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Before you head out to get your lawn and landscape machinery humming again, check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recent tool recalls (beginning January 1, 2013) to avoid unwanted burns, gas leaks, lacerations, and explosions.

Recall: Briggs & Stratton Ariens Compact Snow Throwers
The carburetor bowl nut on Ariens’ orange-and-black 24-inch Snow-Thro can allow gas to leak from the unit, causing a fire hazard. The model number is 920014 with serial numbers from 100,000 through 119,039. They were sold from August-September 2012 at Ariens and Home Depot locations nationwide.

Recall: Ryobi Lithium 18 V 4Ah Battery Pack
The cordless tool battery pack, model P108 and part number 130429028, can overheat and burst while on a charger, causing fire and burn hazards. They were sold at Home Depot in the U.S. and Canada from September-December 2012.

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First came dual flush toilets — a pretty ingenious idea for saving water — then about a year or so ago somebody came up with the idea of a dual flush conversion kit for your existing toilet but priced it so high your grandchildren wouldn’t live long enough to see any payback. Today we noticed MJSI sells a conversion kit that doesn’t cost much more than just replacing your toilet’s guts would anyway.

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I just came back from my annual stocking-stuffer trip during which I noticed that Wal-Mart is selling a Stanley Tool Box combo for $9. The first tool box is a Stanley model 19151. I could not find that specific number on the web, including on the Stanley site, but their model 19013, shown above, appears to be almost identical: plastic, approx. 19″ × 10″ × 9″ with a removable tool tray, two built-in organizers on top, and two metal latches. Wal-Mart’s combo puts a Stanley model 13004 (approx. 12″ × 5″ × 5″; simple plastic box with plastic latch and no tool tray) inside the model 19151. The label on the combo said “made in the USA with global materials.” Just so no one is confused by the picture, the tools and parts are not included.

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Maverick of Maverick Solar put the IkePak together to help his son after Hurricane Ike. He did not spend time doing extensive calculations, but just used what was readily available — he runs a solar energy company, so he probably has a few relevant things available — or easily obtained at the local WalMart. The wheeled Igloo cooler holds a marine battery, a 400W inverter, a solar charge controller, an inline fuse for protection, and most of the wiring. It provides enough power for a few CFLs, a small TV, and a cell phone charger. The total cost was ~ $360; the most expensive item was the $175 20W solar panel.

Additional pictures and details are the link below.

IkePak [Maverick Solar]

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If you haven’t got your summer hydration plan in place yet, take a look at this deal. Wal-Mart is selling this seven-gallon water/beverage cooler for $30, online only, with free shipping to their stores. Searching for this type of cooler for my own hydration plan, I found lots of options with street pricing much higher than this — on a dollars per gallon basis, this is a steal. I just wish these suckers were rated on some kind of insulation scale.

If smaller is better, you can get a five-gallon cooler on Amazon for $22.

7-Gal. Water Cooler [Wal-Mart]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]


We’re not suggesting that you get rid of your Craftsman, MAC, or Snap-On box or anything, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive roll-away tool chest for yourself, your son/daughter, or a friend, Wal-Mart may have your ticket.

We were out looking for just such a beast last week and came across the one pictured here for $68.98 + tax.  It doesn’t have the same fit and finish as the name brand boxes we have in the shop, but then again the cheapest comparable Craftsman we’ve seen is the 12-Drawer Combo in the latest Craftsman Club flyer for $179.99.

So, if you’re strapped for cash and still need a place for your tools, it’s something to consider.


Jack StandsThough we can’t provide you a link (as Wal-Mart doesn’t list their auto stuff online), we can tell you that we came across a set of two 2-Ton jack stands at Wal-Mart today for $9.83.

Your mileage may vary.