Bosse Ergonomic Shovel – Will It Bury the Competition?


I have seen some wacky shovels in my day. It seems like every few years, someone tries to reinvent one of human’s oldest, simplest and most reliable tools. And not without good reason! Despite it’s simple and elegant design, the basic shovel is a major cause of lower back injuries. In fact, according to The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 17,000 Americans end up at the hospital from snow shoveling alone! It’s no wonder new shovel configurations keep coming out. Unfortunately, a lot of ergonomic shovels end up being cheaply made, and simply don’t hold up. The new, ergonomic shovels from Bosse seem to be much more of a premium tool than the weirdly shaped, aluminum and plastic ergonomic shovel designs of the past. Home Fixated recently received one of their round point shovels for review, and I got the chance to put it through it’s paces. Is my back still intact? [Read more…]

Imitation Sun Dried Tomatoes – No Sun Required


Anyone that read my recent article on boggy yards will be aware that my yard is currently under several inches of water that refuses to drain. I’m going to have to give my dogs swimming lessons if this continues because they’re one of the breeds that is not known for their skills in that regard. Of course, if they turn out to be the incredible sinking dachshunds rather than super swimmers, I’ll have to outfit them with floatation devices. Anyway, no sun and a forecast that calls for nothing but rain means that my plan for making sun dried tomatoes was out. Or was it really? Could I sneakily craft equally chewy, imitation sun dried tomatoes using nothing but my oven? [Read more…]

Stop Duct Taping Your Dust Collection Hoses – Rockler Dust Right Kit Rocks


I have a confession to make. Once upon a time, I lost the one stupid adapter that would connect my Makita compound sliding miter saw to my shop vac hose. For years it was attached with…yup, you guessed it, duct tape. DUCT TAPE. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. To say that dust collection ports on power tools are non-standardized would be a major understatement. This is one of those areas where tool companies seem to love to throw proprietary features on their equipment, and for no apparent reason whatsoever! I don’t get it! Can’t we all just get along? Round, square, oval, 1”, 1 ¼”, 1 ½”… ridiculous. It appears that woodworking wundershop Rockler (a Home Fixated sponsor) has heard our pleas. They sent us their new Dust Right Kit to review. [Read more…]

Dealing with Boggy Yards – When You Have A Sinking Feeling

Constantly damp soils can be a serious problem for gardeners.

It’s monsoon season here in Georgia. I haven’t been able to tend to my garden in over a week because of the rain, which is why the pineapple I’d been growing ended up getting eaten by bugs before it could be picked. There’s not much in my yard that’s high and dry. In fact, the whole area has been inundated by puddles. The smaller ones come up to my ankles and the bigger ones have been known to entrap large pickup trucks. Instead of going for walks in the afternoon, the dogs have been going for swims. Clearly my new yard has some serious drainage problems. However, (cue nefarious villain voice) there are some way of dealing with little problems like that. [Read more…]

Dyson Pure Cool Fan Review – Chill Out With Cleaner Air


They say timing is everything. Dyson’s timing is right on. Not only did they send us one of their new Pure Cool Fans to review, they timed it with the start of another sweltering heat wave here in San Diego. We’re lucky enough to live close to the coast which virtually guarantees cooling ocean breezes in the afternoon. For most of the year, it is ridiculously pleasant. The kind of pleasant that makes dear friends from out of state hate us during the winter. Thanks to those cool ocean breezes, many in our area do not have AC. Even so, there still tend to be several weeks hot enough to make those of us without AC near the coast seriously consider installing an AC unit. Dare I say, those brief weeks of intense heat get. . . UNpleasant. Luckily, by the time we’re at our breaking point, the breeze kicks back in and we return to annoying 99+% of the rest of the world with our ultra comfortable climate. [Read more…]

Tactical Walls Concealment Shelves – When You’ve Got Something To Hide

tactical walls

In a previous post, we showed you how to easily install an in-wall safe to keep valuables safe from thieving scumbags. The wall safe is great for smaller stuff, like cash, jewelry and passports. You can probably squeeze in a handgun or two as well, if you’re so inclined. If your weapon of choice against the zombie apocalypse or other marauding scum is a tad bigger, say on the order of an AK47, a 12-guage Remington, or a Barrett Light 50, you’ll want a little more space to stash it. If you have guns or other valuables you’d like to keep well concealed, but easily accessible, take a peek inside the Tactical Walls Concealment Shelves. [Read more…]

To Die For – Bosch Electric Die Grinder

DG300LPD Grinding Weld

The Die Grinder. So simple, so elegant, so effective! When you are doing metalwork, there is just nothing else that is as versatile when it comes to getting into those difficult, tight areas. A long-time cheap and effective staple pneumatic tool for machine shops, it’s basically the grand daddy of the Dremel and all the electric rotary tools to follow. However, the air die grinder always had one major downside. It makes an ungodly noise! Not only does it howl like a cross between a dentist drill and a freight train, you have to listen to the air compressor kick on regularly. Enter the corded Bosch electric die grinder. [Read more…]

Flowering Shrubs – The Garden Variety Types


While boxwood can indeed be pruned into intriguing topiary shapes, it generally lacks a certain element of aesthetic appeal because who really has that kind of time? Instead, you can easily get a lot more eye candy for your money by purchasing shrubs for your yard that produce tons of flowers and also function as a hedge. Available flower colors range from lurid pinks and rich blues to shades that are far more muted. So, without further ado, I give you the flowering shrubs of the garden variety! [Read more…]

Slip-X Non-Slip Bath and Shower Stickers Review


At Home Fixated we’re not afraid to review things long-term. Many years ago, we had our very ugly bathtub refinished to make it somewhat less ugly. Then we had it refinished again following an unfortunate suction cups incident. Note to anyone with refinished baths or showers: do NOT use any floor or bath mats that use suction cups to stay in place. Don’t ask me how I know this. This review isn’t about refinished tubs though, it’s about helping prevent near-to-full-death experiences on slippery surfaces like bathtubs. In my quest to kid and adult-proof our tub, I decided to try Slip-X Non-Slip Bath Treads after sifting through many other options. They seemed mostly well-reviewed on Amazon, but did they work? [Read more…]

DeWalt 20V MAX Miter Saw Review – Sliding Into A New Niche


If you install a lot of trim or flooring, you’re probably resigned to the process of hauling a miter saw along wherever you go. Even if you only have a few cuts to make, they need to be clean and precise, and the accuracy of a miter saw is tough to accomplish with anything else. Lugging around a full-size miter saw is roughly the same as lugging around almost two cases of beer (and I’m talking bottled beer – not those lightweight aluminum jobs) – but with greatly reduced refreshment potential. What if you could get a sliding cordless miter saw that could make compound cuts, and cut dimensional lumber up to 8” wide – and that weighs less than ONE case of beer? Join us as we take a look at the recently introduced DeWalt 20V MAX miter saw. [Read more…]