The Senco FinishPro 18BMg 18-Gauge Brad Nailer

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Few things compare to the sheer visceral pleasure of sinking a nail several inches into solid hardwood with the slightest curl of the index finger. Pneumatic nailers have a way of imbuing the user with power – increased by orders of magnitude – that few other tools can mimic. Sure, it’s a simple pleasure. But, as Ockham explained, the best solution is often the simplest one. What William of Ockham was to philosophy, Senco is to the world of making pieces of metal wire go into pieces of wood. The Senco FinishPro 18BMg 18 gauge brad nailer was sent to us by our friends at Senco to evaluate. And I’m just simple enough to put their “razor” to the test. [Read more…]

Kobalt 24V MAX Tools – The Rest Of The Blue Lineup

kobalt 24v

In a previous post, we took a look at a four-pack of the new Kobalt 24V MAX brushless tools. This totally new line of tools represents Lowe’s attempt to grab a piece of the higher-end tool market, and the new tools offer the robust design, increased power and features pros and serious DIYers expect. The new tools are competitively priced, and come with a stellar warranty; more on that later. Lowe’s provided us with samples of their new tools to evaluate, so we’ll take a look at the final three offerings in the current lineup. [Read more…]

How to Grow Lantana – The Summer Survivor


In parts of the world with mild climates, the approaching months may cause your entire yard to turn lush, green, and bountiful. In other areas, the coming weeks will undoubtedly cause your formerly beautiful vegetable patch to look crispy, brown, and pathetic no matter how often you apply the water hose. In these locales, gardeners desperate to keep their vegetable patches fully functional clearly don’t have time for dealing with any other specimens, especially those that might require a more hands-on approach. That’s where easy-to-grow, low maintenance plants like lantana come into play. These shrubby bushes will enliven your yard with minimal effort so you can get back to enjoying all the fruits of your labor, including things like tomatoes and bell peppers.  [Read more…]

DeWalt Experience 2016 – With A Side Of Stanley, B&D, Proto, Porter-Cable and DIYZ

dewalt experience

In late June, the tool team with the yellow shirts gathered up an assortment of their newest products. They rented an airplane hangar to showcase it (there were a LOT of new products), and invited over 100 members of the tool press to Baltimore to check it all out at the DeWalt Experience. The highlight of the event was the rollout of the DeWalt FlexVolt battery platform, which we covered in a previous post, but the 2016 DeWalt Experience featured a slew of other new products, from Accessories to Zip tools. Here’s a quick peek at a sampling of DeWalt products available now or in the near future, along with a bonus look at what’s new at their affiliated brands – including a brand-NEW brand! [Read more…]

Adjustable Window Screens – Just Say No to Zika

adjustable window screens

Our home is filled with traditional, double hung windows. Several are original to the home, which was built in the 1930’s (that’s prehistoric by California standards). One of the first things I did when we bought the home was to remove all the aftermarket screens. They were ugly, hard to clean, in rough condition, and I like a clear view not obstructed by unsightly mesh. Fast forward about a decade (yes, I said decade), and much to my wife’s dismay, we still didn’t have screens on our windows. My attitude was always, “We’re in San Diego, we don’t have bugs!” However, last summer, I was seen running around our bedroom at 3:00 am, hunting a mosquito that was tormenting me. Since my tolerance for late-night wakings has never been good, and because my wife is convinced our family is an ideal target for the Zika virus, something had to be done. I had seen adjustable window screens online a couple times, and it was time to give them a shot. [Read more…]

How To Revive a Wrecked Garden


So you went on vacation and have come back to find that your garden was wrecked. Or perhaps an opportunist horde of weeds ran rampant through your yard while you were struggling with the flu. Maybe you were visiting a sick relative and the deer decided it was snack time in the vegetable patch. Whatever the reason, we’ve all had to deal with garden on the verge of collapse at one point or another. However, all hope is not lost! You can use what you’ve got as the foundations of a yard that’ll eventually be better than ever. Read on for our tips on how to revive a wrecked garden! [Read more…]

The Making of Anything – One Maker’s Workflow to Get Projects Done


The making of things is a part us all and certainly a part of what makes us human. From the time of monkeys with sharp rocks we have imagined “what else” could be done with simple things and have incrementally managed to make things more complex and function better in the process. The human imagination is truly endless and awesome, and that imagination has carved perfect human shapes from solid marble and complex beauty in simple form. We’ve come a long way from primitive tools and techniques, and I am very proud to be a part of the tinker clan and to be a maker of things. Remember most things incredible are merely the sum of all of their incredible parts. But what are effective ways of planning projects, and is technology always the right fit? [Read more…]

Ryobi Garage Door Opener – Plug And Play In Your Garage


If you’re out socializing, and someone starts raving about how cool their garage door opener is, your first instinct is probably to edge away a bit, make an excuse – “Damn, I forgot to change my smoke detector batteries!” and make a speedy exit. Garage door openers aren’t very glamorous, and with the exception of chain drives being replaced by belts, innovations are sparse. Until recently, that is, when the major players came out with openers that could be integrated into a home’s wireless network, and controlled remotely with a smartphone. The new Ultra-Quiet Ryobi Garage Door Opener (Model GD200) starts there – and then piles on more extras than a Hollywood zombie flick. Ryobi sent us an opener and several of the “extra” modules to evaluate – make sure your garage door is secure, and take a look. [Read more…]

DeWalt FlexVolt – Introducing The World’s First…

dewalt flexvolt

Over the past several weeks, the folks at DeWalt have been whipping the tool world into a hysterical frenzy of speculation with ads using the hash tag #WorldsFirst and the promo video below. Okay, maybe not a hysterical frenzy, but I bet there are plenty of you who are at least a little curious. (My personal guess of a 20V MAX Kegerator turned out to be slightly off the mark). Anyway, we were on hand for the unveiling of their new product line, and now it’s time to reveal what’s new in the world of yellow and black. Join us as we check out the DeWalt FlexVolt System, the World’s First (Insert guess here). [Read more…]

Milwaukee NPS 2016 – What’s Red And Black And NEW!

milwaukee nps16

Picture a job site with no extension cords to trip over, no noisy generators spewing fumes, and a roach coach offering fresh, tasty, healthy lunch fare. You’re probably out of luck as far as the food goes, but the folks at Milwaukee see every power cord as a challenge to be conquered. Their goal is a totally cordless work environment, from rough-in through finish work and maintenance, and they are investing a wheelbarrow full of time, talent and cash to make it happen ASAP. At this year’s Milwaukee New Product Symposium (NPS) we were treated to a look at the job site of the future. Spoiler alert – not an extension cord in sight at the Milwaukee NPS 2016! [Read more…]