Favorite DIY Stuff 2018

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It's that time again!  As we approach the end of AZ DIY Guy's 6th year, I'm sharing my 7th episode of my Favorite Stuff (2013 had 2).

The stuff I feature on this list is a small selection of things I have actually used this year and and honestly recommend adding to your kit.

This is stuff I think a self-respecting, DIY, weekend warrior bad-ass should love own. This is stuff used on AZ DIY Guy this year!

I've included Amazon.com (affiliate) links for sourcing, but you can find most of this stuff at other retailers. If you purchase anything through these links, I'll earn a modest commission to help me run the site (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.


A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.

                                                                                               - George Carlin


So, once again, in no particular order, without further ado,...

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A Pair of Shooters: Framing and Finish Nailguns

I’d fallen in love with the concept of cordless nailers in 2017 when I went to a DeWalt media event in Tennessee. By 2018 I had a pair in full, hands-on DIY action on my projects. I have loved the ability to do projects without lugging the air compressor, extension cords and hoses.

Both of these beauties use the same 20V MAX batteries that I’ve been amassing with my other cordless tools.

DEWALT DCN692B 20V Brushless Dual Speed FRAMING Nailer

I know most home DIY’ers don’t go all-in and get a framing nailer, but I’ve found enough joy to deploy them on my projects and love having them. I have a perfectly nice pneumatic nailer that I’ve used plenty of times, but I left it on top of my garage cabinets this year.

Slipping free from the bounds of a heavy air compressor, electricity and an air-hose to go fully-cordless has been absolutely awesome. I love the fact that I can get in tight spots and shoot a single nail, or hundreds, whenever and wherever I want.

DEWALT DCN660B 20V 16 Gauge 20° Finish Nailer

The second cordless nail gun I put into play this year was a finishing nailer (Now I just need a brad nailer right, and a stapler???) I’ve been working my way around the house doing trim work with this baby and have never had a single jammed nail.

Check it out these nail-spitting bad-boys in action around the AZ DIY House:


A Pair of Big Blue Jigs

Kreg sent me a couple of awesome toys this year. I’m just getting started with them, but I’m already absolutely enamored.

These cool jigs attach to a circular saw to easily make accurate cuts you’d normally need to do with an table saw.

The Kreg Accu-Cut is a cross-cutting jig, good for chopping big panels down to size. The Kreg Rip-Cut is for cutting strips along the length of a board.

THE MORE YOU KNOW: I didn’t realize it previously, but both jigs use the same sled that gets attached to the shoe of the circular saw. It rides smoothly along the track of the Accu-Cut and clips into a beefy edge guide of the Rip-Cut. Once it’s set up, it’s easy to pop on and off, but I’ve left it on my saw since I installed it.

Between these two beauties, I’m not sure I’ll be firing up the table saw anytime soon for remodel projects.

 

The Kreg Rip-Cut (KMA2685)

This beefy edge guide is really stable and easy to handle. I was able to slice the entire length of boards quick and easy, ripping them down to the size I needed. It’s great for precise, repeatable cuts.

The Kreg Accu-Cut (KMA2700)

The Accu-Cut is an affordable alternative to those crazy expensive (but drool-worthy) track saws. I’ve never used one of those, but in my experience, the Kreg works remarkably well, so maybe I won’t. Plus, I don’t have to buy a stand-alone, specialty saw. The first time you set it up with your saw, you slice a bit of sacrificial, blue plastic off the track. From then on, you simply set that cut edge against your and the saw, right on the money.


Dewalt BlueTooth Music System

I always have music playing when I’m working on my projects. Unfortunately, that means I generate a steady stream of tangled earbuds and broken Bluetooth speakers.

Broken, busted, not working.

Broken, busted, not working.

Earbuds? The DIY blogging world is positively alight with excitement about ISOtunes, noise-canceling earbuds. They do seem cool, I’d probably use them from time to time, if I had them. Most of the time I just don’t really like to fiddle around with stuffing stuff in-and-out of my ears as I work when people want to talk to me. I use big earmuff style hearing protection most of the time, easy on, easy off.

DEWALT DWST08810 ToughSystem Music Player with Charger

I prefer my music out-loud, old school style. This beast does the trick like crazy, with full, rich sound.

