tools

A broken bucket handle or cracked shop-vac aren’t just minor annoyances on the job site – they’re common frustrations that can lose you money in delays, unnecessary trips to the hardware story and expensive repairs or replacements. Instead of falling behind on your next project, consider keeping a professional grade duct tape on hand as Read More

A broken bucket handle or cracked shop-vac aren’t just minor annoyances on the job site – they’re common frustrations that can lose you money in delays, unnecessary trips to the hardware story and expensive repairs or replacements.

Instead of falling behind on your next project, consider keeping a professional grade duct tape on hand as your backup. It’s the tool you don’t realize you need until you need it. Here are seven tips for using different types of duct tapes for unexpected, on-the-fly repairs and improvised tools.

1) Create a makeshift chain

Rope and chain are handy tools for unforeseen jobsite tasks — but they’re also cumbersome and they take up a lot of space. Which means they’re often left behind at the shop when you need something for tasks like hoisting tool boxes and materials to a roof or platform. Enter heavy-duty duct tape. A product like T-Rex® Brute Force™, which can hold 700-plus pounds of weight with one 36” loop, can easily handle the job and be cut to the size you need.

2) Keep your socks dry

Torn boot uppers or holes in the sole are one of the most common annoyances you can experience. If you’re working in wet conditions, those annoyances can become hazards. Some rubberized pro-grade tapes are specifically designed with waterproof and extreme adhesive qualities, which makes them perfect for keeping sand, dirt, water, mud and other liquids out.

3) Repair or replace that broken bucket handle

Buckets always seem to break in the most inconvenient situations. Don’t let a busted handle force you to make a 20-minute work detour for a trip to the hardware store – tape it up, reinforce it, and get back to work with a high-strength tape.

4) Keep a hammer hammering

Tools aren’t indestructible, and when they break you can lose money in delayed work if you don’t have a backup on site. If a hammer handle snaps or the head comes off mid-job, wrap it with an extra-strength duct tape to get you through the rest of the day.

5) Keep the paint flowing

Paint sprayers are a real time saver — until you accidentally puncture the hose. Instead of reaching for a brush or roller to finish the job, try wrapping the hose with multiple layers of a high-adhesive duct tape to help keep it sealed until you can pick up a new one.

6) Patch your truck’s interior

Contractors often reach for duct tape to patch holes in truck seats. But standard duct tapes tend to curl in extreme temperatures, moisture and constant wear. Reach for a stronger alternative like the original T-Rex® Tape, which won’t curl or peel even in extreme temperatures.

7) Unspring a sprung leak

A cracked, torn or ill-fitting vacuum hose is a recipe for a mess. Use a waterproof tape to patch it up, reinforce the connection of the hose to the main vacuum chamber, or, combined with caulk, even patch a crack in the chamber itself.

Instead of falling behind on your next project, reach into your toolkit for a professional grade tape. The repairs may not be permanent, but having a tape on hand as backup on the job site can help keep you on schedule and on budget.

We’ve all been there, so let us know some of the cool ways that you’ve used tape on the job.

OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Standard will be in effect September 23, 2017. OSHA is issuing the standard to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica in the construction industry in order to allow employers to tailor solutions to the specific conditions in their workplaces. The new standard has had tool manufacturers working overtime to engineer Read More

OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Standard will be in effect September 23, 2017. OSHA is issuing the standard to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica in the construction industry in order to allow employers to tailor solutions to the specific conditions in their workplaces.

The new standard has had tool manufacturers working overtime to engineer tools and too attachments that will keep us productive while meeting the dust collection requirements. Here at The Hub we will be sharing reviews and information in the coming days and weeks leading up to September 23 date showing the various tools and attachments you might consider for your own compliance. Here is our first review:

Bosch HDC100 Dust Collection Attachment

Bosch knows concrete and the tools needed to work efficiently and effectively on the plumbing & hvac job site. Whether you’re working with a Bosch Bulldog rotary hammer or nearly any other modern rotary hammer of another brand this attachment is simple to install and use and is priced right in our opinion.

BoschHDC100We’re referring to the HDC100 as a “universal” attachment, though it’s not listed as such on Bosch’s website it will fit any modern rotary hammer with a barrel mounting neck for a standard auxiliary handle (see pic above).

The 1.5lb composite plastic dust collection attachment has a built-in depth stop with a maximum drilling depth of 4-3/4” and can handle SDS drill bits up to ¾” diameter, dry core drilling up to 3-1/8” diameter [when using the core bit adapter, included].

