June 23, 2009

Bosch SPS10-2 4-Volt Pocket Screwdriver - Review

Bosch_4_volt.jpgBosch has been one of the leaders in the 12-volt li-ion market and it seems that now they're branching off into the even smaller 4-volt category. We have no idea if they're going to get into tools other than their Pocket Screwdriver, and for the purpose of this review, we don't really care. We're here to review the SPS10-2 and that's what we're going to do.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

June 22, 2009

Outside the Not So Big House - Review

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If you're thinking about some landscaping projects this summer, you might want to check out Outside the Not So Big House by Julie Moir Messervy and Sarah Susanka.

A lot of landscape books are simply portfolio pieces, little more than pictures of what other people have done. But the authors here understand the simple fact that every house is different and has different 'needs,' so along with the stunning photography showing you how nice things can look, they also provide a lot of information on how to think about your specific property to better improve it. It's like stepping into the brain of a very good landscape architect.

Their goal here is to bring all of the aspects of your property into a single idea and theme. To show us how this can be done, the authors walk us though a wide variety of successful projects, representing a wide array of house styles as well as landscapes. In doing so they discuss how to gain a new vision of your property and how to design a landscape that flows seamlessly from the interior to the exterior.

It's impossible to cover even a fraction of the ideas presented in this book, and there's no question that, after reading it, you'll have a completely new view of your house in relation to its surroundings. It's far headier than the average landscaping book, but well worth the effort to read and consider.

At Amazon.com ($15 paperback)

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 17, 2009

Wagner TurboRoll - Review

Wagner_turboroll2.jpgThe Wagner TurboRoll isn't the first self-feed paint roller, but it's the first (we've seen, at least) that uses the same vacuum system found in a syringe to both store and release paint. It's an interesting idea and one we looked forward to testing out. Is it effective? It is more trouble than it's worth? Is it a gimmick? We gave it a good run it out in order to answer these questions.

The TurboRoll consists of a roller, a little fill port, a long tube which is the stem of the tool, the handle, and the plunger. The handle has a forward and reverse on it which feeds the plunger through the tube forcing paint to the roller. The TurboRoll also has a manual override, so if the automation is for any reason not practical, you can toggle back to 'old school.'

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 16, 2009

Duo-Fast DF350S Framing Gun - Review

df_350s.jpgDuo-Fast has recently released a new framing nailer to the market. The body of which bears a striking resemblance to the latest Paslode framer (our review here). Paslode and Duo-Fast are both owned by the global company ITW so there is some serious cross-pollination going on. But still, with the similarities, there are some differences between the tools.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 14, 2009

Gorilla Epoxy - Review

gorilla_epoxy.jpgThe other day we mentioned Popular Mechanics's list of the best items at this year's Hardware Show. If you clicked through the link like we suggested (and why wouldn't you have?) you would have seen that Gorilla's new 2-part epoxy made the cut. We recently received a sample of said epoxy and gave it a whirl to see if Gorilla was indeed one step closer to total world adhesive dominance.

It seems to be the case. It's a very nice glue and without any problems we were able to fix a small stone bird statue that had been broken by an apple (don't ask). The Epoxy mixed easily and as advertised made its initial set in five minutes. We also liked that the Epoxy had some body to it, so where there were shattered pieces of the statue that were too small to replace, we simply filled the gaps with the glue and did a quick faux painting job to finish it off (yes, it's paintable too). Aside from stone, the epoxy is compatible with wood, metal, ceramics, glass, plastic, brick and concrete.

We have used other 5-minute epoxies with mixed success. Our main complaint is that the glue becomes brittle over time. From what we understand, Gorilla has addressed this issue and added a certain degree of flexibility to their adhesive. While we're too impatient to wait a year to test out the brittleness of the statue bond before writing the review, after seeing the amazing successes of Gorilla's other products and how they've successfully backed up all of their other claims, we're going to take their word for it on this one. We'll keep an eye on the statue though and let you know the minute the glue fails (if it ever does.)

The Gorilla Epoxy sells for under five dollars.

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 29, 2009

APC SurgeArrest Power Saving Surge Protector - Review

apc.jpgAnyone who was reading this site back in December knows that we had a little power outage and anyone who has read the site since knows that we've made a career out of bitching about it (see here and here). Well why stop now? What follows is a review of a surge protector, which, admittedly is a bit outside of our area of expertise (and by 'a bit' we mean 'a lot'), but before you click back over to your favorite celebrity gossip site, you should know that we found that the item had an intriguing feature that translated very nicely into the workshop setting.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 16, 2009

Cadex CB18.50 Brad Gun - Review

cadex_brad.jpgAnyone who is even the most casual reader of this site it likely to know that we're slobbering idiots when it comes to Cadex's CPB 23.50 23 gauge pinner (our review is here). It has always been our opinion that it's just one of the finest tools we've ever used. That said, we were obviously interested when we discovered that Cadex just released a brad gun called the CB 18.50, and that it is equipped with a lot of the same features that made the 23.50 so successful. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one to try out and try it out we did.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 15, 2009

Pipe Knife - Review

pipeknife.jpgOriginally designed for the auto glass industry, the Pipe Knife is simply a long handled utility knife. There are a number of different sizes, ranging from 24" all the way down to 9". While it's not something that you want to hand off to your five -year-old, over the course of a few weeks, we found it to be a handy item to have in the tool bag. Definitely good for more than just replacing windshields.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 14, 2009

Gator Micro Zip Sander - Review

Minizip.jpgAli Industries is at it again with their little bath toy sanders. We've already reviewed the Zip Sander and the Sponge Holder and how it's the Micro Zip Sander's turn.

The Micro Zip is exactly what it sounds like: the Zip Sander's 'mini-me.' Where the Zip Sander sat in the palm, the Micro Zip is sort of a three-fingered operation. As with the other sanders, this one is made of foam and sits very comfortably in the hands.

The Micro Zip is a helpful little item when it comes to the fussy little inside corners, odd edges, or areas where there is very little clearance, such as the floor underneath our baseboard heaters. In this last case, the Micro Zip boldly went where no oscillating tool could go and successfully assisted with our current flooring project. There's no question that the Micro Zip was easier on our hands that the old-fashioned method of the block wrapped with sandpaper, but because of the way that the hand sits on the sander, it was also easier to apply pressure. We wouldn't say that the Micro Zip Sander is an absolutely necessary tool, but it is one that makes sanding a little easier.

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There's really not a whole lot more we can say. It works well, it's sort of silly looking, and it doesn't cost all that much. There you go.

The Micro Zip project pack which comes with 30 sheets of color coded sandpaper costs about $10.

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 13, 2009

Nail Jack & Nail Hunter - Review

nailjack.jpgWe consider nail pulling to be one of the deepest hells of construction, and that's why we're pretty interested when a new tool comes along that might make the process a little easier. Enter the Nail Jack and the Nail Hunter, both from Nail Jack Tools. Can these funky looking pliers give a little relief in the nail removal department? We tested them pretty extensively in order to find out.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

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