October 14, 2013
This is just too cool and bizarre not to mention. Rockler is selling a kit for the Koostik, an iphone speaker that just works on natural acoustics. No electricity, no volume buttons, just wood with some strange 'ear canal' looking channels carved through it.
From the press release:
"When the iPhone is placed in the Koostik cradle, the music is instantly amplified due to the carefully designed sound channels and acoustic chambers. The sound will fill the room without using any additional power beyond what the iPhone uses to operate," says Scott Ekman, Rockler's Vice President of Marketing.
It apparently amplifies the music by two to four times, so you're probably not going to be able to shake the windows with Sepultura. But a little Chet Baker while you're reading is entirely doable.
The kit comes in two pieces (body and face frame) and is unfinished, so you can put it together with any flourishes you want and coat it with whatever makes you happy. It costs $50. Which is about half of the price of one if you buy it assembled
Read More in: Distractions
October 10, 2013
"One bit to rule them all...."
So we've been getting a lot of kickstarter emails lately. People have come up with ideas and they're trying to get the word out. That's fine. For the most part, we're somewhere between "meh" and "zzzzzzz" on most of the products. A drill with one new feature isn't going to get us too charged up. But the other week, a package arrived from a start-up called Outlaw Fasteners and their UniGrip drive system is a doozie.
It's a complete fastening system based around a single tiered drill bit. For a boring old Philips bit you need three bits to drive all three sizes of screws. Outlaw changes all of that. The bit looks like a Devo helmet (which automatically makes it awesome) but it's squared off like an Allen wrench. For the #2 size screw, two of the tiers fit into the screwhead, for the larger #3, three tiers fit in. With so many faces and edges making contact, there's hardly any way for one of these to strip out.
The fastener solves a lot of problems. First off, because all of the fastener sizes work off a single bit, it means no more ridiculous Altoid container loaded with P#1, P#2, P#3, R#1, R#2, and on and on. You just need to keep one bit loaded in the screw gun to deal with the entire range of screws.
Also, the fastener head is attractive, so it would be no problem being exposed on decking.
It's simply a great idea and in a perfect world it would eliminate Philips and the simply terrible and dreaded Robertson drives.
The Kickstarter campaign is live and it looks like they're already half way to their goal. We wish them luck.
Read More in: All Reviews | Fasteners
October 9, 2013
Our homies over at ProToolReviews.com have wrapped up their first ever Pro Tool Innovation Awards and posted up the winners over at their site.
It's a great competition and it's cool to see the champs. Everything is broken out into categories so it's easy to browse around. It's totally worth your time to head on over. While you're there, stick around and dig into the rest of the site. It's all good.
Read More in: Distractions | Tool News
September 30, 2013
So it's no secret that we're on board with the cordless Paslode for all of our finish nailing needs. If we can take the compressor out of our routine, we're going to do it. But what about a cordless brad gun? Ryobi was kind enough to get one of their new 18-volt AirStrike Brad Nailers in our hands and we've been playing around with it for a little while. Here's what we think: Continue reading: "Ryobi AirStrike 18-Volt 18 Gauge 2-inch Brad Nailer - Review"
Read More in: Air Tools | All Reviews | Cordless | Lithium-Ion
September 19, 2013
We've been fans of Arbortech for a long time. First we heard about their insane AS170 Brick and Mortar Saw (here are our thoughts on an earlier version of the tool) and then we discovered that they also carry a line of interesting woodworking/carving tools, most notably, the Power Chisel and the Mini-Grinder. Not too long ago, they released a very intense grinder attachment called the TURBOPlane. It took the concept of a power planer and stuck it on the end of a whirling grinder chuck. It's pretty badass and the rate at which it removes wood is really impressive (our review is here).
So now, we got word that they're on the verge of releasing a smaller version of the tool called the Mini-TURBO. They were nice enough to get one into our hands. We gave it a good test run and here's what we think. Continue reading: "Arbortech Mini-TURBO - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Grinders | Power Tool Accessories
September 5, 2013
This isn't a review as much as it's a high-five, fist-pound, belly-bump to Paslode for their Fuel + Nail packs. Since we got the li-ion version of the Paslode finish gun, we've hardly even picked up a pneumatic nailer. Why bother? The Paslode has all of the power with none of the compressor hassle. Gone are hoses, finding an outlet for the compressor, obnoxious filling noise, and just lugging the thing around. Goodbye.
So Paslode offers, these Fuel + Nail packs where you get 1000 galvy finish nails and a fuel pack. By a total coincidence, a fuel pack is good for approximately 1000 nails. They sent us one to check out and it all works like you'd expect it would. One really nice touch is that each pack includes an adapter nozzle so the gas canister can be used with the NiCd version of the tool. The connection in the Li-Ion gun is much better and not as fragile, but if you already own the older gun, these will work for you too.
Overall, they're really convenient and they eliminate that constant feeling we used to have where we were always worried about running out of fuel half way through a job.
The packs are around $20 and are available at Home Depot or online (or your local tool store).
Read More in: Air Tools | All Reviews | Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Power Tool Accessories
September 3, 2013
We've been waiting on the Festool Carvex for a while...maybe almost three years since we first heard about it. We got a chance to play with one at the JLC show a few years back and at the time it seemed like the jigsaw that would solve all of our jigsaw problems (accuracy, straight cuts, tight scrolls, etc). Then we heard that its release was delayed...and it disappeared for a while...but now it's here. When Festool offered to send us one to check out, we hopped at the opportunity. This one looks like it has it all. And as it turns out, it does have it all. But only if "all" includes a functionality problem that unfortunately cancels out much of the good that it has to offer and makes it a tool we can't recommend. A real and total bummer. Continue reading: "Festool Carvex 420 Jigsaw - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools
August 31, 2013
Why not bring in the holiday weekend with a little disorderly conduct and indecent exposure? There's really not a whole lot to say here, so we're going to leave it at the above picture and the following sentence from the Smoking Gun piece. You can decide for yourself whether you want to click through to the link or not (you probably will).
Officers were dispatched to [Home Depot] "in reference to a male and female entering a display shed on the property, closing the door behind themselves and remaining inside,"
Probably just checking to see if there's enough room for the wheelbarrow and the lawn mower.
"More Saving, More Doing"....indeed.
Picture and story from The Smoking Gun here.
Read More in: Distractions
August 29, 2013
If only I'd known about these six months ago when we were framing the addition. They look waaaaay easier than traditional anchor bolts. The press release is after the jump with all kinds of information (the kind of technical stuff that we're not even going to bother summarize here). There is also an explanation of "Advanced Threadform Technology," if you're into that wild kind of nomenclature. Continue reading: "Large Diameter Tapcons"
Read More in: Fasteners
August 27, 2013
So this is a neat idea. It seems to have some limitations, but overall the thought behind it is solid. The SideJob Cargo Racks are a retro-fit storage system that attach to the side of your van and allow you to carry around additional sheet goods or some lumber. According to the website, the racks can hold up to eight sheets of plywood or 32 2x4s. Continue reading: "SideJob Cargo Racks"
Read More in: Benches, Stands, and Storage
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