July 27, 2007
We were looking through DeWalt's collection of woodworking articles and thought this one was worth passing on. It's called The Ways of Solid Wood (by Ian Kirby) and it is about how and why wood distorts. We've read books on the properties of wood and can say that this article is a nice, quick summation of a topic that can easily get bogged down with too much information and quite a bit of technical jargon.
Still to be considered is the most important characteristic of all: after wood has been dried and converted into usable parts from the tree, it changes size according to the amount of moisture in the air.
In other words, wood is a dimensionally unstable material. No other factor plays such an important role in the way we design furniture made of solid wood. The parts of a cabinet must hold together and at the same time be allowed to shrink and expand. The most outstanding example of a dimensionally stable unit composed of pieces that are dimensionally unstable is the frame and panel.
Read the entire article here.
The article is actually a chapter in a book called Woodworking Down to a Line. Available here (we were having trouble with this link).
June 8, 2007
Now, in our final installment we’re dealing with some pretty severe gifts. The kind that not only say, “Dad, you’re a great guy,” but they also say, “Dad, let’s never again talk about how I wrecked your car.”
Bosch 2-1/4 HP Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router – This is a great (almost) all in one router kit. It’s got the power for any task and has a very nice depth set/adjust. We picked one up a while back and so far we’re really impressed with it. $199.99 at Amazon.com
DeWalt 10” Compact Table Saw – Not as big as their portable benchtop model, but it’s got a lot of the same qualities that make it a great saw. It’s got a rack and pinion fence, a 15 amp motor and it comes with a miter gauge, a carbide blade, and a push stick (that you should immediately replace with a homemade one). $367.49 at Amazon.com
Porter-Cable 3 Nailer and Compressor Combo Kit – With a brad nailer, a staple gun, and a finish nailer, there is nothing a man cannot do. Porter-Cable has this great, economical set for the advanced DIYer. $299.00 at Amazon.com
Continue reading: "Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Tool Snob – Part 5 ($150+)"
June 7, 2007
Now we’re getting into either the real dad-love or a really guilty conscience. The previous installments (one, two, and three), handled gifts in the $1-$100 range. For today, we’re upping the ante to the $100-$150 bracket.
Continue reading: "Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Tool Snob – Part 4 ($100-$150)"
Ridgid Fuego 6-1/2” Framing Saw – This little tool is a real monster. We reviewed it a while back and thought it was the coolest thing since refridgeration. Now it’s our go-to circular saw. It’s powerful, lightweight, got all the right features, and at $139.00 it’s a total steal. At Home Depot
Milwaukee Sawzall – The first step to building something is destroying what’s already there. In that department, there is no bigger help than a reciprocating saw. They're pure demolition machines and anyone who wants to wreck something needs one. And why not get the original sawzall? No silly rotating head, no frills, just the power of destruction. $109.99 at Amazon.com
Bosch Colt 1HP Variable Speed Palm Router – Another gem in our daily rotation; small, compact, and yet powerful enough to handle some pretty big jobs. It’s got a great depth adjustment/locking system and when you hold it in your hand, well, it just feels right.
$112.85 At Amazon.com
June 6, 2007
June 5, 2007
Part one's price bracket ($1-$20) kept us primarily with hand tools. And even though hand tools are essential and needed, nothing says, “Dad, I love you,” like a power tool. Today, we’re going to start getting into the good stuff.
Skil Octo Detail Sander – We reviewed this a while back and really liked it. Well, we still like it and think your dad might too. It’s a very cool tool at a great price. $44.97 at Amazon.com
Estwing 16oz Leather STL Hammer – You owe it to the old guy to make sure he’s got a good hammer. This is one of the nicest we’ve used. Some purists balk at the metal body, but unless dad is going to be framing all day, everyday, he won’t have a problem. He’ll have this hammer for the rest of his life and, if you needed another reason to get it, he’ll probably pass it on to you some day. Our review of it is here. $23.99 at Amazon.com
Irwin 29-Piece Industrial Drill Bit Set – It’s worth getting good drill bits. If you’re dad’s got a coffee can filled with old, abused bits, do him a favor and drop the $30 for this great set. $34.99 at Amazon.com
Continue reading: "Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Tool Snob – Part 2 ($20-$50)"
June 4, 2007
May 21, 2007
Home Depot has 24 projects for your backyard ranging from the commonplace (storage bench) to the truly bizarre (10’ square lawn checkerboard). The projects are separated into three categories; play, entertain, and retreat and are mostly one weekend affairs, with the notable exception of the putting green. We’re pretty impressed that Home Depot chose such a strange selection of projects and really hope that somewhere out there someone is in the first stages of building an outdoor puppet theater.
Read on to see a list of all the projects
Continue reading: "The Ultimate Backyard Guide"
May 7, 2007
If you shop for tools as much as we do, it’s likely that you’ve run across the term, “factory reconditioned,” usually attached to a tool that is being sold for quite a bit below the regular retail price. For those of you that don’t know what exactly “factory reconditioned” means, we’ve done the research and are here to tell you.
Essentially, a factory reconditioned tool is one that has, for one reason or another, been purchased, returned, revamped, and is now in the process of being resold. The important part to keep in mind is that once the tool is returned to the manufacturer; they inspect it and, if needed, repair it, bringing it back up to ‘new’ standards. Because some tools are returned due to user preference (too heavy, hate the color, dad already has one), not all reconditioned tools need repairs or have ever had any defects. It’s just that once the original packaging has been removed, they can no longer be sold as new. At the very worst, the tool may show very slight signs of usage. Maybe someone drove a few screws with that screw gun and decided it wasn’t powerful enough, that sort of thing.
Continue reading: "What Are “Factory Reconditioned Tools?”"
May 2, 2007
As spring progresses, a lot of you are turning your attention to the bare patch of dirt that you refer to as the “back yard.” You have dreams of turning it into something as lush as a rainforest, but you just don’t know exactly how to do it. Since we’re in the same boat, we did some research and found these two helpful sites on the subject of lawn care; YardCare.com and All About Lawns.
Continue reading: "Lawn Care Websites"
April 26, 2007
Stihl has just made the chainsaw buying process a whole lot easier with their online chainsaw selector. Just answer the four questions and the selector narrows you down to a few suitable chainsaws. It takes about 30 seconds and even if your budget is more Poulan than Stihl, it can still be a help, if only to find what size and class is appropriate for your uses.
And while you're at the Stihl site check out this monster. Yikes.