Category Archives: Home Improvement

WorkBright LED Rechargeable Work Light

WorkBright LED Rechargeable Work Light

The WorkBright LED Work Light comes as a 10 or 20 watt Rechargeable work light that works extremely well as a work light, emergency light, camp light or all around handy flashlight at home.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Recommendation: 5/5

WorkBright LED Rechargeable Work Light

The WorkBright LED Rechargeable work light can be used in the shop, at work, in home improvement light, camping, as an emergency light or all around flashlight wherever you need it. The FL-16R that I received from WorkBright is a 10 watt LED work light while the FL-26R is a 20 watt light that is also available from WorkBright.

The WorkBright LED lights are made from aluminum alloy and steel with a solid construction that includes weather proof seals and rubber covered power button. The work light can be used in extreme weather due to its water resistant seals and toughened glass covered front which will not heat up due to the LED lighting.

The WorkBright LED lights are rechargeable with the 2200 mAh 7.4 volt battery in the 10 watt light and uses the included car and AC power adapters to recharge. The LED light has a bright but cool white light while the red flashing LED is handy for emergency use on the road.

Power Switch & Connection

The WorkBright light has a foam padded top handle and four leg stand with a pivot on the light and another on the leg stand for a fully positional light. The legs can be removed from the stand and you can use the quarter inch common thread mounting screw to mount the light on a camera tripod or other stand for light where you need it.

The WorkBright light is bright enough to work by under a car or in an attic and is the nice cool white light that does not distort colors for use in photography. I have used the WorkBright not only as a flashlight for quick jobs on the car or at home finding things but as a light for taking product shots.

The cool white light is measured at about 6000 degrees kelvin which puts it in the very white light spectrum instead of the off yellow that normal incandescent lights are. The WorkBright works well as a photography light as it gives off a daylight white light without that annoying yellow tint.

WorkBright

The WorkBright can be charged from a car 12 volt power outlet so the light makes a perfect companion on the road or camping and as an emergency light. The red flashing LEDs make a perfect emergency light as it is bright and can last 2 to 3 hours for a decent battery life from its 3 to 4 hour charge.

The WorkBright light works well but the main thing I really like about it besides the handy positioning and bright white light is the nice size of the light. I am constantly losing, misplacing and forgetting where I put my flashlights and the WorkBright is large enough not to easily set it down and then forget where I put it.

I have been using the WorkBright light for all kinds of jobs and have come to really appreciate the light as a general work light and for photography. The WorkBright rechargeable work light is available from Amazon and Outdoor Fire Pits USA for about $90 which may seem like a lot.

WorkBright on Gorillapod

Rechargeable LED work lights at home improvement stores cost this much and when you consider the internal rechargeable battery and quality construction the WorkBright does stand out. I highly recommend the WorkBright LED rechargeable work light for a fantastic work light and emergency light wherever you need to brighten your work space.

WorkBright @ WorkBright Website

WorkBright @ Amazon

WorkBright @ Outdoor Fire Pits USA

Pros
Bright white light with no yellowing
Fully positional stand and legs
Emergency Red Flasher
AC and auto power adapter

Cons
None

Quick Belt System Tool Belt

Quick Belt System Tool Belt

The Quick Belt System is a unique modular tool belt that uses buckles to snap on and off different pouches and accessories quickly and easily as well as a convenient way to store pouches.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5

How much I enjoy 5/5

Recommendation: 5/5

Quick Belt System with a lttle wear

The Quick Belt System is a modular tool belt that has a variety of pouches and accessories that use a quick snap buckle on a sleeve to attach them to the belt. The heart of the system is a single or double buckle sleeve that each pouch or accessory snaps onto which you can put on any 2 or 3 inch tool belt.

Quick Belt sells a great Velcro and buckle closure padded belt but I have mixed and matched the system on another belt just to see how well it would work. I received four pouches with a general tool pouch in the 8 Pocket Builder pouch and two square pouches along with the Universal Drill Holster.

Quick Belt Pouches

The tool belt system is unique with a quick and easy way to switch pouches and accessories that make work much easier going from one type of job to another. You can buy various pouches for different jobs and have all the necessary tools and items easily available quickly on the job.

The double buckle sleeve is about 6.5 inches wide and has the two buckles to attach your pouch on one side secured to the sleeve with stitching and a rivet. You can wear the sleeves on the outside or to keep the pouches snug against your body with the buckles on the inside of the belt.

Pouches on Quick Belt

The buckles for the tool belt system are a common sized buckle and you can buy sleeves, handles and even individual buckles attached to short straps to use on other pouches and accessories. The system makes each pouch and accessory not only belt compatible but useful without the belt using the buckle system for carrying or hanging pouches.

You can buy the buckles and hang them on pegboard or a garage wall or use the storage rack to hang pouches on and keep them more organized than simply setting them on a bench or in a bin. The Quick Belt System is really handy on a belt but the company has thought of just about every conceivable way to use the system when not wearing them. Using the various straps, buckles and sleeves they have you covered for any situation you come up with at work or home.

8 Pocket Builders Pouch

The system even has a bucket belt available to hang pouches from a 5 gallon bucket for convenient use of pouches at a work site or anywhere else you could use the strap. You can use the strap to hang the pouches on a wall or other item and a bucket using the buckles on each end of the strap.

They also have straps that have Velcro for creating a loop for use on a belt, ladder step or just about anywhere else you need to hang a pouch or accessory. You can also buy one inch buckles and make your own straps or attachment points but the company does sell some nice buckles on short webbing to use anywhere you want.

