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New & Cool

Precision Lasers for Demanding Projects

DeWalt DW079LG vs. Stabila LAR120G

Installing trim packages in luxury custom homes today requires a stricter level of precision than ever before. When millwork is meticulously shop-drawn room by room and trim details flow between spaces, it’s crucial to have agreed-upon reference lines that are understood and trusted by multiple trades. Typically the General Contractor will set a benchmark, or horizontal axis line, at 48 or 60 in. AFF (above finish floor). Floor and ceiling planes are determined from this line, as well as door heads, horizontal trim elevations, and device heights. Grid lines may also be established on the floor to keep finish wall planes square and parallel. Collectively, all of these lines are referred to as axis lines, and serve as the three-dimensional starting point for locating finishes. Read the full article…

Calavera 5# Gear Bags

I have organizational envy. When it comes to a well thought out shop, trailer, jobsite or truck, I’m easily impressed. Even though (or perhaps because) I’m usually somewhat disorganized by nature, over the years I’ve tried to spend extra time and attention attempting to overcome this shortcoming as it relates to my business. I’ve tested many organizational systems for tools, hardware, and fasteners. Read the full article…

Kreg Foreman VS Kreg Foreman

 

A head-to-head tool review

I’ve used a Kreg pocket hole jig for years. Like a lot of woodworkers and carpenters, pocket holes have changed the way I work and made my job a lot easier. But years ago I grew tired of drilling so many holes by hand, especially when we were doing wainscoting in 30′ x 40′ rooms, one house after another. So I bought a Kreg Foreman. It was a pricey decision, and worth every penny. But now Kreg has come out with a new Foreman and it’s HALF THE PRICE! Read the full article…

The ‘New’ K5 Kreg Jig     

It might not be so new anymore—it took me months to get my hands on the K5 Pocket Hole jig, but it was worth the wait. Years ago, the Kreg Tool Company changed the way we work by popularizing pocket-hole joinery. Since then, they’ve continued to improve on the original model. The new K5 Jig is extremely easy to adjust, comes with a box-full of accessories, and even though most everything is plastic and has that DIYer feel, this is a tool for professionals. Read the full article…

Waterproof Windows with HydroGap

Some people (mostly folks who live in big cities!) think that builders who live in small towns are behind the curve when it comes to technology and better building practices. But the truth is that every state in the U.S. is actively improving building codes, and through new requirements on everything from decks to framing to air infiltration to housewrap, even small towns in America are getting up to speed. Read the full article…

Festool CT Wings

The first time I used a Bosch sliding compound miter saw, with up-front bevel lock, I didn’t like the saw at all—it weighed too much. But after working with it for six months, I loved it (as long as someone else would carry it!). And when I first starting using a Kapex, I didn’t like it at all. Other than the fact that I could carry it myself, I just wasn’t comfortable using it. Within a month, I loved it. Tools are like that. You have to use them before you really get to known them, and some you end up loving. Read the full article…

Stabila R-Beam Levels

For my first ten or fifteen years in carpentry, Stabila levels were mythical. Most of the time, you couldn’t even buy one, even if you could afford the hefty price tag. There just weren’t many around—only the most discriminating stores sold them, and they were always in short supply. Today you can buy a Stabila level at every professional tool store and lumber dealer. Read the full article…

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