A Day With Brian Fuller

This summer my coworkers and I were able to spend a day with Bryan Fuller. Bryan may be best known for his TV show “Two Guys Garage” , but has also worked with Chip Foose on “Overhaulin” and has also showed off a badass bike rebuild on “Café Racer”. Bryan is a seriously talented fabricator and a restoration expert.

The good folks at JET Tools and Equipment were awesome enough to arrange this visit for us. During the day we spent at Bryans Atlanta shop Fuller Hot Rods, Bryan and the JET team took the time to explain in detail how all their metal cutting, shaping, and turning tools worked. We had the opportunity to use them, test them, and learn everything about them.

This was a seriously awesome experience. During the day we got invaluable insight from Bryan who uses these tools everyday. He was able to give us tips and tricks the pro’s use.

If you are looking for great metal working tools or wood tools too, I strongly urge you to consider JET tools. From personal experience and advise from the pro’s, I can guarantee that you will be happy and your JET tools will give you many years of great service.

For more tips, click here to check out Bryan’s Book.

Here are a few pics of us getting to play.

 

 

Impact Wrench, Driver, Hammer Drill, What Do I need?

For Pros, it’s easy, but I hear a lot of people asking about the differences between impact drivers, impact wrenches, hammer drills, and drill drivers. It can really get confusing. Hopefully this will help to break it all down.

Impact wrenches are tools that have a square head to accept sockets. They are used for removing lug nuts or driving lag bolts. These tools vary widely is size and strength, so be sure to get one that will have the power you need to drive the bolts you have. Be sure to check the specs for torque on these tools, and make sure you get a high capacity battery as these application require a lot of juice.

Impact drivers are a more light duty tool. These tools have a 1/4″ hex quick connect on the end and accept standard insert tips for nut drivers or screw driving bits. They are great for running screws like installing drywall, metal studs, and home projects.

A hammer drill is a tools designed to drill through concrete. Most can also be used as a standard drill as well without the hammer function. This tool should typically only be ordered by someone needing to drill through concrete, but occasionally are used by pros who need the heavier duty capacity of the hammer drill without the hammer function.

Standard drill-drivers are the typical workhorse of cordless drills. The usually have a 3 jaw chuck that can accept any drill bit or driver bit with a shank diameter up to 1/2″. These are great for standard drilling through wood and metal and for basic screw driving applications. For someone looking for their first tool, this is where to start.

Landscaping

Although I believe that there isn’t much I’m not able to do with some wood and a few tools, I have no clue when it comes to landscaping. I don’t know what plants should go where. I have no idea what plants will look good together. I don’t have a clue about when to plant them, how to prune them, or what sizes and varieties are best for the areas I need to spruce up. So, because I am landscape challenged, we hired a Landscape architect to draw up some plans and give us an idea of what we could do to improve the curb appeal of our home.

For less than $200, we got this awesome blueprint we will use to slowly add to and change the landscaping around our house. While the manual labor will not be fun, spending the money for a pro to do our design will be well worth it. Now we can be confident that we will have the plants in the right place for a great new look.

Winterize Your Home

Are you ready for winter? Is your home? When the seasons change and the temperature drops, there are a few important things everyone should do to make sure their house is prepared.

  • Have your local HVAC Company inspect your furnace. This is extremely important, not just in heating, but also making sure it is safe from CO2 leaks, and risk of fire.
  • Protect your hose bibs from freezing by covering them.
  • Have your chimney cleaned or inspected if you plan to burn wood.
  • Inspect your home’s exterior cracks and seal them
  • Add weatherstripping to doors where necessary to prevent cold air from coming in.
  • Clean your gutters. They maybe full of leaves from the fall. Make sure they are ready to remove the rain water and melting snow.
  • Drain the gas from your lawnmower and drain the gas and water from any pressure washers.
  • Inspect the attic, garage door, and unfinished basements for proper insulation
  • Reverse your ceiling fan. By reversing the direction, your fan will pull warm air down from the ceiling keeping you more comfortable.
  • Wrap any exposed pipes that go through unheated spaces like garages or basements, to protect them from freezing.
  • Check the operation of your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries.
  • Finally, I like to spray Rain-X on my DirecTV satellite dish. this prevents snow and ice buildup so I do not need to get on my ladder in the snow to clean it off to watch TV.

