Nailed It! Ridgid HyperDrive Cordless Nailers


Earlier this year, I had a chance to test drive the new line of Ridgid 18V Gen5X cordless tools. I’ve been using them regularly over the last four months, and I’m still feeling really good about the quality of these tools. When I heard that Ridgid was rolling out a set of cordless nailers that run on the same 18V batteries, I jumped at the chance to try them out. I’ve spent a good portion of my life tethered to an air compressor, and the idea of a cordless nailer that works off the same platform as my other tools sounds to me like a dream come true! Ridgid’s new “Hyperdrive” line features a 16 gauge straight finish nailer and a 18 gauge brad nailer. Ridgid sent them our way to evaluate, and not surprisingly, we have a few thoughts. [Read more…]

New Plant Review – Noteworthy Fall Garden Additions


Fall is fully here and that means there are plenty of bargains to be had if you know what plants to stock up on. (Annuals are a bad idea; winter-hardy perennials are good idea.) With that in mind, I decided to point out some of the noteworthy perennials that I have in my yard so you can easily snap them up if you see a decent looking specimen at a plant sale near you before winter is in full swing. The following are all new garden additions that show great promise. [Read more…]

DeWalt DCBL720P1 20V MAX Blower Review – Like A Yellow Plastic Cinderella

dewalt dcbl720p1

For much of the year, our farm’s garage serves as my workshop. I’m positive my truck, and my wife’s car, love the opportunity to get some fresh air. (When the snow starts flying, though, there had better be room in the garage – at least for the car). With several projects ongoing at any one time, I generally have at least my planer, my table saw, a chop saw, and a router table fighting for floor space. At the end of a day of generating large quantities of sawdust, the last thing I want to do is spend ten minutes sweeping, but I hate leaving a mess. The neat freaks at DeWalt recently came up with my kind of housekeeping tool – the DeWalt DCBL720P1 20V MAX Blower, which they recently sent to us for review. Let’s see if it has what it takes to tidy up your world. [Read more…]

Kobalt Xtreme-ly Versatile Socket Set

Glow plugs for my old diesel it securely in the "pass thru" socket.

When I first looked at the Kobalt “Xtreme” Mechanic’s Tool set, I thought… “Oh great… another gimmicky set of so-called “universal” sockets. AND, it has a really goofy, 90’s name!!” But after trying them out, I have to admit, maybe there is more here than meets the eye? [Read more…]

Fall Gardening Tips – And the Tragedies of a Hot Summer


By the time you read this in most portions of America, the heat will have broken and the summer will have finally ended. For some people the turn of the seasons comes as a pleasant relief. As for the others, we find ourselves wishing for another day or two by the pool. The only trouble is that we just have to wait until next year. Meanwhile, there is a lot left to do in gardens that we abandoned when the temperatures hit triple digits and the heat index made going outside feel as if we were walking through an oven set on broil. [Read more…]

Carving a Wood Cross with Rings – For Non-Christians Too!


Here’s a woodcarving I designed almost 20 years ago. It just seemed like it’d be cool. I got around to actually making it only 3 years ago. Hey, I’m prompt: no matter how long it takes! There’s nothing particularly difficult about making this piece. Just pay attention to what you’re doing, be patient and it will come out just fine. [Read more…]

Smooth Operator – Milwaukee 18V Planer


Smooth is the word that comes to mind when talking planers, and the new Milwaukee 18 volt cordless planer is smooth in more ways than one. As with Milwaukee’s other recent cordless offerings, this 3 ¼” planer is compact, light, and packed with interesting features. Most of all, it is really easy to use. [Read more…]

Bag It And Tag It With StopLossBags To Keep That Varnish Minty Fresh!


Whether you’re a woodworker or cabinetmaker, a finish carpenter who installs a lot of wood trim, or just an avid DIYer, you’ve undoubtedly had the experience of opening up a partially used can of stain or varnish, only to discover it’s useless because it’s skinned over. Or maybe it’s dried up, or full of mystery gunk, and too contaminated to use. Now, you’ve not only got the added expense of having to buy more product, you have the aggravation – and wasted time – of having to stop what you’re doing to go fetch. The folks at Finishing Solutions LLC feel your pain, and they’ve come up with a solution: StopLossBags. We received a couple to evaluate – join us as we bag ‘em and tag ‘em. [Read more…]

Carnivorous Plant Soil – How to Make Your Own


Anyone who regularly reads my gardening articles will be perfectly aware of just how much I love carnivorous plants. These useful plants eat pesky garden bugs, lurk menacingly in brightly lit corners of the yard, and are just as eye catching as geraniums. Some even sing, dance, and eat the neighbors. Or maybe that’s just Audrey II. Skipping over the fact that I’ve clearly listened to the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack one too many times, let’s get to the meat of today’s subject. [Read more…]

Today’s Tongue Twister – See the Sassy New Skil Sidewinder Circular Saw


Most people call facial tissue “Kleenex.” Most carpenters call a circular saw a “Skilsaw.” Why? Because they were the first products of their kind. Coincidentally, both the Kleenex tissue and the first Skilsaw model E were introduced in the same year: 1924. Both products became ubiquitous in the 20th century, and still dominate their industries. And, most importantly, it is just a lot easier to say “Kleenex” or “Skilsaw” than “facial tissue” or “circular saw.” [Read more…]