Universal Drill Holster

Photographers, nature enthusiasts and even hikers can use parts of the system both for carrying and storing your gear at home, in the garage or at the work site. From water bottles and snacks to drills, hammers and screws the Quick Belt System works so well I could not give a better recommendation for a tool belt or accessory carrying system.

Quick Belt System Website

Pros

Versatile system for belts and storage
Buckles are common 1 inch size

Stitching is well done for tough tool storage
System can be used for tools, garden tools, equipment, camping gear etc.

Cons

None

ZoomBuilt Solar IQ Retractable Light Solar Light System

ZoomBuilt Solar Light System

The ZoomBuilt Solar light system is a great way to light your landscape, path, sidewalk, deck or patio with a retractable light powered by the sun.

Ease of Use, Performance:  4/5
Look & Feel:  4/5
Features:  4/5
How much I enjoy:  4/5

Recommendation:  4/5 Stars

ZoomBuilt Solar IQ Solar Light System

The ZoomBuilt Solar IQ Retractable Landscape Light is a great way to light your landscape with a solar powered light that is easy to install. The ZoomBuilt Solar IQ light has a solar powered or transformer powered version with lights that retract for easy use with bad weather or for landscape.

The ZoomBuilt solar light system has a simple installation with either cutting a hole in decks or simply digging a hole in your yard or along your path. The light sits flush with less than an inch above the ground for easy lawn maintenance but I would be careful if trying to mow over them.

ZoomBuilt Solar Light System Working

You should make sure the light sits down and stays down but you can work around them easily or install them with rocks or other protective material that you will not be mowing. The light works by a simple 30 minute period of darkness then slowly raises about six inches.

When light hits the sensor in the morning for 30 minutes the light will retract until another 30 minute period of darkness sends it out to light your way. The lights use a small AA size 3.7 volt rechargeable battery for power and this battery recharges all day while the light is retracted.

Installing ZoomBuilt Solar Light System

To start the light a small switch by the battery compartment turns the light on and the light will shine briefly to show it started. The battery compartment is waterproof with a small rubber seal on the compartment.

After installing I have only had a few times when the light failed to raise or retract fully due to water but after the unit dried it did work without any problems or me doing anything. The light has been working for a month in my front yard and I really think it is going to be fine during the winter after seeing it work for over a month.

ZoomBuilt Solar Light System

I will revisit this when I know more about how the light works when covered with snow and in freezing weather so stay tuned for more information. For now the ZoomBuilt Solar IQ solar light system has been a great addition to my front yard landscaping and well worth a purchase.

ZoomBuilt Solar Light System at Night

Pros

Easy to Use

Easy to Install

Works well even in bad weather

Cons

Have not used in Winter yet

ZoomBuilt Website

ZoomBuilt Light @ Amazon

Dymo Rhino 4200 Label Printer for Labeling

 Dymo Rhino 4200 Industrial Label Printer for Labeling

The Dymo Rhino 4200 is an industrial quality label printer for professional quality labeling using nylon and polyester labels along with specialty printing on heat shrink tubing.

Dymo Rhino 4200

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5

How much I enjoy 4/5

recommendation: 4/5

The Dymo Rhino line of printers is the professional quality labeling printers from a leader in handheld printing that prints on nylon and polyester tapes as well as heat shrink tubing. The Dymo Rhino is your professional quality industrial printer for labeling that uses specialty tapes along with heat shrink tubing for quality labels.

Whats in the Box Dymo Rhino 4200

The Dymo Rhino 4200 has a full QWERTY keyboard along with quite a few specialty keys on the front with a line of keys for labeling circuit breakers, cables, bar codes and varying the printing alignment. The Rhino 4200 prints on 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, and 3/4 inch labels but they need to be the Rhino specialty cartridges or heat shrink cartridges.

 

The labeling printer has a Favorites and symbols library along with quite a few specialty functions that allow for easy and quick creation of labels for a wide variety of applications. The Rhino 4200 has rubber bumpers for protection and runs on six AA batteries or you can purchase a lithium Ion battery pack as well as an AC power adapter for your Rhino printer.

The various labels in both polyester and nylon allow for permanent printing for a wide variety of applications like labeling circuit breakers or other home building applications. You can print on heat shrink tubing and multi lined tags for easier cable identification in industrial or even home use for networks or telephone lines.

Rhino Cartridge Install

Bar code printing makes for a convenient way to quickly print bar codes for inventory or point of sale use in both Code 39 and Code 128 systems. The printer is quite handy for all kinds of uses and works well for the quick trials I put it through at home but the cartridges are a bit more expensive than paper label cartridges.

The regular nylon and polyester tape costs about $15 to $22 while the heat shrink tubes cost about $27 to $35 not including shipping costs from CableOrganizer.com. I received the Dymo Rhino 4200 from Cable Organizer and their prices are the same as I could find anywhere for both the printer and cartridges with low shipping costs at about $2 for the first cartridge and a little more per item to ship.

I really like the Cable Organizer website and shopping cart system that includes a quick shipping calculator on your items pop up cart as well as their shipping rates that are not inflated. CableOrganizer.com only adds a smaller additional fee for each additional item shipped and does not as some sites often do double the price of shipping for each additional item.

