Hammerhead – New Tools on the Block are “Hangin’ Tough”

The complete bit set.

It’s a tough world out there in the tool Biz! As the legendary 90’s boy band “New Kids on the Block” taught us: Everybody’s always talkin’ ’bout who’s on top. Don’t cross our path ’cause you’re gonna get stomped. We ain’t gonna give anybody any slack. And if you try to keep us down we’re gonna come right back! So, is there room in the power tool market for a flashy “New Kid on the Block?” Hammerhead Tools is the latest contender in the race to bring a more hip and tech-savvy look to the hand tool game. Their premiere offerings include the Hammerhead “Switch”, a compact laser measuring tool, and 30 and 50 piece impact bit sets. Hammerhead is clearly shooting for the DIY market, but are they tough enough to hang with Joey, Jonathan, Jordan, Danny and Donnie? [Read more…]

Warmly Yours Radiant Floor Heat – We Don’t Need No Stinking Shoes!

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About three years ago, we bought an old farmhouse south of Erie, PA. Yes, on purpose (it seemed like a good idea at the time, and it’s actually a beautiful area, but you do have to have a high tolerance for snow…). We have been slowly rehabbing the entire house, starting with the bedrooms, so we’d have a place to lay our weary heads at the end of the day. Recently, however, my wife has brought it to my attention that there are a couple of other areas that require my attention: the kitchen and the first-floor bathroom. There is no heat in the kitchen, and the only heat in the bathroom comes from a small wall heater I installed recently. With winter about to descend on us, when the folks at Warmly Yours offered to provide samples of their radiant under floor heat, I selflessly offered our unheated spaces as test zones. [Read more…]

Gift Ideas from a Gardener

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A beekeeping neighbor of ours once delighted my family with a holiday gift of lavender-infused honey and a beeswax candle. It’s been one of my favorite gifts ever. It was simple, humble, and charming. Not to mention just plain yummy. Gardeners have a special knack for keeping the old-fashioned tradition of homemade gift giving an ongoing pleasure. So, for you gardeners out there, we’ve put together a few gift ideas from a gardener that will keep the gardening spirit alive – even if the garden is buried beneath a foot of snow. [Read more…]

Dremel Multi-Max MM45 Multi Tool Kit – Slice and Dice That To-Do List!

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thd-sponsor-banner-468x60What's This?A few months ago, our fearless leader Marc reviewed the Dremel Multi-Max MM20, Dremel’s budget-minded oscillating multi-tool (OMT). Given its bargain price of $59 (which has since gone up to $69), Marc was impressed with its performance, and recommended it as a great entry-level or occasional-use tool. Recently, Dremel provided us with its higher-end OMT kit, the Dremel Multi-Max MM45, to evaluate for this sponsored post. There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to this type of tool, and some bargains to be had, especially with the holidays approaching. If you’re a pro, or a serious do-it-yourselfer, this latest version of their popular tool is definitely worth a look. [Read more…]

From Prehistoric to Mod – How to Revamp a Computer Cabinet

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Once upon a time, dinosaurs roamed the earth. Millions of years later, computers the size of dinosaurs appeared on the scene. To contain these beasts, huge cupboards lurked in homes everywhere. With the supersized computers long extinct, most folks moved on to smaller desks or tables to support their smaller systems. Unlike those who move on quickly, we’ve had a long standing debate in our home over what to do with our fossil of a cabinet. For years, I’ve been a proponent of a downsize. My husband, on the other hand, was still in love with the big, old monstrosity – I think partly because he didn’t want to move it. Can’t blame him for that I guess. Over time, I became pretty adamant about the whole thing. I just couldn’t live in the same home with the enormous space waster anymore. It was either the cabinet, or my sanity. Fortunately, we were able to compromise. We decided that I would revamp a computer cabinet so that I too, could remain in our home. [Read more…]

Go For the Garlic – A Guide to Growing

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Most people who do any sort of cooking find themselves using garlic in generous quantities. Or perhaps that’s just me. I tend to add it by the spoon full to soups, stuffed mushrooms, pot roasts, stir fries and almost anything that isn’t supposed to be a dessert. Garlic also has a lot of health benefits. It also grows in the winter when little else is interested in making an appearance. Besides, this plant is suitable for even the most lackadaisical gardeners because it practically grows itself. All gardeners really need are some deep buckets and enough cloves to go in each one. [Read more…]

Build a DIY Solar Bike Station!

Soalr Steampunk Bike Station!

This fall, I had the pleasure of being a guest instructor at a small college here in Iowa. It’s not your average private liberal arts college, however. The Maharishi University of Management, or MUM for short, is a unique educational environment where students learn transcendental meditation along with computer science, biology, art and other more traditional classes. Their “Sustainable Living Center” is one of the premier “green” educational buildings in the country and I was honored to be asked to come and coach students in developing renewable energy projects including solar and wind power, biodiesel and fuel cells. [Read more…]

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, You Need a Little Overhaul – How to Frame a Mirror

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I’ve been on a home improvement kick for awhile now. And lately, the mirror in our guest bathroom has been silently begging for my attention even though I have never once asked it for advice or its opinion. Obviously, it’s mistaken me for royalty. However, I don’t run on a princess budget. Between you and me, if I did have a royal budget, the mirror wouldn’t make the cut in this castle. I would replace it in the poof of a magic wand. But, this isn’t a fairy tale. And this easy mirror upgrade does not require anywhere near the budget of a princess. In fact, framing in a bathroom mirror is a minor tweak that will add a touch of class to your entire bathroom. And it’s very simple and affordable. [Read more…]

Snow Joe Ion 18SB Cordless Snow Blower: Blow Away Your Lake-Effect Blues!

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Winter is nature’s way of saying, “Up yours.” Anyone living in the snow belt (aka the “persistent snow band”) can probably relate to that quote from author Robert Byrne. We have a small farm south of Erie, PA, where the average annual snowfall, compliments of the lake-effect, is 120.5”. Mother Nature talks to us a LOT. Actually, I think the snow is beautiful, especially when I can hang out by the woodstove and enjoy it. Every so often, though, life intervenes, and we actually have to leave the house, which necessitates relocating some of that beautiful snow. Although shoveling 120.5” of snow is really good exercise, at some point it just isn’t that much fun any more. Recently, the folks at Snow Joe provided us with an alternative, in the form of one of their Snow Joe Ion snow blowers. Since Marc lives in San Diego (average snowfall 0”), I was elected to test it out for the review. [Read more…]

Kobalt ½” Electric Impact Wrench – Brute Force

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I have a small shop, and in that small shop I have a small compressor. For the woodworking side of the shop, it is plenty big enough to run finish nailers and staplers. But, for those occasions when I want to work on a rusty old farm implement or rotate the tires on my ancient Chevy Blazer, I borrow my buddy’s pneumatic impact wrench. It works okay, but my poor little compressor really can’t keep up with that mondo air tool. I have long considered buying an electric impact wrench for those occasions, but have always heard from friends that most models on the market fall short in the power department. Recently, HomeFixated was sent a new Kobalt ½” model to take for a spin, and I was pleasantly surprised at the power it packed. [Read more…]