June 7, 2011

Veto Pro Pac LX - Review

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We recently reviewed (and gave exceptionally high marks to) Veto Pro Pac's LC and LC-OT tool bags. We liked them for their easy tool organization and their durable construction. At the time of the reviews we were pretty convinced that they were the greatest thing out there in tool transportation. Well, at the time, we hadn't yet put our hands on the LX which is a size larger than the other two. Well, now we can say that this one is the best tool bag ever. Really. It is.

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

May 11, 2011

Perfect Bungee - Review

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Naming your product "The Perfect Bungee" takes some stones.

Perfect....really?

The company that makes them is called Just Ducky and they were nice enough to send us a handful of these bungees to test out. We tossed them in the truck and for the past couple of months we've been strapping down lumber and all kinds of other things with them. Here's what we thought...

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

April 22, 2011

Kerry Saw Pouch - Review

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Trucks are a total mixed blessing. Great cargo space, but when it rains...not so great cargo space. Most tools can be kept dry either by their cases (if not out for too long) or by tossing them up in the front seat (which can be a real pain in the rear). But the table saw, cursed by its size, can only sit in the back and get soaked.

Well, not anymore. Kerry Woodworking, makers of all things pouchy, have just devised their most intriguing item to date, the Kerry Saw Pouch. The concept is about as basic as they come: a fitted tarp for your jobsite table saw. They sent us one so that we could get a look-see and here's what we thought...

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

April 18, 2011

Veto Pro Pac OT-LC - Review

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A couple weeks ago, we reviewed the Veto Pro Pac LC tool bag and found that it exceeded our expectations in virtually every category. VPP then sent us one of their OT-LC bags so that we could check out one of their open-top models. So we unloaded the LC and transferred everything to the OT-LC and here's what we thought....

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

March 18, 2011

Veto Pro Pac LC - Review

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So you've got all the right tools, but you also need something to put them in so you can carry them around. The options are actually pretty slim. There's the hand-carved wooden tool box that some long-dead relative of yours made out of an apple tree that he cut down with his own hands, but who wants to lug that to a construction site. Then there's the duffel bag style that we've been subscribing to, which is okay, but tools get lost in the bottom of it and no matter how hard we try to use the side pockets, everything ends up in the center mess anyway like some giant metallic game of pick-up-sticks.

There is also the devil (a.k.a. The Bucket Buddy), but if you use one of these, we really can't muster up any respect for you. You're investing in nice expensive tools and carrying them around in a plastic bucket? It might be easy to move around and the pockets might work out for you, but there's no escaping the fact it's a freakin plastic bucket.

But there's actually another option...the Veto Pro Pac. This tool bag allows you to carry around all of your tools by positioning them vertically, meaning a lot of equipment in a small footprint. A bit ago, the company sent us one of their LC bags to test drive. When it arrived, we happily dumped out the duffel, threw it away and started loading up the new rig.

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

October 25, 2010

Rockwell JawStand - Review

Rockwell_jawstand.jpgWe're total junkies for the Rockwell JawHorse. In the past couple years it's become the single tool that we use all the time for everything. Since we first got hooked, it's been on every gift guide that we've put together and we don't see any reason why it won't be on every one we do from here on out. Essentially, we're not going to let up until every house in the country has one.

So it's no surprise that we got all numb in the head when we heard that Rockwell was releasing another clamping stand, this one smaller and more compact than the JawHorse. From the looks of it, we took the JawStand as a calmer, gentler brother to the larger tool; a version of the JawHorse that you'd introduce to your parents, as opposed to having it sit out in the car with the engine running. Rockwell agreed to send us one to check out and for almost two months, we've been using it (a lot). It's pretty cool, but....

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

August 31, 2010

Porter-Cable QUIKJIG Pocket Hole Joinery System

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We've been a little surprised at Kreg's domination of the pocket hole marketplace. There are a few other models out there, but none from any of the big names and none which have gained a whole lot of traction with a wide audience (like the Kreg). We always assumed that there was some kind of patent thing going on, a la Fein. But here comes Porter-Cable with a really interesting looking system that looks like it should give the reigning champ a few good rounds in the ring.

In a nutshell (help, help, I'm in a nutshell!), pocket hole jigs create low angled, pre-drilled holes which allow for accurate and consistent 'toe-screwing.' That's really it. They're great for shelves, cabinet boxes, face-frames, etc. We've got the Kreg Master Kit and it really makes for a nice, tight (glue-free!) assembly. So on to the Porter-Cable...