Rhino 4200 Battery Compartment

Too often when looking up shipping costs online sites charge an outrageous price for small items and often negate the lower cost of the items you can find online. CableOragnier.com has a nice online sales system and up front tells you how much shipping is when adding items to your cart for easy purchase decisions.

The Dymo Rhino 4200 industrial thermal printer does work well for both around the home use labeling recipe bottles and network cables, bins for parts and even those toy cubbies for kids. The labels are waterproof and tough with both the polyester and nylon tape being made for industrial applications so they won’t wear quickly like paper labels will.

Dymo Rhino Labeling

The printer is quick and easy to use with its full QWERTY keyboard that also has the full set of number keys and the labeling types are clearly listed on special keys. The Dymo Rhino is a great all around label printer that is handy for both around the home and workshop labeling as well as industrial use.

I have found the Rhino 4200 and some cartridges locally at office supply stores and home improvement stores but for the specialty heat shrink tubing you are probably going to have to order it. The Rhino line is a newer line of label printers and supplies for it will be limited at stores until it has been out for a while so ordering cartridges will probably be necessary.

I highly recommend the Dymo Rhino 4200 as an all around label printer that comes in handy for a wide variety of uses at home and work and is available at CableOrganizer.com.

Rhino 4200 @ CableOrganizer.com

Rhino 4200 @ Dymo

Delta Shower Head: In2ition Two-In-One Shower Arm Mounted Shower

Delta Shower Head: In2ition

The Delta In2ition shower is a shower arm mounted shower head that includes a hand shower that separates from the mounted Delta shower head for continuous showering even while getting those hard to reach places.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Recommendation: 5/5

Delta Shower Head: In2ition

The Delta In2ition Two-In-One Shower Arm Mounted Shower is a hand shower for getting those hard to reach places and a mounted shower head with the separating shower arm. This two in one design is great when showering on colder days so you don’t have to stop that relaxing downpour over your body while using the hand shower.

The In2ition line of Delta shower heads includes eleven round and square shower head designs with all of the models including the removable arm that makes up part of the shower head. This unique design allows you to continue showering while also using the shower arm to get at other parts of your body to fully enjoy your shower.

The Contemporary model I received is model number 58470 and is a square shower head that has a bent hand shower arm with four square holes and one round ring of holes. The rest of the mounted shower head has six holes on the head for the continuous use but a lever on the shower head allows you to change the shower from full hand use or a combination of shower head and mounted shower head sprays.

Delta Shower Head Whats in the Box

The unique square design is a stylish look and does give a wider spray pattern while in the shower so this type of shower head needs a wider tub or one with a good curtain. After I installed the Delta shower head the wider spray meant making sure the shower curtain was well over the rounded sides of the tub to keep water from sneaking around the curtain.

A few times some water went out of the shower when using the Delta shower head but a simple check when entering the shower and tub to make sure my curtain is stretched to cover the corners is all that is needed. The wider spray really makes for an enjoyable shower especially on the current cold days when a hot shower is much more relaxing and enjoyable.

The wider spray and the continuous shower being on when using both the shower head and the hand shower makes for a convenient and enjoyable shower as well. The shower spray adjusts easily with the side lever for adjusting the main shower head while a push button on the arm adjusts the spray out of the handheld arm.

In2ition Push Button and Lever

Pushing the button turns the four squares and the round spray off or turns either set on and then both on for full adjustment of the handheld shower head. The lever on the side of the shower adjusts the main shower heads spray through the six holes or in combination with the handheld shower head.

Delta calls their new shower technology from their Delta shower heads H2Okinetic that provides the feeling of more water by pulsating the water in various directions. Inside the shower head chambers make the water oscillate as it comes out to create larger droplets that help to retain the heat of the water as well as spread those larger droplets out to make it feel like you’re getting more water.

It does work well and I do get the feeling of a larger area being covered by a shower head no larger than previous showerheads I have used. The Delta In2ition showerhead works well and is easy to install with a simple wrench and the included parts with washers for sealing against the shower arm pipe.

Delta In2ition with Long Hose

You may have to use a wrench to tighten down the shower head but Hand tightening was sufficient for my installation on the pipe while the shower hose for the handheld shower does not require any tool to install. The hose is about 60 inches long and does stretch a little by pulling but I am hesitant to stretch it out the full length that the company claims of 82 inches.

The Contemporary In2ition shower comes with in a Chrome, Champagne Bronze, Venetian Bronze and Stainless finish so you have a good choice to match the design of your bathroom. The hose is a steel covering and the finish on the shower head is all metal and resists corrosion as well as spots well for an easy to clean and nice Delta shower head.

The handheld arm docks in the shower head with a magnetic as well as snap lock that Delta calls MagnaTite Docking which does an excellent job of keeping the handheld shower in place when not in use as a handheld shower. I have never knocked the handheld shower head out of the main shower even when showering with another person and yes it was my wife.

The Delta Contemporary In2ition does come with Delta’s Lifetime Faucet and Finish Warranty that states the shower parts and materials are warranted to be free of defects for as long as the original purchaser owns their home. Faucets and other plumbing fixtures from the top companies usually come with a great warranty and Delta is no different in theirs with a lifetime warranty.

I really enjoy the Contemporary design of the In2ition Delta shower head and have enjoyed using it with the larger spray area and seemingly more water to my shower while still using the same amount. The Delta Contemporary In2ition will cost about $150 with other models costing about the same or slightly less and can be found at many home improvement stores or Sears.

I really enjoy the Delta Contemporary In2ition shower and highly recommend the new line of In2ition shower heads by Delta for a new shower experience as well as a stylish look to your bathroom.

