Storage and organization is a constant problem for us and we're guessing many of you as well. Just the other day, we spent a good deal of time dealing with the giant pile of tools, fasteners, and lumber that had accumulated over the past weeks. It's no fun to do and we always have to deal with a vague sense of failure when we do it. Is it that tough to put things away when you're done with them?
The trick is, obviously, to have a place for everything (and everything in its place), instead of some hazy "I sort of keep these over here, and sometimes (but not all the time), I put those over here," concept of organization. With this in mind, our pal Mark Clement has come to the rescue with a nice article on tool organization. In it, he leads us through the construction of a workbench, a cart, a tool belt hook, and a bracket for cord storage. As always with Mark's articles, it's informative, clearly written, and accompanied with some nice photos.
We also highly recommend Sandor Nagyszalanczy's (say that five times fast) Setting Up Shop if you're looking for a far more detailed look at the principals behind good shop organization.
This is very cool. It's just out in Europe at the moment. It's got a maximum height of 3.6 meters (just under 12 feet), with two other working heights; 1.2 meters (around four feet) and 1.8 (around six feet). It sells for 3295 pounds, which is about $6000 U.S. More information here.
Anyone who has ever tinkered around on a door has likely made a couple little stands to set the door in so you can work on the hinge side in a standing position. Now, there's something called the Stand Up Guy, which is simply a plastic, adjustable version of that very same plywood stand that you hacked together.
The Stand-Up-Guy is adjustable (their website doesn't say to what dimensions), and works the way the more advanced homemade versions do. The outside ends of the stand are slightly raised, so when the door/window/whatever is placed in the center, the stand lightly clamps in on it. The Stand-Up-Guy has a recommendation from the Handyman Club of America.
The Stand-Up-Guy sells for a whopping $45 apiece! Maybe we'd think about $45 for a pair, but seeing the kind of success that we have with the homemade kind (which usually take us about five minutes to make), we're not sure that this is worth the coin.
A lot of the tool world is dominated by the likes of Bosch, Ryobi, DeWalt, Milwaukee, and the other big name tool manufacturers. There's no doubt that they make some great tools, but we always like it when some little company produces a tool that runs so far ahead of the pack that it could only be the product of a small group of single minded people. Sawtooth Specialty Tools' SawHelper Ultrafence is like that. It's a very unique miter saw stand and ever since we first caught wind of it a few years back we haven't yet heard a single negative thing about it.
Along with the two routers (MFK 700 and OF 2200), Festool has also just announced the release of their new workbench, the MFT/3. From the looks of it, Festool has combined and improved the best aspects of their previous two models (MFT 1080 and MFT 800).
The MFT/3 provides a 43" x 28" work surface at a height of 35-1/2". One of the four legs is slightly adjustable for use on uneven surfaces. The four edges of the workbench have tracks on them which allow you to join up multiple tables, giving you a larger workspace if needed. The entire until weighs 61 lbs and the legs fold up to make it somewhat portable.
At first we thought that this was your average out feed table, but then we took a closer look and saw that it's quite a bit more. The extra sauce in the Triton Multi-Stand is the swiveling, tilting, clamping head that can do everything from hold a door steady to prop up the other side of that floor joist. It's a simple idea and it makes us wonder why no one has thought of it before.
The Triton Multi-Stand still can be used as an out feed table so the top surfaces of the clamping head are made of a low friction material, to make things easier. The tripod is built wide and low for added stability and the height of the entire thing adjusts from 25" to 37". It can support over 220 lbs, so you can even set it up as a table stand.
A while back, we told you about the Skil XBench, a cool looking workstation with a bunch of nice features. We assume, from the traffic we got on the site, that it was a big hit for the holidays. But if you don't have one yet, now might be the time because Skil is offering a Deluxe Kit with a load of extras.
There's a technique to hauling around sheet goods; a particular way to pop the back up in order to get a hand under it, and, in the same move to grab the top and get into the standing position. From this point on it's all hand pain, back strain, and muscle aches. In other words, there's really no easy way to do it. Or so we thought before we got a look at the Gorilla Gripper.
The Gorilla Gripper, made by a company called Landon Innovations, LLC, is essentially a portable handle for sheet goods. From the looks of it, you just snap it on the plywood, drywall, Durock, or whatever and there you have it. The Gripper can handle anything from 3/8' to 2-3/4' thick, but it doesn't look like it can do multiple sheets at a time.
Read past the fold if you're interested in checking out the Gorilla Gripper ad. If you're the type who enjoys watching a hot chick in Daisy Dukes (and we are), you'll probably like it.
Knaack, the makers of some serious jobsite storage equipment have recently released a new line of Terminator-proof storage chests. The series is called the Monster Box and it has a number of industry firsts that will no doubt keep your tools safe after you go home for the night.
Each Monster Box comes with:
Tubular steel frame
4-point crane lift system
Weather-proof cord access to the box
A 3-point latching system, impervious to both prying and being drilled out
The Monster Box comes in three styles; Piano Box, Cabinet, and Chest.
The pricing is fairly reasonable for the amount of security that you're getting. At U.S. Upfitters the chest is around $800, the Cabinet is $1250, and the Piano Box just over $1000. If the choice is to either spend that money or have all of our tools stolen, it's an easy decision.
It really is impressive how much mileage Dremel has gotten out of, essentially, one tool. This is because of two things; first, their rotary tool is just about the best out there, and second, because the company does little else, they are able to devote a boatload of resources to making new attachments and accessories. Since each of these attachments alters the use of the tool, Dremel is constantly reinventing their rotary tool and finding new things that it can do. The latest and most involved of these is the Dremel Workstation. Part drill press, part tool stand, and part bench grinder.
Once your Dremel is fit into the drill press, it can bore holes up to two inches at angles between 0 and 90, in 15 degree increments. Like a full-sized drill press there is a depth stop as well as four clamping points to keep the unit stable while you work.
With the tool attached and completely horizontal, the stand also functions as a rotary tool holder, turning it into something of a bench grinder. This stabilizes the tool and frees up both of your hands for the really delicate work.
Ralph A: This would have come in handy the last time I read more Richard K: Trying to replace the old interior door between my garage read more Kevin: me too. I'm my own worst enemy, as much as read more jeff_williams: I'm totally with you. Loathe painting, especially ceilings. Good to read more Jack Elliott: I have had my master bathrolm apart for the better read more