If you take these few steps to prepare your home for winter, you can rest assured it will be more peaceful, comfortable, and affordable.

By therealnate Posted in How To:

Vacation Preparation

I just got back home after a quick vacation, and initially everything at the house seemed fine. It was only later in the evening when I tried to get some ice from the freezer, did I realize that we had narrowly missed a huge disaster while we were away. My freezer door was frozen shut, but after a few good tugs it opened up. For the first time ever, I saw a giant block of ice in the freezer. Apparently, the shut off valve to the ice maker failed, allowing water to continue to run into the freezer and not stop, quickly filling the back and bottom of the freezer, with several inches of solid ice.

I say that a disaster was averted because before leaving town, I shut off the water to the house by closing the valve located in the front yard. Although I often laughed at myself while doing this and considered it paranoid, it definitely paid off this time. Had the water not been turned off, my ice maker would have continued spewing water for days eventually leaking onto and ruining the hardwood floors, cabinets, and possibly more. I will never again consider this task paranoid, but an essential part of my vacation preparations.

Before leaving town, here are a few other things I do to prepare the house:

  • Turn down the temperature on the water heater to “vacation” or as low as possible.
  • Program the thermostat to rarely turn on the heat / ac while we are away.
  • Unplug all unused electronics, like TV’s, DVR’s, computers.
  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Arrange for mail and newspaper pickups with a neighbor, or suspend them completely.
  • Mow the yard, and arrange for it to be mowed if gone for extended periods of time.
  • Be sure a neighbor has a contact number to reach you in case of emergency.

Many others recommend setting timers for lights or even a radio to give the appearance of being home, and even leaving curtains or blinds open, and installing a security system if you don’t have one. I personally am less concerned with security than I am with the fact that things can happen while you are away and would simply prefer to prevent as much damage as possible. By taking a few simple steps, like turning off the water, I saved myself (and my insurance company) thousands of dollars and weeks of frustration by preventing a flood in my kitchen.

Now, go on vacation, relax, and enjoy yourself. Your house will be fine when you get home!

My Door and Window Trim, How-To

In my Quickie Dining Room Makeover post, we removed the boring plain jane casing from the door and windows and built up our own stylish trim using some very inexpensive and readily available building materials.

After removing the casing, check the existing jambs for any nails that may be left. This is also a good time to scrape the old caulk, and do any sanding required to make the jambs look good and fresh again. Next, take a tri-square, speed square, or ruler and mark 1/4″ back from the opening on the jambs so you will know where to nail your new trim boards and have a uniform reveal around the jamb.

For your door trim, measure from your finished floor up to the mark you just made on the header jamb.  Cut a 1X4 to this length and nail on your marks making sure the reveal going up the jamb is uniform and that the board is 1/4″ above the bottom of the top jamb. Repeat this process on the other leg.  This completes both sides of the door. Now to build the top.

Measure across the door from the outside of one trim leg to the outside of the other.  Cut a 1X6 to this length. Now add 1 inch to this measurement  and cut a piece of lath (the material used to make lattice) to that length. Evenly spacing the lathe so that there is 1/2″ past the 1X6 on both sides, nail it to the bottom of the 1X6. You can now put this assembled piece on top of the 2 trim legs installed earlier.

The final step is a personal one. I chose to use ‘Bed Molding‘ a traditional very small type of crown molding.  Many people will nail a 1X2 on the top and keep the look simple with straight lines. I like the extra elements and small curves of the bed molding, so I cut a piece to the length of the 1X6 with outside miters on each end. Then added a return piece on each side, cut to 3/4″ length and flat on one side and an outside corner miter on the other. This step may sound a bit complicated at first, but really it is not. If you are intimidated by cutting crown, just add a 1X2 to the top of your casing and place a straight piece of cove molding under it. It will look great!

This project can be done without the use of any power tools, but having a few will make the job much faster. A miter saw will make fast, precise cuts and can be purchase brand new for under $130, and a compressor and trim nailer set will make your nailing clean and fast
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