Eight Great Gadgets from FastCap.

Haven’t heard of FastCap?  Here’s the short version: A cabinet maker invented a product to make his life easier and his work better.  That snowballed into a multimillion dollar company that makes and sells high-quality, innovative tools to make a carpenter’s work faster, easier, and better.  Paul Akers, the founder, is an awesome dude and author of 2-Second Lean, a book about improving workflow and how to think about work to increase productivity.  I’m about to read it again.

So Why Did I Say Gadgets instead of Tools?

It was alliterative. Also, FastCap really does make Gadgets that are unique but effective.

1) The Glu-Bot ($7.89)

 

I’m in love with my glue bottle and I don’t care who knows it!  You never have to shake these to get the glue out.  When you squeeze, glue is forced from the bottom of the bottle through a secondary valve.  There’s a fancy name for this, I know there is, but I’m not in the mood to look it up.  The design allows you to apply glue with more control and in odd angles that regular glue bottles can’t.  Buy it Now on Amazon

 

 

2) The Fast Shim ($21.94)

This tool was designed by a Youtuber and he presented his Idea to FastCap and they thought, “Hey, this is awesome, let’s mass produce this.” Shims are absolutely necessary for finish carpenters, door hangers, window installers, cabinet installers, etc. Buying a pack of shims at the store runs you about $2.00. Not bad, but for a $20.00 investment, you’ll never have to buy another shim again.  This tool has saved me a lot of wasted time running to the store for another pack of shims.  I always have a 2×4 with me so making 2 or 20 high quality shims real quick is awesome. Buy it Now on Amazon

 

3) The 10 Million Dollar Stick ($14.95)

How much is one of your fingers worth?  The guys at FastCap have decided that each of your fingers is worth at least 1 million dollars.  Cutting a finger off with the table saw or mitersaw can run you about $10,000 in medical bills.  Not to mention, you know, losing a finger! Small parts and trim can be especially dangerous on the miter saw.  The low mass means the blade can easily torque the peice out of your hand.  While, at the same time, your hand is dangerously close to the blade spinning at 4000rpm. I’ve had more close calls in this exact situation than I have had close calls on the table saw (which is said to be more dangerous).  There really is no reason NOT to have this guy at your miter saw. Buy it Now on Amazon.

4) POWERMAGSCREW Convenient Workplace Power Magnet for Screw Gun ($17.99) 

Ok the naming department didn’t do so great on this one.  It’s a magnet you stick on your drill/driver/impact and it holds bits and screws.  and IT. IS. AWESOME. Where has this been all my life? How did I ever live without this? Why doesn’t every tool manufacturer include this? It’s a little pricey for what it is but just do yourself a favor and buy one.  You will not regret it.  Buy it Now on Amazon.

Seriously.  It’s a powerful magnet that holds things on the drill for you.  Why are you still thinking about this?

 

5) Third Hand Support System (75.44)

I got these last year for Christmas.  They have so many uses.  I work alone the vast majority of the time, so having something that can wedge, brace, and hold while I’m getting ready to drive a nail, make final adjustments, etc is very helpful.  They also make a lot of accessories for this such as a Camera Mount (this is what I use to shoot my video), a Laser Mount, a light hook, tri-pod base, door rotisserie (for spraying doors), and they make it in many sizes.  Buy it Now on Amazon

 

 

6) FastCap Crown Molding Clip ($8.88)

These little guys are simple yet effective.  You screw them loosely in place and them to hold your crown in place while you nail it up.  The design allows you to remove them as you get close and the screw is hidden in the gap created by the spring angle of your crown.  Another tool that allows me to efficiently work alone.  Buy it Now on Amazon

7) 2-P10 Adhesive Kit ($30.00)

2-P10 Stands for two part, ten second adhesive.  It’s super superglue.  I always glue my outside miters and returns.  This allows me to put the glue on one side spray the activator on the other, go eat lunch…I mean climb a ladder.  Stick them together and hold it for 10 seconds while the glue sets up.  Just don’t get your finger in there; it glues skin too.  This is a very helpful product on small delicate pieces where a nail would most likely destroy the piece.  Buy it Now on Amazon

 

 

8) Kaizen Foam ($14.99)

I’ll admit that I haven’t started using this yet, but if you followed my trailer build you know have the goal of being hyper organized.  Everytime I see a new use for this, I just want to spend hundreds of dollars on this, take a week off, and enter organizational nirvana.  Buy it Now on Amazon.

 

 

There is so much more!

I highly encourage you to check out the FastCap website which has 100s of products designed by carpenters for carpenters. And check out Paul Akers CEO and Founder.

What’s your favorite tool from fastcap? Tell us in the comments.