Contemporary In2ition @ Delta

Moen Kitchen Faucet: Haysfield

Moen Kitchen Faucet

The Moen Haysfield Stainless Steel One-Handle High Arc Pulldown kitchen faucet is a great stylish Moen kitchen faucet that includes the Spot Resist finish, Reflex spout system and soap dispenser.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Recommendation: 5/5

Moen Kitchen Faucet: Haysfield

The Moen Haysfield Kitchen Faucet is a stylish faucet that includes the newest technologies that Moen is known for including quick connect installation and a couple of newer ones. Moen has continued to work at improving their products and finishes that resist spots and fingerprints as well as a spout system that helps with smooth pulling and secure docking in the faucet neck.

The Moen Haysfield has a two function spout with a normal stream and a sprayer for the pullout spout that works well with its Reflex spout technology. The weight is attached to the hose underneath the sink but the finely crafted spout and faucet makes for a smooth operation and retraction into the faucet.

The Moen Haysfield is a model of kitchen faucets that has a single handle and a pulldown spout for convenient kitchen use while the cartridge washer system means long life and drip free operation. The Haysfield faucet can be installed in a three hole or one hole sink due to the single hole design and wider cover that hides the two holes on a three hole sink.

The additional soap dispenser can be installed in a separate hole or one of the three holes of a three hole sink because the cover for the two holes is optional. The Haysfield installs just fine in a single hole with an additional hole for the soap dispenser if you want to install that as well.

Whats in the Box Moen Haysfield

I could not find the Haysfield without the soap dispenser but you can buy an even more sophisticated version of the faucet that includes motion sense technology. Motion Sense will turn the faucet on and off by simply sensing movement either by the faucet spout or above the faucets top arc using motion sensors.

The Haysfield faucet costs about $230 at Home Depot and about $400 for the Motion Sense version and I am not sure if you can buy them elsewhere. I looked at various home improvement stores and it seems like Home Depot is the preferred retailer for Moen faucets but you may be able to find them elsewhere other than at online sites like Wal-Mart Marketplace.

The Moen Haysfield is as easy to install as any other modern faucet I have installed with the handy quick connect feature for the main spout. The Haysfield can be installed in a single hole even though the features list on the Moen website says it requires four holes.

After removing the previous faucet I cleaned up the area and put the Haysfield in place and tightened down the mounting nut using the included tool. The nut can be tightened using the included socket like tool and a simple screw driver through the end hole for torque that has been included in several faucets I have received recently.

Cutting Hole for Dispenser

These handy tools make installing faucets easier because they are a socket made of a tough plastic that has a nut driver on each end and a hole for a straight tool like a Philips screw driver. This makes a nut driver that is about six inches long to tighten down the main nut that holds the faucet to the sink on the main post coming from inside the faucet.

The main faucet hose coming from the spout to the inside of the faucet has a quick connect to allow for easier installation while the two main hot and cold lines are about 30 inches long. The hoses use a common smaller sized connection that fits on most faucet shut off valves for easy installation as well so the tools needed are only two wrenches for the hoses and the included tool with Philips screw driver to screw the mounting nut down.

I installed the faucet in a short time but did want to cut a hole in my sink to install the included soap dispenser using a hole saw that cuts stainless steel. I borrowed a hole saw set from a friend to drill out the hole and the thinner stainless steel was very easy to cut through and sand down smooth.

After installing the Haysfield faucet and soap dispenser the only thing left was to use the faucet but this faucet is a bit different than others I have owned with the handle moving in directions I am not used to. Turning the faucet on requires the handle to be rotated away from the faucets upright tube and toward it to turn the faucet off.

Haysfield Soap Dispenser

To adjust the hot and cold you turn the faucet handle upward toward the vertical for hot and down to the horizontal to adjust it to the cold. This unusual movement for hot, cold, on and off requires a bit of room for the handle to move if install the faucet with the handle toward the left  but with it on the right side leaves plenty of room.

I had no problem installing the faucet with the handle on the right and the included soap dispenser does make a nice addition for quickly dispensing soap right into the sink for dishes. I use the dispenser for my soap which you fill by simply pulling up on the pump head and the pump and tube come out to fill the bottle directly.

I really like the Haysfield faucet as a great kitchen faucet that has the benefit of the single handle and the added soap dispenser makes doing dishes a bit easier as well as keeping the sink area tidy. Installation was really easy without having to buy extra water lines due to the long supply lines and the faucet really adds a bit of elegance even if the rest of your kitchen needs updating.

Moen includes their limited lifetime warranty which states that they will replace any part that is bad due to workmanship or material defect as well as replace any cartridges that develop leaks. I highly recommend the Moen Haysfield Stainless Steel One-Handle High Arc Pulldown Kitchen Faucet as a fantastic kitchen faucet that is warranted for the lifetime of the original purchaser’s house.

Moen Kicthen Faucet Haysfield Sprayer

Haysfield @ Moen

Haysfield @ Home Depot

House Paint Finished Tips Tricks & Brands Used

House Painting

I’m finished painting my home and the Sherwin Williams Duration and Benjamin Moore Aura house paint I used have held up really well over the first year and have been a dream to work with for a professional looking job that gets plenty of compliments.

House Painting Finished

The ladders are back in the garage, the paint buckets are sitting on the shelf and all the house paint is either up on the walls or stored in the basement, yes I put leftover paint in my basement but more on that in a minute. I have finished painting my home and am very happy with the results even though it took two years to complete because I ran out of good weather.

