Rockler’s Smart New Helpers, Bosch Answers Our Prayers, and You Could Win a Johnson Level

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Howdy, HomeFixated readers. It’s time for another Tool News Nirvana where we give you the scoop on new products, industry events, contests and other opportunities of interest to the handy homeowner and daring DIY’er. Today, we have a few neat items from our dear sponsor, Rockler, an oscillating tool from Bosch with a feature that we’ve been begging for, tons of Makita news, more brushless motor fanfar from Hitachi, organizational goods from Gladiator Garageworks and a reader prize that will keep you feeling balanced. So, let’s roll! 

Rockler Silicone Glue Brush Gets You Out Of Sticky Situations
If you’re a woodworker, you’ve likely dealt with glue. Hopefully you’ve dealt with things like nails and screws more often than glue, and maybe even a mortise & tenon and dovetail or two (and if that’s all not the case, forgive me if I don’t sit on your homemade chair). Anyway, glue is a pretty essential product. If you knew all that already, I’m about to tell you something else you know: the standard brushes you use to paint glue onto wood often really suck. If you don’t wash them immediately and thoroughly, they’re officially one-use only. Even if you wash them, sometimes they’re still one-use only. Rockler’s taken this sticky situation and fixed it with the Rockler Silicone Glue Brush. This two-pack of brushes allows you to easily apply and spread glue with its brush side and smooth the beads or blobs out with the paddle side. You can also do finer touch-up work with this edge. And the best part? The Silicone Glue Brush is easy to wash – immediately or even after the glue has dried – with just hot water. You can get yours at Rockler for just $7.98.

I-Semble™ Shelf Blocks For Fun and Profit
Here’s a home décor tip: If you’re over 23 years old, it’s officially no longer ok to use that milk crate you found in a back alley as a stackable shelf. Sorry, it’s, like, a rule. However, if you like that gated look in furniture, Rockler has an option that will allow you to keep your dignity. The I-Semble Shelf Blocks are a super simple way you can customize a desk or shelf or even build your own with planks of wood. Simply take these L-shaped steel gauge blocks and place them between a top and bottom level of wood and voila! Instant shelf!  But you shouldn’t let your imagination stop there; Rockler is hosting a contest for customers who buy and build with the I-Semble Shelf Blocks. Take a picture of your creation, upload your project photo to Rockler’s review section by April 30, 2012 and you’ll be entered to win a $100 Rockler Gift Card.

Need more inspiration? Check out our friend Robert Robillard of Concord Carpenter who created a video of how he used the I-Semble Shelf Blocks:

Bosch’s MX30E Multi-X™ Oscillating Tool Makes Us Less Crazy
We gave you a mini sneak peak of this new tool when we went to the STAFDA Trade Show and its existence elicited a shout-out from HomeFixated’s editor. What is it? Bosch Power Tools is introducing the MX30E Multi-X™ Oscillating Tool, created for a wide array of cutting, grinding, scraping, and sanding applications. Yeah, yeah … so why the excitement? Tool-less accessory change system, my friend! No more fussing around with some silly key (which you eventually lose) to swap out an accessory.

The MX30E has an amp rating of 3.0A, the highest rating in its class, and efficiently delivers added power for heavier applications. The speed can be adjusted from 8,000 to 20,000 oscillations per minute (OPM), depending on the requirements of the task, and the Bosch Constant Response™ Circuitry allows users to maintain constant speed under a heavy load. The tool is available in a variety of kits, retailing between $199 and $299 respectively. In other more random Teutonic news, Bosch’s D-tect 150 measuring tool and the powerful RH228VC Bulldog Xtreme Max Rotary Hammer were both honored with Most Innovative Product distinctions at the recent World of Concrete show. Congrats Bosch!

Hitachi 18V Lithium Ion Brushless Driver Drill (3.0Ah)- the DS18DBLHITACHI_BRUSHLESS_GROUP_IMAGE
The brushless motor technology arms race continues to heat up between the major power tool brands. Hitachi Power Tools’ new Brushless driver drill is available now, with more of their brushless tools launching this spring and later in 2012. From Hitachi, “Hitachi’s Brushless technology is delivered via a micro-processor chip that manages the tool’s motor, resulting in up to 50% longer run time between charges, increased power, and extended durability with essentially no maintenance. The line is covered by Hitachi’s Lifetime Lithium Ion tool warranty and 2-year Lithium Ion battery warranty.”

