• PLEASE HAMMER…DON’T HURT THEM

    A Hammer drill, when equipped with a masonry bit, are designed for drilling into stone, concrete, brick or mortar. When a hammer drill operates it rotates like a normal drill as well as has a forward, hammering, type action.

    Types of hammer drills

    You can buy a dedicated hammer drill. Commonly people will use a drill that has a hammer setting. These multi purpose drills are available corded and cordless.

    Dedicated hammer drill

    A dedicated hammer drill, sometimes called a rotary hammer , is a specialty tool that is used when you have a lot of masonry drilling to do. It sometimes makes sense to rent these as the expense is often hard to justify for the average DIYer.

    A corded drill with a hammer setting is useful when you have electricity nearby and you do not want to worry about having charged batteries. They also tend to have higher RPM and more power.

    Cordless drill with hammer option

    Cordless hammer drills are very handy when you do not have electricity nearby. The newest 18+ volt models have power that approaches corded tools. If you are not drilling hundreds of holes at one time these cordless wonders are the way to go.

    What a hammer drill is NOT

    The hammer drill setting is NOT for driving screws and should never be used when driving screws. Many people confuse hammer drills with a completely different tool called an impact driver . An impact driver uses an impact type action to increase rotational drive. Rotational impact excels at driving screws, lags and nuts but does nothing with regards to drilling. Don’t use an impact driver for drilling of any kind. Impact drivers are only for screws, nags, bolts and nuts.

  • LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CIRCULAR SAW???

    Looking for a circular to fit your needs as well as your budget?

    Follow this link for a review of 11 brands of circular saws!

  • 5 THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T DO IT YOURSELF!

    “How hard can it be?” is the first question a daring do-it-yourselfer may ask when approaching a perceivably easy home repair. And many have found out the answer to this question the hard way. The DIY craze has been in full swing in the United States for a while now. With the Internet as our guide, it seems as though no job is too large for our capable hands. Virtually every kind of repair or renovation is explained in full online, many times with step-by-step video to go along with it. And in a time when every penny counts, paying a professional could mean dipping into your staycation fund. There are many home repairs and renovation jobs that someone with modest experience can try to tackle. So how do you know when you’re being penny-wise versus pound foolish?
    Ask any DIY enthusiast about the fun of a self-styled home renovation, and you’ll likely be peppered with horror stories of cracked walls and wobbling floorboards. But walls that aren’t plumb and floors that aren’t level are far different than leaking ceilings or sparking outlets. Attempting certain repairs can be dangerous to your house and harmful to yourself.

