Hulk Smash!

For the better part of 2019 I’ve been using the Crescent Tools Shockforce tape measure. In particular the Nite Eye model. Over the summer, I beat it up pretty good with some outdoor projects like a big deck build and my kitchen Remodel. Throughout the last 7 months or so my tape has continued to be accurate, hold up to drops, bad weather, and consistent use.

When Crescent tools reached out to me this fall about partnering up to use this tape to its full potential, I could only think of one way to really test this tape out. I was going to smash it, bash it, run it over with my truck and launch it towards the sun, and see what happens.

First up, I decided that I needed to put it through the my kid/ the Newby left my tape on the ground and the boss ran it over with his truck test. Knowing that Crescent Tools is marketing this Tape for its toughness, I ran it over, and over, and over. In fact, I did this 5 times in the gravel of my parking pad. In addition to this link to an Instagram post I did, there are a series of Story Highlights on my profile showing some other unfortunate run ins with my truck. To put it simply, not only did the tape survive, except for some substantial dirt the Shockforce held up with little damage.

Next, since i don’t actually live in a 100 foot tall home, I drove to my kids school and spent about 15 minutes launching the tape into the air. Im pretty sure that the custodial staff must have gotten a kick out of the parking lot footage Monday morning. After about 10 tosses of varying height, once again the Crescent Tools Shockforce was bruised but not beaten. I did have to straighten the corner of the clip from one of the smashes, but that tape is still fully functional and in my tool bag. In the above mentioned story highlights, you can also see me tossing the tape a couple times.

Finally, I spent this last weekend installing a shiplap wall at my buddies house and took that same tape with me. The tape itself, still completely unharmed and fully functional continues to impress, all 25 feet of it.

While in Nashville last month at the STAFDA convention myself and a few other makers, content creators and Pros did have a chance to talk with Crescent Reps for a bit about this tape. We offered a few ideas on how to make this tape the a bit better, including a protective coating on the tape itself to reduce scratching of the numbers and ultimately making it difficult to read. This can be considered nit picking, but we all love the durability and brilliant colors of the tape enough to want to see this be the preferred tape amongst Pros and DIYers alike.

Check out the Crescent Tool Shockforce here

Diablo Unplugged at STAFDA recap

When Freud asked me to be a part of their Diablo Unplugged event at the STAFDA convention I knew it was gonna be a rocking event. Then we showed up and in typical Nashville style they had live music welcoming us through the doors. The party didn’t end there as we were quickly surrounded by current and upcoming Freud/Diablo blades and bits. Full Disclosure, this was a paid trip, however the observations below are mine.

The second the mic turned on there was one thing that Freud made clear, the end user was the priority. Freud’s staff made it clear that quality, precision, value, and high end metal tech was going to rule 2020 across their brand.

First we got to see the new Speed Demon Self Feeding bits as they ripped through pressure treated lumber like butter. When put to the test against a competitors bits, these bits not only finished the job faster, the cut was crisp, and had little battery draining bogging down.

Next up, Diablo saw a need and met that need with a 6 1/2 Steel Demon blade with Cermet Carbide teeth. Recognizing that a large portion of today’s circular saws are 6 1/2 inches, they are giving us a new blade with up to 250x more cuts then the typical 4′ grinding wheel and all for around $30.

Speaking of dollars, throughout the Freud event it was evident that providing the end user with quality cutting tools at a price that’s far superior to the current options was high on their priority list. Their new blades will perform remarkably better, while costing only a small fraction more than their current blades.

Diablo closed the event with a huge surprise, the new Rebar Demon a full Carbide tipped line of 27 different sized concrete bits. With a torch handy, they spent time heating their new bits to simulate long term use. Having heated their new bit and a competitors bit, the competitors bit couldn’t even get off the ground as it essentially disintegrated. Current bits are not fully carbide, which means they heat up or hit rebar and break. These full carbide bits then proceeded to buzz through the concrete and rebar to finish the job!

Stay tuned for an impressive line up in 2020! Below are a couple links to some content I got when I was at this event!

Diablo Unplugged Photos

Diablo Speed Demon bits in use

Are you a Microwave Maker or a Crockpot Creator?

Guy walks into a bar, sees an unfamilar pretty girl, sits down next to pretty girl, and asks her to marry him. We all know how this story ends, with a laugh and hopefully not a restraining order.

