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It’s Monday again, and Sean and I are back to brighten up your work week with a run down of the top five tools as selected by the readers of Toolmonger.com.  Highlights: we discuss the merits/demerits of ditching your string trimmer for a foot-powered unit, tell stories about refurbishing a pool the hard way, and rejoin the gas vs. charcoal grill argument.  Remember, if you’ve got a question or comment for us, you can call us at 866-718-9403.  (Podcast Download)


6 Responses to Tool Talk Podcast #7

  1. Kurt Schwind says:

    Chuck, I just listened to your latest podcast and I have a comment to make. You are the FIRST person I’ve ever heard of that cleaned his grill (charcoal OR gas) AFTER cooking. Weber recommends cleaning gas grills BEFORE cooking, just like you would with a charcoal grill. I always start cooking on any grill by making it as hot as I can. Then I clean the grate and move coals as needed and start cooking. For gas I start as hot as I can get, clean the grate, and then set the temp to whatever I want. I don’t think that it’s good practice to clean any gas grill afterward except perhaps those tiny gas grills used for tailgating/camping.

    Anyone else clean their gas after cooking instead of before?

  2. Chuck Cage says:

    I guess I like my grill a little cleaner than most. I don’t just heat it up and scrape on it a bit — I wash it. My gas grills generally cooled down by the time I was finished eating, so (after having run it hot and scraped it before sitting down to dinner) I’d come back out afterwards, wipe it down, and scrub the little remaining junk off the grill itself. Next time I just opened it up and it was ready to go.

  3. The only time I have cleaned a grill after cooking was if I was planning on moving the grill before the next use. Also I clean up if any grease drippings attracted my dogs, which lick up the drippings on the deck below the grill. Otherwise, I heat up the grill and wire brush the grate.

  4. Freddie says:

    The problem with cleaning a grill after use is rust.
    If the grill is covered in fat it will not rust.
    I just throw out the ash and then scrub the hot grill with a piece of newspaper.

    But then I am a charcoal guy.

    It sucks carrying a dirty grill when you’re going to a park though.

    Back to the tools, I actually used two of the tree-spades while I was a volunteer in Israel. We used to call it a tree baller because it scoops the tree in much the same way you scoop ice cream. One was the size of a small tractor or maybe a very large lawnmower. The other was a bit larger. It really feels weird using this because the thing shakes your whole body the way drilling concrete shakes your hand.

    We used to remove the trees early in the morning so that by the time the heat of the day struck the trees were out and their roots (and the earth around them) were all balled up and being watered.

    After removal the trees get stacked in rows on plastic sheeting with water dripping onto the root balls from plastic hosing. We found that to save the tree it was best to keep as much of the original soil as possible attached to the roots. This is because water is absorbed through little roots that we can’t even see very well and if you save loads of them the tree stands a better chance. If you damage the tree near the boll it starts rotting sometimes too so you have to be careful.

    A three man team could ball, rack, stack and water about 40 – 100 trees before lunch. The trees get clipped a few weeks before you do this. By clipped I mean you remove all the unnecessary branches and leave the tree looking quite embarrassed. You also paint the trunk with a white gunk to stop it from sprouting.

    Planting is much easier. You just make a hole, remove the sacking from the ball and settle the tree in gently so you don’t disturb the roots. Then cover it with the remaining earth and water it well.

    Maybe it was the desert weather, but we found that a tree stood a much better chance of surviving if you watered it every day for the first year or so.

  5. Malcolm says:

    What is it?
    38 min into this show you make a reference to a small ripping tool that you both really like called the ‘flwaygo’?? I googled many different spellings but – what is this tool? or it’s spelling? Thanks I love the show.

    Carpenter, San Diego

  6. Chuck Cage says:

    Malcolm: It’s RIDGID’s Fuego (as in “fire”). Here’s a link to our hands on: [link]  We had good experiences with it, and it’s quite light.

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