If you’ve got a corded circular saw in good condition but is gathering dust, convert it into a table saw by building one from scratch.
Yes, you can buy a great table saw for under $500, but for the price of a few pieces of scrap lumber and hardware you can build one yourself. In the video above, a skilled home woodworker has taken the novel idea of converting his corded circular saw into a table saw.
Every piece of this saw is custom made, from the mounting brackets to the rip fence. He’s even set up the saw to cut at various depths and angles. Check out his web site for photos and instructions on building this table saw.
There have been a few revolutions in our homes over the course of time. From indoor plumbing to electricity to Wifi, technology continues to advance and infiltrate our daily lives.
The next major milestone is known as “The Internet of Things”. What is this? Think of taking everything we classify as smart home products to the next level. Many of the current smart home devices live as proprietary units within the domain of a certain task. For example, a garage door that can be opened by an app, a security camera that can be viewed via your smartphone. These are all amazing devices and they will keep coming, but thinking smaller has even bigger implications.
Sensors can now be placed into any electronic appliance or tool and can be controlled and monitored via an internet connection that is tethered to any Wifi or Bluetooth enabled device. Think of the possibilities! Many of which are already happening.
Ovens, toasters, microwaves, ranges and refrigerators are all sensor ready. Imagine an oven that senses the temperature of your food and automatically shuts off and then pings you when your food is done. You don’t need to be in audio range of the buzzer and there is no need to keep opening and checking the food. Or, a refrigerator that scans the due date on food and will let you know when something is spoiled or when milk is low.
This revolution is at the micro-level.
Pee Wee Herman’s rube goldberg breakfast machine is entertaining but not happening.
Products such as Sonos for home audio have almost perfected the smart home industry within their domain and with new products such as Nest and Dropcam, the world of appliances has finally awoken to the future that is connected devices.
We’re looking forward to sharing the latest advancements in smart home technologies and “the internet of things” and are excited about our home’s future, now more than ever.
Temperatures are falling quickly and before you blink the first winter storm will hit your home. Before that happens you need to take steps to ensure your home is properly winterized and that starts with making your home energy efficient.
Losing heat is not only uncomfortable but also wastes energy and money. Here are a few simple tips to make sure you’ve covered the basics of winterizing your home.
1. Check for drafts
Homes lose most of their energy around doors and windows that aren’t properly sealed. Move your hand about 4 inches from the edge of your doors and windows and feel for cool air. It’s not the big drafts you’ll feel but the little ones that add up to costing you money.
Another way to check for drafts is to use a candle and move the flame around the edges of doors and windows. Make sure the air in the room is still and look for the flame to flicker.
2. Seal doors and windows
Once you’ve identified a draft make sure the weatherstripping is still good in that spot. It may have rotted or peeled away. In that situation replace it. If the weatherstripping is good check that the alignment of your door or window is even and nothing is blocking it from closing properly.
If your doors and windows are letting in drafts and not sealing properly, then it may be time to consider replacing them. Here’s a handy checklist to help you make that decision and look to Pella for replacements.
3. Install a programmable thermostat
Keeping your home at a comfortable 72 degrees isn’t necessary when no one is home. Invest in a programmable thermostat and set it to come on in the morning when you are getting ready for work and in the evenings when you are home. You can even lower the temp while you are sleeping.
Take a peek in the attic and make sure the corners of rooms are properly insulated, where the walls meet the ceiling. This is where contractors can tend to cut corners and not cut insulation batts to fit in tight spaces.
Check water heaters, pipes and heating ducts to make sure they are insulated. They should be properly wrapped lest you lose a lot of warm air and water heat.
My wife and I have lived in a small bathroom for the past 15 years. When I say small, I mean we can practically touch opposing walls when we spread out our arms.
I’m not complaining as we’ve had the good fortune to live in some amazing cities. But after growing up in a suburban home, with bathrooms that we only dream of now, we’ve learned to adapt and create a space that works for both of us and now our 3 year old.