That said, let’s talk about something everyone asks about, brand relations. How does one strike up a conversation with brands that we all see when we walk into Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Does it look like the guy walking into the bar or is there more to it? To figure this out, let’s talk a little bit about life and meal prep.

From day one of Gingerwoodworks my goal was to be me, in all the oddly unique ways that God has put me together and shaped me. I never dreamt of anything more than simply to showing my kids how to work hard, set goals and achieve them. Success here for me is defined simply by remaining true to whom I was from Day one.

I wanted to become what I Like to refer to as a “Crockpot Creator”, placed on simmer and slowly taking in all of the various flavors of social media. I wanted to always be trying new things, exploring my talents, finding my areas for growth, and ensuring I was working to grow them. I wanted to build relationships with other makers, understand what makes them tic. I wanted to engage with brands, understand what their story was and the direction they were headed.

I always wanted to avoid being a “Microwave Maker” who was here today, gone tomorrow. Quick to interact with a brand, and even quicker to move on to another. Much like a microwave, used for convience and a quick meal. It is not in me to be in a space such as social media without building relationships with other makers and brands on a personal level.

All that to say this, when it comes to partnering with brands, do a few things for yourself right now.

  1. Identify who you are and the direction you want to take your pages
  2. Research the brands that you are spending money on and commit to building relationships with them the old fashion way, using their products.
  3. Focus on becoming a “Crockpot Creator” not a “Microwave Maker

In the end, the guy at the bar could have introduced himself in so many more ways. Taking a chance that the person he was is what she was looking for. Work on figuring out who you are, because when you begin a relationship with a brand they want to know its the right fit and you are here for the long haul.


Shapeoko Assembly

When my Shapeoko XXL arrived on my doorstep I was both excited and anxious. Now that it had arrived it was time to assemble it. The first thing you notice when you begin opening the large box your machine is in is that its filled with smaller boxes which are clearly labeled. There is no confusion as to what is in each box.  Here is a link to my Instagram showing the boxes lined up.    Once the boxes were laid out, I went to work assembling the base and each axis.  The instructions provided by Carbide 3d are impeccable.  Each Step has detailed instructions, Pro Tips, and things to be cautious about.  You can take a look at the instructions here.

Assembly for me took around 4 hours total, which was mainly because I was taking my time, learning the machine, the parts, really diving into the directions so I knew what I was working with.  This came in handy in the next phase of assembly.  I will refer to this as the period of time where I was able to test out the Carbide Support teams ability to help me troubleshoot some electrical problems the machine was having.  Out of the box, it was determined that I received a bad power supply, which Carbide is aware of and is quickly working to rectify a bad shipment of power supply’s they received from a vendor.  In my case, it ended up damaging the control board which the Carbide Support team of Meg and Will were able to identify simply from my videos and pictures of my machine.

Once the power supply and controller where replaced the machine struggled to find home.  For those not familiar with this process, consider the Claw machine at your local Game Room, each time you have finished trying to grab the prize, it returns to the starting location.  The culprit was simple, the X and Z axis motors had been accidently packaged wrong.  Jorge at Support quickly identified the symptoms and gave me an easy fix to this, swapping the X and Z wires in the controller.

Its always been my opinion that in every product there will be things to work through.   Although eager to get cutting and some frustrations grew as I worked through the trouble shooting, I was impressed by the Carbide Support teams ability to diagnose and fix my assembly problems.   I should note that each time Carbide3d identified a faulty part they overnighted me the parts to rectify my concern.

In closing, the assembly process is pretty fool proof.  Carbide3d pre-assembles the motors, has the wiring harnesses ready click into place, and as stated everything is labeled clearly.  Having watched others struggle with CNC machines built by other companies I can say that I did not feel I needed an engineering degree to get my cutter up and moving.   I must note that this machine was sent out to me by Carbide3d with the opportunity to review and use this machine.

 

Here is a link directly to the Shapeoko XXL for your to check out the machine I have. 

 

 

 

Little Shop, Big Dreams.