It clips to other Tough System components (I don’t have any of those,… yet?)

It clips to other Tough System components (I don’t have any of those,… yet?)

This heavy duty, suitcase looking monster is more than just a Bluetooth speaker and radio; it’s a battle tough music system with 4 tweeters, a sub-woofer, and a bass resonator to jam it out! It has outstanding sound, for something at this price point.

It works plugged into the wall or using my 20V MAX batteries from the my cordless tools. It charges them too. This was my guilty pleasure purchase for the year. It’s just SO MUCH better than those cheapo speakers I had been using.


Re-Skin the Man Cave! (Garage Workshop)

I’ve been torturing my reader’s eyes and my camera for years, creating my workshop posts in front of three of the most horrible walls to grace the planet. After 6 years of this eyeball searing horror show, I installed a heavy-duty, PVC sheet from Decorative Ceiling Tiles.

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Look at it now! I chose a rather macho, black diamondplate from hundreds of options. Check out the install: Upgrading My Workshop with a Decorative Wall Covering

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decorative ceiling tiles

All TERRAIN Action Boots ALL THE TIME

I’ve been wearing the heck out of a pair of lightweight, high-top shoes this year. They’re incredibly comfortable and give super support and protection. The KEEN Utility San Antonio Industrial Shoe features an asymmetrical, composite safety toe with beefy protection, non-slip soles, electrical protection, and odor blocking. I have been known to use the toe as a bit of a demolition hammer.

I’ve been wear these things almost daily for about 8 months. Like other KEEN stuff, they’re holding up really well. I even took them on vacation and wore them as sturdy hiking boots. Beyond that, they kept me from rolling my ankles and smashing my toes during my weekend-warrior, DIY hi-jinks. They feel more like lightweight hikers than work boots.


SpinninG wheels got to go 'round

- Blood, Sweat & Tears

I popped off the old-school, basic wheel off my grinder this past year and fired up a couple new ones when I built my first metal project, a Couch Side, C-Table.

Lenox METALMAX Diamond Edge Cutoff Wheel

I tore through 1/2” square steel tubing to make the frame of my table. I’d never used a cutting wheel on a grinder before, especially one that had big gaps along the cutting edge. I was expecting a filling loosening, rough cutting experience, but it was super smooth and super quick. It was way better than using a reciprocating saw or hack saw.

Freud Diablo Steel Demon Flap Disc 

I love the Diablo saw blades I’ve used in the past, in fact the Carbide Tipped, Demo Demon reciprocating saw blade was featured on my 2013 Favorite Stuff list. The Steel Demon flap disk was perfect for cleaning up metal before I brazed it, as well as grinding it down and smoothing my welds afterwards.


Gocha!!!

Part of home ownership is dealing with pests right. So what would you do if you peered out the window one night and could swear you saw some kind of monstrous, mangy hell-beast shamble across the front yard in the darkest hours of the inky night? You’d get a damn night-vision trail camera is what you’d do.

I bought this fairly inexpensive, battery powered unit and strapped it to a tree for a couple months.

I caught all kinds of fun stuff, including the ferocious beast in question. Check out the story to see his snarling muzzle, full of teeth, in: NOTCH, BIGFOOT, AND THE HUNT FOR EL CHUPACABRA IN OUR FRONT YARD


All we are is dust in the wind, dude.

-William S. Prston Esq.

In a last minute add to the list,... literally I bought it yesterday, I’m enamored with this new dust mask. I’d started a big project, cutting up a bunch of incredibly dusty MDF and hard-board. With safety glasses over my everyday glasses, hearing protection, and the elastic spider web of a suspension contraption for my respirator, I figured I had way too much going on around my head.

The  3M Respirator  is pretty good, but sometimes, it’s a bit much to deal with.

The 3M Respirator is pretty good, but sometimes, it’s a bit much to deal with.

I fought that thing off after the first cut and headed out to the store. I’d seen a few of my blogging friends using RZ Masks of various types, so I thought I’d give one a try. I bought a RZ Mask M2 Mesh. It worked really well. It’s got a single, wide, Velcro wrap that makes it easy to pull on and off and it’s a lot more comfortable to wear.


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The Best of the rest