January 23, 2015

Where I been....

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Since exactly none of you have been wondering why this site has slowly evolved into a ghost ship, I'll raise my hand, call on myself, and give an answer.

Most importantly, I've been wrapping up my renovation (yes, still...). I just looked at the first permit the other day (the renovation has two separate permits) and saw the issue date of November 2011. Yeah, that's a while ago. It's been a slog. I've been in full donkey mode for four years...building cabinets, framing, tiling, window restoration, flooring, painting, oh man, it's been a lot. Yesterday, I had the final electrical inspection and soon it will be time for the big kahuna building inspector to come through. If everything passes OK, I'll likely head to the nearest saloon for 2-4 months or maybe Tijuana. Once the "decompression" phase ends, I'm looking to get back to regular posting here at the site.

But along with the renovation, I have been keeping up with quite a bit of writing. A number of tool-ish reviews that I've done have been posted up at Tools of the Trade. If you're into tools, ToTT should really be one of your first stops. There is a lot of great coverage over there. Recently, I reviewed the new Makita 8-1/2-inch Compound Slider. It's a great little tool and if you want an easily portable slider, this should be one of the first saws you look at. I thought there were a couple small drawbacks, but they pale in comparison to all of the goodness that this tool brings to the table.

I also did a piece on my three favorite work gloves; one for general construction, one for demo and digging, and one for cold weather. When I first started in construction, I thought the fingerless framer gloves were totally silly, but over time I've completely bought into the concept. And now with all the use of touch screens, it's nice to not have to keep taking the gloves on and off all the time. The Kleins are a great representation of the design.

The StoneBreaker Rancher gloves deserve a special call out too. I have a hard time explaining to people how nice these gloves are. Most leather work gloves look like floppy Fozzie Bear hands, but the StoneBreakers are so form-fitting that they really fit like a...well....glove.

The RoboReel Air was another interesting item I reviewed for ToTT. It's a pneumatic hose with and electric recoil. It's all very similar to the RoboReel Electric that I covered here a while back. It's pricey for sure, but really handy to have.

Over at Fine Homebuilding I covered a similar item, the PneuPower Recoiler. It's also a retractable hose system, but this one is manual with a hand crank on the body of the tool.

If I were to choose between the two, it's tough to say which I'd go with. The Recoiler can get tangled up from time to time, but it's also less than half the price of the RoboReel and much easier to lug around. It also has 100' of hose while the RoboReel has 50. But still, the RoboReel winds up with the push of a button.

I've also been doing plenty of work over at TheSweethome.com. If you've never checked it out, I highly recommend doing so. It's a site that really strives to recommend the best gear that fits the needs of most normal people. They've got comprehensive articles on all kinds of homegoods from bath tissue to rice cookers to air conditioners (check the sister site TheWirecutter.com for digital gear like cameras, tvs, and computers). I've written a lot of the tool guides, such as...The Best Hammer, The Best Utility Knife, and The Best Adjustable Pliers and plenty of others. I've also done some yard gear like The Best Lawnmower and The Best Leaf Blower) and a few oddballs that ended up being completely fascinating to research...The Best Picture Hanger, The Best Duct Tape.


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Posted by Doug Mahoney at January 23, 2015 1:03 PM
Recent Comments

Great info Doug, this article led me to The Sweet Home which I really like because it gets right to the point on the best models and it's extremely comprehensive.


Posted by: Jim Landman at May 27, 2015 1:19 PM

yeah Doug, we're both New Englanders, I'm bout 3 hours south of you, on the CT shore. I remember your blog post on Hurricane Sandy, I was without power for over a week and you guys up north got all the heavy rains that wiped out roads,bridges and towns.
This past storm we got around 2 feet, not as bad as forcasted but just 10 miles east up on Route 1 everyone got hammered with snow and high winds. Looks like another one is headed this way tonight but fortunately nothing too crazy.
I'll continue to pop in here and look forward to your work on the other sites


Posted by: Kevin at February 1, 2015 6:08 PM

Hey there, sorry not to ask. I did wonder what was up as I enjoy reading your blog. I was able to find, I think two of your other blogs...one of which is a childrens blog, that was recently updated, so I knew you were OK.

Thanks again for your writing and time concerning a subject that I love to read about.....and you do it soo well. I read other sites as well, and yours isn't as skewed as some of the other I read, meaning sponsers paying alot of $ to cook the review.

Your integrity matters.

Thx again,

Nathan Wallace GC


Posted by: Nathan at January 31, 2015 1:16 AM

Kevin, you must live near me. I spent four hours yesterday digging and snow blowing 3 feet of the white and fluffy (much better than the white and heavy). I think you'll love the Sweethome/Wirecutter sites. They're loaded with first rate information.

Glad to know you're still keeping an eye on the site.


Posted by: Tool Snob at January 29, 2015 9:20 AM

good to hear things are coming along Doug. Those new articles and websites are right in my wheelhouse, looking forward to reading them during this winter which has just suddenly gotten real.


Posted by: Kevin at January 28, 2015 1:43 PM
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