Clever & Compact
Innovative Solutions for Every Job Site
This month's entries have a lot in common: They're compact, they're clever and they fill a much-needed niche.
Band Saws Keep Getting Smaller
The original band saw was a woodworking mastodon standing six-feet high in a workshop. Then the utility of a moving band of teeth for cutting metal came to the job site with large miter-box types of circulating blades: automated hacksaws. They evolved to heavy hand-held devices and have not stopped evolving since.
Although there is no stopping a good corded band saw when cutting through all kinds of metal on construction sites, the cordless are doing a respectable job, making it even easier to get into awkward places. DeWalt has just joined the competition with its Compact Band Saw for metal cutting applications fitted to their 20V MAX Lithium Ion battery system. Key with this tool, they have trimmed the weight down to 9.4 pounds including the battery, just under Milwaukee's 18-volt model, which weighs in at 10.25 pounds.
If you work in tight places and don't really need full power, you might want to look at the Milwaukee Sub-Compact 12-volt 6.75-pound model. The Sub-Compact is lighter duty with a shallower cut but only 11 inches long and performs surprisingly well with the RedLithium 12 volt battery. www.milwaukeetool.com.
Marking Like You Have Never Done Before
I put my hat ON for Milwaukee for their new jobsite permanent marker: the Inkzall. My hat on because it is uniquely made to clip onto a hard hat! As for writing, you can choose fine or medium points-but both the point and the ink were formulated just for our work. The durable non-mushrooming clog resistant tip can withstand writing on OSB, cinderblock and concrete, and write through dust, grease and water. Reverse the pen and the backside, where in the old days you might find an eraser, and you'll find a tablet/phone stylus allowing you to use your smart phone without removing your gloves. I've used it. I'm impressed.
Tools Should Be Sharp—Even Carpenter Pencils
Schluter Shower Prefabricated Niches
Montreal-based TV broadcaster, author, home renovation and tool expert
Jon Eakes provides a tool feature in each edition of Home BUILDER.