November 11, 2011
This is from the folks at John Deere and it's about mower maintenance. If you're like us and have an "on-again-off-again" relationship with small engines, below are a few tips worth following to keep the frustrating machines in working order.
Our feelings on these engines is summed up by something we overheard FOTS (father of Tool Snob) say a few weekends ago regarding his string trimmer: "I don't care if it trims grass, I just want it to start."
5 Tips for Mower Maintenance this Fall
We are well into fall and the dog days of summer are behind us, but before you abandon your lawn care duties, remember that your mower can be used year round for Mother Nature cleanup duty. Most riding lawn mowers, like the John Deere X310, or zero-turn-radius mowers, like the Z665 Ztrak™, come with a variety of attachments that can change with the seasons. When using your mower to mulch leaves this fall, be sure to provide proper and frequent maintenance checks for optimum performance.
Look for leaves. Fall leaves, though beautiful, present a particular challenge for mowers. Double check your air filters for stoppage. If filters are blocked, they will suck unfiltered air from elsewhere and damage the motor.
Stay sharp. The added strain of leaf mulching may dull the mower blade more quickly. You can use 20 percent more fuel with a dull blade, so either sharpen up or have a spare blade on hand.
For those who prefer to let their mowers hibernate for the winter months, there are a few important things to check before putting your machine in storage. Don't wait till spring to clean up your machines. A little work now will save you time and money when it comes to rolling your mower back out of the garage next year.
Hit the deck. Clipping and debris buildup under the deck can cut airflow and reduce effectiveness. A dirty deck can also cause rust and corrosion during winter storage. Turn the mower on its side and clean the undercarriage with a hose.
Fuel Fix. Add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to prevent separation that can lead to corrosion. After adding the stabilizer, run the engine for five minutes.
Give it a once over. Tighten all nuts and bolts; check belts filters, safety shields and guards. Replace any damaged or missing parts, including spark plugs. Check tire tread and pressure. Make sure your mower will be ready to hit the ground running next spring.
Spending a little bit of time maintaining your mower throughout the fall and possibly prepping it for winter storage will save you a lot of hassle in the spring. As temperatures drop, don't drop the ball on important lawn care duties.
Read More in: How-To | Lawn/Garden
November 9, 2011
As of Oct 1st, all CTs (vacs) shipping from Festool are labeled as "Full Unit Certified HEPA." This is pretty cool and a result of the obnoxious new RRP regulations that have come to be. If you haven't heard, if you even look at a house with lead paint on it, you need to be wearing a Tyvek suit and a full respirator. You also need to wrap everything in plastic (duct taping the plastic to the floor), and you can only use a HEPA vac. You also need to take a class which includes forking over $300 to the government. But that's only if you're a contractor. If you're a homeowner doing the work, you can go shirtless, use an angle grinder to do your sanding, and pressure wash the lead paint into the nearby wetlands. Makes total sense.
But we digress...with these new regulations, tool companies have had to make a quick adjustment. Festool has had a leg up with this transition because their vacs are top of the line in the first place. The way the law reads is that you can't simply drop a HEPA filter into a ShopVac, but rather you need a fully-compliant vac (it has to do with the seal within the vac).
So, as we started, as of Oct 1st, All Festool vacs will ship with Full Unit Certification. They are also taking care of all customers who purchased a CT 26/36 since their launch back in 2010, by providing an updated HEPA filter, hard copy certificate, and labeling for their dust extractor, all at no charge. All you have to do is register on the website and they'll send out the goods.
Festool CTs at Festool Products and Amazon
Read More in: Safety | Vacuums
November 8, 2011
I uncovered this corner of the foundation after taking off the "sun room."
I totally can't see it as being a problem. No way.
Read More in: Our House
November 7, 2011
So you're probably all familiar with the Little Giant Ladder. If not, it's a freaky sort of extension ladder that can transform itself through a lengthening or shortening of the legs into one of about fifty different configurations. They're very handy. They're also pretty heavy, but overall, great to have on site.
So last year, Little Giant brought the technology into the step ladder format and called it the Select Step. We thought this was a little strange and redundant, seeing as the standard Little Giant already can convert into something of a step ladder. We got in touch with the company and they sent us one to review. We've had this thing for a while now and honestly, it spent much of that time leaning against the wall in the garage. We never really dug into it until a few months ago when we brought it to the site.
Since then it has become something of a jobsite MVP. Continue reading: "Little Giant Select Step Ladder - Review"
Read More in: Benches, Stands, and Storage | Hand Tools | Safety
November 1, 2011
Behold! The shortest and lamest monthly roundup evah!
Read More in: Monthly Roundup
October 31, 2011
Our ongoing catalog of poor construction techniques continues with this doozie of a wiring job that I found buried in the wall when I gutted the place.
Seriously, wtf? Who does stuff like this?
Had I known that every time I turned on the light to the bathroom, I was sending electricity through this mess, I would have probably been content to leave the light off and pee all over the toilet seat.
After finding this and a few other things, I'm starting to lean towards the opinion that if you buy an old house you've got to gut it. Who knows what Jimmy the Homeowner buried in the walls. Frightening stuff.
Read More in: Our House
October 28, 2011
Wilton has released a sledgehammer that (they claim) has an unbreakable handle. It's got the quaint name of B.A.S.H., which stands for "Bad Ass Sledge Hammer." Why do they think the handle is unbreakable? Probably because it's filled with six steel rods. That'll do it.
If you're feeling cheeky, you can buy one of these tough guys and try to break the handle. If you do, Wilton will cut you a check for $1000 (no joke).
Press release after the jump.
At Amazon Continue reading: "Wilton B.A.S.H. Sledge Hammer"
Read More in: Demolition Tools
October 27, 2011
See for yourself...
It's tough to beat that certain relentless flavor of antagonism that can develop between competing juggernauts. Coke vs. Pepsi. Ford vs. Chevy. The Hulkster vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper. Spears vs. Aguilera.
Read More in: Tool News
October 26, 2011
So it's been about a month since I last posted (thanks Jay for the guest post). It's been my longest hiatus from the site since starting it in 07. I didn't intend to take such a long break, but I got busy with things. What things, you ask? My house, of course....which I'm gutting and now looks like this....
It's going to be a long winter.
Read More in: Our House
October 18, 2011
Keeping the dust out of your work area while on the lathe or just cutting up some wood is a good idea. This powerful Shop Fox dust collector features a heavy-duty 12in. steel impeller and a 1.5 HP, 16 Amp 110V single phase motor that operates at 3450 RPM. It will generate 1280 CFM air suction to capture dust and debris from any woodworking saw, planer, jointer, band saw, shaper or sander with a dust port.
We've been using such a model in our woodshop in Maine, and we can safely say - what a difference. One thing this does add is a bit of noise, but then wearing some earplugs is also a great idea when in the shop.
At SHOP FOX W1685 1.5-Horsepower 1280 CFM Dust Collector
Read More in: Safety
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