The Science Of Diy

How sharp does a chisel really need to be? How hard should you hit with a hammer? Physicist Len Fisher reveals how the application of scientific principles to the use of everyday tools takes the stress out of D.I.Y.

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Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
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01The Wheelbarrow2003030320040913
20080204 (BBC7)
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20090330 (BBC7)
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Len Fisher and fellow experts reveal the importance of leverage when conveying a load.

The art of construction deconstructed. Len Fisher and fellow experts reveal the importance of leverage when conveying a load.

Len gets a handle on the science of the wheelbarrow from the comfort of his own backyard.

He is joined by conservation builder Andy Cook and physicist Jeff Odell to demonstrate how it's all a question of leverage.

Len weighs up the virtues of those fancy versions with the corrugated orange ball at the front against your standard wobbler - and offers some alternative ways of lifting heavy loads.

The art of construction deconstructed.

Len Fisher and fellow experts reveal the importance of leverage when conveying a load.

Episode 1 of 5.

02A Chip Off The Old Block - Chisels And Saws2003030420040920
20080205 (BBC7)
20080930 (BBC7)
20090331 (BBC7)
20100504 (BBC7)
20111016 (BBC7)
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20130526 (BBC7)

Whether you're building an extension to the house or just building a shelf, chisels and saws are crucial.

Joined by mechanical engineer Dave Milsom and physicist Jeff Odell, Len rolls up his sleeves to reveal how to sharpen a chisel properly, and that when a chisel is used to split wood it acts as a wedge.

The art of construction deconstructed.

Len Fisher and fellow experts reveal how to sharpen and use your tools properly.

The art of construction deconstructed. Len Fisher and fellow experts reveal how to sharpen and use your tools properly.

03If I Had A Hammer - Hammers And Nails2003030520040927
20080206 (BBC7)
20081001 (BBC7)
20090401 (BBC7)
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20111023 (BBC7)
20111024 (BBC7)
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Len Fisher and fellow experts locate the 'sweet spot' to hit your nail on the head.

The hammer is the oldest known tool, developed from the basic idea of hitting one thing with a hard lump of something else.

The breakthrough came when someone lashed a stick handle to the lumpy bit, but what advantage does a handle give?

Sciience has the answer, and Len reveals how to find the 'sweet spot' of a hammer, and hit the nail (not the thumbnail) on the head every time.

The art of construction deconstructed.

The art of construction deconstructed. Len Fisher and fellow experts locate the 'sweet spot' to hit your nail on the head.

04Tightening Up - Nuts, Bolts And Spanners2003030620041004
20080207 (BBC7)
20081002 (BBC7)
20090402 (BBC7)
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20111030 (BBC7)
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20130609 (BBC7)

Len Fisher and fellow experts offer choice tips while renovating an old bicycle.

The art of construction deconstructed.

Len renovates an old bicycle, with the help of practical experts Dave Milsom and Stuart Burgess.

Together they reveal tips on how to do undo a rusty bolt, how to tighten up a bolt without a spanner, including fiddling about with hot water, and how to hold your spanner properly.

Len Fisher and fellow experts offer choice tips, whilst renovating an old bicycle.

Len Fisher offers choice tips on nuts, bolts and spanners while renovating an old bicycle.

The art of construction deconstructed. Len Fisher and fellow experts offer choice tips on nuts, bolts and spanners while renovating an old bicycle.

05 LASTGetting In A Twist - Screws And Screwdrivers2003030720080208 (BBC7)
20081003 (BBC7)
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20130616 (BBC7)

Len Fisher and fellow experts demonstrate how these metal fasteners are in fact levers.

The art of construction deconstructed.

Len Fisher and experts demonstrate how these metal fasteners are in fact levers.

Len Fisher and fellow experts demonstrate how screws and screwdrivers are in fact levers.

The art of construction deconstructed. Screws and screwdrivers - Len Fisher and fellow experts demonstrate how these metal fasteners are in fact levers.