Measuring & Marking
August 30, 2012
We covered this a couple weeks ago and LaGesse Products, the manufacturer, was nice enough to send one along for us to try out. So we swapped it with our old rusty Stanley combo square and went to town. It's been our primary combo square for about a month. So far it has helped us run a bunch of trim, frame a wall, and plumb a sink, along with all of the other odds and ends that combo squares gets used for.
Continue reading: "LaSquare - Review"
July 10, 2012
Adding the prefix "La" to anything construction is a bit unexpected, but in this case, it's a play on a guy's name, so it passes the test. The guy in question is Robert LaGesse and he's the inventor of the LaSquare. What's cool about the LaSquare...well, it's a combo square with a 2" wide foot on it.
Why is this interesting and worth a mention? Have you ever used a combo square to mark a metal stud, a piece of tubing, or a pipe? With the traditional tool, there's not enough flat edge to wrap the curve, but with the LaSquare's extended foot, the task becomes much easier.
Check out the video if you're not sure about what we're talking about...
Continue reading: "LaSquare"
May 30, 2012
Ever dug into a wall and cut a wire? How about a pipe? We've all done it and it's not a good scene, especially that first moment of "awwww....come on!" General Tools has come up with a downright futuristic way to avoid the problem and it's all contained within the two-part tool they're calling the CL10.
Continue reading: "General Tools CL10"
September 23, 2011
M.Power, the makers of the inventive and effective little scribing tool that we reviewed a bit ago, have a new trammel set that can be used for more than just marking circles and arcs.
These trammel heads can accept both a pencil or an included steel pivot point (or a razor knife). The cool thing about this set-up is that they attach to a ruler with the ruler on the flat, so the center of gravity is lower than normal, making the system easier to use. The trammels can also be used in conjunction with a combo square to mark out a line parallel to the board edge.
The heads can be attached to any metal ruler (up to 3/32" thick and less than 2" wide), which means that your standard equipment should be compatible.
As for price, the M.Power seems to be selling for around twenty something dollars, which seems like a good price if this is an item that you see yourself using.
More information at M.Power
August 24, 2011
If there ever was a tool with a catchy name...
There are a couple of ways to scribe something. Most people seem to use dividers, but we gave those up years ago in favor of any little scrap of wood that's handy. M.Power has a new method and it's a really clever idea. Best of all, it's called the "Perfect Butt," so we can't wait to see what kind of perverts google sends our way after posting this one up. M.Power sent us a sample so we could check out the item ourselves.
Continue reading: "M.Power Perfect Butt Profile Scriber - Review"
August 9, 2011
Continue reading: "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....
June 15, 2011
Bora Tools, a subset of Affinity has recently released something called the Multi-Angle. It's a measuring and marking device that accurately gives you a number of different angles. About a month ago, they sent us one to check out and it's been in the tool bag ever since. Here's what we thought...
Continue reading: "Bora Multi-Angle - Review"
March 31, 2011
A number of new press releases have recently hit the inbox. We'd normally do each one as its own post, but laziness has taken hold and it has a firm grip. All of the press releases are below the fold in the order that the images appear. Enjoy.
Porter Cable Hand Planer....
Skil's new series of routers...
DeWalt Variable Speed Polisher...
Metabo Concrete Surface Prep Kit...
La-Co/Markal PRO-LINE WP Liquid Paint Marker...
Continue reading: "A Big Load of Press Releases"
March 14, 2011
Look at this thing. Just look at it. It's unbelievable.
This is one of those rare times when industrial design arcs up and breaks the sound barrier of art. Meet Origin Laser's Cornerstone Classic, a self-leveling three plane reference laser that's the damn prettiest looking tool we've seen in a long, long while.
There's a lot that this tool can do that no other laser can. We got in an email exchange with Tim Litvin, the inventor of the tool and we'll just let him speak for himself...
Our self-leveling system is not pendulum-based, but uses a precision tilt stage with two brushless DC motors; the motors are slaved to tilt sensors capable of leveling to better than 1/32" at 100 feet. The Cornerstone can also be manually leveled when necessary, and its alignment is unaffected by pushing its buttons... unlike a pendulum-based laser level.
The Cornerstone also features a "goniometer" steering function: this is a virtual pivot enabling the tool to be steered, pivoting around the axis created by the intersection of the vertical planes. Put another way, the laser cross on the ground can be positioned over a mark, and the Cornerstone can be steered pivoting around that mark. This makes for a very quick setup. The juice comes from rechargeable Li-ion batteries, helping us to keep the weight down to a solid 3.5 lbs, and the size down to that of a holster-able tool for spontaneous use anywhere.
Bosch recently released a similar item, the GLL3-80. The Cornerstone seems to be based on an entirely different technology that affords the phenomenal accuracy of 1/32 over 100'. According to Bosch their tool can attain 1/4" over 100' and doesn't have any of the manual leveling or 'steering' features.
