of procuring an artisan. This closet should have at least one large shelf, and that about three feet from the floor.
316. Beneath this Shelf may be a deep drawer, divided into two compartments. This drawer may contain cakes of glue, pieces of chalk, and balls of twine of different size and quality.
317. There may be Shelves at the side of the closet for glue-pots, paste-pots and brushes, pots for black, white, green, and red paint, cans of oil and varnish, paint-brushes, &c.
318. Against the Wall, above the large shelf, let the tools be suspended, or laid across nails or hooks of proper size to support them.
319. This is much better than keeping them in a box, where they may be injured by rubbing against each other, and the hand may be hurt in feeling among them to find the thing that is wanted.
320. But when hung up against the back wall of the closet, of course each tool can be seen at a glance.
321. There is an excellent and simple contrivance for designating the exact places allotted to all these articles in a very complete tool closet.
322. On the Closet Wall, directly under the large nails that support the tools, is drawn with a small brush dipped in black paint or ink, a representation in outline of the tool or instrument belonging to that particular place.
323. For instance, under each Saw is sketched the outline of that saw, under each gimlet a sketch of that gimlet, under the screw-drivers are slight drawings of screw-drivees.
324. So that when any Tool that has been taken away for use is brought back to the closet, the exact spot to which it belongs can be found in a moment; and the confusion which is occasioned in putting tools away in a box and looking for them again when they are wanted, is thus prevented.
325. Wrapping Paper may be piled on the floor under the large shelf. It can be bought at a low price per ream, at the large paper warehouses; and every house should keep a supply of it in several varieties. For instance, course brown paper for common purposes, which is strong, thick, and in large sheets, is useful for packing heavy articles; and equally so for keeping silks, ribbons, blondes, &c., as it preserves their colours.
326. Printed Papers are unfit for wrapping anything, as the printing ink rubs off on the articles enclosed in them, and also soils the gloves of the person that carries the parcel.
327. Waste Newspapers had best be used for lighting fires and singeing poultry. If you have accumulated more than you can use, you butcher or grocer will generally buy them of you if they are clean.
328. Waste Paper that has been written on, cut into slips, and creased and folded, makes very good allumettes or lamp-lighters. These matters may appear of trifling importance, but order and regularity are necessary to happiness.