The Milwaukee REDSTICK can be used to screed, smooth, and level. Once you’re done, the level is preposterously easy to wipe clean. The REDSTICK also has all the great features you would expect from a Milwaukee level. SHARPSITE Vial Technology makes the magnified bubble easy to read and the REDSTICK’s magnesium core keeps the level from breaking down. The Milwaukee REDSTICK Concrete Levels are available in 24-in., 48-in. and 72-in. lengths starting at $99.99.

OK, the Long Ranger’s been around since Marconi. But we love it. Simply put, this Long Ranger III Remote Dust Collector Switch is a remote system for turning on your dust collector out in the shop from whatever tool you’re operating. It plugs into the wall, you plug your dust collector into that and you’re done. Push the button on your remote and it fires right up. It’s saved us about two years and 1,300 miles of walking back and forth to the dust collector switch.
This tool is specialized for the task of making shingles. The strange name comes from the antiquated word "froward," which means "away," in reference to the direction that the tool cuts. To use it, place the froe, blade down, on the edge of a log length, then hit the top of the blade with a wooden club, forcing the froe into the log. Next, pull the handle toward you and pry off a thin slice of the log. Voilà... shingle! Since buying a box of square-edged shingles is significantly less effort than making each and every one by hand, this tool has long since passed its heyday. But it still can be used to build up the kindling pile.
If you don’t intend to finish the wood, you can probably safely skip this step. But for me, it was crucial to sand each board, not only to ensure a level tabletop, but also to give the stain a surface to which it could easily adhere. Of course, no matter how much sanding you do, some woods (2x4s included) are not milled for finish work and may never get totally smooth. But that was fine with me, as I figured that any imperfections that remained in the end would work to underline the rustic quality of the piece. It was in that same spirit that, in the process of sanding the boards (with fine-grit paper, always in the same direction), I opted not to sand down a few of the chatter marks left by the sawmill. I knew the stain would take to the wood a bit differently in those spots than elsewhere, lending the tabletop a further layer of charm—or so I hoped. Once I was done sanding, after thoroughly cleaning each board with a moist tack cloth, I let enough time pass for the wood to dry out completely.
It's important to sketch out a plan in advance so you don't have to take a sudden trip to the store. Sometimes, no matter how much you plan, you still end up needing a part. A lot of craftspeople keep a basic stock of supplies on hand just in case. Also, as you get more experienced at crafting, you gain a better understanding of what you need for a project.
One of the best stud finders you’ll ever use is the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710. It’s unique in that there’s a whole bar of red lights that light up whenever it detects a stud. Unlike other sensors, which have a single light that stays on as it passes over the wood, the lights on the 710 tell you exactly where the wood stops and starts. No guesswork. Push a button, drag it over the wall and those hidden mysteries reveal themselves. You won’t even need to read the directions!
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