    Here are five jobs that you’d be better off to leave to a professional.
    5
    Plumbing Repairs
    One thing can be said about water — if there’s a way out, water will find it. The very smallest leak can lead to thousands of dollars worth of damage if it’s not caught in time. If you’re a capable do-it-yourselfer and there’s existing plumbing in place, you can probably manage some minor repairs like changing a shower head or replacing a faucet. Even installing a new toilet is within the realm of a capable DIY-er (just make sure you have a tight seal). Where you can get into trouble is if you try to modify your plumbing system — extending hot water lines or re-routing your sewer pipes. Working with hot water means copper pipes, and that requires a blow torch. Unless you have some serious welding experience, it’s best to leave the torch jobs to the professionals. While this isn’t as dangerous as electric work, plumbing problems can get out of hand fast and lead to an expensive and wet future.
    4
    Electrical Repairs
    Wires can be incredibly dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.
    Any projects involving electricity should be approached with extreme caution. Like plumbing, you may be able to pull off minor repairs like changing a light switch or installing a ceiling fan — as long as you make sure that your power is turned off before you start. You can test the switch against the breaker so you’re positive that there isn’t a current, or you can just turn off your master switch to be super sure. You should also invest in a decent volt meter so you can test wires for power. But if the repair goes beyond a simple fixture, it’s best to call a professional electrician. In some instances, you have to have a permit to get the work done, and a professional will be your only option. Extending or replacing circuits is dangerous business if you don’t know what you’re doing. One wrong move could burn your house down, and a shock could result in injury or death. There are also building codes that are mandated for safety purposes; not being up to code may not affect you now, but it will if you ever try to sell your home.
    3
    Asbestos Removal
    Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and has been used for years in older homes and businesses for its insulating properties. It’s resistant to heat and electricity and is a good acoustic barrier as well. Unfortunately, asbestos was found to be toxic, and most of its uses were banned in the United States in 1989 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The ban was overturned in 1991, allowing trace amounts of asbestos in certain products, but the days of using it in large amounts as an insulator were over. While this stopped the mass use of asbestos, there were no provisions for the homes and businesses that already contained it.
    Asbestos abatement teams are typically hired to rid commercial properties of the toxic insulation. While it’s possible to perform a DIY asbestos removal, it’s not recommended. Aside from the inherent dangers of toxicity, there are many laws that govern the removal of asbestos because it can pose a danger to those in close proximity — like your neighbors. So what’s a homeowner to do? Hire a professional.
    2
    Roofing Repairs
    Repairing a roof isn’t recommended for a do-it-yourselfer for one reason — it’s easy to fall off of. Repairing a roof shingle or two isn’t the toughest job in the world, but it’s getting up and down and carrying your tools with you that pose the risk of injury or death. It’s also very tiring work, and when you’re tired, you’re more prone to make a mistake. Just a quick slip is all it takes to send you over the edge of a second-story roof.
    If you live in a one-story ranch and your slope is less than 20 degrees, you can probably get away with gutter work and minor shingle repair. Your roof may even be low enough to do it from the ladder. But these minor fixes still can be dangerous, and you should never attempt any of them when you’re home alone. At the very least, you should have a spotter in place to hold the ladder and be there in case of an accident. Aside from the danger involved, roofing work also requires experience to get it right. If you bite off more than you can chew, you may end up with a leaky roof and expensive water damage.
    1
    Gas Appliance Repairs
    A typical home may have several different appliances that run on gas. Your clothes dryer, oven and hot water heater are a few. It isn’t always a repair that leads people down the path of danger when dealing with gas. Sometimes, it may just be necessary to move the stove because of a floor tiling project or to move a dryer away from a wall that needs painting. Some homeowners feel like a hot water heater replacement is within the realm of their capabilities, and this is when accidents happen. Like water, gas will always find a leak. So while you may have done a good job in cutting off the gas supply line and moving the stove, you may not have been as careful when hooking it back up. The end result of what you thought was a simple fix could lead to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning — something that kills more than 400 people per year in the US.

  • A SIDE NOTE ABOUT SIDING

    Deciding what siding you’d like for your home is a matter of personal taste. Where as some people adore the old rustic look of wood, more people opt for a lower maintenance siding such as vinyl. Deciding how much work you want to dedicate to your siding (with installation and yearly upkeep), your price range, and resale value will determine which type you choose.

    Over the years there have been seven main types of siding which include, wood, asbestos, aluminum, vinyl, hardboard composite, fiberglass, and cement fiber. Throughout the years, it has been whittled down to four major types. Asbestos, because of it’s health risks is no longer used, and fiberglass and hardboard composite are nearly extinct.

    When deciding between wood, aluminum, vinyl and cement fiber, consider the following characteristics of each. Wood siding, although it has a lot of character is a lot of work. Constantly repainting, caulking and keeping pesky insects out of your wood can be an ongoing job. If you do decide to opt for wood, the price will vary based on which wood you choose and the style that you prefer. Hanging wood siding is pretty easy. Clapboard siding has overlapping joints, and board siding usually has grooves that fit into one another.

    Aluminum siding has in many ways replaced wood siding. Many newer homes install aluminum siding because it is relatively low maintenance. Coming in a variety of colors, grains and patterns, aluminum siding offers you the option of “wooden siding” because of it’s variety of textures. Aluminum siding is very easy to hang, arriving in planks you simply interlock the planks together. Prices range from moderately to high if you choose vinyl or plastic coated aluminum. The disadvantages of aluminum siding is that it is prone to denting and fading over time. It is noisy and you lack the flexibility for detailed trim work.

    Vinyl siding, is a low cost and low maintenance siding. It is easy to install with perforated holes that interlock, and like aluminum siding is available in a variety of colors, designs and textures. Although vinyl siding can crack in cold weather if there is an impact, there are few if any repairs other than an occasional break. Since the color is actually in the vinyl, there will never be a need to repaint.