Compounding the challenge of living with a small bathroom is the fact that we are renters. It’s difficult to make large changes to the design or layout of our bathrooms as we don’t own our home and we also aren’t keen on investing a lot of time and effort into someone else’s house.
As a panelist on the IKEA First:59 program, I’ve shared numerous tips for making the first 59 minutes of your day easier and less stressful. I’ll be joining IKEA and three other lifestyle panelists for a Twitter party on November 10th, 2014 from 2-3pm EST. Join in and speak your mind at #First59. One lucky participant will win a $100 IKEA gift card, just for joining the party.
Since most of us start our day in the bathroom, here are 5 tips for making the most out of that space.
1. Change your bathroom mirror.
No really – in a big way. A super-sized mirror can super-size a small space, making it look and feel bigger. And for those sharing a bathroom, everyone can use it, all at the same time. At $50 the GODMORGON mirror from IKEA will make an immediate impact in your bathroom.
2. Change your hardware.
Swap out old grimy handles for new, shiny sleek ones. Mix and match. Have fun with it. We love this sleek modern handle – LANSA.
3. Light it up.
Even though bathrooms are a private space, 70% of Americans share their bathroom with a spouse or partner. Use drawer organizers and LED lighting to make it super easy to find what you need every time and avoid mix-ups; also – it’s just cool. These battery operated LED drawer lamps are awesome.
4. Think outside the box for storage and organization to add personality to your bathroom.
For example bring kitchen items into the bathroom – like a spice rack. Or even the IKEA PS plant stand makes a fantastic hair and make-up station.
5. Have children?
Put a step stool in the bathroom for them so they can reach their stuff. And let them be a part of your ‘makeover’ by painting their stool their favorite color – or you can even paint the stool with their favorite design. Start with the MOLGER Step Stool which comes in birch.
Visit First:59 to discover more tips for starting your day in the best possible way.]]>
Recently we moved from a 2200 square foot home on the central coast of California, to an 898 square foot apartment in the San Francisco bay area. As avid grillers & entertainers, we were sad to let go of our enormous Napoleon Mirage. As new apartment dwellers, we wouldn’t have room for it with significantly less outdoor space on our balcony. As road trippers as well, we were also looking for a grill that would be easily transportable & compact for our RV travel.
While researching smaller tabletop & stand-alone grills, we came across the Char-Broil Patio Bistro® TRU-Infrared™ Gas Grill. Compared to other grills, we liked the design & look, size & portability, and cost of the Char-Broil Patio Bistro®. The TRU-Infrared™ was an added bonus; we loved having it on our Napoleon. We didn’t see this feature on a lot of the other smaller grills either. We were also very pleased with the generous size of the stainless steel grilling grate the Char-Broil had, as it provided plenty of grilling space for our family of three & more.
Overall the Char-Broil Patio Bistro has met our needs & most everything that we were looking for in a smaller grill.
Thanks to Felicia and Neal Corcoran for the review and Char-Broil for providing the grill.]]>
Woodworking is a dying art that the current generation of DIYers just aren’t taking the time to learn. Woodworking is often a skill passed down from generation to generation and as technology creeps more and more into our everyday lives our dads will more likely know how to setup a POP email server than cut a dovetail joint.
I’m in the camp of wishing I knew more or anything about woodworking. Yes I can cut and measure lumber but there is no art to it. The beauty in woodworking (from what I’ve heard) is getting to a point where you can go away from plans and start customizing your own furniture or other project.
Here are 13 woodshops that any woodworker or not will love. The clean floors and flawless tools will make any tool junky envious.]]>
Vines are six second videos. That’s it. But within that six seconds, you’d be amazed at the stories that can be told. Making an amazing Vine is an art form and there are a select few “Vine Directors” who have made a name for themselves by filming six second videos.
For a brand to find an audience with Vines is a much trickier thing, but Lowe’s has pulled it off in spades. The Lowe’s Vine channel and #LowesFixinSix campaign is one of the most popular on the platform and their Vines have won numerous accolades and awards, including the prestigious Cannes Cyber Lion award. It seems six seconds is the ideal amount of time to create and share a fun, quirky, informative DIY tip.
