Wood Dyes vs. Pigments – Who will win the Battle?

apr stain 002 (1000x711)

Ok, so there’s not really a “battle” per se between pigments and dyes, but when you’re coloring wood, these two products are sure to do the trick; and each has their own particular way of doing it. So, which material is best to get the color you’re looking for on your next woodworking project? Decide for yourself when these two wood coloring powerhouses fight to the death in this article. Note: HomeFixated does not condone death matches between any finishing materials, we’re all about woodworking peace and love here. [Read more...]

How To Repaint Shutters That Make You Shudder!

repaint shutters

Is your home’s façade looking like a prime contender for “Pimp My Hovel” lately? Never fear! If you have shutters, we’ll show you how a little paint, and a little work, can make a huge difference in your home’s curb appeal. Whether you just want to repaint shutters to banish a former owner’s questionable fashion choice (lilac and turquoise??), or refresh your shutters to pristine condition, it’s an easy project—and you WON’T have to tithe to the local home center!   [Read more...]

Concrete Batter Board Layout Tips – or How to be a Slab Crab

batter board

Concrete might not be the most interesting of topics, but to me it’s an amazing invention that’s been around forever. Without it, we wouldn’t have all of the cool things in the world like skyscrapers, bridges and tunnels. Mega-complex concrete structures like those might be a little out of my league, but the smaller concrete slab is easy enough to install for even the novice home improvement hero on a weekend warrior mission to complete the honey-do list. Use these concrete forming tips and become a slab crab with ease. [Read more...]

The Clever Clamp Aid You Didn’t Know You Needed – GyroJaw Review

The clever clamping aid you never knew you needed

What is small, orange, made in the USA but sounds like it should be wrapped in pita bread? The GyroJaw. When this little aid sample (sent to Home Fixated for review) first arrived I couldn’t think of what I could use it for. Now that I’ve had it in the shop for a bit I keep finding reasons to pull it out. It seems well suited to help hold all those odd shaped work pieces that keep finding themselves on my bench top. [Read more...]

Makita XSH01 18V X2 Cordless Circular Saw Review – Cutting Loose With 36 Volts!

makita xsh01

One of the first power tools most people buy is a circular saw. It’s the workhorse of the framing carpenter, and if you’re a DIY enthusiast, it won’t be long before you’ll find yourself needing one. Up ‘til now, for anything other than casual to medium-duty use, your only option has been a corded saw. There are cordless models available, but nothing with the cutting power—and battery life—to be considered as a worthy replacement for a corded saw. Recently, we got a big teal blue box in the mail with a product that aims to change all that – the Makita XSH01 Cordless Saw. Join us as we put the Makita’s aspirations to the test. [Read more...]

New Nirvana – DeWalt Gyroscopic Screwdriver, Klein All-Purpose Pliers, Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hackzall, Bosch 18V Drill/Driver and Makita Dust Extraction


Welcome to the spring break edition of News Nirvana! Whether or not spring has sprung in your neck of the woods, we’re here to bring you a ray of sunshine and a little bit of warmth with these hot new tools. Just like a beach full of spring breakers, this edition of News Nirvana is packed full and ready to party. We’ve brought along new tools from Makita, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Bosch and Klein, so get your bathing suit on, grab a cold beverage and don’t forget the suntan lotion – it’s the Spring Break edition of News Nirvana! [Read more...]

Refinish Your Table – If you Dare

Finished Table (1000x605)

It all started with good intentions. A little old lady and a dining room table; four chairs. She even bought the materials. It began as a nifty weekend project that I thought I could finish in no time at all, take a few photos of and make a quick buck on. What unfolded was a month long fiasco that ate away my time, fingers and patience. Refinishing furniture is not what it’s cracked up to be and if you’re looking for a quick fix on some of your old furnishings, then you might be better off buying new or hiring a professional refinisher. Even small projects can take lots of time and effort to refinish. Don’t find out the hard way like I did when I bit off more than I could chew with this large dining room table and chair refinishing project. If you’re considering refinishing ANYTHING, consider this how-to project a cautionary tale you have to read. [Read more...]

The Search for the Holy Grill – Stok Island Grill Review

grill 043 (1000x759)

To say I love grilling would be an understatement. It’s the only way to cook steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs to obtain a trifecta of grilled meat perfection. But when it comes to roasting meats like ribs and roasts, I’ve always had a strict policy to cook these meats slow and low in the oven. Yet the Stok Island grill is designed to work more like an oven and a grill. With Spring officially here and summer on its way, find out what I thought about the Stok design and see for yourself if this grill passed my grill-master test. [Read more...]

How To Install A Porch Railing – And Add Some Instant Spindly Curb Appeal!

install porch railing

So how much difference can a porch railing make, anyhow? You’ll see at the end, in the incredible “after” pic. The above shot is what my daughter and her husband’s house looked like when they bought it a couple of years ago. The house was structurally sound, and the interior had fresh paint and carpet, but the exterior was definitely lacking in curb appeal; the house had been vacant for over a year, and desperately needed a little love. The bushes in front of the house apparently hadn’t been trimmed since the last time the federal budget was balanced, the siding was dirty and mildewed, and the shutters were dented, filthy, and spider-infested (more on what we did with the shutters in a future post). Curb appeal on a one to ten scale: approximately 1.3 (if you stood REALLY far back from the curb)… [Read more...]

Home Fixated Acquiring TheWoodWhisperer.com!


Editor’s Note: Since we managed to dupe a few people with this, and our psychic abilities tell us you are reading this after April 1st, 2014, please note that this post was for April Fool’s Day! Our thanks to Marc at THE Wood Whisperer for putting up with our foolishness! Anyway, here you go. . .

After months of work, we’re really, really excited to break the news: Home Fixated is officially acquiring the wildly popular woodworking site TheWoodWhisperer.com! We’ve been big fans of the site here at Home Fixated, so we couldn’t be more honored to have The Wood Whisperer officially join the Home Fixated family. Although we’ve exchanged many emails over the years, I first met Marc Spagnuolo at a media event for Jet / Powermatic last year. It was there that we first started discussing possible collaboration. I would have never guessed it would have culminated in this exciting day, but here we are! Woodworking is a natural fit for much of the HomeFixated.com demographic, and we’ve been subtly working on adding more woodworking content to the site. By acquiring TheWoodWhisperer.com, we’ve been able to jumpstart that strategy in a BIG way, bypassing countless hours of thankless content creation ourselves. Read on for more details about the deal and some exciting changes we have in store for Wood Whisperer fans! [Read more...]