August 23, 2011

Paslode TetraGrip Subfloor Fastening System - Review


Floor squeaks are the last thing a client wants to hear after shelling out the big bucks for a new home or a renovation. It may sound like a squeak to you, but what your client is actually hearing is, "...the contractor is a dumbass..." Don't be that dumbass.

Squeaks are usually the product of a nail rubbing against wood. Wood, as our old boss used to say, is "a terrible building material; it shrinks, it rots, it expands, it warps, it splits," and on and on (after a glass of tequila, the rant could go on for a solid ten minutes) and one of the byproducts of this lack of structural integrity is the squeak.

Seems like more often than not, the squeak comes from the subfloor installation. There are a few ways to prevent the terrible noises at installation; A) smear PL or Liquid Nail all over the joists before nailing off the subfloor or B) screwing down the subfloor. Both methods are sort of time consuming and using construction adhesive adds a significant mess factor.

Paslode's new TetraGrip Subfloor Fastening System aims at being the fastest kid on the block (as well as the strongest). The basics of it are that it's a nailgun that shoots a special (and we mean 'special') nail that truly locks the subfloor down to the joists.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

August 22, 2011

3M TEKK Painter's Gloves - Review


Our go-to on painting gloves are those latex ones that you can get in a box of 100. They're great as far as keeping your hands clean, but it's pretty wasteful to be constantly throwing them away (once they come off the hands, they ain't going back on). Recently, we were staring down the barrel of a complex staining/dyeing/shellacking/poly-ing process and we wanted to use a glove that would be a little more durable in the long run. Then we remembered that a couple months ago 3M sent us a pair of their TEKK painter gloves. So we gave them a shot. Here's what we thought....

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

August 9, 2011

Swanson Speed Bevel - Review


Swanson's new Speed Bevel
combines the talent of their ubiquitous Speed Square and the bevel gauge. Since our experience is that those are the two most used measuring devices on a site, we were pretty interested in seeing their talents combined into a single unit. Swanson sent us a sample and like always, we dropped it in the tool bag and brought it to work. It's been well over a month and here's the verdict....

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

July 13, 2011

Porter-Cable Oscillating Tool - Review


Porter-Cable is now in the oscillating tool game and honestly it's a tool that wouldn't have interested us a whole lot except that it has a funky quick change feature that looks to solve one of the key hassles with oscillating tool, the blade change-out. PC sent us one to check out and we've been absolutely pounding on this thing at work, trying our best to break its spirit. Here's how it did...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

July 11, 2011

Torchmate 2x2 CNC Prototyping Machine - Review


CNC Machines live in that mysterious world of the professional metal shop. You've got to be a pretty intense dude to have one of these things in your garage. What they are is automatic cutting systems that work through a computer program. Draw something in a CAD program, load it over to the CNC machine and it carves or cuts out the shape. These things are usually massive and some of them are even encased in a large chamber with a constant oil spray to lube up the cut.

So anyway, Torchmate, a well-respected name in the CNC world has recently released a smaller version of their popular machine. This new one, the 2x2 has a much smaller bed and is intended to be a user-friendly version of their larger machines, one that will hopefully appeal to the average Joe hobbyist. They were nice enough to send us one to play around with for a while and we happily agreed.

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

July 1, 2011

Bostitch Box Beam Clamping Level - Review

bostitch_clamping level.JPG

We're on the verge of renaming the site, given the sheer amount of levels we've covered in the past few months (and will be covering in the next few). The latest is Bostitch's Box Beam Clamping Level, which allows you to clamp the tool along a piece of wood, sort of like a magnetized level and a metal stud. Bostitch sent us a sample a couple months ago to check out and we've used it at home and on the site enough to draw some conclusions. Those conclusions are....(ahem)...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 29, 2011

Strap Sack - Review


In our recent post on The Perfect Bungee, we noted our total devotion to the ratchet strap. There just isn't a better, more secure way to tie down your stuff. We've held down some pretty substantial lumber runs with a single ratchet strap.

The one drawback to the ratchet strap is storage. For a while we tossed them in a tupperware container under the front seat, but it always turned into a spaghetti mess and when we needed a strap, we always had to spend ten minutes trying to free the appropriate pieces. Then, we devised a way to fold and tie up each piece after use, but it takes some effort and most of the time it's not effort we're interested in. So here comes the Strap Sack...

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

June 27, 2011

Checkpoint U6 V-Groove Multi Reading Level - Review


Well this is kind of an oddball. We've never seen a level quite like it. It's the Checkpoint U6 and it's a U shaped item, about the size of a nice skipping stone that is capable of taking level readings on six different angles; 0, 90, 45, 22.5, 30, and 60. It has a v-groove all around it, as well as a series of magnets, so it's perfect for steel pipes and conduit.


It's one of those tools that exudes the aroma of quality. Maybe it's the solid weight, maybe it's the look of precision machining, we're not sure, but whatever it is, just holding the tool justifies its $35 price tag.

It's a cool little item, but we don't have a whole lot more to say about it than that. Works as advertised...high quality...compact...there you go.


It's probably not a tool for everyone, the general carpenter probably won't have much use for it, but if you do a lot of work with pipes and want a pocket-sized reference, this is the way to go.

Available in a variety of colors at Amazon

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

June 17, 2011

DeWalt DWS520K 6-1/2-Inch TrackSaw Kit - Review


Our recent shelving project turned out to be a lot more involved than we originally anticipated. To do the work, we ended up setting up an entire shop in the room we were doing the work in. We moved in the miter saw (getting extra room because the saw was the Bosch Axial Glide!), set up a work table, built temp shelves for our tools and made hooks for extension cords. Pretty much everything we needed was in the room. Except for the table saw. It's a good sized room, but table saws are like pool tables...they may look like they're a manageable size, but in order to actually use one, you need an area that is about five times its size.

So the table saw was out in the driveway, rain or shine, and we would have to go through a door, down a hallway, through another door onto the porch, and then yet another door to the outside, walk down the path and then to the saw every time we wanted to make a cut. There has to be an easier way, we thought.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

June 16, 2011

Bosch 10" GTS1031 Compact Table Saw - Review


Of all the bulky and awkward jobsite table saws, none is more bulky or more awkward than the full-sized Bosch model that comes attached to one of the most infuriating saw stands known to man. It's a fine item if you're just wheeling the saw around a driveway, but any relocation beyond that is pure agony due to the fact that the saw can't be detached from the large, wheeled stand. But since we feel a rant coming on (that saw is one of our true bete noires of the tool world), we'll divert to the matter at hand, which is Bosch's new compact table saw, a tool that is the apparent opposite of the sprawling, gargantuan full-sized model. A while ago, Bosch sent us one to check out and here's what we thought...

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

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