Our good friend Marc who runs the great site HomeFixated, has just launched two more websites making him, in technical terms, an internet mogul. He sent us info on his new projects and they're definitely going to appeal to anyone who reads our little tool blog on a regular basis.
Features clever tips and tricks that will help you: be a better chef, make things spotless with ingenious cleaning tricks, turn you into the life of the party with clever tricks, repurpose household items, and enhance your sex life (no guarantees on the last one). You can also expect more construction/tool/woodworking hacks to appear there in the coming months.
The tagline for the site is "Where DIY meets WTF" (oh yes I did!), but really this site is showcasing the world's worst craftsmanship and the worst judgment when it comes to construction and home "improvement". If you don't laugh (hysterically) at some of these pics and videos, you are a made of stone!
Personally, our tastes run closer to HomeFail than HomeHacks, but that's just us. Our entire house is a HomeFail, so maybe that has something to do with it. But go and check out the sites, they're cool.
It's pretty sad when you can mine your house for gags as much as I've been able to.
This time it's the siding.
This may be one of the worst siding jobs ever done by human hands. Sure, it's mostly straight and the courses are kinda parallel, but look at the seams between the shingles. Look at how many of them line up with the course above or below them...it's almost like someone wanted to get water into the building envelope. There is one side of the house that I didn't photograph where a single seam runs down eleven consecutive courses.
I had a siding guy over to price out re-doing everything and he looked at the house and actually started laughing.
Oh and what's up with that cap flashing on the lower window in the first picture? And those ugly shutters...as soon as I strip this side of the house, they're going right in the dumpster.
We've been holding on to this review for a while. We've had the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hammer Drill/Driver for months and months and we kept thinking we'd find its breaking point, but no such luck. We've tried hard to bust it up, wear it down, and simply burn it out. But we can't, it's a champ. A real heavyweight. Maybe the most powerful 18 volt drill we've used. There is no stopping it.
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
So what to do with all of our stuff? It's a constant question here and with the garage being pulled into the big renovation, it's something we've been thinking about a lot. The shop is going to get a major overhaul and storage is the number one concern. We're definitely going to use some of those Racor Snap2It hooks (reviewed here), and there will certainly be shelves for the daily use tools, but what about everything else? If there's something we only use a few times a year, there's no point in it clogging up valuable shelf space. Well, a while back, we were contacted by Overhead Crate and it just so happens that they have the perfect solution.
Everyone should have at least one of these things. I'm lucky enough to have three. These saws have seen it all and as long as I can keep replacing the cords, which seem to get severed a lot, they'll be getting handed down to Tool Snob Jr. in about 20 years. They are long since past the days of being used as a normal jobsite saw and are now well into their second careers as 'special forces.' The footplates are a little bent up and the bevel on one of them is immovable. I keep one outfitted with a masonry blade, and two with wood blades, but it's hardly wood that they're cutting, more like multi-layer asphalt roofs and concrete-coated form work. I don't care what happens to them and they don't seem to care what I do to them. It's a relationship that works.
I don't use them all the time, but when I need them, they're golden. It wasn't too long ago that I had to trench my basement slab out for some plumbing and the Makita was there to do the work. Who wants to use their nice woodworking saw for that kind of abuse? But that's the life that these saws live. They fill in the cracks and because they're the ones that take the hits on the dirty work, they keep my other saws nice, clean, and sharp.
The big one on the right, that's the roof cutter. If that saw was a person, it would be Leonard Smalls from Raising Arizona. I have no idea on the quality of current day Makitas, but these older ones are real monsters.
Who knew we'd ever refer to an extension cord as intelligent? But oddly enough, that's the best way to describe the RoboReel. Even calling it an extension cord is a gross over simplification, it's more of a one-stop power system for your shop. Great Stuff, the makers of the Reel sent us one to check out a while back and we've had it in the mix for the renovation as well as general shop use. It's easily the most feature-riddled power cord we've ever put eyes on.
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.
Right now my backyard looks like a meteor made entirely out of mud smashed into it. Over the past 2 months, I've had big excavators, little excavators, skid steers, concrete trucks, lumber delivery trucks, and everything else heavy and massive come through. To call it muddy is like saying Siberia is cold...it's a correct statement, but it only hints at the extreme nature of things. It's not cute, little splashy mud puddles, but rather the kind of thick muck that can trap a boot and makes walking nearly impossible because you put your foot down in one spot and by the time it's done slooshing down to solid footing, it's about two inches from where you started. It's a total mess.
So I was practically doing cartwheels when I was contacted by Muck Boots and they offered to send on a pair of their new Chore Cool Boots for me to review. Oh man, that was a good day around here. So that was about a month and a half ago and in that time, I've done all sorts of work back there in Degobah and here are my thoughts on the boots.
So Prolong has a product called SPL100 which is made with something they call AMFT (Anti-Friction Metal Treatment). At first glance, it seems like a WD40 type lube, something you could spray on just about anything to make it better. The Prolong website says that it can...
lubricate, penetrate, and prevent corrosion, free sticky mechanisms, displace moisture, stop squeaks, and reduce friction and wear on all metal surfaces. It cleans and protects metal surfaces, tools or any metal equipment exposed to water or weather.
Prolong sent us a few cans and spray bottles of the stuff to try out. We've used it in a number of applications, one in particular had an interesting result.
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