More stories about Metal

  • Keeping the Spirits Alive

    No matter how much you rely on laser levels to guide you on your jobsites, there will always be a need to reach for a spirit level and look a bubble in the eye.

  • 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinders

    Handheld angle grinders have traditionally been popular for metal working, but smaller diameter models are gaining wide use among masons, painters, and woodworkers. The variety of wheels you can equip them with -- wire, wire cup, stone, sanding, flapper, and diamond masonry-joint blades -- gives...

  • Forging the Future

  • Footing Forms

  • L.S. Starrett Tape Measures

  • Cut-Off Saws

    Long before I became a builder, I used gasoline-powered portable cut-off saws in the Air Force for crash and rescue recovery work to cut through automobile and airplane wreckage and buildings. I left the Air Force long ago, but not the saws. Now I build homes in Santa Fe, N.M., and work with as...

  • Pressure-Treated Lumber Update

  • Metal-Cutting Circ Saws

    You can't flip open a window in a skyscraper, so we usually end up working in enclosed spaces where using cut-off saws with abrasive wheels will fill the air with acrid smoke and airborne filings. And if that's not bad enough, hogging through a bundle of metal studs in a closed room is...

  • Utility Knives

    When I started in construction, I pilfered a bunch of tools from my father, among them his old fixed-blade utility knife. After about six months, the blade made its way through the bottom of my leather tool pouch and into my leg. (I guess I deserved it for raiding my father's tools without...

  • Framing With Light-Gauge Steel

    I learned how to frame with 2-by sticks, and in those days the idea of framing with steel was about as foreign to me as speaking Russian. But after setting up shop in New York City, fire codes and commercial building practices left me with no alternative, so now I speak Russian.