Fellow tool-writer and long-time pal Rob Robillard of A Concord Carpenter is running a contest that is going to have one lucky person walking away with 5K off of their Feeney Railing DesignRail tab.
To enter, you have to send in an image of the view from your deck (where the railing will be installed). The most interesting view will be picked as the winner. My own submittal is above. Good luck suckas.
The timing of the contest is pretty good too. Most of us are just now getting around to checking out the status on the exterior of the house and, well, lookee here, rotted newel posts...twisted balusters. Could be time for a replacement.
The two best things that could ever happen to a woodworker or serious DIYer:
1. A random visit from Norm Abram
2. Winning free Festool gear
Festool Products, our go-to spot for Festool gear can't help with the first, but they're going to hook someone up with the second. Right now, they're working some heavy sweepstakes action and giving away a free Festool DTS Finish Sander, a $255 value. The best part is that there's no purchase necessary.
I scoped out the rules and the only thing of note is:
By entering the Sweepstakes you agree to receive email newsletters periodically from The Tool Nut. You can opt-out of receiving this communication at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the newsletter.
I'm actually already on their subscription list and, as far as those things go, the newsletters coming from Tool Nut (who runs FestoolProducts) are totally not annoying. In fact they're usually loaded with some really nice deals, and not the kind where it's obvious they're just trying to offload some lame inventory that won't sell. For example, one had 50% off DeWalt circ saws, another had 15% off Jet and Powermatic tools, and yet another had 30% off Milwaukee M12 batteries. Plus, if you don't like it, you can always unsubscribe, which takes like two seconds.
So not only is Tool Nut practically giving away T-shirts, but they're engaged in some serious tool price reductions as well.
First, they're unloading some Fein MultiMasters (the big TOP set) for $200. As anyone reading this site knows, the FMM is the grandaddy and long-time champion of the oscillating multi-tool (OMT). I've written so much about the Fein that you could print out all of the pages, tie them together and use them as a boat anchor. Here's my original review from way back in 2008.
It's just a great tool and $200 is a rock solid price. I think Amazon usually has it at the $240-$250 range.
But, what's really crazy over at Tool Nut is that they're selling some Blacklader gear at half price. Say wha....? If you're not turned on to this stuff yet, this might be a chance to check it out. It's true work gear, fully designed for someone who works all day. I've got a pair of their pants and a fleece jacket and when Armageddon hits, those are the first things I'm going to pull out of the closet. They're reinforced in all the right places, they have pockets everywhere, and I can't imagine what it would take to rip, cut, or tear the fabric. It's also good looking gear too. You can wear it on the weekend and not look like a total goof.
Our pals over at Tool Nut are basically giving away t-shirts. They've got four new designs, each in a bunch of different colors, for the "lock me up I'm crazy" price of $1.99. Who doesn't love (nearly) free t-shirts? Every carpenter I know thrives on them. I can't remember the last time I paid for one. Does it matter that I'm a walking billboard for tool manufacturers, lumber yards, and window companies? No, cause they're free.
So anyway, you're probably thinking, "well, yeah, they might only cost two bucks, but I'm going to get slammed on shipping charges." Well, maybe, but not really. If you just get a t-shirt, you're looking at a flat rate of $8 S&H, but any order over $40 means free shipping. As I'm sure any reader of this site knows, it's painfully easy got get to the $40 mark at a tool retailer (especially a quality one like Tool Nut). So if you're in need of some new recip blades, a chalk line, or an orbital sander, then you might as well pick up five or six shirts while you're at it.
If you're into wood turning then you're going to want to check this out. NOVA is giving away one of their Infinity Quick Change Chuck Systems.
Here's what we know....
Teknatool/NOVA, those experts on woodturning, are holding a Facebook contest in October and the winner's prize is an innovative NOVA Limited Edition Infinity Quick Change Chuck System. The Contest starts October 1, 2014 and ends October 31, 2014.
It is only open to U.S. Residents who are new or existing Facebook fans or followers of NOVA Woodworking. Here are the basics:
To Enter this Facebook Contest, the rules are simple:
"Like" NOVA on their Facebook page
Create a video turning a lidded vessel then post on YouTube with the hashtag #NOVAInfinityContest.
Show the finished project at the end of the video.
Share the YouTube Link on NOVA's Facebook Page with the #NOVAInfinityContest hashtag.
Get your friends, family, and others to "Like," "Share" and 'Comment' on your video via Facebook to increase your chances of winning.
If you haven't seen the Aerocart, it's a real trip. It's this bizarre hybrid wheelbarrow that has like 30 other uses. It looks really cool and would be neat to see in action. Plus, they're giving stuff away, which is always a nice bonus.
The Pro Tool Innovation Awards looks like it's shaping up to be the Thunderdome of the tool world. In this Bartertown, hosted by the guys at Pro Tool Reviews, tool manufacturers put their newest innovations in front of a panel of independent judges who determine the best of the best. There are over 140 categories (yowza!) ranging from tools to accessories to fastening products. The winners are chosen based on how they've innovated to change the industry. Innovation comes in many forms: Ergonomics, power, weight-reduction, speed, battery-life, and value...these are just a few areas being looked at. So which tools are the best? We'll just have to wait a little longer to find out. The doors are now open for manufacturer's submissions.
