August 24, 2007
We use West System Epoxy all the time and even though it's our go-to goo, there are some usability issues with it. First, the proportions of resin to hardener need to be dead on or the epoxy starts having issues with drying time and adhesion (we screwed up one batch so badly that it just never set up). And it's not just a 1:1 ratio; it's either 5:1 or 3:1 depending on which hardener you're using. If your pumps aren't working, this is not an easy ratio to 'eyeball'. But if you are using your pumps, it's difficult to get just a small amount mixed. Even the smaller sized pumps can leave you with a lot of epoxy left over if all you need is a just a little bit.
West System has just released G/Flex, a new user friendly, two part epoxy system that deals with all of these issues. It uses a simple 1:1 ratio, making mixing much easier and eliminating the need for the pumps. And with the easy ratio, it's going to be no problem mixing up tiny amounts if that's all that's needed.
Continue reading: "West System G/Flex"
August 10, 2007
Ever wonder exactly how strong a miter joint is? From time to time we have but now, thanks to the guys at Wood magazine, we know. They made up an assortment of common woodworking joints and took them to a lab and stress tested the hell out of them to see which ones were the strongest. Very cool.
The video is here. For some reason, we aren't allowed to embed it on the site.
August 9, 2007
We were just tipped off about this interesting little gizmo. It's called the Spout Popper and it helps with prepping a caulking tube for use. It looks like it has the same general design as a cigar cutter, except that the Spout Popper has three sizes of cuts to choose from. In addition, the way the Spout Popper fits over the caulking tube, it automatically aligns itself to make a 45 degree cut. The tool also has a seal puncture that works just like the one that's already on your caulking gun.
We've never been a fan of the cutters that are built-in to some caulking guns; it's tough to cut at an angle and there is only so far that you can get the nozzle in to make the cut. We tend to use our utility knife and although we fare much better than the girl in the Spout Popper movie, our cuts are inconsistent from tube to tube and at times can be a bit ragged. It looks like the Spout Popper solves those issues by making the same cut every single time. The design also protects the blade when not in use so we imagine that the Spout Popper has a fairly substantial lifetime. Having the three distinct sizes really standardizes your caulking beads and knowing that you have the same size hole each time allows you to get right to the caulking, as opposed to readjusting your stance or your caulking speed in order to continue a similar bead from tube to tube.
The Spout Popper is about $4 and is available at their website as well as at Ace Hardware (it's not on their website yet).
March 5, 2007
Newborn makes great caulking guns. They’re easy to use, relatively dripless, and have the right puncture and cutting tools needed to successfully open a tube of caulking. That said, it’s what comes with the Newborn 112D Caulking Gun that’s so fascinating to us. It’s a little plastic gizmo called the Caulk Buddy and it’s something of a revelation as far as applying caulk goes.
The Caulk Buddy is one of those products that you look at and immediately think, “What a dumb idea.” It’s this little thingy that you run over your caulking bead or the purpose of cleaning up the excess caulk and smoothing things out. We never had any real problems in the past using our fingers or a damp rag, so what’s the big deal? Well, we tried the Caulk Buddy and what we found surprised us.
Continue reading: "Newborn 112D Caulking Gun with the Caulk Buddy - Review"
March 1, 2007
The good people at Woodsmith, one of our favorite magazines, have put together this great chart, detailing the proper usage of most major types of glue. If you've ever made the mistake of using the wrong glue, or not using one correctly, you'll understand how valuable this information is. The chart includes everything from clamp time to working temperature. It's in PDF format, so print it out, laminate it, and tack it up in the workshop.
February 22, 2007
We were pretty skeptical when we came across Gorilla PVC Cement, simply because it was so different from other glues we’ve used in the past. It doesn’t stink, it’s only one bottle, as opposed to the traditional 2 part PVC glue systems, and it says it’s Earth friendly. There’s no way it can work. Right?
Boy, were we wrong. This stuff is great, and, without question, worthy of the Gorilla Glue name. We found that each of the characteristics listed above made it our go-to PVC glue for standard plumbing repairs. With no primer, it’s easy to use, and without the fumes, you don’t get that ‘White Rabbit” feeling after spending an afternoon gluing pipes under the kitchen sink.
Continue reading: "Gorilla PVC Cement - Review"