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Aim: To get young people to plan and learn how to use DIY skills safely. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills, Life Skills K2


Activity 1
• Spirit Level
• Pencil
• Masonry or wood bit to fit wall plugs
• Screwdriver
• Brackets
• Screws
• Wall plugs
• Shelf
• Small crews for fining shelf to brackets

Activity 2
• Pasting table
• Bucket
• Brush
• Tape measure
• Plumb line
• Pencil
• Wallpaper scissors
• Sponge
• Seam roller
• Wallpaper
• Wallpaper paste
• Size

Activity 3
• Timber batten
• Notched spreader
• Stripping knife
• Damp cloth
• Tiles
• Tile adhesive
• Spacers
• Tiling gauge


Activity 1 - Putting Up Shelves

Aim: To teach young people how to put up a shelf.

• Tell the group that when you are putting up shelves the most important part of the job is getting the shelves horizontal and the brackets and tracks vertical.

• Get them to check the walls with a battery-powered pipe and wire detector so as not to drill through any hidden pipes or cables. Use it to detect the positions of the studs on a timber-framed wall.

• Instruct them to hold a spirit level against the wall at the point where you want the shelf. Check that it is level and draw a pencil line on the wall. For a long shelf, rest the spirit level on a straight wooden batten.

• Hold one bracket against the wall with the top against the mark. Use the spirit level to check that it is vertical, and then mark through the crew holes with the pencil.

• Repeat for the second bracket. If there are more than two brackets, it is best to fix the outside ones to the wall, and then tie a piece of string tightly between them across the tops. Then the intermediate brackets can be lined up exactly.

• Drill holes about 45mm into the wall. Use a masonry bit (or a twist bit for wooden studs).

• Insert plugs into masonry, and crew the brackets tightly to the wall. If the plug turns in the wall as you drive in the screw, remove it, insert a larger one and try again. Do not use wall plugs in wood.

• Lay the shelf across the bracket. Using a pencil mark the underside of the shelf through the bracket holes.

• Drill pilot holes for the small screws and screw the shelf into position (right angled brackets will need screws about 45mm long).

Tips / Advice:
• Wear appropriate clothing.
• Get the group to identify any risks at the beginning of the session.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
• Close supervision is needed during this session, particularly when the drill is in use.
• If you do not have a wall that you can attach a shelf to, you could make a free standing wall.

Activity 2 - Hanging Wall Paper

Aim: To teach the group how to hang wall paper.

Get the group to:

• Size the wall to seal it. You can either buy size or use a dilute form of the paste you will use to hang the paper.

• Take a roll of paper and check which way the pattern goes. Decide where definite motifs should be in relation to the top of the wall.

• With a steel tape measure the wall height down to the top of the skirting board. Add 100mm for trimming at The top and bottom.

• Unroll the paper on the pasting table, pattern side down, measure The length and draw a line with a pencil and straight edge across the back.

• Cut along The line with The scissors.

• Turn the paper over, unroll the next length and match the pattern by placing it edge to edge with the first length. Using the cut length as a guide, cut off the second length. Continue until several lengths are ready for pasting. Number them on the back so that you know which order to hang them in.

• Lay the cut lengths on the table, pattern side down.

• Position the top piece of paper so that all the spare paper hangs down off the table to the right.

• Adjust the paper so that the long edge aligns with the edge of the table.

• Load the paste brush and wipe of excess paste by dragging the brush across the string on the bucket.

• Brush the paste down from the centre of the paper, then out to the edges. If any paste gets on the table, wipe it off with a damp cloth.

• Check that all the paper is evenly covered with paste, especially the edges. Holding on the left hand edge, loosely fold the paper over — paste side to paste side — to about the centre of the length.

• Slide the paper to the left of the table so that the pasted part hangs off the edge.

• Paste the right hand end of the paper as you did the left until the paper is all pasted.

• Fold the paper over — without creasing it — so the top and bottom edges meet.

• Leave the pasted paper to soak for as long as the manufacturer recommends.

• Pencil a mark near the top of the wall, 480mm out from the corner, so that enough paper will turn onto the other wall.

• Hold the plumb line to the mark and let the bob hang free about 1.2m down. When it settles mark directly behind the string. Check the distance to the corner all the way down the wall. If it is greater than 480mm at any point because the corner is not true, not enough paper will turn. So make the top measurement shorter using the plumb line again.

• Carry the pasted length to the wall and release the top fold gently, holding it at both sides. Do not let the lower half suddenly drop. Hold the top right corner against the wall so that the right hand edge of the paper aligns with the pencil mark. Make sure about 50mm of excess paper is left at the top for trimming.

• Keep the left edge off the wall while you align the right hand edge on the lower pencil mark.

• Once in place smooth the paper with your hand or paper hanging brush diagonally up until the top left hand corner is on the wall.

• Let go and smooth out the top half of the paper working from the centre out.

• Release the lower fold. Brush down the centre of the length then out to the edges. Dab down the edges with the top of the brush.

• With the length in place, run the back of a pair of scissors along the paper where it meets the skirting board to crease it. Pull the paper gently away and cut along the crease with the underside facing you. Brush the trimmed edge back in place and repeat the process at the top of the paper.

• Hang the next length following the same procedure but without using the plumb line. Match the top section of the left edge of the new length with the length on the wall, and then run your hand diagonally up and to the right to press the top of the paper to the wall. Continue as before.

Tips / Advice:
• Get the group to identify any risks at the beginning of the session.
• Wear appropriate clothing.
• If you do not have a wall that you can decorate, you could make a free standing one.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
Close supervision of the group is necessary during this exercise, particularly if the young people are using ladders.

Activity 3 - Tiling

Aim: To Introduce the group to the skills of tiling.

• Identify a flat service.

• Use a horizontal timber batten fixed to the wall beneath the bottom edge of the lowest row of whole tiles as a guide.

• Use a vertical batten fixed to the wall to ensure that the tiles are precisely vertical.

• Scoop some adhesive from the tub with your spreader and spread it on the wall in a band a little more than a tile wide. The notches form ridges in the adhesive which will be compressed to an even thickness as you place the tiles.

• Place the first tile in the angle between the guide battens. Rest its lower edge on the horizontal batten, and then press it into the adhesive.

• Place more tiles one by one along the row, fining a spacer between them, until you reach the corner. Press the spacers at the top corners into the adhesive so that they will be covered when you fill the joints with grout. At the bottom corners, push one leg of each spacer into the gap between the tiles; these will be pulled out when the batten is removed.

• Check with a tiling gauge that the tiles are flush with each other.

• Apply another band of adhesive and place the second row of tiles.

• When you have placed the top row of tiles, scrape off any excess adhesive from the wall with a stripping knife and wipe off the remaining traces with a damp cloth.

• Allow the adhesive to set.

• Next remove the battens and fill the gaps between the tiles with grout.

Tips / Advice:
• Once the battens have been removed you might like to cut tiles to be put in their place.
• Wear appropriate clothing.
• If you do not have a wall that you can decorate, you could make a free standing one.


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