DeWalt FlexVolt Stud & Joist Drill DCD460 Makes Boring Less Boring

dewalt flexvolt stud

If you’re a plumber, electrician or HVAC tech who does a lot of rough-in work, you are all too familiar with the mantra “Drill, baby, drill!” And most of the time you’re not drilling itty-bitty little holes through thin material. You need big honking holes through bottom plates, studs and joists for waste pipes, or holes through multiple adjacent studs to run wiring. Traditionally, the Big Honking Hole Maker has been the Milwaukee Hole Hawg or Super Hawg. The folks who make the yellow tools are looking to bore into that market with the new 60V DeWalt FlexVolt Stud & Joist Drill. They recently sent one along for us to evaluate, so let’s get boring! [Read more…]

A Quick Fix to Low Spots in Your Garden

Several months after the project was completed.

Whether the hole in question is simply a low spot in the ground or it’s a space where the local armadillo population decided to have a party, we’ve all had problems with random gaps appearing in our yards occasionally. These spots naturally pose a tripping hazard for both klutzes and surefooted folks alike. Of course, the appropriate thing to do is fill them full of dirt in order to keep the playing field level. But what if these holes just happened to be in the right spot for a flowerbed? That’s what happened in my yard so here’s how I tackled the situation.  [Read more…]

Milwaukee Mobile Work Station 48-22-8560 Gives You A Handle On Storage

milwaukee mobile work station

If I were asked to name my solitary flaw, I’d have to say it’s that I may be a tad disorganized. Okay, maybe that’s not my ONLY flaw – actually, I think it’s on the third page of the list – but it’s right up there as a contender for Flaw That Causes The Most Wasted Time. I frequently spend twenty minutes searching for the tool or part I need to do a five-minute task. I’ve been trying to get better organized, and made a huge leap forward in that quest recently with the arrival of the 60” Milwaukee Mobile Work Station, model 48-22-8560. Milwaukee provided one for our evaluation, primarily out of pity. [Read more…]

Oliver Mid Industrial Hiker Boot Review


Oliver Boots by Honeywell sent us a pair of mid industrial hiker boots to review, and I’ve already put them through some abuse in the shop and out in the field. I am notorious for destroying footwear and generally only get about 6 months out of a pair if I am lucky. Time will tell how these Oliver Mid Industrial Hikers hold up, but so far they’re going strong. I spend most days on my feet for many hours getting covered in sawdust and metal shards, among other things. Other days I’m installing cabinetry, setting kicks, and crawling around on my hands and knees dragging the toes of my shoes to hell and gone. [Read more…]

How To Easily Make A 3D Carved Wooden Sign – Without CNC!

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Let’s say you have a desk you’d to adorn with a cool looking name plate. One that makes a bold statement; One that says to others “I’m not just some working stiff. I’m a working stiff with an awesome name plate!” The following technique can be used for all sorts of things – signs, shop logos, decorative project appliques and much more – and it’s a lot easier than you might expect. And, you don’t even need a fancy-pants CNC machine. If you’re looking for an easy way to create a unique sign or name plate with lots of style, continue reading and I’ll show you how to make your own 3D carved wooden sign. [Read more…]

Brondell Cleanspa Bidet – DIY Your Own Bidet Without Calling a Plumber

brondel cleanspa bidet sprayer

Hello, kids! I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our household: the Brondell Cleanspa Bidet. Actually, it’s a step back in time for our family. We were recently living in Southeast Asia, and my kids have only ever known having a spray bidet in bathrooms. It wasn’t until we came back to the States that they realized they aren’t the norm here. How barbaric! I’ll admit when I first saw the spray bidet, I thought it was an ingenious little contraption designed to clean the toilets easily. And when my two younger boys were toddlers, they thought it was a water gun. That was fun. Anyhoo, I’ve since become a spray bidet convert. For my busy house with four three boys (oldest off at college *tear*), the spray bidet is a must for the potty-training years and way beyond. [Read more…]

Empire UltraView Level Review – LEDs Are A Bright Idea For Levels

empire ultraview level

If you work in any of the trades, there are times when you need to make sure something you do is level and/or plumb. I know, picky picky…Still, for carpenters, plumbers, masons, and cabinet installers who don’t like callbacks, or DIYers who don’t like to listen to “constructive criticism” from their significant other, doing the job right the first time is important. Unfortunately, that work isn’t always being done in ideal conditions, and due to poor lighting – or crappy eyesight – sometimes it’s not easy to see where the #$!* that tiny bubble is. We recently received both a 2’ and a 4’ Empire UltraView Level to evaluate – they both promise to make that task a WHOLE lot easier. [Read more…]

No Yard, No Problem! – Tips for Starting a Container Garden

An example of a container garden.

Although home gardening is a trend that has certainly taken off lately, not everyone has acres of land that they can devote to the cultivation of fresh veggies and herbs. Prospective gardeners might be renting a yard from someone who could evict them at any given moment. Or, perhaps they happen to be living in a small apartment with nothing to work with but a fire escape. How could these sorts of people possibly cultivate fresh goodies? The solution is simple. They should add a container garden to their lives. [Read more…]

Outdoor Living with Propane


What's This?In some parts of the country, propane isn’t something you use just to fire up the BBQ, it can be the single source of fuel for cooking and heating. When you’re living off the grid, or when there isn’t a grid, propane is an option to keep you cooking and free from frostbite. I just returned from a trip to rural Idaho by the Sawtooth Mountains, where it was not uncommon to see cabins with a nearby propane tank. With winters that sometimes hit the low temperature records for the nation, and access to luxuries like municipal services few and far between, propane can be the difference between uninhabitable and a great spot to stake out your retreat in the mountains. Here at the slightly more urban global headquarters for Home Fixated, in southern California, propane isn’t about survival, it’s all about lifestyle. [Read more…]

How To Make A Wooden Star Puzzle

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Building upon characteristics of traditional Chinese joinery, wooden burr puzzles have existed since at least the 19th century. Not only are they fun to make and assemble, they also serve as beautiful decor and curio items. Such construction puzzles can take on a wide variety of appearances – from geometric shapes to those of animals and other objects – and range from simple to maddeningly complex. Today we’re going to focus on a basic traditional star burr. Read on to learn how you can make your own wooden star puzzle! [Read more…]