I finished three walls outside in 2011 around November and wrote up my review but I still had another side of the house to finish painting which is now done before the winter of 2012 and snow flew. Over the winter I stored the paint in my basement which never gets below about 60 degrees, you should never allow paint of any kind to freeze or it will get ruined.

Store all your paint from gallon and 5 gallon buckets to those little cans of spray paint, lubricants and even foam sealant in the basement or another place but never let them freeze or you risk ruining the actual ingredients or having cans of spray burst. I have seen more cans of paint go into the dumpster, well maybe recycled at the local recycling center because the cans were left to freeze over the winter instead of keeping them at least above freezing.

I had a lot of planning for my painting and this was key in several areas including how much paint to use, how to get at all the parts of the house and what equipment I would need. I used two main paints for the house along with a cheaper primer I got from Menards, the main color house paint is an olive green Sherwin Williams Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex while the light tan is Benjamin Moore’s Aura Waterborne Exterior Paint for trim.

Can't Tell Which was Painted a Year Ago

I used a lot of primer as the existing paint was very worn and needed a good coat of primer before working on the top coat which went on extremely well. Primer is also done before caulking as the primer will help the caulk to adhere but make sure you buy paintable caulk for outdoor use.

Like in many things you do get what you pay for and paint is no exception to that time worn saying with good paint like Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore being both very good paints. The Sherwin Williams Duration was an excellent exterior house paint to work with and its lasts well over the harsh winters here in Minnesota.

Likewise the Benjamin Moore Aura paint I used for the trim around windows and doors went on smooth and for the most part in one coat and has topped off a great paint job. Like any paint job the preparation is key to having a good looking and long lasting paint but having the right tools and paint is also just as key.

I spent at least as much time on preparation as I did on painting with filling holes, fixing shingles and caulking around windows, along the soffits and such. I did not do any major wood work on the soffit but I did use about three quarters of a box of shingles as replacements for ones too damaged to keep or for ones missing as well as a door removal.

On one side of my house there was a door that led right out on to my driveway but the door was poorly installed and the bottom concrete of the frame moved when freezing temperatures hit. The door was unusable during the winter so I decided instead of trying to fix it and weatherize it to get rid of it and fill in the hole.

You can kind of see where it was if you look but the shingles are matching and I did try to get the same random pattern of varying width shingles placed next to each other. The house now looks great and I have received many compliments from neighbors and strangers just passing by on how good it looks but its more the paint than my work.

New and Year Old Paint

Both the Sherwin Williams Duration and the Benjamin Moore Aura house paints are excellent and are highly recommended by both home owners and professional painters as top of the line paints for your home. If you’re looking to paint your home wait for the sales and then buy just a bit more than you figure you’re going to need, you can always get more at the next sale after all.

The Sherwin Williams Duration house paint is an excellent choice for a main paint and goes on looking like a plastic coating when viewed up close to really seal in the house. The Benjamin Moore is more like a traditional house paint with the flat trim I received and has had no problems at all over the last year.

I have inspected the previous years’ work and cannot find any problems and did not need to patch any spots or fill any places that did not get enough paint. I can easily see both paints lasting a good ten years just on the performance of the past year and really inspecting the paint after a full year and the harsh winter that Minnesota has to offer.

The company does warranty their product for life but if you read the label it is about product and manufacturing like many typical warranties. When applying paints over old paint the warranty will not apply because the company cannot ensure the same adhesion and quality over such a varied surface for all the homes out there and the huge variety of situations.

No matter what you will be repainting your home even with the most expensive paint but this should last a lot longer than cheaper paints and both companies do stand behind their products. I am very pleased with the result and can easily recommend both the Sherwin William’s Duration and Benjamin Moore Aura paints as top of the line house paints that are well worth the cost even at full price.

Sherwin Williams Website

Benjamin Moore Website

My House Painting Article

Benjamin Moore Article

Toilet Tattoos Watercolor Tattoos for your Toilet

Toilet Tattoos Toilet Lid Decals Watercolor Tattoo for your Toilet

Toilet Tattoos are removable appliqués that fit on standard toilet lids made from electrostatic vinyl film in a variety of decorative and even whimsical styles for any occasion, like a watercolor tattoo for your toilet.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4.5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 4.5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 4.5/5

Toilet Tattoos Watercolor Tattoo for your Toilet

Getting ready for company like the relatives at Christmas dinner usually means cleaning the house from top to bottom and setting out the holiday decorations. Now you can even decorate in the bathroom and I’m not talking candles and drapes, toilet lids can now get their own decorations that look like a watercolor tattoo for your toilet.

You’re not limited to just holiday decorations for your porcelain throne as Toilet Tattoos come in a wide range of styles such as artistic, whimsical and even monograms. Your toilet lid can now sport kids themes, pet warnings and rubber ducks or simple designs like a rainbow or cartoon animals.

Your throne can be adorned with artistic designs like wallpaper and rug patterns or a whole page of choices from wildlife like a bear, fish or a selection of dogs. The company offers a truly wide selection but you can even get the holiday and seasonal decorations that you would expect but I truly like the oddball and everyday ones.

Unlike real watercolor tattoos, Toilet Tattoos are an easy to install applique for your toilet seat lid that is made from electrostatic vinyl for easy application and even removal and reapplying to the same or other lids. Toilet Tattoos are easy to apply with the vinyl film that sticks to smooth toilet seat lids whether its wood, plastic or even those inexpensive particle wood types and adheres very well that looks like a watercolor tattoo on your toilet.

