Michael Davis owns Framing Square Construction in Conifer, Colorado. He grew up in West Texas and worked in the oil fields before landing a job as a construction laborer. He quickly became a carpenter's helper and then later, a framer—which turned out to be his calling in life. Davis's first big break came when he signed on with a traveling piecework crew that framed motels all over the Southwest. It taught him a lot about production framing—though later in life he would pay the price (three elbow surgeries and a bum shoulder) for driving 100 pounds of nails per day with a 32-ounce Vaughn. His next job was with a framing company in New Mexico, where he worked his way up to crew leader, became a partner, and ended up owning the company. All told, he spent 33 years framing across the Southwest, in Western Canada, and on Colorado's Western Slope—where he built multi-million dollar condos in places like Aspen and Vail. Davis has slowed down; he no longer has 50+ employees and is not chasing big jobs. But he still works with tools: building decks, installing siding, and doing the occasional remodel. When Davis isn't building, he writes for Tools of the Trade and does his bit as a volunteer fire-fighter.


Michael's Latest Articles

  • Power options include a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack and an adapter pack containing four AAA batteries.

    Coast A25R Flashlight

    This flashlight is rechargeable and packs a blindingly bright 466-lumen LED.

  • Milwaukee Tape Measures

    This summer Milwaukee announced a new line of tape measures and I asked them to send one for testing.

  • Coast A25R Rechargeable Flashlight

    I’m currently using one of the coolest flashlights I've ever seen, the Coast A25R Rechargeable.

  • Combination Jab Saw/Utility Knife

    I've been testing tools for years and am on a lot of mailing lists, so new tools frequently arrive on my doorstep unannounced. Most of these tools end up gathering dust in my shop but a recent arrival from the Swanson Tool Company has earned a coveted spot in my tool belt...

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    Buying a Portable Generator

    In a perfect world there would be temporary power where and when you needed it, but in reality, many contractors must rely on portable generators some or all of the time. As a framing contractor, I've had to use them myself, so I understand how important it is to get a dependable machine that can...

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