Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rockwell Reciprocating Saw Review - Video

By Mark J. Donovan

In this video I review a reciprocating saw from Rockwell that has active vibration canceling technology built into it. The Vibrafree technology reduces vibration by up to 70% compared to other anti vibration technology associated with reciprocating saws.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatar-3D Review - Out of this World!

By Mark J. Donovan

Today my son and I went to see Avatar-3D. To put it simply, we were blown away. This is without a doubt the most impressive movie ever produced. The visual effects were literally out of this world. My son and I both commented we wanted to go back and live in Pandora (the subject planet in the movie) after stepping back into the cold and ugly winter of New Hampshire.

The visual effects of Pandora are similar to scuba diving on a reef. This is in part due to the fact that you are wearing 3-D glasses while watching the movie. As is the case when diving on a reef, all of the visual senses are intensified by observing the many odd creatures through goggles that magnify the shapes and colors.

We also agreed that the characters and plot were also well developed. In addition, there were no cheesy scenes of cute characters doing silly things to get a laugh from the audience. It is not a cartoon or an over-the-top movie about cuddly characters. This was a serious movie that told an epic story of two cultures clashing over a planet rich in minerals, history and knowledge. Yes there were a few of the typical Hollywood cliché messages sprinkled in, however they were relatively subtle and did not detract from the movie.

I plan on seeing this movie again, tomorrow. If you have not seen the movie yet, all I can say is - it is a must see.

Rockwell Tool Review Videos Coming

New Tool Reviews on a Reciprocating Saw and Random Orbital Sander on their Way

By Mark J. Donovan

I have recently been asked to conduct a couple of tool reviews on some new vibration cancelling tools from Rockwell Power Tools. The tools are a new reciprocating saw and a random orbital sander. I should get the tools by early next week and I plan to put them through their paces immediately.

I anticpate releasing the new video reviews between Christmas and New Years, so stay tuned. These are two tools that every DIY homeowner should have in their tool box.

How to Caulk a Shower Stall Video

Simple Tips on Caulking a Shower Stall

By Mark J. Donovan

Last week I was able to try out some new caulk from DAP on a shower stall caulking project. I did a short video on it, so check it out below.

In the video I show a few simple tips on how to caulk a shower stall. All you need to do it right is some silicone based caulk, a caulking gun, a utility knife, a rag, and some masking tape.

It is important to remove all of the old caulk prior to installing new caulk as silicone caulk sticks well to everything except itself. Use a utility knife to help cut away and scrape out the old caulk.

After removing all of the old caulk and cleaning up the shower pan with a rag, I then apply masking tape just above and below the seam I want to caulk. This helps to get a fast and clean caulk line.

Once the masking tape is applied I then apply a bead of caulk in the seam. When applying the caulk it is important to go at a steady rate so that you do not apply too much or too little caulk.

After applying the caulk, I then use my finger and a moist paper towel, and run it along the bead of caulk.

Finally, I remove the masking tape to achieve a fast and clean caulk seam. After 24 hours I was using my shower again.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

First Major Snow of the Season

By Mark J. Donovan

Today we had the first major snow of the season here in southern New Hampshire. We got about 7 inches of heavy wet snow. Fortunately I had prepared the snow blower last week. I checked the oil, cleaned the spark plug and filled the tank.

Due to the weight of the snow I made two passes with the snow blower, once earlier today, and then one final pass after the snow had stopped. I also used the roof rake to take the snow off the roof eaves. The snow was extremely slushy and wet. By taking the snow off the roof eaves I should be able to avoid what would have been the inevitable ice dams. I was particularly concerned with the roof over my garage / bonus room. The roof shingles are in rough shape and I had hoped to have them replaced by now. Unfortunately the roofing contractor that I had lined up 8 weeks ago has been dragging his feet on getting onto the jobsite. Now there is a thick blanket of snow on the roof that probably won’t be melting anytime soon. It will most likely be spring when he arrives on the scene.

After raking the snow off the roof eaves, my son, wife and I shoveled the decks and walkways. Did I tell you already that the snow was heavy :) ? The trick with heavy wet snow is to go slow and steady and take breaks when you need to. Rushing this type of work is what causes many of a folk to drop dead of a heart attack.

In the process of shoveling the snow, I had to run inside to get another pair of gloves. In the process of removing my boots I literally ripped the upper portion away from the bottom part of one of my boots. The boots were supposedly a high quality boot. So much for that. I guess I will be asking for some new boots for Christmas.

With the snow shoveling and blowing complete, its’ now time to focus on the website ( and answer some of today’s questions.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Buying Extension Ladders

Helpful Tips on Buying Extension Ladders as Length is not all that Matters

By Mark J. Donovan

Buying extension ladders involves a little more thought than just finding one long enough. Questions on how will it be used, where will it be stored, how heavy are you, and how strong are you are questions that should first be answered. Buying extension ladders involves a number of considerations.

First and foremost you need to decide upon whether you want to buy a fiberglass or aluminum extension ladder. Answers to the above questions can help you choose between the two. For example, fiberglass extension ladders are the choice of professionals when it comes to working around power lines. Fiberglass is not a good conductor of electricity and thus why fiberglass extension ladders are used by cable and line workers.

Another consideration is how strong are you? Aluminum extension ladders are much lighter than fiberglass extension ladders, and so for many homeowners the aluminum extension ladder is the ladder of choice. Aluminum extension ladders are not as strong as fiberglass ladders and thus it is important to also consider the weight limit when buying extension ladders.

When buying extension ladders it is obviously important to consider length. Make sure you do not buy too short of an extension ladder. An extension ladder should extend several feet above the highest point you want to reach as you should never plan on standing on the top two or three rungs when it is fully extended.

Finally, you need to consider storage of a ladder when buying extension ladders. Fiberglass extension ladders are susceptible to ultraviolet sunlight and thus they should be protected with plastic or some other material if they are to be left outside. Aluminum extension ladders hold up better if left outside.

So when buying extension ladders consider all of these factors first. You’ll be safer and happier for doing so.