March 30, 2007

Microplane Stainless Steel Sanding Discs Arrive For Review

microplane_fine.jpgJust yesterday, we were working on some closet shelving and, once again, became frustrated at how fast we tear through sanding pads for our orbital sander. It felt like every ten minutes we were pulling off a gummed up, slightly shredded pad with virtually no grit left and giving it the Frisbee throw across the workshop.

Well, if what we hear about Microplane's Stainless Steel Sanding Discs is true, those days may be coming to an end. They claim that one of their pads has the life of 35 regular pads and that it removes wood five times as fast. Late yesterday, we received the sample pack that they were nice enough to send us and we're going to test them out and have a full review up soon.

At Microplane and Amazon.com

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

March 27, 2007

Skil Octo Multi-Finishing Sander - Review

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Sanding is a very zen experience. It's the woodworker's moment of contemplation; the cutting, gluing, and fitting are all done and the piece is almost finished. The only thing left is to apply some stain and your hand-crafted piece of art is complete. It's a time to run your hands over the wood, to consider the process that got you here, to experience a communion with the piece, and to gently work out any small imperfections in the hope of achieving something that is without fault. A peaceful last breath before it is all over.

Garbage.

Pure garbage. And anyone who has ever done a woodworking project knows it. Sanding is a tedious, and at times, frustrating process. Orbital sanders take some of the pain out of the procedure, but there are always areas, little rabbets, nooks, and cut-outs, that you simply can't get to, not even with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a pencil or taped to a stick (we know you've done it, we have too). If you're like us, you look forward to, and actively seek out, anything that makes sanding easier.

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

March 26, 2007

Ridgid Fuego 6-1/2” Framing Saw Arrives for Review

ridgid_fuego.jpgWe’ve been pretty excited since we heard that the great people at Ridgid were nice enough to send us one of their Fuego 6-1/2” Framing Saws for a full review. We’ve read just about everything that we could find on the tool and still weren’t ready for it when we took it out of the box. It was like when you pick up an empty gallon milk jug thinking it’s full and you almost pitch the thing through the ceiling. What we’re saying is that the Fuego is light. Really light. And after a quick look at a few of the other features, we got a little wobbly and had to put the saw down and go drink a few adult beverages just to feel right again. This one looks like it could be a real winner and we plan on doing a full stress test sometime this week and getting a full review up very soon. We still haven’t decided how far we’re going to go when we test out Ridgid’s boast that the composite shoe can withstand a 1-story drop.

At Home Depot

The review is here.

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

March 22, 2007

Bosch Fine Cut Power Handsaw - Review

bosch_finecut.jpgBosch has proven to be one of the most innovative tool companies out there. Just look at the miter saw they released a couple years ago. They not only put all of the bevel controls up front, but they added a great micro-adjust feature. The innovations are so conceptually simple that it’s surprising that it’s taken someone until now to come up with them. Along those same lines comes their Finecut Power Handsaw. You’re telling us that no one’s ever done this before? Why wasn’t there a major market release of this tool, like ten years ago?

It’s a moot point because it’s here now and judging from what we experienced, it’s going to be around for a while. In fact we’d be shocked if a few of the other big companies didn’t follow suit with similar tools in the next few years.

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

March 21, 2007

Paint Shaver Pro

paintshaver.jpgIn our travels, we recently came across this interesting tool. It’s made by American International Tool Industries, Inc. and it’s called the Paint Shaver. According to their website, the tool removes paint (leaded or regular) at a rate of 1 square foot per 20 seconds. It essentially looks like an angle grinder with a freaked-out blade and a dust extraction system. The blade guard is designed in such a way that the tool has the abilities of stripping the face of the siding as well as the underside of the next course up simultaneously. It also appears that the blades can be set to a depth, in order to take off as much or as little paint as you want.

Blades are available carbide-tipped as well as diamond-tipped, if you ever have to deal with concrete or fiberglass.

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

March 20, 2007

Microplane Stainless Steel Sanding Discs

microplane_sanding_discs.jpg
Our orbital sander is one of the most indispensable tools that we own. It's versatile, fairly small, and does a great job in a lot of different situations. But the problem we always have is with the sanding discs; they just wear out too quickly. To combat this common complaint, Microplane, the makers of kitchen tools, woodworking tools, and a few personal hygiene tools, have come out with what looks like a great idea; stainless steel sanding pads for the orbital sander.


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

Skil Octo Multi-Finishing Sander Arrives for Review

skil_octo_2.jpg
The good folks at Skil have been kind enough to send us one of their new Octo Finishing Sanders. We're very excited about this little tool and think that it has the potential of being quite a success. With eight different detachable sanding heads, the Octo seems capable of sanding just about anything. We'll test it out and have a full review up soon.

At Amazon.com

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

March 17, 2007

Bostitch Strapshot Metal Connector

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Installing joist hangers is a pretty tedious task. If you do it by hand, you’re forced to swing a hammer between two joists which leaves you with the nail driving power of your six-year-old daughter. Your other option is to use a palm nailer, but you’re going to spend the afternoon with the sound of a machine gun beating away at your ears, not to mention that it can be tricky getting those nails to go in straight. Well, the folks at Bostitch have been kind enough to give us a third option for this scenario.

Recently, they’ve come out with the Strapshot Metal Connector. Weighing less than five pounds, the Strapshot won’t tire your arm out, and it tool is built so that it can easily fit between joists that are 12” on center. The lead nail tip is exposed to allow for precise placement and the body design allows it to angle into tough spots nicely. This looks like yet another quality entry to the Bostitch nail gun catalog.

The Strapshot retails for around $200.

At Amazon.com and Tool King

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

March 16, 2007

Ridgid Fuego 6-1/2” Framing Saw

ridgid_fuego.jpg
Ridgid has recently released the Fuego 6-1/2” Framing Saw, and if you’ve ever spend an agonizing day wielding a traditional framing saw, the size of this tool comes as a welcome relief. Weighing in at a mere 8 lbs, as opposed to the 13 lb DeWalt 7-1/4" Framing Saw, the Fuego is a lot lighter than the competition. We like that they didn’t just shave off 9 oz and call it lighter, they shaved off 5 entire pounds, which, in the tool world, is an astounding amount and can mean the difference between having a burning arm by 10am and working all day and actually getting something done.

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

Barbara K Power-Lite Cordless Drill

barbara_k_cordless_drill.jpgBarbara K, a tool company that designs products specifically for women, offers the Power-Lite Cordless Drill. The 12-volt drill has an ergonomic handle and a keyless chuck, but it's the innovative battery design that grabs our attention. To combat fatigue and greatly lessen the weight of the drill, the battery can be removed and worn in a hip pouch. A coiled cord (think of the telephone you had when you were little) connects the two and now you've got an extremely light drill that can fit just about anywhere.

The drill comes with a charger, one Ni-Cad battery, a carrying case, a few drill bits and a few driver bits.

At Amazon.com

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

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