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Air Superiority. Tired of wrestling a 100-pound wheelbarrow compressor out of your pickup every day? Switch to a truck-mounted version. The Maxus EX8006 packs a 30-gallon tank, an electric start, and a 13-hp Honda GX engine. Its oil-bath cast-iron pump delivers up to 27 scfm at 90 psi, which should be plenty of air no matter how many guns are blazing. The compressor has a five-year warranty and sells for $2,400. Maxus, 888/241-5858

Tub Dumper. Although landscaper-size dump trucks offer time and labor savings, they also deliver a bone-jarring ride and aren't particularly well suited for family camping trips. If you need the occasional convenience of a dump body without the entire truck, try the Dump-Pro Insert. This polyethylene tub converts a standard 8-foot pickup bed into a dump body. An electric winch powers the lifting mechanism, so there are no complex hydraulics or power takeoffs to install. With the optional Quick Change-Out Kit ($329), you can remove the whole thing in minutes, says the manufacturer. The insert is sold assembled for $2,430 and in kit form for $2,200. Standard Hamilton, 866/438-6777, www.dump-pro.com

Flying Carpet. Plastic bed liners wear like iron, but your stuff is apt to slide all over their slippery surface. Spray-on liners are better at keeping your tools and building materials contained, but they're tough on your knees and on finish grades of plywood. Don't despair — there's one more option: the BedRug. Made from polypropylene fibers, this carpetlike liner conforms to the bed of the truck, pampers your knees, and helps keep your supplies in place. Plus, it won't absorb liquids. It sells for about $400.

Wise Industries, 800/462-8435, www.wiseindustries.com


Wood Flooring

Dust Collection.Floor sanders generate a lot of dust, creating a nuisance for homeowners and a nasty health hazard for workers. But it doesn't have to be that way: According to its maker, the Floor Sanding Dust Containment System eliminates almost all of the dust generated by floor sanding. The product uses a cyclonic separator to remove particles from the air stream, then deposits them into a 35-gallon barrel lined with plastic. A secondary filter on the machine removes any remaining particulates. The manufacturer's Web site includes a database of flooring contractors who own the setup. Interested? Expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,500 (depending on options) for the equipment. Oneida Vac Systems, 866/387-8822, www.oneidavac.com

High and Dry. Thanks to plastic channels that promote air circulation and prevent moisture absorption, the click-together floating floor Subflor Supreme is perfect for basement slabs and other damp areas, says the manufacturer. Made from water-resistant OSB with an applied wear layer, the panels measure 3/4 inch thick, 83/4 inches wide, and 54 inches long. They sell for about $3.50 per square foot. Supra Floors, 866/782-3567, www.subflor.com

Thin Is In. Despite their good looks, durability, and easy maintenance, hardwood strips aren't always the best floor-covering choice. Installation on slabs and below grade can be tricky, and placement over radiant heat can result in undesirable expansion and contraction. Also, the strips' 3/4-inch thickness may not suit remodeling jobs. In these challenging applications, Mirage Prefinished Engineered Hardwood can be a good alternative. Because the product's solid hardwood wear layer is reinforced by a five-ply plywood substrate, the flooring is more stable on slabs and over radiant heat. It's thinner (3/8 inch thick) than regular strip flooring, too, so it works better in many remodels. It has a wear layer comparable to that of conventional 3/4-inch hardwood, and its aluminum-oxide finish boasts a 25-year residential warranty. Prices start at about $6.50 per square foot. Mirage, 800/463-1303, www.miragefloors.com


Structural Fasteners & Connectors

Super Screws. As far as I'm concerned, self-drilling structural screws like GRK's RSS (Rugged Structural Screw) are among the best structural fasteners ever invented. The new, hardened stainless-steel version is appropriate both for general exterior use and with pressure-treated material. Made from types 305 and 316 stainless, the fasteners are so strong a 5/16-by-31/8-inch RSS screw provides 847 pounds of shear strength and more than 2,300 pounds of pull-out resistance in end grain. But my favorite attribute is the sharp, serrated threads that allow you to install these gems without predrilling. A 100-count Handy Pack of the 5/16-by-31/8-inch stainless-steel RSS sells for about $56. GRK, 800/263-0463, www.grkfasteners.com

Cool Connections. Beams and structural timbers often require exposed connectors, yet conventional galvanized connectors aren't really meant for display. For a solution to this quandary, check out Simpson's Architectural Products Group, a line of decorative connectors with a black powder-coated finish. The collection includes everything from joist hangers to complex connectors for timber framing. Simpson Strong-Tie, 800/999-5099, www.strongtie.com/apg

Stainless-Steel Concrete Screws. In response to widespread concerns about corrosion associated with the new formulations of chemicals in pressure-treated lumber, Powers Fasteners has launched a line of 410 stainless-steel self-tapping concrete screws. Stainless Steel Tappers come in 1/4-inch diameters in lengths from 11/4 to 43/4 inches. The company has also recently added new colors to its hardened-steel concrete screws. The new shades — white, silver, and bronze Perma-Seal coatings, in addition to the traditional blue — should make the fasteners less obvious in many common building materials. A 100-count box of 1/4-by-1 1/4-inch hex-head Tappers in 410 stainless steel sells for $144; the same size hardened-steel Tapper in white sells for $76 per 100. Powers Fasteners, 914/235-6300, www.powers.com