More information is here including how to be alerted when the winners are chosen.
Rebuilding Together is taking entries for their Tradesperson of the Year award.
Tradesperson of the Year is a pro. Someone who builds for a living, but who also uses their trade experience to give back to his/her community in meaningful ways. For example, going the extra mile to help with Sandy reconstruction, working with Habitat, donating time to rebuild a historic structure in their town or working with Rebuilding Together, etc.
Rebuilding Together is seeking nominees right now and the finalists/winner will be declared at Deck Expo|Remodeling in Chicago.
Good news. Weller is providing one of their new soldering irons for us to give away to one of you. Pretty cool. They've got a couple different models and the one they sent us was the standard duty model. They've all got LEDs at the nose which is always a good feature (wasn't it like five years ago that LEDs didn't come on any tools?) The soldering iron has a very nice ribbed rubber gripping area and above that is a triangular housing where the LEDs live. The thought behind this is that you use the round handle to roll the iron how you want it, then grip the triangular area for working stability.
OK, so we're going to hold open the GearWrench contest until Friday (info on how to enter here). On Saturday we'll pick our winners, so if you entered, check your email by early next week. What usually happens is that there are a few people who we contact but never hear back from and sorting the whole mess out and choosing alternate winners holds things up for everyone else.
We also want to thank GearWrench for suggesting the contest and supplying the goods. It's very cool and all of you winners won't be disappointed with the quality of the ratchet.
Also, if you don't win (and even if you do), we're going to have another contest next week, so keep an eye out.
GearWrench has been nice enough to set aside 10 (ten, diez) of their new 120XP Flex Head Ratchet for us to giveaway here at the site.
They also sent one a couple weeks ago and we're nothing but impressed with the thing. It has an adjustable head with six positions, a 3/8" drive and a nice long handle - 11-1/2" from pivot to tip. The rubberized grip is comfortable and the action on the pivot is nice and firm. The head of the tool has a low profile and the toggle switch is even recessed a little, making this a great tool for tight spaces.
The scene stealer, though, is the ratcheting action. The 120 in the name of the tool comes from the number of 'stops' in one complete revolution. This is done with this double pawl mechanism, so there are actually two locking mechanisms in the head of the tool. If you click it slowly enough, you can hear the difference between clicks. Our pal Stu from ToolGuyd, took one apart and posted up this video of the gears in action:
So yeah, I've got ten of these to giveaway. To get in the mix for the random drawing, just leave a comment at this post explaining:
1. Why you like the looks of this tool.
2. Your most recent DIY disaster. I'm in the middle of a 2 year renovation and need some support group help. There must be others out there like me....
Either question is fine and doesn't affect the outcome. The drawing is completely random.
If you don't like the looks of the 3/8-inch flex head, GearWrench has the following which should be available at fine tool retailers everywhere:
• 1/4" Drive Flex Head Ratchet in full polish or cushion grip
• 3/8" Drive Flex Head Ratchet in full polish, stubby and cushion grip
• 1/2" Drive Flex Head Ratchet in full polish
• Two-piece cushion grip Flex Head Ratchet Set, with a durable foam storage tray
• Four- piece full polish mixed ratchet set, which includes ¼", 3/8", and ½" drive 120XP full polish Flex Head Ratchets and 3/8" drive 120XP full polish stubby Flex Head Ratchet in a durable foam storage tray
Our pals over at Tool Nut, a great online tool retailer, also operate Festool Products. We've gotten to know them over the years and they've become our go-to source for Festool gear and whenever we post about a Festool item, we happily link over to them (even though they're Jets fans).
They're doing a little community outreach and have offered to supply a few cool items for us to give away to you guys. Two Festool T-Shirts and Two Festool Hats. Pretty sweet.
So there are two ways to get your name in the running:
1. Answer this question in the comment section: If you could get any Festool product which one would it be and why? Kapex, Track Saw, 18-Volt Drill? Check them all out at festoolproducts.com.
2. In the comments, let us know if you can think of a funnier sports moment than when Mark Sanchez sacked himself and fumbled off the ass end of his own offensive lineman. If you don't believe us, check it out here:
Oh man, was that hilarious.
So after maybe a week, we'll choose some names out of a hat and be in touch with the winners.
We've been fans of Ace Hardware ever since the King of Football started shilling for them way back when we were in high school. It's a great store. They've got tools, paint, bird seed, plumbing stuff, electrical, free popcorn, toys, ice melt, you name it. We've got one of those rewards cards and it's really saved us some serious money over the years.
We just got word that Ace is altering their Rewards program so that savings are now instant rather than having to deal with them through the mail. All the details, along with where to sign up, are after the jump.
In the meantime, here's a video of Madden at his best. I remember this play like it was yesterday. If you watch closely, you can see the running back's mouth guard get ejected from his helmet. Seriously hard hit. If someone did that today, it would probably be a 15 yard penalty and a $30,000 fine.
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