Many of the links above are affiliate links.  Purchases made using these links provides a small commission to me based on the sale at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support. 

Hitachi C10RJ Table Saw Features and Overview – The Ultimate Review Part 2 of 3

I’ve been running this saw for two weeks now so I know enough about it to offer educated opinions. Be sure to subscribe to this blog and my YouTube channel because I will give you long term updates.

I’m a mobile carpenter, cabinet maker, and woodworker. My shop is and must be completely portable (The Dailey Portable Shop). Therefore a full-size cabinet saw just isn’t an option. Jobsite saws have come a long way. They are powerful, accurate, and have cleverly designed rip fences that allow a much larger rip capacity than their size would suggest. I’ve only ever had a jobsite saw and consistently produce high quality cabinetry on site.


Now the best saw for me may not be the best for you. Some of you may only need a small bench top saw that’s easy to move and store. Me, I want the absolute biggest saw I can get.  The great thing is that there are a plethora of high quality jobsite saws to choose from.  I’d recommend sticking to the professional grade jobsite saws even if you’re a DIY’er.  These are Dewalt, Ridgid, Bosch, and Hitachi.

As I said in part one, I narrowed my search down to the Dewalt DWE7491RS, Ridgid R4513, and the Hitachi C10RJ.

I went with the Hitachi Table Saw for several reasons

  • 35 inch rip capacity – this is the largest in it’s class
  • Rotating Fence for large rip cuts – I really like the fence design. It rotates to serve as material support when extended and has easy to use latches to lock it down.
  • Rack and Pinion fence adjustment – The fence is locked into one of two positions and your cut is adjusted by parallel bars driven by gears.  This keeps the fence parallel to the blade at all times, and allows for quick one and adjustment.  With other style fences you have to make sure its pressed against the track as you lock it down or it may be out of square.  This often requires two hands.
  • 13/16 Dado Capacity – My old saw only had a 1/4 capacity.  It was never worth it to by the dado stack.  Having the ability to run a full size dado stack opens up a lot of possibilities.
  • Integrated Stand – My old saw didn’t come with a stand.  I eventually bought one and was very happy with it. The Hitachi Fold and Roll Stand is made just for this saw and it works well with the saw.  Another plus of the stand is that it is rock solid.  You can push large sheet goods through the saw without it tipping over.  With lesser stands this is a huge safety hazard.  The saw with the stand sits right at 36″ working height.
  • Value – This saw shares a lot in common in both looks and design with the more expensive Dewalt Saw.  With the all the 2017 Christmas sales going on right now I was able to get the Hitachi for $200 less than the Dewalt.  You really do get a lot in both features and quality with this saw.

Full Video Review

In the video I go over all the adjustments and features of the saw.  If you have any questions please leave a comment below.  I do my best to answer all the comments.


Thanks for reading.  Be sure to check out my article on recommended saw blades for all your saws.

 

New Table Saw! Hitachi C10RJ Jobsite Table Saw – The Ultimate Review Part 1 of 3


This is part 1 of 3 posts I’m doing over my new table saw.  Breaking it apart keeps each section shorter and easier to digest.

  1. Part One – Unboxing and Assembly
  2. Part Two – Features and Review
  3. Part Three – Comparison between my old and new saw

Why this Saw?

In short, my old jobsite saw is getting worn out from years of heavy use and it needed to be replaced.  I played with saws in the store, read reviews, and debated the pros and cons of each.

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My Favorite Saw Blades

The right saw blade can make a cheap tool work great; the wrong saw blade can make a great tool run poorly.

This was illustrated to me when I was setting up my new table saw (more about it in next week’s post).  I thought, “I’ll use the stock blade that comes with the saw. It’ll be fine for awhile.” Nope. My new saw, that I had done tons of research on, saved up money for, and finally purchased, cut like crap.  There was a lot of vibration, chatter, and the cut was very rough.  Luckily, I also had a brand new blade of my preferred brand.  Once I dropped it in, the saw ran quieter, had less vibration, and my cuts were superior.  All from a single high quality saw blade.

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Kreg Tools and Jigs are Invaluable to Me

This is part of the New Tool Tuesday series.  On Tuesdays, I post an article reviewing the tools I use on the jobsite. 

The Kreg Pocket Hole jig is owned by almost every woodworker I know, and every woodworker should have one.  But Kreg also makes a lot of other useful tools and jigs.  Over time, I have found that I really like most of their tools.  Their prices are very reasonable as well.  These are tools I actually own and use professionally on most of my work.

The Kreg K4 Master System

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A New Take on the Sawhorse and Plywood Jobsite Workbench – The Multi-function Slab

Now that I’m a full-time carpenter/small business owner I work primarily out of my truck.  How you work, how organize your tools, and how you plan projects drastically changes when you go from a nice well thought out and organized shop to an F150.  The biggest loss in this transition is a sturdy workbench.  This is where the Multi-Purpose Slab comes in.

