Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.

 
 
 
 

Features

  • Fast Cap Best Fence

    The basic FastCap Pro model has no wheels and comes with one continuous 64-inch wing with a metric or imperial scale and a flip stop. The rest of the stands have four wheels for better mobility, and include a variety of accessories.

     
  • Homemade Miter Saw Stands

    Many carpenters make their own saw stands, which they can tailor exactly to the work they do. These stands are their workbenches, and because the stands are wooden, users can nail or screw their accessories anywhere.

     
  • Trojan Workcenter

    The concept of the Trojan Workcenter is simple: Two pairs of collapsible legs firmly clamp to a 2-by rail, which you supply; there’s an MDF saw table and two adjustable support rollers that clamp to the top of the rail.

     
  • Ridgid AC9945

    According to the specs, the Ridgid AC9945 Miter Saw Utility Vehicle weighs just 57 pounds and extends to an overall length of about 9 1/2 feet.

     
  • Festool Kapex UGFestool Kapex UG

    This station is designed to pair with the Kapex saw that many high-end finish carpenters like to use. The two extension wings give continuous support and provide extra work surface that is ideal for trim work, and simple flip stops allow repetitive cuts.

     
  • Dewalt DWX723

    Made of aluminum, the 35-pound DWX723 folds into a slender, 6-foot-long package that totes easily and doesn’t crowd a pickup bed. Setup is a simple matter of squeezing release levers and swinging out the legs before securing the saw.

     
  • Lee Unlimited Complete Power Bench

    This stand won a Editors’ Choice Award from Tools of the Trade magazine in 2002 because it unfolded in a minute to become a long and sturdy 18-inch-wide stand, and it had an adjustable deck height to accommodate almost any saw.

     
  • Ryobi A18MS01

    In a recent JLC Tools & Equipment forum, several contributors, including Connecticut remodeler Phil Herzegovitch, said they liked Ryobi’s A18MS01 miter-saw stand. Herzegovitch has now been using two of these stands for more than five years.

     
  • Portable Miter-Saw Stands

    An informal survey reveals the most popular manufactured models, plus some ingenious homemade options.

     
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Bosch T4B Miter-Saw Stand

    The Bosch T4B's solid-rubber tires roll over rough terrain and make it easier to get the saw and stand up a stairway.

     
  • Building Above-Code Walls

    Four design/build teams solve the puzzle of high-performance wall construction—in four different ways.

     
  • Belfast, Maine, Cohousing Units

    Four design/build teams solve the puzzle of high-performance wall construction—in four different ways.

     
  • Maine Single-Family Home

    The wall system shown here is an improved version of the system I used for the house I built in Knox, Maine, in 2011.

     
  • "Avalon," a Connecticut Farmhouse

    Our wall example is part of a zero-energy single-family house built for the tenant farmer of an organic farm in rural Connecticut.

     
  • Norwich, Vermont Single-Family Home

    Our challenge was to realize the owners distinctive artistic vision for their home, along with their very ambitious energy-efficiency goals, while also working within the hard limits of the budget.

     
  • The Adjuster’s Tool Kit

    Insurance adjusters are on the road for days or weeks at a time and need to be prepared. Here's what you should have on hand.

     
  • Snow Hill, NC, April 19, 2011 -- Jim Sadler, FEMA surveys the Genesis Subdivision  during a preliminary damage assessment in Snow Hill, North Carolina following the severe storms and deadly tornadoes of April 16, 2011. David Fine/FEMA

    Life as an insurance adjuster after a career as a contractorSecond Acts

    When a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes, CAT-adjusters go to work, assessing damage for insurance companies. Contractors looking for a job that takes their stiff joints and aching back off the jobsite might consider using their experience in construction as a licensed adjuster.

     

Letters

  • Less-Than-Best Practice

    Reader comments and author replies on "Strong, Safe Decks (Sep/13), continuous joists (Q&A, Oct/13), and stone veneer (Sep/13).

     

Q&A

On the Job

  • Working With Large Beams

    Tips for planning and equipment that will make working with large glulam or other engineered beams easier and faster.

     
  • A Safe Push Stick in 60 Seconds

    Taking just one minute to make this push stick could mean still being able to count to 10 on your fingers.