Watercolor OuthouseWatercolor Tattoo for your Toilet

I received, with helpful recommendations from my wife, the rubber ducks on a blue wave background and the classic outhouse for my downstairs guest bathroom which my wife is having outhouses as its theme. The rubber ducky’s fit real well into our own master bathroom and the other rubber duck items my wife is adorning our bathroom with.

The vinyl appliques are easy to install and come with a larger backing that is handy to keep around in case you get more Toilet Tattoos and need a temporary place to stick one. I have checked out fancier toilet lids at stores like Menards and Lowes with eye opening prices of about $50 for designs that cover the lid and the seat.

A few simple designs have just a single flower but these lids and seats costs about $20 but with the toilet tattoos you can adorn the design you choose. Looking at adorning your toilet lid you can even go the shag cover or other covers for toilet lids that simply snug onto a lid but prices for just a simple cover are at least $5.

Toilet Tattoos are available from the website at $9.95 for the predesigned ones and prices of about $25 and up for custom designs like monograms. When you install the Toilet Tattoo you should clean the lid well, the whole toilet could use a cleaning as well so you don’t track dirt and unclean stuff from other parts of the toilet to the new applique.

Rubber Ducky Blue Watercolor Tattoo for your Toilet

Simply peel and place the Toilet Tattoo in place on the lid and if you need to reposition it simply peel it off and try again. The electrostatic vinyl does not use an adhesive but simply sticks to smooth surfaces and works just like those decorations you stick to windows.

I had no problems installing both a round and oblong applique for my two toilets and they both have adhered well and withstood the normal use a family puts their commodes through. If the toilet gets dirty you can simply wipe off the tattoo while it’s on the lid or easily remove the Toilet Tattoos from the lid temporarily which is not like a real watercolor tattoo.

Do not use harsh chemical cleaners on the Toilet Tattoo but gentle cleaners work very well or remove the applique when cleaning with cleaners that contain bleach or other harsh chemicals to prevent damage to the vinyl. I have had no problems using and cleaning the Toilet Tattoos on my two toilet lids and have enjoyed adorning my toilets.

I highly recommend Toilet Tattoos as a low cost and easy to apply decoration that can be a year round applique or you can buy ones for special occasions.

Toilet Tattoos Website

A little update, Wal-Mart seems to be cleaning out of the Toilet Tattoo market, you can buy them for around $2.50 last time I saw them in the clearance aisle.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/2” Drill Driver Kit

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/2” Drill Driver Kit 

The Milwaukee M18 Drill Driver Kit Model 2603-22 is a work quality tool that has the power to drill and drive through wood, preserved wood and concrete that includes a handle and two batteries with charger.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4.5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Average Rating 5/5

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/2” Drill Driver Kit

I received another tool from professional tool manufacturer Milwaukee and could not be more impressed with this quality tool that performs well. The Milwaukee company manufactures professional quality tools including their signature Sawzall reciprocating saw and has been a leader in power tools since 1924.

The Milwaukee M18 line of power tools is a lithium powered line of tools that centers on the lithium ion batteries in a few capacities but you have to match the voltage of the batteries. I am not sure if you can accidentally put the wrong voltage battery on a tool but when purchasing extra batteries you need to make sure you buy the correct 12, 18 or 28 volt battery.

The batteries come in a regular and high capacity with a new technology called RED LITHIUM that increases the current discharge for more power when you need it. One feature I like about the Milwaukee batteries is the power indicator on the battery itself to check for battery charge status without having to install the battery in the tool.

The 1/2” drill driver has all the power it needs from the high capacity Milwaukee M18 RED LITHIUM batteries with two in the kit so you have an extra battery for your tough jobs. The 2603-22 kit includes the 1/2” drill driver, two RED LITHIUM 18 volt batteries, an M12/M18 charger, a removable handle in a plastic carry case with manuals for the tool and charger.

Whats in the Box Milwaukee M18 FUEL

The 1/2” drill driver is a hefty tool weighing in at about 3.5 pounds while the tool with a RED LITHIUM XC, extra capacity, battery weighs about 5.1 pounds. This may seem a bit heavy for a hand tool but considering the use the tool will be put through like driving long screws into wood or drilling concrete heft is important for control.

The tool includes a handle that attaches on the top of the tool with a simple tightening of the round handle on the two clamps that fit into the indents by the top body screws. The side handle gives you even more control while doing hefty work like drilling into concrete or boring large holes in tough wood like treated lumber.

The company has upgraded the internal circuitry of the M18 tool to make better use of the lithium-ion technology as well as a new brushless motor that better cools and lasts longer. The brushless motor and better circuitry equate to a better motor that gives longer lasting drilling and driving due to a cooler running motor.

The contoured handle makes the drill driver comfortable for use while the chuck is easy to use and securely holds bits when tightened without a chuck key. There is also a space for a belt clip or a bit holder on each side of the drill driver but these need to be purchased separately and installed using a single screw.

Milwaukee M18 Drill Driver in Case

The drill driver is hefty but with a good feel when doing heavy duty work like drilling through 2 by 12’s to install some wiring conduits through a basement foundation. I have used the drill for several jobs like installing shelves and working in some fairground buildings with varying uses from drilling to driving into concrete and even mixing paint in five gallon buckets.

