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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.

     
  • Thermal Imaging With a Blower Door

    Though it's impossible to seal every hole in an existing building to prevent air leaks, here's a procedure you can use to identify the worst leaks in order to tighten the home as cost-effectively as possible.

     
  • Building a Double Winder Stair

    In building this double winder stair, remodeler Dave Holbrook used modular boxes to stack one tread and riser at a tim.

     
  • Best Practices: Continuous Exterior Insulation

    A guide to selecting and installing rigid foam on walls.

     

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

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.

     
  • Using Evernote Premium in Your Business

    An introduction to the features of Evernote, a cloud-based application for storing, tagging, and retrieving text, images, audio, and other information on a computer or mobile device.

     
  • App of the Month: Hello

    You can say goodbye to typing with this contact management app from Evernote, with it excellent text recognition.

     

Legal

  • Lien On

    Attorney Patrick Barthet clarifies the requirements for filing a mechanic's lien based on a recent court case.

     

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.

     
  • What Do You Do With Crawlspace Air?

    Most crawlspaces are vented to the outdoors, but encapsulating the crawlspace has gained favor among builders of green and energy-efficient homes. But what do you do about the air down there?

     

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.

     
  • Petite Pump

    A Saniswift gray-water pump makes it easier to add plumbing fixtures to rooms with no below-floor drainage.

     
  • Pretty Tough

    These side lites meet coastal code requirements and are able to withstand winds up to 195 mph.

     
  • Siding Guide

    LineBacker Siding Insulation provides a thermal break and its parallel ridges serve as guides for the installation of horizontal siding planks.

     
  • Flexi Post

    The Panorama Post supports topless glass guardrails at various angles. The powder-coated aluminum post comes in surface- and fascia-mount versions in eight standard and 180 custom colors.

     
  • Field-Applied Flange

    Zip Flash is simple to install: Run a bead of caulk down the back, then staple it to the jamb. It comes in 84- and 98-inch lengths and a standard door needs 2 1/2 flanges.

     
  • PVC Ceiling

    Zip-Up Ceiling offers a quick way to finish a basement ceiling: Install trim around the perimeter, then infill with paintable PVC panels and hidden rails that can be unzipped later for cleaning and overhead access.

     
  • Advanced Building Products Mortairvent Membrane

    Suitable for all exterior siding applications, this rainscreen technology creates a drainage and ventilation cavity between the weather resistant barrier and the exterior wall.

     
  • Rigid Rock Wool

    Designed for use as exterior continuous insulation in rainscreen wall systems, Comfortboard CIS repels water but is breathable enough to allow outward wall drying.

     
  • Roof Board

    A closed-cell EPS bonded to high-density polyisocyanurate cover board, InsulFoam’s HD Composite has a UL Class-A fire rating.

     
  • Broan Nu-Tone Best WPD39M Series Outdoor Range Hood

    UL listed for use in damp locations, the Best WPD39M Series Range Hood is designed to be installed outdoors in a covered patio or lanai area.

     
  • Sunken Treasure

    Old-growth timber lost during logging operations a century ago gets a new lease on life as interior millwork.

     
  • DAP Products No Clog Foam

    The manufacturer claims you can reuse its Draftstop 812 polyurethane foam sealant up to 30 days after opening.

     

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.

     
  • Blaklader Bantam Kangaroo Vest

    If you prefer to wear a tool vest rather than a toolbelt, check out this vest from Blaklader.

     
  • De Walt Mobile Pro Construction Calculator App

    JLC contributor Bruce Greenlaw weighs up the pros and cons of this construction calculator.

     
  • Rethinking Amp-Hours

    Is the amp-hour rating of cordless-tool batteries strictly a measure of their capacity, or do bigger batteries offer more runtime and more power than their compact counterparts?

     
  • Flexo PET Sleeve

    Using Flexo's braided PET yarn sleeves, which come in various sizes and colors, is handy for preventing hoses from snagging and damaging your work.

     
  • Left to right: Bosch 12V Max Heated Jacket, Milwaukee M12 Cordless Heated Hoodie, DeWalt 20V/12V MAX Camo Heated Jacket.

    Heat Wave

    From jackets to hoodies, there are now more options when it comes to staying warm on site.

     

Backfill

  • Vermont Windows

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

     
  • Home on the Range

    When a former munitions demonstration site and military training facility in Florida gets a new lease on life, complications arise for the area's residents.

     

Other Articles