     

Business

  • Finding Strong Keywords

    The SEO rules have changed. This article describes how to use Google Keyword Planner to find the three or four keywords that best describe your expertise, and how to use them to rewrite your Web copy.

     
  • To use your own data to find hrs/BF or hrs/SF, divide average hours used for each framing task by total SF or BF of materials used. (BF = thickness x width [in inches] x length [in feet]  12). This table shows figures for tasks associated with framing and sheathing a typical exterior wall.

    Unit Prices for Labor

    While unit prices for labor are available from a number of sources, the best source is a company's own job history. This article uses an example of framing an exterior wall to show how to use that data to calculate unit costs for labor based on material quantities.

     

Energy

  • Encapsulating ducts with at least 1 1/2 inches of closed-cell spray foam substantially improves HVAC performance in all U.S. climate zones. Burying the encapsulated ducts in loose-fill attic insulation improves performance even more.

    Buried and Encapsulated Ducts

    Encapsulating ducts with at least 1 1/2 inches of closed-cell spray foam substantially improves HVAC performance in all U.S. climate zones. Burying the encapsulated ducts in loose-fill attic insulation improves performance even more.

     

Products

  • Against the Wind

    Although Atlas' new high-performance or HP Technology Shingles are no thicker than other architectural grade roof shingles, they're warranted to withstand 130 mph winds with four nails per shingle and a 6-inch course exposure.

     
  • Modular Towel Rack

    Vola’s new Modular Electric Towel Warmer hides the technical elements behind the wall, leaving a cleaner look than radiator-style warmers.

     
  • Preventing Tank Leaks

    Secure-A-Tank brackets are a simple, inexpensive way to add support to contemporary toilets, reducing strain on bolts and gaskets. The plastic braces simply hook over the lip of the tank.

     
  • Mix-and-Match Trim

    A line of half-round column elements for cabinets, kitchen islands, and other surfaces, Design-A-Column includes columns and more in maple and cherry with a variety of designs.

     
  • Hidden Power

    This unique outlet conceals three electrical sockets behind a flat wall plate. Push on the plate and the spring-loaded outlet emerges.

     
  • Scratch-Resistant Counters

    These countertops are made by fusing the end pieces of wood strips. Colors range from creamy white to light brown and dark chocolate brown.

     
  • Best LED Yet

    The Infina LED bulb screws into any fixture made for a standard Edison bulb, turns on instantly, and is dimmable.

     
  • Sea Hue

    This Trex decking, which is part of the company's Select Composite system, mimics the natural graying of wood often seen on homes near the ocean.

     
  • Easy Access

    The watertight outward-opening door on American Standard's Walk-in Bath makes it easier to access the tub seat, especially for wheelchair users. And the Quick Drain pump drains the tub in two minutes.

     
  • Standing Tall

    These Signet foam-filled fiberglass entry doors are available in custom widths and in heights up to 8 feet. Doors are individually hand-stained and can be customized with different styles, colors, and finishes.

     
  • Rock Touch

    According to the manufacturer, you can safely lay a hot pan on this Pyrolave countertop's surface. The product's signature look is a delicate crazing that appears in the glazing during manufacture. Built-in drain boards and sinks are available.

     
  • Integrated Shade

    Marvin's shading system can be fitted to a range of the company's windows, is invisible when retracted, and fully integrates into the frame. Plus, the motor can be controlled via an iPad or iPod app.

     

Toolbox

  • Splash Control

    Veteran drywall contractor and JLC Live presenter reviews the Bucket Splash Guard.

     
  • Heavyweight Catalog

    This free industrial catalog, available in print and online, covers more than 570,000 products.

     
  • Rust Warriors

    Together these two products will remove and prevent rust on tools and equipment, even in harsh coastal environments.

     
  • Hougen HMD904 Mag Drill

    A contractor reviews this portable drill, which when equipped with annular cutters, greatly reduces the time required to drill up to 1 1/2-inch-diameter holes in steel up to 2 inches thick.

     
  • Hitachi NV50AP3 Cap Nailer

    A production manager for a St. Louis remodeler has high praise for this cap nailer after a year of use fastening foam, housewraps, and synthetic underlayments.

     

Backfill

  • Vermont Windows

    Examples of angled gable-end windows, called "Vermont Windows"—a unique feature of farmhouses in several New England states.