One thing for certain is that, compared to the Kreg, this one looks com-pli-cated. It sort of looks like a cross between a microscope and a Pixar robot. But as it turns out, this added intensity is intended to make things easier. Unlike the Kreg, the Porter-Cable automatically sets the drilling angle based on the thickness of the wood. It's a clever idea and takes away the fussiness of having to deal with the knurled set screw of the Kreg. From the looks of it, the Porter-Cable is going to be quite a bit heavier (it's all metal...a good thing), but they were smart and made the foot plate 1-1/2" thick, so you can use a 2x4 to support your workpiece.

The QUIKJIG is going to be available later this year (September) and will have a retail of around $230. The price is definitely more than the Kreg (K3 Master Kit $140 at Amazon.com), but the 'auto-angle' aspect of the Porter-Cable might be enough to justify the added cost.

Press release after the jump...

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

August 25, 2010

ROBO-UNIT Portable Storage

unit_robot.jpgUNITS (Unique, No-Hassle, Individual, Transportable, Storage), a S.C.-based company similar to PODS, has just introduced the use of UNITS-moving robots. While these robots are no match for Husqvarna's Demolition Robot, they're still pretty cool.

The remote control UNITS movers are ideal for placing the storage boxes on little city streets, in tight driveways, or any other place where a full-sized truck is going to have some problems.

It's wild to watch this thing in action. It's like those little forklifts that come with lumber trucks, minus the fat, grumpy driver.

To get more information on UNITS, including locations, check out their website: unitsstorage.com. The press release on the arrival of our UNITS-moving robot masters is after the jump.

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

August 12, 2010

Rockwell JawStand

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There is no question that the JawHorse has been a big success for Rockwell. We use ours in some fashion just about every day. It's been such a hit that earlier this year Ridgid even put a horse in the race with something called the SuperClamp. But if you've been paying close attention, you'd know that the original design came, not from Rockwell, but from an Australian company called Triton. Rockwell took a tool called the Triton SuperJaws, cleaned up the design and, with the release of a slew of innovative attachments (plywood jaws, log jaws, welding station, etc) transformed the clamping tool into a complete workstation system.

Well, if the concept worked for one tool, why not try it again? We just got word that Rockwell is going back to the Aussie well with the release of a new item called the Triton Multistand JawStand. Again, Rockwell has polished up the original design and added a number of nice looking features.

The general functionality of the JawStand sits somewhere between that of an out-feed stand, a sawhorse, and Juan, your apprentice who is always late for work and stands there and holds things for you.

There's a jaw on it, but as you can see from the image, it's more about stabilizing a door than crushing a watermelon (one of our favorite JawHorse pastimes). The top of the clamping area has some kind of glide material on it which allows for easy action as a table saw/miter saw out-feed. The stand can be adjusted in height from 25" to 41" and the top can pivot. To track these two movements, the stem of the tool has height measurements on it and the head has a built in level vial. The whole things folds up for easy transport and storage.

Just from looking at the image and reading the press release, this looks like a good tool to have around, especially if you're someone who spends a lot of time working alone. The only curiosity to us is that the clamp area has a maximum width of 1-1/4" which seems strange. You'd think that it would be able to at least hold a 2x4(UPDATE: The jaw actually opens to 1-3/4" and not 1-1/4" as the press release states. This makes much more sense).

The JawStand will be retailing for about $60. It's currently available at Sears and it will likely show up at Amazon.com and Rockwell Tools Direct.

The press release with more detailed info is after the jump.

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

July 15, 2010

Snap-On 12 Outlet Power Strip

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In our last shop we had two large power strips that we lived and died by. We had never had a power strip before and sort of looked down our noses at them. Not sure why. Anyhoo, we very quickly realized the benefits. Say you're deep into some project the requires a Dremel, an orbital sander, a jigsaw, and a table saw. You can set up a cat's cradle of extension cords and splitters and spend your time plugging and unplugging, or you have all the tool plugged directly into the workbench mounted power strip.

We also found that the power strip made it much easier to organize our tools while we were using them; if the Dremel is plugged in to the right of the orbital, when we put it down, we place it to the right of the orbital. It's not brain surgery, but it's just one of those little things that makes life a whisker easier.

We haven't equipped the new shop with any power strips yet, but when we do, we're going to consider the Snap-On. The main reason is that it's red and not that hideous office-park gray color like most other power strips. Secondly, we've never had any issue with any other Snap-On tools, so we wouldn't expect anything different from this one.

The Snap-On has a 15 amp breaker, a 6 foot cord, and it comes with mounting hardware.

$30 at Costco

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

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