Smoky the Bear Sez:

Remember, with Canada Day and the US Fourth of July festivities coming right up…

 

How many times in that week will we hear the famous last words,

“Hey, hold my beer, and watch me do THIS!”

A Quick, Down and Dirty Job with the new DeWalt Tools

I had to replace the stoop boards leading onto my back entry yesterday since they had finally rotted way after umpteen years of being buried under the roof drop snow though the Maine winters. The stoop is on the north side of the house, and the boards never get enough light to dry out even in summer rains. Add in that the years of sand and grit going thru the cracks had built up to touch the undersides, and there is no wonder they were getting poggy.

It was just a little throw-away job, but the perfect example of the ones that get postponed from the hassle of getting out “all those tools”.

The DeWalt crew made short work of it.

 

The DeWalt DCS570, 7 1/4″ circular saw gave a wicked clean, smooth, and high-speed cut on the 2×12 stock, despite the fact that I had mounted an old, used blade [24 tooth framer].

I was very impressed with how quickly it powered through the 2 x 12 Stock.It was equal to what I would’ve expected out of my old SKILPro.

I was equally impressed with the blade break feature… almost instant stoppage.

I used the DCS367 recipro for the cutout to fit my post footing. Even though it was just eye-ball guess-timated, it was close enough for government work.

Finally, I ran the 3 1/2″ treated deck screws in with the little Bosch impact driver… 12 in less than 2 minutes. The Bosch set is quite powerful for its small size.

I don’t think that I had mentioned previously that one of the nice things on the DeWalt batteries is their charge level indicators… 3 LEDs that let you see what’s left. I used the same battery in both DeWalt tools [the smaller 2Ah one] and there was no power drop at all.

I was done with the job in twenty minutes, and that included getting the 2×12 down from the barn and the clean up afterward.

A Tale Of Three Tool Kits~ Part One

I have often mentioned my 90%/50% Rule [If you can get 90% of the utility for 50% of the cost you’ve made a good deal]. However, I was also raised to believe in the idea that you should buy things for the long-term. This means purchasing with the idea of getting the best quality, and then not having to replace the item [at least for a long time]… especially for things that you know you will be using regularly. Ever since I started spending my own money, I have been a fan of L.L.Bean’ clothing, Sears-Roebuck’s “Craftsman” brand, Toyota, my Bark River and Grohman knives etc… established brands you know you can count on for not only the finest quality, but also for standing behind their products with good service and warranties. For me, most particularly, this policy has always taken the form of spending full price for excellent, professional grade tools.

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Now that the Château is up for sale, I have been dealing with the collection of “Everythings” that has accumulated from four generations of my forbears, and however many families that actually includes. This also means that I have been selling off all the contractor’s grade tools that I’ve accumulated over the last four decades. And it means that since these tools were worthwhile when first purchased, they had a reasonable resale value, and I’ve been able to make a considerable amount back… I can’t call this “profit”, but I can call it a depreciated return on investment.

This is only a portion of the tools I had up for sale. By the time this photo was taken, many items had already sold.

Realizing that I would still want to do many things with power tools that I have done before, but not at the contracting type level, I have been looking into the new generation of 20V battery powered toolkits that provide a wide selection of tools. All of which are powered from the manufacturer’s proprietary battery system… you have to choose a product line or suck up the cost of multiple battery systems and chargers. One of the biggest advantages though is that there are no more grimy power cords to deploy and have snaking all over underfoot. [In the clean out I’ve found I had accumulated 14 of them, ranging in length from 10′ to 100′]

While I was in North Carolina with the Rev. elfLiza a Bosch drill-driver and impact driver set went on sale at an irresistible price point of $99 including a charger, two batteries and a “fitted” case. They were only 12V, but had the advantage of being much smaller in the hand that most of the 20v offerings. Since she lives in an urban setting where Amazons”Prime” means overnight delivery, I picked it up.

My buddy, TOG already had a similar drill driver from Makita that I really liked using, so I pretty much knew what I was getting… Decent power and the big advantage of being small enough to drop right in the pouch of my tool belt or stick in a hip pocket. While I had purchased the set with the full intention of leaving it behind in North Carolina for use down there, I discovered I liked it so well, and it was so small that I could tuck it under a seat, and it went in the car and came back to Maine with me.

I wasn’t wild about the little, squared off fabric case that came with the Bosch Combo, and I ended up I substituting a small Gladstone tool bag that I had up in a closet. It was a perfect fit for the entire kit… drill & driver, both batteries, charger, plus two sets of specialty drill bits and a DeWalt driver-bit set in a hard-shell case that I already had. Pretty much anything I am likely to want to do with a drill/drive can be done with what’s right in the bag. Despite their small size, the batteries charge up fully in just over a half an hour, so I can’t really imagine any work slowdown ever occurring at my expected level of use.

Additionally, I had an older set of Ridgid brand battery tools that I bought while I was building the Château.

IMG_4847This had the hammer drill, a smaller drill-driver, a 6 1/2″ circular saw and a work light, as well as the charger, three large batteries and two small. They were state of the art back then. I offered them up for sale both on Craigslist and at barn sales with the other power tools, but no one was buying, even at the decent price I offered. They all still run well and were great tools when they were purchased, but the batteries are now about two generations behind, and don’t hold a charge as well as they used to. I had tried several times to sell them all for $35, and have ended up hanging on to them more or less by default.

In retrospect, I’m grateful that no one took me up on the deal. My lady friend is coming up for several weeks from North Carolina, and I will simply send this set back down with her to replace the Bosch set that I absconded with. That way, that I will have perfectly OK tools available there until I make the actual move.

 

All this post is by way of preamble. Even with these two perfectly usable sets in hand, I knew that in the long run I was going to want something better and featuring a wider variety of tools to replace my pro setup. I had sufficient money from all of the sales of my other tools, so…

…and THAT will take us to Part Two of the series which I will post separately.

Sorry, But I’m “Flat Out Like A Lizard Drinkin’…”

Posts from up here in the Falls may be a bit sparse for a while.

I am working on the Project Knife when I get a chance, but I have also just listed my house for sale figuring that anyone who is in the market for this type of home is going to want to enjoy it during the upcoming summer season. [My part of Maine is a vacation magnet, since I am only just over 2 hours from Boston]

THIS is sucking up an inordinate amount of time as I attempt to cure 7 years of neglect since my wife went into longterm care and I stopped being “responsible”, and the resultant geezer-clutter. Add to that a lifelong similarity to Dennis’s attitude below and you will get the idea…

The good news is that it’s only been on the market for 36 hours and I have a showing today!!!

Get To Know The Moon

It’s always good to know when and where the Moon will rise and set when you are out camping on a nice night.

Search “Rivolu LLC” from your phone…

Their “Moon Calendar Pro” is free right now [Feb 12th, 2018] and check out their “Tide Alert” app, too, if you camp down near the ocean

[EDIT:]

“bigbenny” from Sydney, DownUnder suggested a really full featured alternative in WillyWeather on iOS in Australia. It is “Not Just Weather”, and includes wind, tides, rainfall, swell, sunrise and sunset, moon phases, and UV all in one app.

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