The January 16th anti-dumping ruling on nail imports by the U.S. Department of Commerce caused nail prices to jump an average of 30% within days of the announcement. Help us track this important issue by answering the following survey questions. Read more
About 30 years ago, when I made the decision to start using framing nailers and their expensive collated nails, there wasn't much to choose from; there were only two big players. The tools themselves were basic, so I made the buying decision mainly on the price of nails and who could provide the best service for the tools. I favored round-head nails and have stuck with them ever since, having gone through about 1,000 nailers since that time in my production framing business. Read more
It was a bumpy ride for U.S. pickup and medium-duty truck makers in 2007, no doubt about it. Daimler divested itself of ailing Chrysler. Ford picked an outsider to replace its founding-family CEO. General Motors faced a labor challenge that threatened to send it into bankruptcy. Even seemingly error-proof Toyota slipped from the top tier in customer satisfaction. Read more
Walk into Norm Pederson's cooper shop, and you'll feel like you've stepped back into the 1850s. Lit by daylight and heated by a woodstove, this mid-19th century building is part of Historic Richmond Town on New York's Staten Island. When not working as one of the island's ferrymen, it is here that Norm plies his craft and educates curious visitors. Read more
I remember the winter of 1985–too well. My crew and I were working on a frigid remodeling job, five layers deep in turtleneck, flannel, vest, sweatshirt, and parka, every breath freezing in my beard. And the only song on the boombox seemed to be Dire Strait's 'Money For Nothing.' You know, the one that goes, 'That ain't workin', that's the way you do it, money for nothin' and your chicks for free.' That song was as far from our reality as you could get, but we made it our anthem that winter and challenged ourselves to tough it out. To quote another song, 'we worked hard for our money,' and took great pride in what we did, even if we froze our backsides doing it. Read more
Anyone who works indoors in the construction industry knows the importance of auxiliary illumination, especially in new construction. Until the electrical is finished, jobsites rarely have enough light to work by. For years, I've used halogen work lights for large spaces and single incandescent trouble lights for tighter places, like crawlers and attics. They work well enough, but not without problems. Trouble lights can be a bit dim, and their fragile bulbs can go out at the first jostle. Halogens burn too hot and are harsh on the eyes. How are manufacturers addressing these concerns? Next generation work lights focus on energy-efficient fluorescent technology. Read more
If you do much work that requires nailing, you know the importance of pneumatic technology. I cannot imagine going back to the days of nailing up crown or other running trim with a hammer. Changing with the times and tools can increase your productivity and the quality of your work, so it is wise to pay attention to the direction new products are moving in. Read more
DeWalt is recalling 364,000 XRP drill/drivers sold since June 2006 because of trigger switches that can overheat and start a fire. Read more
Tools of the Trade recently got a sneak peek at what's next from German tool manufacturer Festool at its new U.S. headquarters in Indiana, and we're allowed to share three tools with our readers. Read more
Safe Zone, a manufacturer of bombproof modular structures and building components, has earned success in some of the more hazardous parts of the world. Twenty years ago in Northern Ireland, the company made its reputation building blast-resistant police stations and 'hardening' embassies against terrorist attacks. Now the company envisions a huge potential market for its products here in the United States. Read more
Three months after selling off its HD Supply unit, a wholesale program that catered to home builders, The Home Depot has launched yet another initiative to increase business from building and home improvement contractors. The new push aims to win back professionals who no longer shop at the stores, and to shore up sales to contractors who continue to buy and account for 35% of the big box's annual sales. Read more
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Custom homebuilder and mechanic Robert Courtney calls the Makita XWTO8Z a "beast"...