I’ve been postponing hanging some family pictures for a while — OK, it’s been years; happy now? — but recent “suggestions” from my patient but persistent wife prompted me to actually do something. Naturally, the first thing I did — in order to procrastinate further — was to check the web to see if I had all the necessary stuff. One site (TM 11/11/07) — our favorite — had a reference to a nice tutorial. I also ran across the Hangman Products site and noticed they have several items relevant to my pending project, plus a neat motto (Hang It Level Every Time®).
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Speaking of multi-tools (e.g., TM 11/20/09), I just saw the Level Best2 in one of those card pack mailers — PRODUCTS FOR WOODWORKERS. RECESSION BUSTING DISCOUNT COUPONS INSIDE! — that I usually toss into the recycle bin. This “ideal portable tool” comes in 12″ and 6″ sizes, and, if you order one 12″ version now using code LB2, you will “Get One 6″ Tool FREE!” — only $19.95 plus S&H, which appears to be $4.95. If you don’t like yellow, you can get a Level Best2 in blue, violet, or pink, also. They are pretty clear on its four uses: level, plumb, square, and ruler.
Web pricing starts around $6 for the 6″ and $10 for the 12″, so, depending on S&H from other sites, the bundle from the manufacturer could be a good deal. But is this a useful tool? What do you think?
Yup, pink. TM has previously mentioned the LifeHammer and ResQMe. Now, if you buy the pink versions, the distributor, nov8, will make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. If someone you know has been affected by breast cancer — it took my Mom after a long struggle many years ago — then this might be a way to support or recognize them. So far, I’ve only been able to find the pink ResQMe available for $12 online at Ace.
ResQMe Pink [Ace]
Lex’s recent post on captive nuts reminded me of some other nuts I’ve been using a lot lately while doing some volunteer work on a search-and-rescue van: nylon-insert hex nuts. Depending on which big box you shop at, and whom you ask when there, they’re also called stop nuts, locknuts, or nyloks (although NYLOK® is a nylon material typically applied to bolts and screws), or nylocks. I like them because they resist vibration and loosening, they’re reusable, they don’t damage threads, and they’re readily available. McMaster-Carr has a large variety in their catalog, and many of the big boxes carry Hillman versions.
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Ever notice how you never have to sharpen your steak knives? The serrated edge keeps its ability to cut much longer than a straight edge, but some of the trade-offs are you don’t get as clean a cut and it’s not fun to sharpen. Neither of these disadvantages matter for many tasks you’d use a utility knife for, as you’d probably rather work longer without stopping to change blades.
Rapid Tools manufactures Rapid Edge blades for your utility knife. They claim the blades last longer because the serrated edge has three to five times the cutting surface of a straight blade. This reduces friction, keeping the blade sharper longer. While you might not want to use the Rapid edge for cutting drywall it supposedly works well on materials like carpet, wire, rope, and asphalt shingles.
Rapid Edge Blades fit all standard utility knives. They come in packs of 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 blades and start around $4 for a five-pack.
We’ve covered a way to turn your reciprocating saw into a power rasp, but that was just a single use tool. With the Reciprotools adapter chucked into your Recip saw, you can power accessories like stainless steel or nylon brushes, a cleaning pad, rasps, and files.
The the double tang adapter works with most reciprocating saws. Once you’ve inserted the adapter into the saw’s chuck, the adapter provides a quick-change hex chuck for holding the accessories. The hex-shaped shank on the accessories allows you to position each tool in six different orientations.
Pricing for the adapter starts at $16 and accessories start at $6 a piece.
Rather than get down on your hands and knees to remove leaves around your plantings and trellis work, pick up a steel adjustable-tine rake like this one from Bond Manufacturing. I used to dread cleaning out the garden every spring until a few years ago when I picked up a similar rake. It’s not something you use to rake the entire lawn, but the variable-size head lets you clean out areas where your normal rake won’t fit.
The head of this particular model expands from 7″ to 25″ wide and can be locked at any width in between. By contracting the head back down to 7″, you can store the 69″ rake in much less space than you would need for a full-sized one.
Shipping on this rake runs about $15, or you could probably pick up a knock-off for under $10 at a local store like I did.
If you can’t see what you’re doing or where you’re going on the work site, you’re asking for an accident. Rather than cluttering up the site with a bunch of stand-mounted lights, shed some light on the situation with a temporary string of lights like this one from Woods.
This string of work lights features ten protected light enclosures with standard light bulb sockets connected by 100 feet of yellow 14/2 wire. The string is rated for 1,500W at 120V, which means theoretically you could use ten 150W bulbs, but to be on the safe side you probably don’t want to exceed 100W bulbs.
Pricing for this string of lights start in the mid $70s.
If you need a small portable cutting tool for carpet, clamshell, cardboard, fabric, and other lightweight materials, take a look at Skil’s Power Cutter. It sports a 10-sided 1-1/2″ blade, and it comes with a 3.6V lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger. Amazon is selling the Skil Power Cutter for $48 — or you can pick it up at Ace Hardware for $52 if you need it immediately.
Brush and roller cleaners like the one above have stood the test of time. As a boy, I remember helping my dad clean his paint brushes by attaching them to the cleaner and pumping like mad inside of a bucket to spin them as fast as I could — I learned fast how big of a mess I could make without the bucket.
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