When I was a kid, my dad had a great big shop in the basement of our huge old house on the East Side of Buffalo, NY. So big I could ride my big wheel around that shop when saws weren’t buzzing. In his shop, he had a large cast iron table saw, a full size band saw, a drill press, and many more large pieces of equipment. When my dad got to working, not one of those monsters had to be moved to make a cut or drill a hole.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and enter the Ginger work shop. I have enough space to properly drill some pocket holes and lose a tape measure. That said, it doesn’t bother me one bit. What my dad taught me back in the day was to keep your shop organized and clean, and it won’t matter the size; great things can happen. Last year, as my kids got older and building things became possible, my wife so kindly gave up most of the garage in our home to this hobby. Soon, as she and her friend found pallets, and I cleaned up some boxes of old toys stored on the shelves, I had a bit more space. I quickly found new ways to store our kayaks upright and hand just about every tool that was less then 50lbs off the pallet shelves I made from their efforts.

 

In 2017, after a winter of building with the garage door closed (meaning even less space), I continued to find new ways to improve the mobility of the shop. I added a pair of Tough tBuilt sawhorses from Home Depot that can quickly be put up and taken down. I complimented that with a 48 inch by 48 inch #Gingerworkstation to place on top of those sawhorses. This coupled with the addition of a retractable extension cord for sanding and using all my mobile power tools with a cord.

 

Recently, I added the latest mobile station with lights that was written about previously and will be the new home of my Planer. As a Christian, I believe that God gives us everything that we need. I have been blessed with my space, and therefore I will be creative and use it to the best of my ability. Many folks message me and ask advice on their space. I believe the best answer is to consider a positive solution for every last inch of what you’re blessed with and then keep trying to improve it, little by little.

 

Keep an eye out this week for some new posts on the Centipede Tool I have coming in the mail.  For now, check them out here and be as amazed as I am at what it is going to do for my shop mobility!

 

Privacy Garden Planter- Kreg Jig

In the early spring I was asked by a friend to solve a problem. You see, this friend lives on a corner lot, with a fairly short chain link fence. When you spend time enjoying your backyard you want some privacy. So he and his wife asked for some privacy Garden Planters. He wanted them tall enough and large enough to let he and his family enjoy a nice meal without feeling like the whole neighborhood was joining the feast.  The framing of this planter is put together entirely using the K4 Pocket hole system by Kreg jig and 2 1/2 Blue Kote screws designed for indoor/outdoor use.   This Planter was done using treated lumber, once it dries, it can be painted or stained.  If Cedar is available in your area that would be a wonderful option as well.  Using only 4- 2x4x10’s, 13- 6 foot Dog Eared fence posts, 1 piece of Lattice and some screws you can add this nice piece to your backyard oasis.   So whether its privacy or adding another spot to cultivate your green thumb, make sure to check out my plans which are sponsored by Kreg Jig at BuildSomething.com.

 

To check out my all of the products that Kreg Jig has to offer including the K4 system head to  https://www.kregtool.com/store/c13/kreg-jigsreg/

 

 

To check out my Build plans, head here

https://www.buildsomething.com/plans/PF7D8AEFFB1999389/Garden-Planter-

 

 

 

 

No Tool Snobbery to see here……

Last summer, while my project list picked up, I quickly learned I was bringing a plastic spoon to a knife fight.  I know I am not the only one who started a project ill-prepared with quality tools. The tools I had gotten when I moved into my first house in 2007 were no longer relevant, and barely useful. Over the course of last summer I spent more time waiting for batteries to charge then I did building.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because over this past year I have been blessed to add many tools to my shop, including many Ridgid tools.  I personally love how tough the Ridgid tool brand is, the Lifetime Service Agreement, and of course…..the color. That said, one thing you wont find here at Ginger Woodworks is Tool Snobbery.

We all started somewhere and there is a place for every tool. When I talk tools, I will find the positive. It may be the value, it could be the sale, and it could just be the quality. In every product you have ever used, there are good encounters and bad encounters. There will be more posts on specific tools that I like, ones that I recommend even, but you wont find me knocking brands here. Many of us are married to brands, sometimes its because we love them and sometimes because the battery cost is as much as a car payment.

My advice – you do you. Buy the best tools that you can afford and always get the one you need for the latest project before the one you want because it looks cool.  I’ve used a lot of brands in my shop, and I can say that they work for their intended purpose.  Not all tools are made for the pro job site and not all tools need to be.  Each of us is building, making, and creating something different.  Keep that in mind and be excited about your new tool purchase.