The tool has two speed settings and a rotating torque setting to deliver varying torque for depth of driving or for the necessary power due to material type while drilling. The drill and driver uses the two speeds to vary the main speed and the torque that allows the drill to slip when it reaches a specific torque that works well for driving screws to a specific depth.

The Milwaukee M18 drill driver works extremely well for concrete work and drilling into other tough materials like preserved wood even if using larger bits like 1/2 inch to create holes for rebar. I had no problems drilling into concrete through preserved wood which is pretty difficult and through regular wood for many jobs both at home and elsewhere.

The drill speed works well for jobs like mixing paint in five gallon buckets on low speed and switching to high speed to drill through lumber quickly and easily. The drill driver has no problem with performing multiple tasks in a variety of materials with the extra capacity batteries that hold a charge well and are easy to change.

Milwaukee M18 Drill Driver Settings

The battery capacity lasts very well for the tool use and having two batteries in the same kit really makes sense for convenience while on large jobs. The battery charger that comes with the Milwaukee 2603-22 kit can charge the extra capacity M18 batteries in an hour and really gives you the fast charging for large jobs.

It is no wonder that Milwaukee is a top choice of construction workers and user survey’s but individual models vary just as much as personal opinions about tools. Several of the tools in the same or prior lines of the 2603-20 drill and driver receive high praise from various reviewers and users.

The Milwaukee M18 Drill Driver kit does a fantastic job at tasks like construction and home improvement jobs and makes a welcome addition to this home owner’s tool chest. Another great feature that I only recently became aware of is a small LED light to help light your way while using the drill driver.

This is the second drill I have received that has an LED at the front and I keep thinking every time I use either drill why they never did this in the past with drills and drivers. The light really helps when using the drill or driver in tight quarters like in between floor joists where using a flashlight would require at least one of your two hands.

Milwaukee M18 Charger & Side Handle

I highly recommend the Milwaukee 1/2” drill driver and the kit that this particular model comes in really gives you the benefits of two batteries for a complete drill driver for either a handyman or on the job.

Milwaukee Website  

Clog Hog Drain Cleaner Sewer Jetter

Clog Hog 50 FT. Drain Cleaner Set Sewer Jetter

The Clog Hog is a simple drain cleaning system or sewer jetter using your power washer or pressure washer to unclog and flush out the built up gunk in your drain lines including the main line.

Clog Hog Drain Cleaner Set Sewer Jetter

Ease of Use/Performance: 25/25
Convenience/Storage 25/25
Appearance/Design 22/25
How much I enjoy 25/25

Clog Hog Drain Cleaner


Before and After Clog Hog Sewer Jetter

Total: 97/100

It’s not often that I enjoy cleaning out my sewer lines, drain lines or clogged sinks but now I can get those lines clear easily and with water. Using my pressure washer, power washer if you like, I can blast away those clogs and clean out the pipes to prevent clogs in the future.

Instead of using caustic chemicals or calling the plumber to get the job done you can use the Clog Hog to jet those lines clear easily at very little cost. A power washer is a handy tool around the home and now it becomes an essential plumber’s tool along with the Clog Hog sewer jetter hose and adapters.

After a little back and forth with the company, they will  also work with customers, I found the exact model suited to my needs and for the review. The Clog Hog sewer jetter needs to be teamed up with a specific power washer because the power of the washer is an important factor in determining the strength needed for the hose.

A more powerful washer will need a hose that is reinforced so you need to know the rated flow and the working pressure of your power washer before ordering a Clog Hog. Once you know the pressure and flow you can find matching hoses, the brand of your pressure washer is used for the adapter needed to connect your washer to the Clog Hog.

Whats in the Box Sewer Jetter

The Clog Hog 50 foot Drain Cleaner Set I received comes with a fifty feet of hose with the attached nozzle and a threaded adapter that is sized for the included adapters. The sewer jetter set includes four adapters and a tube of LocTite to lock the adapter on the threaded adapter of the hose.

The sewer jetter set also includes instructions and a hose tie to wrap up the hose when not in use to keep it neatly coiled, the nozzle is already attached to the hose and an important part of the set. The nozzle has four holes with one pointing forward and three pointing backward to help propel the hose forward when in use and all are design according to the pressure rating of the washer you use.

The Clog Hog I received is rated up to 4000 PSI and from 1.5 to 2.0 gallons per minute flow rate so my Campbell Hausfeld electric 1600 PSI pressure washer works well with this set even if it is at the low end. Connecting the right adapter is only a matter of comparing the included wands for your pressure washer as the hose connects to your spraying wand.

The Adapter kit for the sewer jetter that comes with the set includes four adapters for common pressure washer like Karcher, Campbell Hausfeld, Bosch and Kew among some. The threaded adapter allows connection to other models along with the other adapters that Clog Hog has available for other models.

Power to Blast Clogs Sewer Jetter

You simply screw on the correct adapter and connect the hose to your spray wand which is how you turn on and off the washer and the Clog Hog sewer jetter when you want to use it. Other systems of drain jetters require an on/off valve or foot control but the Clog Hog is designed to attach directly to your wand and use it for your controls.

Once you have the Clog Hog sewer jetter connected to your pressure washer you connect your garden hose to the pressure washer and power cord and you’re ready to clean those drains. Clog Hog hoses come in various pressure ratings for higher pressure washers and even gas operated washers so the better washers can be used and are even better at cleaning out your drain lines.