Check out the DIY tip from Old Town Home. I stole their prop leg for a selfie (above).
I’ve only made a couple Vines, but always marveled at what Lowe’s has achieved with their stop-motion animation Vines. So when Lowe’s asked me if I wanted to spend a couple of days in New York learning and observing how they make their Vines, I jumped at the opportunity. They even asked me to share my own tip that I’d want to see turned into a Vine. AWESOME.
My tip was using sawdust as a desiccant. They turned it into this brilliant Vine.
Lowe’s in collaboration with BBDO, setup a blogger event, and over the course of two days we watched our Vines come to life. It just so happens a good friend of mine, Jason Haymond, was the producer on the set. A full team to include creative directors, producers, director, PA’s, editors and stop-motion experts, were all assembled to create and film four Vines over two days. A tall order for any team, but with Lowe’s and a group of bloggers watching their every move, it must have been a bit more chaotic.
In addition to observing the Vine production, Lowe’s invited members of the creative team from BBDO to share their concepts and process. So much thought and planning goes behind these six seconds that you wouldn’t believe. We also chatted with a team from Buzzfeed which works with Lowe’s to promote these Vines via native advertising, something which Buzzfeed has become known for and has raised to an art form of their own.
Here’s a link to the rest of the blogger Vines on Buzzfeed.
It was an amazing trip and I appreciate Lowe’s pulling back the curtains on this process, which is absolutely fascinating. Whether you’re into DIY or not, the Lowe’s Vines are so addicting, I guarantee you’ll watch more than one.
The cutthroat trout used in my Vine.
Pumpkin carving can be less of a chore by tackling it with your power tools. Nothing can replace the finesse needed to carve pumpkins but for some of the tougher jobs or larger pumpkins, a little 12 or 18 volt power can make the job go much faster.
Here are five power tools that can help you with your pumpkin carving.
The jigsaw (shown above) is the perfect tool for cutting the tops off a pumpkin. Just plunge the blade straight into the pumpkin and go for it. We found that turning the pumpkin around the saw instead of moving the saw, works much better.
2. Oscillating Tool
There is a reason this is the fastest growing power tool category. Oscillating tools can do everything and that’s no exception when it comes to pumpkin carving. Place a cutting blade on it and you can trim a stem or cut out eyes. Use a circular blade and cut tops out or carve eyebrows. The scraper is perfect for removing the pumpkin guts from the top giving you a smooth surface. You could even use the sander attachment and create some interesting textures on the pumpkin surface. You’re only limited by your imagination with this tool.
3. Mini-recip Saw
Our Milwaukee Hackzall is a down-sized version of the popular Sawzall recip-saw which makes it ideal for slicing up a pumpkin. It’s grip and size will dice up a pumpkin like butter.
4. Dremel tool
For carving details the Dremel tool can’t be beat. You can use a variety of attachments for a desired effect and the pencil-hold hand position can give you precise control of how deep and straight you make a cut.
5. Drill with Hole Saw and Spade Bits
The hole saw is the perfect attachment for cutting jack-o-lantern eyes. You’ll never get as perfect a circle and as quickly. You can also create interesting patterns by using various diameter spade bits.
6. Reciprocating Saw
When it’s time to cut into the big boys, only a recip saw will do. No pumpkin is safe from this corded recip saw from DeWALT.
What’s your favorite tool to carve pumpkins with?
Staples continues to remind us that they are much more than an office supply store. Their depth of product and innovative services offered are always welcome to small business and we love that they aren’t afraid to take risks and dive into categories that aren’t fully mature, like 3D printing and now home automation with their new Staples Connect system.
We interviewed Peter Gerstburger, who is the Director of Technology Merchandise and New Business Development at Staples. We want to know more about Staples commitment to the smart home market and what trends they’ve identified that consumers should be aware of.
Home Vroom: What prompted Staples to enter the home automation market?
