Author Archives: Jay Amstutz
We recently had the opportunity to spend a few days with the Ridgid 18V Air Compressor R0230 ($179, bare or $299 kit) and really had some initial doubts about how practical it was to put batteries on an air compressor or how useful that might be. We’ve been using a Porter Cable 4 gallon for many years and since we’ve gotten our hands on various cordless nailers have really used it less and less. Currently the only other cordless air compressor on the market is the Dewalt FlexVolt DCC2560T1 ($299, Kit) which we will look at as well.
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Recently we had the opportunity to attend Makita’s New Product Event where we got to see a handful on exciting new Makita products launching over the next several months in woodworking, concrete, outdoor power and many other categories. One product that was really a big launch for us was the Brushless Track Saw XPS01Z ($349,bare) or XPS01PTJ ($499, kit). If you’ve ever used Makita’s corded track saw SP6000J ($349) we’ve got good news if you liked it, bad news if you didn’t, they are very very similar. And the 55″ & 110″ tracks as well as all the other accessories are completely interchangeable.
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Now that we are less than a month away from the September 23rd deadline we are seeing a lot more interest about the new OSHA Silica Rules which is good that people are taking this seriously. One of the big debates that has recently popped up, some manufacturers are telling their own customers that they will not support “Objective Data” and everything must be “Table 1”. This is also a commitment to not look at all the options for the safest possible solutions or to develop new tools/solutions in many key areas. The good news is OSHA (the people who make the decisions) wrote a pretty clear 26 page document §1926.1153 which provides 3 ways to be compliant for companies who will continue to innovate in this space; Table 1, Objective Data and Self-Monitoring Program. (more…)
At 11:30 AM ||
This Monday the 21st the moon will fully eclipse the sun for a narrow band across the US, during a “complete eclipse” you can actually look at the sun if it’s fully behind the moon without any protection and not be harmed because the sun is completely covered. However if even a tiny sliver of the sun is visible, which will be the case for the other 99.9+% of the country at any given time you will need to wear serious eye protection. You can check out the American Astronomical Society (AAS.org) for legit vendors of “Eclipse Glasses” but it’s not pretty, from their site Note: It is now too late to buy solar viewers in time for August 21st. Virtually all vendors are sold out, whether or not they’re listed as such below. See our pinhole projection page for other ways to enjoy the partial phases of the eclipse.
Good news is this is just another excuse to buy that Iron Man Welding Mask you’ve been thinking about! Unfortunately you probably can’t order anywhere online and have it by Monday but perhaps one of these masks at Home Depot can be ordered for a local pickup this weekend. While there are a wide range of price points for welding masks the important specification to note is mask must be a 12 or 13 shade for sufficient protection from the sun. Darker the better but at 14 you may not be able to see much. Welding Glasses or Dark Green Face Shield rated IR3 or IR5 are not going to be protective enough for staring at the sun and can cause serious eye damage. ***WARNING*** if the auto darkening doesn’t come on and stay on (with no flickering) you are not protected so make sure it works correctly.
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When working in any confined space there are a wide range of potential hazards and unfortunately has been a source for many worker fatalities in the past. For this reason there are some clear processes and procedure OSHA requires anytime some is going to enter a Confined Space. We have limited knowledgeable in this area but it is a very important topic which seems to raise a lot of questions, so we took a field trip to the Safex Training Facility to get a little better understanding of what processes, procedure, regulation and equipment are involved with working in confined spaces. (more…)
At 11:39 AM ||
We have been very impressed with the new SKILSAW professional brand and their departure from the cheaper Skil Tools we were seeing in the market. They have really been creative in utilizing the tried and true Wormdrive motor to expand to high quality metal saws, table saws, larger circular saws and a handful of other nice circular saws all paired with high quality Diablo Blades. This new reciprocating aka “BUZZKILL” saw SPT44A ($99) is their first branch away from a circular saw platform but we are guessing this is the first of many under their new leadership.
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For many years Milwaukee has offered the ability to use their batteries to charge your phone via USB. The current M12 Power Source 49-24-2310 ($27) and M18 Power Source 49-24-2371 ($30) are quickly becoming a staple for pros that have Milwaukee batteries as a great way to charge their devices on the go. This new M12 Power Source Micro-USB 48-59-1202 ($49) goes 1 step further and allows you to charge any M12 Battery on the go. (more…)
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