The tool is completely made in the USA. That, bundled with the precision technology involved makes for a bank-breaker. We pulled this off their website,
Machined from 7075 aircraft aluminum, 360 brass and 440c surgical stainless steel; projecting three athermalized laser reference planes through patent-pending, diamond-turned aspheric optics, and powered by rechargeable Li-ion cells.
If you think that sounds expensive, you're right. The Cornerstone Classic is going to set you back about $5,000. Big money, no doubt.
Check out Origin Laser Tools for more information.
Press release and more insane images after the jump.
Continue reading: "Origin Laser Cornerstone Classic"
March 7, 2011
Starrett, also known as "the company that makes a million tools, of which we can use and comprehend only one" (their combo square), has just released their new Portable Surface Roughness Tester. We're sure that all of you DIYers are breathing big sighs of relief at this news. Finally, a surface roughness tester...and one that's portable too. It's about time.
The tool sounds pretty intense and if you're interested in more information, we suggest reading the press release (after the jump). We're not all that bright and trying to say something intelligent about a tool that is so much smarter than we are gives us hives.
Continue reading: "Starrett Portable Surface Roughness Tester"
March 4, 2011
A while back Johnson sent us a tape measure to check out. We incorporated it into the tool bag where it has resided along side our old standby, the Stanley Fat Max 25' Tape. Just the other day they sent us another one, a magnetized one, and we thought, "did we ever review that first one?" Answer: Nope.
So we spent a little time with the new one and here are our thoughts on Johnson's tape measures...
Continue reading: "Johnson 25' Tape Measures - Review"
February 23, 2011
This one is kinda strange, but also kinda cool. It's a 'pencil-free' tape measure. Just pull out the tape and line up your measurement to the little red arrows at the mouth of the tape, lock it, and press the tape into your workpiece. On the underside of the tape is a little stamp that marks out a line. Like we said, kinda strange, but kinda cool.
I-Mark sent us one a while back and we've been using it off and on. The erratic use of it has come, not because we've forgotten about it, but because getting us to use a tape measure differently from the way we've always used one is like trying to get us to hold a fork in a new way. It's a lot to ask, breaking a habit like that.
Continue reading: "I-Mark 16' Tape Measure - Review"
February 4, 2011
Tiling is all about layout and once you get used to spotting bad tile layout, public bathrooms become even worse places than they already are. How could someone leave a 3/4" wide tile at one corner and a 4" tile at the other? Auuugh...the horror.
So anyway, Johnson Level & Tool recently sent us a nifty little item called the Tiling and Flooring Laser Level. Unfortunately, we don't have any tiling jobs coming up, but we are in the process of laying out some wall to wall bookshelves and so we utilized the laser for that project.
The tool basically projects two lines at a right angle. The unit is marked with degrees (sort of like a rafter square) and it has standard and metric measurements along the short sides. These latter marks were nice because we could position the laser against an inside corner and check for square using the measurements as offsets (5-1/16"). It also projects the laser lines a solid 1-1/4" off the floor, so you don't have to worry about the lines getting blocked as you're laying down thick tile.
In a short time we've come to think that calling this a Tiling and Flooring laser sells it a bit short. We'd suggest maybe going with "Right Angle Layout Level" or something like that. This tool will no doubt be a help to anyone laying tile, but also to anyone marking out a 90 degree corner of anything, whether it's a stud wall or (like we were doing) a set of shelves. It was great to be able to finalize our corner location and know where both walls of shelving would end up. Without the laser, it would have been a pretty tedious process.
One thing that did bother us about the laser is that the battery case doesn't stay on all that well. On a bunch of occasions, we would grab the body of the laser and the little black lid would fly off. There is also no easy way to use the tool on the vertical, like for a tiling job in a shower or something similar.
If you're a DIYer embarking on a tile job and you've invested all this money in tile and supplies, the $40 spent on this tool will go a long way to ensure that the results will look good. Also if you do a lot of non-tile layout, you might want to consider this as well. It sure took time off of our project.
The Tiling and Flooring Laser Level comes with batteries and a case.
October 27, 2010
Say you take two rafter squares and you attach them with a hinge...
We were made aware of this odd little multi-tasker by reader David (who is also the inventor). The Post Level Square a combination of a rafter square and a post level and it looks like it could be pretty useful, particularly if you've got a deck that needs to be built. From what we can tell of the pictures, when it's in rafter square mode, it stays closed with magnets and functions just like a rafter square and when it's opened up, you just wrap it around a post.
Because the post level is such a specific tool with a single use, it's nice to have its functionality wrapped into something more universal so you're not buying something just to have it sit around. But because it's plastic, the Swanson-dedicated pros might steer clear of this one. For the DIY crowd though, the dual tool functionality is a good idea.
No word yet on pricing or availability.