November 11, 2011

5 Tips for Mower Maintenance this Fall

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This is from the folks at John Deere and it's about mower maintenance. If you're like us and have an "on-again-off-again" relationship with small engines, below are a few tips worth following to keep the frustrating machines in working order.

Our feelings on these engines is summed up by something we overheard FOTS (father of Tool Snob) say a few weekends ago regarding his string trimmer: "I don't care if it trims grass, I just want it to start."

5 Tips for Mower Maintenance this Fall

We are well into fall and the dog days of summer are behind us, but before you abandon your lawn care duties, remember that your mower can be used year round for Mother Nature cleanup duty. Most riding lawn mowers, like the John Deere X310, or zero-turn-radius mowers, like the Z665 Ztrakā„¢, come with a variety of attachments that can change with the seasons. When using your mower to mulch leaves this fall, be sure to provide proper and frequent maintenance checks for optimum performance.

Look for leaves. Fall leaves, though beautiful, present a particular challenge for mowers. Double check your air filters for stoppage. If filters are blocked, they will suck unfiltered air from elsewhere and damage the motor.

Stay sharp.
The added strain of leaf mulching may dull the mower blade more quickly. You can use 20 percent more fuel with a dull blade, so either sharpen up or have a spare blade on hand.

For those who prefer to let their mowers hibernate for the winter months, there are a few important things to check before putting your machine in storage. Don't wait till spring to clean up your machines. A little work now will save you time and money when it comes to rolling your mower back out of the garage next year.

Hit the deck. Clipping and debris buildup under the deck can cut airflow and reduce effectiveness. A dirty deck can also cause rust and corrosion during winter storage. Turn the mower on its side and clean the undercarriage with a hose.

Fuel Fix. Add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to prevent separation that can lead to corrosion. After adding the stabilizer, run the engine for five minutes.

Give it a once over. Tighten all nuts and bolts; check belts filters, safety shields and guards. Replace any damaged or missing parts, including spark plugs. Check tire tread and pressure. Make sure your mower will be ready to hit the ground running next spring.

Spending a little bit of time maintaining your mower throughout the fall and possibly prepping it for winter storage will save you a lot of hassle in the spring. As temperatures drop, don't drop the ball on important lawn care duties.

Read More in: How-To | Lawn/Garden

Doug Mahoney Permalink | Comments (1) social bookmarking

November 9, 2011

Festool's HEPA CTs

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As of Oct 1st, all CTs (vacs) shipping from Festool are labeled as "Full Unit Certified HEPA." This is pretty cool and a result of the obnoxious new RRP regulations that have come to be. If you haven't heard, if you even look at a house with lead paint on it, you need to be wearing a Tyvek suit and a full respirator. You also need to wrap everything in plastic (duct taping the plastic to the floor), and you can only use a HEPA vac. You also need to take a class which includes forking over $300 to the government. But that's only if you're a contractor. If you're a homeowner doing the work, you can go shirtless, use an angle grinder to do your sanding, and pressure wash the lead paint into the nearby wetlands. Makes total sense.

But we digress...with these new regulations, tool companies have had to make a quick adjustment. Festool has had a leg up with this transition because their vacs are top of the line in the first place. The way the law reads is that you can't simply drop a HEPA filter into a ShopVac, but rather you need a fully-compliant vac (it has to do with the seal within the vac).

So, as we started, as of Oct 1st, All Festool vacs will ship with Full Unit Certification. They are also taking care of all customers who purchased a CT 26/36 since their launch back in 2010, by providing an updated HEPA filter, hard copy certificate, and labeling for their dust extractor, all at no charge. All you have to do is register on the website and they'll send out the goods.

Festool CTs at Festool Products and Amazon

Read More in: Safety | Vacuums

Doug Mahoney Permalink | Comments (2) social bookmarking

November 8, 2011

Hilarious/Terrifying Things We See In Our House: Part Eight

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I uncovered this corner of the foundation after taking off the "sun room."

I totally can't see it as being a problem. No way.

Read More in: Our House

Doug Mahoney Permalink | Comments (5) social bookmarking

November 7, 2011

Little Giant Select Step Ladder - Review

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So you're probably all familiar with the Little Giant Ladder. If not, it's a freaky sort of extension ladder that can transform itself through a lengthening or shortening of the legs into one of about fifty different configurations. They're very handy. They're also pretty heavy, but overall, great to have on site.

So last year, Little Giant brought the technology into the step ladder format and called it the Select Step. We thought this was a little strange and redundant, seeing as the standard Little Giant already can convert into something of a step ladder. We got in touch with the company and they sent us one to review. We've had this thing for a while now and honestly, it spent much of that time leaning against the wall in the garage. We never really dug into it until a few months ago when we brought it to the site.

Since then it has become something of a jobsite MVP.

ArrowContinue reading: "Little Giant Select Step Ladder - Review"

Read More in: Benches, Stands, and Storage | Hand Tools | Safety

Doug Mahoney Permalink | Comments (1) social bookmarking

November 1, 2011

October 2011 Monthly Roundup for Tool Snob

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Behold! The shortest and lamest monthly roundup evah!

Demolition Tools

Our House

Safety

Tool News

Read More in: Monthly Roundup

Doug Mahoney Permalink | Comments (0) social bookmarking

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