A Multi-Function Slab is a poor man’s version of the Festool MFT (or Festool Multi-Function Table).  I made mine from a 3/4 Sheet of MDF and paired it with Dewalt/Stanley Metal Adjustable Height Saw Horses (these are great sawhorses).  This combination takes up minimal real estate in the 5.5ft bed of my truck.  I would love to take my Paulk Total Station to the jobsites, but it doesn’t fit in the bed of my truck.  That’s the advantage of the Multi-function slab: it’s compact and lightweight enough to maneuver into small working locations.  The Paulk workbenches don’t share that advantage.

With adjustable height saw horses I'm able to use the MFSlab as an outfeed table
With adjustable height saw horses I’m able to use the MFSlab as an out-feed table

Isn’t this “Multi-Function Slab” just a glorified plywood and sawhorse combo?  Yes, yes it is.  The advantage is that the Plywood/MDF is planned out and layed out to make work go smoother.  That’s why you keep this instead of the typical use of scrap on sawhorses for a make shift work bench.  What makes it better is that you think out how you’re going to use a work bench and put in clamp locations and dog holes so that it becomes a valuable tool.

I modified Steve Olson’s original design to work with inexpensive Bessey F clamp rather than the expensive Festool clamps.  To do so I drilled a grid of 1 1/4 inch holes on 6 inch centers.  I then had to create a rabbit on the underside for the clamps to pop into place.  My Paulk Workbench is made from 1/2″ ply and I didn’t have a problem with the clamps on it, the thicker slab left more material to bind on.  The various handles and clamp slots I made with a can of wipe on poly.  The rectangular shape makes nice looking cutouts.

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[A note about Festool:  Just because I’m making a knock-off doesn’t mean that I think Festool tools are overpriced and not as good as the “fan-boys” claim nor do I think a professional needs the “top-of-the-line” tools to do quality work.  If/when I can justify the cost of such premium tools then I may or may not invest in top-shelf equipment such as Festool.]

Cost wise the Festool MFT 3 is $665 from Amazon.  Would I buy one?  Maybe if I ever decide to invest in the Festool ecosystem.  Now let’s add up the cost of making your own MFSlab.

  • $30 – 4ft x 8ft x 3/4in MDF sheet.  Cut to 3ft x 5ft and a second 4ft rip is left to act as a shelf
  • $80 for a pair of good adjustable height saw horses.  I can say enough good things about these Stanley/Dewalt Horses.  They are very good.
  • $24 for a four pack of the Bessey 4″ bar clamps I use.
  • $20 for painting or sealing with clear coat

That comes out to be $158 which is $507 less than the Festool MFT.  Even if you factor in what your time is worth it’s still drastically cheaper.  I painted mine to protect it.  I try to bring it into the shop overnight so it doesn’t get rained on but if and when I need to replace it, it’s inexpensive to do and only took about an hour to make.

If you’re a carpenter of have extremely limited space this is a great tool to consider adding to your arsenal.  If I was woodworking back in my college days this makes a great workbench store in an apartment or even under a bed.

 

How to Restore Old Tool Handles With Coconut Oil

On Pinterest I frequently see pins about using coconut oil for restoring antique wood furniture.  Coconut oil is esteemed to be the all natural, non-toxic, and better way to rejuvenate old dry wood.  Is it just hype? Or does Coconut oil really work for a wood finish?  And would coconut oil work to restore old hickory handles on tools such as shovels, rakes, hoes, axes, and hammers?

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DeWalt Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander Review

My old sander threw a bearing…or something and just became unbearable to use.  So I got the DEWALT D26453K 3 Amp 5-Inch Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit with Cloth Dust Bag.  I didn’t do a lot of research but I figured DeWalt or Bosch would be a good sander.  The DeWalt came with a multiple sized dust adapters so I got it.

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Bosch TS2000 Gravity Rise Stand Unboxing, Set-up, and Review.

Using part of my Tax refund I bought the Bosch TS2000 Gravity-Rise Wheeled Table Saw Stand for my Jobsite Table saw.  In this article I’ll cover unboxing, mounting my table saw, and first impressions.  Be sure to check out the Youtube video also.

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Building My Tool Chest

One day may workshop will be fully equipped with only the finest and highest grade tools from Jet, Sawstop, Festool, Powermatic, etc.  But for now I’m using mostly Craftsman powertools with some Ryobi and other brands thrown in.

I try to buy the best quality tools that I can reasonably afford.  Most of the time that ends up being Craftsman, sometimes not.

So why did I buy the tools I have and why did I buy them in the order I did?

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