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Patching… and PATCHING Thx to

August 4, 2010

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We’re STILL installing Sheetrock. Ugh. Patch patch patch. I wish it was as easy as tacking up panels, like you do in modern homes. But as any homeowner of an old (renovated) house realizes– nothing is straight in an old house. Besides the centuries of settling and movement of the structure, there’s the inherent crookedness of old plaster and lathe walls and ceilings. Back in the olden days, the builders didn’t need to make anything straight. The plaster was applied as the final building coat, and that’s all that needed to be straight (somewhat). So, it’s a big challenge to install Sheetrock. It requires a lot of measuring, a lot of cutting, and a lot of patching. Thank God for crown molding!!!

The other kind of patching I’ll be doing is with a patch panel, Ethernet switch, and router. I am transitioning the computer Internet away from wireless, and working toward an all-wire, built-in system. I have the router and the switch (I got a good deal on a Netgear 16-port at last month). All I need is a patch panel. Found a phenomenal deal (once again) at It’s the Tripp Lite 12-port shielded patch panel (shielded cables and panels help eliminate electrical interference). Looks sweet.

Basically, to install an Ethernet control station, you wire Ethernet cabling from the control station to all the various branches throughout the house. The wires in the control station connect to the patch panel. The patch panel has Ethernet RJ-45 jacks, as you can see in the picture. Those jacks receive Ethernet cables, and the other end of the Ethernet cables go to the switch. The switch is connected to the router, which is connected to the telephone system, which is coming from the telephone company. It’s similar to electrical wiring system, in that you have a “service entrance” that enters a service panel, and from there all the various connections branch out throughout the house. I think the most difficult part, next to wiring the cables through the studs and etc, is punching down all the little Cat5 wires into the slots. It’s rather laborious.

Anyway, has made it pretty easy for me. They sell everything I need, from the equipment to the supplies like Cat5 cables, punch down tools, Ethernet cables, and more.

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A Good Toolbox Is Hard to Find

June 24, 2010

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Sheesh! Remember how– seems like eons ago– you could just walk into a store and find a sturdy, tough, and affordable tool box? I was perusing the aisles at my local Big Box store. :-p yuk. Who on earth wants a plastic toolbox? Or a nylon bag toolbox?! I am pretty tough with my stuff. When I am pounding, sawing, banging, demolishing, etc., the LAST thing I want to do is fuss about my delicate toolbox falling over and its contents spilling out. Or throwing my crowbar into it and worrying about the end tearing the fabric. What ever happened to those good old, metal boxes with metal clasps and metal handles???

OK, rant over. šŸ˜€

I have an old plastic toolbox and I’m not terribly pleased with it. The closing clasp is a dud (a plastic latch that you press over a plastic bar). I looked and looked for a toolbox- a good one- but didn’t find anything suitable and durable.

Lo an behold– has one! I wish it was in pink or purple, but I guess you can’t have everything, lol. Behold the 20-inch red metal toolbox:

See those nice sliding drawers?! They lock in place when the lid is closed. No more digging through 10 inches of tools to find your nail punch or jigsaw blades at the bottom! And it’s metal. And notice that it has a metal flap for a combination lock, to keep tool thieves from taking off with your FAVORITE measuring tape and then losing it so that when you REALLY need it for your project, you spend half the day searching for it!!!!


So the toolbox is nice. šŸ™‚ Very handy. It’s a good price, too– about $60. That’s a good price for a toolbox that will last years and years. Those lousy nylon ones may be $30, but it’s no good when you have to buy them every year. :-p has tons of stuff like this: tools, organizers, household items, apparel, books, jewelry, and tons and tons of stuff. They have weekly and daily specials that go fast. You can register to get their deal emails, to keep track of what’s on sale and learn about promotions. Thanks for great stuff,! šŸ˜€

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Searching For a Jigsaw

May 28, 2010

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Is ANYTHING made in the United States anymore??

We’ve been shopping for jigsaws. We have an old Skil saw that is, to put it bluntly, crap. We got it about 12 years ago (OMG I just realized that it was probably our first power tool that we bought!). It’s been through a lot, but it never worked well anyway. So we’ve been looking for a suitable replacement… and WHOA baby… tooooo many choices! And none of them very good! So much is made in China! Why is that?! Sheesh. The Hubs greatly dislikes the cheapo pressed tin housing that everything seems to come in. Even the Craftsman is a little chintzy-looking. We’d like a DeWalt (that’s what all the pros use, it seems), but DeWalt is WAY out of our league. I can’t see paying $300 for a jigsaw.

Oooo but I found something very cool today! A DeWalt DW317K Compact Jigsaw Kit at!!! This is the lowest price I have found yet, $150! It’s got orbital action (a must-have for me), and ALL METAL housing, and a steel case. Very nice!!!!

I know– I’m a rare breed of woman that gets ecstatic about power tools. But you know, back in the “olden” days when we first bought our home, the only tools we owned were a hammer, a hand saw, and a Phillips screwdriver. Believe it or not, I used to cut my wood BY HAND and then I screwed it in BY HAND with the screwdriver. NOT FUN. So that’s why I flip out over power tools. I LOVE them. šŸ˜€

Score another for! Thanks, dudes, for offering great prices on quality stuff!

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Doing the Jigsaw

May 10, 2010

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We need a new jigsaw. We have an old Skil that we have been enduring (and I mean enduuuuuring) but I’ve decided that I’m not going to skimp on tools for our kitchen renovation project. Do you realize that when we moved here, the ONLY tools we had were a small hammer, a flathead screwdriver, and a (very lame) battery-operated handheld screwdriver? I did buy a handsaw. Can you believe that I built my front porch and renovated my front entry with a HANDSAW?! Yes, I did! Oh, the agony. And it’s no wonder that everything is curvy. :S

Well, we’ve acquired a few tools over the years. Hands down, my favorite tool is my miter saw. Oh my word, I love that thing! WHAT a blessing. And I do love my 14.4v power screwdriver. I would also love my jigsaw, but the one we have is unlovable. It stinks. It sticks, it overheats, it moans it groans. I’m getting a nice one this time. We went to the Big Box home improvement stores in the area.. looked around… waited *forever* for a tool department representative who never showed up… and left empty-handed. I wonder how many sales are lost because Big Box stores don’t have enough folks in the departments? I couldn’t find the jigsaw I wanted… it was on the display case, but no where on the shelves.

It's a 4.5 amp with a dust blower and a dial to adjust cutting speed. Sweet!

It doesn’t matter, because I came home to see if has any jigsaws… and can you believe it?! They do! These guys have everything, I tell ya, and it’s always on sale! They even sell the blades! And I love Black & Decker products. They are built very well, in my opinion. Oh sure, I’d love a $1000 DeWalt hanging from my belt, but I couldn’t afford that- I’m not a professional. I think Black & Decker make the best “mid-line” products. And I love Craftsman, too. has them all! Isn’t the jigsaw sweeeet! It’s an orbital saw- which means it makes curves as well as straight cuts. (heart beating with joy). I have to saw lathe in the upstairs bedrooms, to feed electrical wiring in– need me a saw. I’d be grateful for an orbital, as well, because cutting in squares–especially when you’re cutting a hole in a wall– is tough.

So the jigsaw I like is the Black & Decker JS6000B Jigsaw. Isn’t it beautiful!? The price is great: $53 which includes shipping. šŸ˜€ Me likey.

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