If you’re using the Clog Hog in a basement or other unfinished areas the mess is not much of a worry but for nice rooms like a bathroom you may want to do a little covering of the floor with a drop cloth or old blanket. Rags and gloves are also recommended as the gunk in drain lines can be a mess and even stain your hands which require a lot of soap and water to clean off.

In my bathroom it was an easy task of putting the pressure washer and all the hose in the tub and then using the Clog Hog through the under sink connection. The Clog Hog is meant more for the main lines of a houses plumbing from sinks and other attaching points to the main sewer line connection of the house.

Clog Hog Nozzle Spray Sewer Jetter

The Clog Hog sewer jetter can be used in the smaller two inch pipes up to the four inch drain lines but they do have to be passed through lines and the hose is pretty solid. It does not bend easily but can handle the bends of a drain line like 90 degree elbows but not the “U” shaped drain traps under sinks.

It is not meant for clearing the traps under sinks or showers as the Clog Hog is pulled through the drain using backward facing jets of water. These jets not only propel the hose forward but would get water everywhere if you don’t have the hose at least a foot or two inside a pipe.

For my bathroom pipe I simply put a few rags over the hose as I fed it into the line until it turned its first corner downward toward the basement. The under sink work was the messiest but not nearly as bad as I had predicted it could be using a sewer jetter, I simply had the power washer in the tub while I worked.

When pushing the hose in and pulling it out I had several rags around the end of the drain pipe that leads directly into the wall and toward the basement drains. I also packed rags under the drain coming out of the wall and had an old blanket on the floor to soak up any water and catch anything else that fell on the floor.

Clog Hog Sewer Jetter Attached to Power Washer

In the basement where I actually had my problems the Clog Hog sewer jetter did wonders to my clogged drains with not only unclogging them but with cleaning out the pipes to prevent future clogs. I have included a video with this review which will be on both my Yahoo! Page and my own website but it is not as gross as you would think.

I made a video camera that I put down the drain to see exactly what the inside of my drain lines look like, it is simply a backup camera for a car inside an inch and a quarter drain hose for a sump pump attached to a TV and VCR. The video shows the drain and after getting past the first corner bend I come upon the tee of my floor drain, in the video you can see the water running from the floor drain branch.

After some more pushing I feed the camera which is about an inch and three quarters round to some blockage that I could not push the camera through. I marked on the camera hose with a strip of cloth so I could measure how far down this clog was and could show the same area after the Clog Hog did some of its work.

After a few minutes of running the Clog Hog with my pressure washer I removed the Clog Hog hose and sent my camera back in to take a look. The camera could now go further into the drain and you can see that the walls are now scrubbed of some of the gunk that it was lined with.

This was only after a couple of minutes with the Clog Hog washing down the inside of the drain pipe, I continued to use the Clog Hog some more to clear out more of the drain pipe. I also went outside to a cleanout and used the Clog Hog on my main sewer line that runs from my house to the street to get that nice and clear to prevent problems like Christmas Day, 2009.

The first year we moved into our home we had our first major plumbing problem on Christmas Day, the line clogged and I was outside in a snow storm digging out the sewer line so I could get to the clog. The sewer line for my house runs to a pit in our yard and then to the street and this pit was full of sewer water so the clog was somewhere between this pit and the street.

After bailing out the water and using a hose with one of those bladders to push the clog out I vowed to never have to do this again. I worked at updating the sewer line with a clean out and fully enclosed plumbing in that pit as well as looking for alternate means of keeping my sewer lines clear.

I finally got the drain lines enclosed and when I started having problems again with my drain lines in the basement clogging up I looked for a solution before they totally clogged up. I looked over the internet for some way to clean out a drain line without having to call a plumber, I am a do it yourselfer at heart, and found the Clog Hog.

The Clog Hog sewer jetter is a simple way to clear out the lines with the backwards facing jets pulling the hose along and one forward jet to blast through any obstructions that clog up your drain. Actual usage and drain configuration at your home will determine the amount of bends and corners the Clog Hog hose will take but the smaller diameter hose makes for a better turn radius.

When using the Clog Hog I know I made it past three turns on the plumbing but I am not sure exactly how or where this was, I think about three is the maximum my smaller pressure washer would push the hose through. The more turns you add to your length the more friction is added to the hose so it may be you can do a few more with a higher pressure washer and hose set up.

Professionals are now using power washers as a way to clear out clogs that do not wear down the pipe like augers can and they also clean out the pipe of greasy debris that sticks to the side much better. The use of a home version that a home owner can buy at a reasonable cost and use with their own pressure washer simply means not having to call the professional to unclog your drain lines.

The Clog Hog sewer jetter is a cost effective means that home owners can use to keep your drain lines clear and one that works with a pressure washer that you may already have. Doing a little math if you spend the $115 for the 50FT Clog Hog Set and another $100 on a pressure washer you’re about at the cost of having a plumber come out to your house to do the same job.

You get the secure knowledge of not having to call a plumber again and you can wash your car and keep your house siding clean as well. The Clog Hog is a simple to use drain cleaner and not only prevents clogs in the future when using it on pipes that are just slow but can clear out clogged pipes where water is not draining.

My only word of warning on fully clogged drain lines on vertical pipes like under sinks that run straight into the wall instead of down is use rags to plug the hole when you first use the Clog Hog and your pressure washer. I highly recommend the Clog Hog sewer jetter as an efficient and low cost way to keep your homes drain lines clear and running free.

Clog Hog Website