• Simpson Strong-Tie Installation Pocket Guide

    Structural connector engineer and manufacturer Simpson Strong-Tie is adding to its extensive training library with a quick-reference pocket installation guide. This detail-oriented, bilingual pictorial booklet provides a quick visual reference on how to install many of the company's products. It...

     
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    Worx WT480 Miter Saw

    When the new Worx WT480 10-inch compound miter saw arrived at my shop, I admit I wondered what I would do with it. After all, for years the center of my cutting operations has been a tricked-out 12-inch sliding compound miter saw. But after using the WT480 for a few weeks remodeling, I quickly...

     
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    Great Gadgets

    Everybody ends up working alone at some point, whether by choice or by circumstance. For me, it's a choice. I like working solo and to my standards, and using the right mix of tools makes me even more efficient and capable when jobs get tough. While none of the tools below is brand new, each makes...

     
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    Paul Discoe, Joinery Structures, Oakland, Calif.

    How well you sharpen a Japanese planer blade with your whetstone depends on how you hold your mouth. So goes the legend–and Paul Discoe, who has delicately hand-sharpened many a blade in his Japanese timber-framing shop, has found it to be true. He's still using a set of tools he brought back from...

     
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    Lost in Transition

    One of the toughest transitions facing any trade-based business owner is knowing when to let go ... of your tools. It's an awkward moment for sure because so much self-perception and personal identification, ingrained over years of hard work and jobsite camaraderie, are wrapped up in the simple act...

     
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    Tool Storage

     
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    Shear Wall System

    On one recent project the architect and engineer wrangled about a suitable window-to-wall ratio. The result was a system with massive timber columns, interior and exterior plywood, full-height steel rods, and about every size hold-down in the universe. It was costly and complicated, and we were...

     
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    0506-ToolHounds: Paul Discoe, Joinery Structures, Oakland, Calif.

    How well you sharpen a Japanese planer blade with your whetstone depends on how you hold your mouth. So goes the legend-and Paul Discoe, who has delicately hand-sharpened many a blade in his Japanese timber-framing shop, has found it to be true. He's still using a set of tools he brought back from...

     
  • Kneepads

     
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    Portable Band Saws

    I remember the first time I used a portable band saw as a young plumber's apprentice. We were working on a large commercial project and needed to hang our piping mains above a drop ceiling. When my boss told me to make 50 hangers out of steel stock and threaded rod, I thought I'd be stuck there...

     
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    AutoFeed Screwguns

    As a production framer building large-scale projects, I could probably measure the amount of plywood subflooring and decking we install in terms of acres. And while most framers still use pneumatic nailers to fasten their subflooring, the argument for screwing and gluing plywood to joists, based on...

     
  • 2006 Editors' Choice Awards

    In this era of widespread hype and rhetoric, words like 'groundbreaking' and 'revolutionary' are so commonly overused they often turn us off rather than attract our attention. Instead of being wowed, we are often numbed and under-impressed. That's why we're happy here at Tools of the Trade to not...