Makita Rolling out New Tools
Earthquakes, Tsunamis and nuclear power shutdowns are apparently no match for Makita, as they continue to roll out new tools. Here are some details on a couple of their latest recent offerings:
Behold the 12v max Recripro Saw, “The new 12 Volt max Lithium-Ion Cordless Recipro Saw is a powerful and compact solution for a range of cutting applications including PVC and ABS pipe, EMT, drywall, wood, and more,” said Ethan Haughawout, Makita product manager, cordless products. “With the Makita-exclusive dual-position trigger, the end user can decide between a paddle switch or traditional trigger switch grip depending on the application for maximum control during the cut.” This new reciprocating saw appears to be a cross between some of the mini-reciprocating saws we’ve seen on the market from Bosch and Milwaukee, and the more traditional design of conventional recip saws. The dual power switch design could be a big leap in ergonomic design, or the switch you don’t typically use could get in the way. Time will tell. The Makita saw delivers 0-3,300 Strokes Per Minutes, which Makita says leads to faster performance than an unnamed, leading competitor. The new 12V max Recipro Saw is also available with a 12V max Lithium-Ion 3/8″ Driver-Drill in a 2-piece combo kit, model LCT212W. You can pick up the RJ01W Recipro Saw from our sponsor Tyler Tool, for just under $140.

1-1/4 HP Compact Router RT0700C, and the model RT0700CX3 Kit
The new Makita 1-1/4 HP Compact Router is promising to deliver huge performance in a compact, manageable size. With some routers being a little too “chunky” to smoothly control for lighter duty routing, Makita is throwing its hat into the ring with other compact router options like those from DeWalt, Bosch, Rigid, etc. Makita notes, “A clear trend in woodworking is the move to more compact power tools, and this includes routers,” said Joe Soto, Product Manager, Woodworking. “With our new RT0700C Compact Router, we engineered performance into the tool with a one and one-quarter horsepower motor, as well as precision features like rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment. But we also made it more compact, so it’s actually the size and weight of many laminate trimmers. ” The optional router kit includes accessories as well as a plunge, tilt and an offset base for a wide range of routing applications. More details via Makita’s rockin’ YouTube vid:

Makita's 14 inch wheel-o-doom for concrete
But wait, there’s even more Makita News: If you’re looking to saw through concrete buildings like a demolition hero, Makita’s 14″ Power Cutter with optional diamond blades promises faster starts, smoother cuts and more MPG thanks to better fuel economy (ok, so they don’t really measure fuel economy in MPG). The new EK7301 has a 4.5 (73 cc) engine with 5.1 HP (maximum horsepower) and a no load speed of 9,350 RPM to take on the most demanding applications. Also new from Makita, the 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 7/16″ Hex High Torque Impact Wrench, model LXWT01 which packs 325 foot-pounds of torque created by 2,200 rotational impacts per minute. Makita also upgraded their existing 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver (LXDT04) and 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless ½” Hammer Driver-Drill (model LXPH01). Phew! Makita has been busy!

Gladiator Garageworks Gets Medieval on Your Stuff
In their ongoing battle against your clutter, Gladiator Garageworks has your back with two new products. Recognizing the wasted storage opportunity seen in most bench designs, Gladiator has a new Storage Bench. In the words of Gladiator, “This bamboo-topped beauty is perfect for hiding those little items that drive you crazy, like shoes, sports equipment, hats or papers. It’s extremely versatile, great to sit on and is perfect for the foot of the bed or entryway.” I personally don’t rock any Gladiator gear in my bedroom, and I also don’t keep a bed in my garage, but if you do, more power to you! To us, the storage bench looks like a great way to store some less-frequently-used tools and definitely your work boots. Gladiator also has some new Rack Shelving on its way soon. Not to be confused with the frilly, chrome, thin-gauge shelving you sometimes find in stores, Gladiator’s shelving is no lightweight warrior. “The welded steel frame features three metal shelves that are designed to support 2,000 lbs each and the dual slot profile allows for additional supports, shelves and even current Gladiator® hooks and accessories. A Hammered Granite finish and Tread Plate accents complement the already robust product offering from Gladiator® brand.” With a rating for up to 2000 lbs, we’re thinking you can store just about anything and everything on these.

Yours For a Comment: The Johnson Level-40-6028 
We love it when you have something to say about our articles and blog posts and we hope you do too! Beyond that great feeling you get from living in a democracy where you can practice your freedom of speech on our website, we sweeten the pot by offering up a monthly prize given randomly to one of our dear commenters. If you’re feeling bashful, you can also enter to win by simply subscribing to our super-handy weekly email newsletter. This month, it’s the Johnson Level-40-6028. Not only will it help you keep your projects from looking lopsided, you’ll feel super cool with this great new toy. It lights up! It has an LCD display that you can rotate to see it from different angles! It’s big and yellow! Learn more about it on our giveaway page and get commenting or subscribing! It could be yours!

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About Jen

Jen (but never “Jenn”) Byck, aka the Fix'n Vixen, is a Toronto-based freelance writer and communication consultant who is undoubtedly home fixated (she is also TV fixated, really bad TV fixated and donut fixated). Her approach to home improvement has been rather trial and error, the latter of which is evidenced by the amount of spackle she buys on an annual basis.

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3 thoughts on “Rockler’s Smart New Helpers, Bosch Answers Our Prayers, and You Could Win a Johnson Level”

  1. Sounds purty. The one thing I didn’t hear was some nice magnets or even a clip system that would allow it to be attached to say whatever you want to keep level or plumb. Now that would be cool to actually not have to hold it in place while trying to tweak at the same time.


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