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Hand Tools

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    Custom Access Ramps

    Most of the houses I work on here in Southern California have few if any accessible design features. For a homeowner who uses a wheelchair, even a single step at the entry is a serious impediment. Over the last several years, I’ve put my welding skills to good use building access ramps out of...

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    Bessey TSC4.516 Staircase Clamps

    Does the mere thought of your next stair job — all that tightening and loosening by hand of dozens of large clamps — have your carpal tunnel syndrome acting up?

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    M.Power Flat Lying Trammel Heads

    M.Power's Flat Lying Trammel Heads have a pivoting point for fine adjustment and come with pencil and knife attachments.

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    Ridgid 2-in-1 Close Quarters Autofeed Tubing Cutter

    Cutting tubing inside a wall or other tight spot usually requires a midget cutter and nimble fingers, but Ridgid's new 2-in-1 Close Quarters Autofeed tubing cutter takes the fingers out of the equation.

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    Getting Into Gutters

    This specialty trade can provide profits in slow times.

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    C.H. Hanson Precison Ball Level

    Inspired by the horizon- indicator instrument found on airplanes, C.H. Hanson's new Precision Ball Level uses a weighted floating ball to find level, plumb, and any angle or slope in between.

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    Stiletto Multifunctional Flat and Glazer's Bars

    Stiletto's six new titanium pry bars weigh 45 percent less than equivalent-sized steel bars, says the company.

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    Stanley Hand Planes

    Stanley has redesigned some of its most popular hand planes.

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    Tajima Tool Chalk-Rite Jam-Free CR301JF

    Tajima's Chalk-Rite Jam-Free CR301JF holds 3 1/2 ounces of chalk — enough to snap 689 feet of lines, says the maker.

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    Kapro 303 Hole Marker

    The easiest way to avoid inaccurate measurements is to not measure at all.

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    Wixey WR 525 Remote Digital Readout

    There's a better way to measure bit height than balancing a ruler on end above the hole in your router table.

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    Fluke 566 Infrared Thermometer

    If several thousand dollars for an IR camera isn't in this year's tool budget, consider an infrared thermometer like the Fluke 566.

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    Bacharach Telescopic Mirror Set

    For my money, small telescopic mirrors are among the most useful inspection tools out there.

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    Flir Systems BCAM SD Infrared Camera

    One of the most important diagnostic tools in the building-forensics toolbox is an infrared camera.

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    Porter-Cable 371 Compact Belt Sander

    There are few things more satisfying than scribing a piece of trim and having it fit perfectly on the first try. Porter-Cable's 371 belt sander should make such precision scribing a lot easier.

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    Rod Chomper RCBE-6

    Trade professionals often talk about 'the right tool for the job.' When it comes to cutting and bending rebar, Rod Chomper's hydraulically operated RCBE-6 is that tool.

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    Jimmy T Tools Stake Puller

    Pulling out steel-form stakes isn't anyone's idea of fun, but a neat tool promises to make the job a little easier.

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    Turning Monster Posts on a Shop-Built Lathe

    When a local remodeler approached me about reproducing five porch posts for a 140-year-old house in Boulder, Colo., my interest was piqued. Despite the fact that I didn't have a lathe — much less one that could turn 10-foot posts — I took the contract, figuring I could build my own to do the job.

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    Ridgid dual-bevel miter saw; planes; material handling

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    More power for dump trailer; pricing custom work; in search of drywall shims; source for layout stick

JLC Field Guide to Decking