Peter: At Staples, we’re always keeping our finger on the pulse of what our customers need, and investing in new products, services, and even entire new categories to fit those needs. Where we succeed is listening to our core customers and creating products for the everyday user. We knew that connected home technology was finally ripe for our mainstream audience and we had a great partner, Zonoff, ready to power the software within Staples Connect. Together we created a user-friendly, price-efficient option for our customers to build their own smart home or business. We’re proud to be one of the first retailers to drive adoption and education of this new market segment.
Home Vroom: Why would a consumer choose Staples Connect over the myriad of other connected home systems available?
Peter: Staples Connect has made home and small office automation “easy.” Plus we’ve partnered with well known brand names to deliver the widest and most reliable selection of devices. At the moment, Staples Connect boasts 38 unique partners and supports a total of 148 devices.
The hub itself is highly intuitive and has very stable device management. You can even control it through a variety of channels, including your web browser, native apps for iPhone and iPad, Android, Microsoft 8, and Jawbone UP. The major differentiator for Staples Connect is the ease of use for the system. You don’t need to be a hacker to figure out how to use it in your home or office and we have a “device assistant” feature to help you set everything up.
Historically, price has been the biggest obstacle towards achieving mainstream adoption of the connected home. While there is still somewhat of a connotation of luxury that surrounds the idea of a “smart home”, we’ve worked with Zonoff to create a solution that enables consumers to get started for under $100. For the smart home to enter the mass market and our target audience, it needs to be accessible at a mainstream price and that’s what we are offering. Right now, the Linksys Staples Connect hub is retailing at $49.99, and our new D-link hub will retail at $79.99 when it becomes available this fall.
Home Vroom: Staples was one of the first big box retailers to sell a 3D Printer (the Cube), which is very progressive. How does Staples decide which technologies to get behind.
Peter: We’re very much in touch with the latest innovations in consumer devices and technology, but we’re also in touch with what our customers want and what would best serve them. We are very cognizant of our audience, so we want to make sure that we’re earning the trust our consumers have in our brand and in our name. Our customers want to make their lives easier and we want to provide products that do just that. When it comes to technology, we only want to work with products and features which are intuitive and user-friendly, and which stay true to our overall goals to make life easier.
Home Vroom: What smart home trends should consumers be aware of and what features are important to help “future-proof” our homes?
Peter: There are going to be a host of new devices, features, and services coming into play over the next few months and years. We think one of the most popular will be wearables, which is why we’ve included wearable integration in our Staples Connect platform. It is an exciting way to connect the disparate parts of your life into one, well-designed and easy to use control panel, and we think there is a lot of opportunity for experimentation here.
One of the best ways to future-proof your home is to invest in a system which is committed to staying flexible and evolves in what devices it supports. With home automation, it’s all about which devices work on which protocol. The Staples Connect hub, for instance, runs with Z-Wave, Lutron Clear Connect, Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Bluetooth LE, ensuring that any device on those networks can work within our system. It gives us one of the most diverse selections of devices and features on the market. Popular product categories include smart door locks and doorbell systems; door, motion and water sensors; IP cameras; thermostats; plug modules; voice activation systems; lighting products and dimmers; and motorized blinds and shades.
This article was originally published on Home Vroom and re-posted here with their permission.]]>
We recently gave our outdoor patio a facelift by restoring it with Olympic Rescue It!
Now is your chance to do the same!!!
We’re offering a Prep Kit Giveaway that includes everything you need to rescue your deck or patio.
One coupon, redeemable for up to three gallons of Rescue It! and up to 2.5 gallons of Olympic Deck Cleaner as well as a Lowe’s gift card valued at $25 suggested for use to purchase the following items: Wooster Paint brush/roller/tray kit; one DAP Clear outdoor caulk; and 3M brand sandpaper.
HOW TO ENTER
You can enter once-per-day by leaving a comment below.
We will select one random winner at 12 midnight EST on Sunday, November 3rd, 2014.
+ Make sure you provide a working email in the comment form so we can contact the winner who will have 24 hours to respond to an announcement to claim the prize.
+ We take no responsibility for the service or use of the this product.
+ Only residents age 18+ of the U.S. are eligible to win.
+ All rules are subject to change without notice.
+ Please review our Giveaway policy.