    Cement Fiber Siding, is the most recent siding. It is durable and low maintenance. Although it is slightly more expensive that other options, it does have a 50 year warranty. For environmentally conscious consumers, you will be happy to know it is made out of recycled materials. Cement Fiber siding is almost indistinguishable from natural wood siding since it can match grain and be manipulated into trim and detail just as wood would. The advantage to using Cement Fiber siding is that it has curbside appeal like wood, but is durable, prefinished, does not need to be repainted year after year, and has no problem with insects.

  • AUTO VS REGULAR

    Hammers are the quintessential tool–likely one of the first tools man invented, and probably one of the first tools you ever picked up. Everyone remembers his dad’s old hammer. After the years go by and the time comes for your father’s hammer to be passed down, there’s no doubt you’ll wear it on your hip with honor and announce to anyone who’ll listen, “This was my dad’s hammer!”

    But now, here comes Craftsman with something called the NEXTEC Hammerhead Auto-Hammer , a battery-powered tool that drives nails by pounding a little piston up to 3600 times per minute. Is this new device poised to replace the traditional hammer.

    Are we looking at a future in which young men proudly announce that they’ve just inherited their father’s Auto-Hammer?

    To put this idea to the test, I pitted the Auto-Hammer head-to-head against my steel Estwing 16-ounce Rip Hammer in a series of challenges.

    Speed Trials

    The parameters of my first test were simple: timing how long it took to drive four 4d 1-1/2-in. galvanized joist hanger nails. For the test, I sent the nails through 1-in.-thick poplar, a softwood, and into standard 2x stock, also pretty soft. I made sure that there were no knots in the testing area that would unfairly slow down the nails.

    Using the trusty old Estwing, I managed to get all four nails embedded in the wood in an uneventful 18 seconds. The Auto-Hammer, on the other hand, had some trouble with the bulky nails. In 43 seconds, I managed to get them all in the wood, but I couldn’t seal the deal with any of the nails; no matter what I tried, the Auto-Hammer got them to a point but left them sticking them out of the wood like little galvanized mushrooms.

    Winner: Estwing

    Speed Trials II

    I then repeated the same test with 2-in. stainless-steel ring-shank nails. Showing that at the very least, I’m consistent, I again pounded all four nails in 18 seconds. The Auto-Hammer fared much better with the smaller nails, and I managed to drive them all flush with the wood in 41 seconds. It took over twice as long as with the regular hammer, but the end results were the same.

    Winner: Estwing

    Thumb Trial

    There is a certain, specific agony associated with hitting your thumb with a hammer. I’m never sure which is worse–the sheer pain, or the self-loathing, “I can’t believe I just did that,” humiliation. Or, as the Auto-Hammer ad puts it: “When a man misses a nail, the only thing bruised more than his thumb is his ego.” It’s a rite of passage, and it certainly happens to us all. But I think I’m one of the few to have done it on purpose.

    For this test, I positioned the head of the Estwing about 10 in. above my thumb. Then, I let gravity do the rest. There’s no need to detail the words that came out of my mouth upon impact. Even with that little bit of swing, the hit was truly painful. I switched hands, then pressed the nose of the Auto-Hammer against my other thumb and pulled the trigger. While the impact of the piston did sting quite a bit, it didn’t extend into a 5-minute throb like the hammer hit did.
    T here are two things worth noting here: 1) The Auto-Hammer is designed so that it’s really difficult to get your fingers in the way of the piston during operation. 2) The hit with the Estwing was very minor compared to what would have happened had I been actually swinging with any force.

    Winner: Auto-Hammer

    Visibility Trial

    I then took the hammers into a closet to pound a few nails in the dark. The Auto-Hammer comes equipped with an LED that lights up the work area, so it wasn’t a problem driving a nail in the closet’s limited visibility and maneuverability. Thinking back to the painful thumb trial, I decided it was best not to perform the visibility trial with the Estwing and, by default, declared the Auto-Hammer the winner.

    Winner: Auto-Hammer

    Conclusion

    The Auto-Hammer is a nice tool, and certainly has its uses in dimly lit, cramped spaces. But when it comes to overall nail-pounding action, it can’t compare with the traditional hammer.