As seen in the video the HDC100 is very effective at collecting nearly 100% of the dust from the ½” holes drilled for the drop-in anchors, an extremely common task on any mechanical job site. The dust port can be hooked up to a 1-3/8-In. vacuum hose nozzle, or it can accommodate 1-1/4-In. or 2-In. nozzles when combined with an appropriate optional adapter.

It is important to note that the HDC100 alone is not all that is needed for compliance with the OSHA standard. The HDC100 must be connected to a HEPA rated dust collector vacuum that meets the minimum requirements of the Crystalline Silica Standard to be compliant. In the video we are using the Bosch GBH18V-26 18V EC Brushless 1 In. SDS-plus® Bulldog Rotary Hammer and Bosch VAC090A 9 Gallon Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter Clean.

We have done some online price searches and found that nearly all Bosch tool retailers are listing the HDC100 at $69-70 US, its available for purchase currently.

This is only one of many tools Bosch has engineered to meet the OSHA standard, please watch for reviews of additional tools soon here on mechanical-hub.com.

 

 

 

 

It’s been two months since I took delivery of the Dewalt DCE200 press tool and I’ve had the opportunity to put it to work on a handful of jobs now. This is a feature-packed tool unlike many on the market today. With capabilities of handling any and all press systems common in North America and Read More

DewaltPress4It’s been two months since I took delivery of the Dewalt DCE200 press tool and I’ve had the opportunity to put it to work on a handful of jobs now. This is a feature-packed tool unlike many on the market today. With capabilities of handling any and all press systems common in North America and Europe team Black & Yellow pulled out all the stops in engineering their first at what I’m guessing will be a team of press tools to come.

First off I’d like to cover the important specs.

  • Capable of pressing ½”-2” copper & stainless steel V-groove fittings
  • Compatible with competitor jaw sets for Iron Pipe [Mega-Press]
  • Compatible with competitor jaw sets for PEX press [Viega/Nibco]
  • 4-ton pressing force
  • Current online pricing searches average $1999.00

I first learned of this tool back in July/August of 2016 at the annual new tool event hosted by Dewalt. When I first put my hands on it I admit I was a little surprised of the physical size overall but after using it for both boiler and tankless water heater installations now I can honestly say the size of the tool has not proved to be an issue at all. Weighing in at 7.16lbs without a jaw it is lighter than other comparable tools common on the job today. Ergonomics may be a slightly different story and I do carry a bias toward in-line design press tools. This tool is front-end heavy, loaded with anything over 1″ jaws and it will not stand on it’s own. That may be partially due to the small footprint of the 20V battery or the handle angle and placement. Either way its a strain on the wrist and requires two hands to steady the tool most of the time.

Features

This pistol-grip press tool is packed with some new innovation to the market that should prove useful to many contractors working on commercial & residential projects alike. Notably, Dewalt’s proprietary software system Crimp Connect. This free software download allows the owner/user to connect the press tool via the onboard mini USB port providing ability to print detailed reports of the date, time, force, and successfully completed cycles of the presses completed by the tool as well as the tools calibration and service history.

DewaltPress2Located on the top rear of the tool you’ll find a somewhat familiar interactive panel where the tool’s power is controlled along with LED light indicators showing the successful completion of a single press, battery indicator, low & high temperature warnings. There’s even a “service required” indicator light telling the user that the tool has reached the cycle limitations.

While the power panel is not unique to press tools of this caliber, the Crimp connect feature is. An added feature I found interesting is the double trigger.

DewaltPress3The bottom trigger controls the start and completion of the press cycle. Dewalt went with a “manual” cycle operation here. You’ll need to depress the trigger completely for the duration to complete the press cycle. Cycle time is anywhere between 4-6 seconds depending on the diameter and type of material being pressed. The unique second trigger, the top trigger can be used to release the press cycle at any point. This is useful when a cycle has started but the operator decides [far various reasons] to stop the press. When pressed fully, the top trigger will release the pressure in the hydraulic cylinder and allow the ram to retract quickly. This would allow for repositioning of the tool or fitting when needed, potentially saving a fitting from incorrect attachment to the piping.

A shoulder strap and ring attachment point are included with the tool. Dewalt states in the manual that it should be used for transporting the tool on the jobsite. Some feedback I have received from other plumbers is the strap may be useful when working on a ladder, a situation that often lends to the possibility of dropping a tool like this….I’ve done that and it wasn’t pretty.

The tool is made in France but the jaw set is delivered to Dewalt from Germany. Dewalt is offering a 3 year limited warranty, 1 year service and 90 day money back guarantee. You’ll most likely have to order this tool from specialty tool suppliers offering the whole Dewalt lineup. You can also look to plumbing and mechanical supply houses for stock as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b-m69_obcM I have to be honest. I don’t normally stand around in 4”-5” of water on the job. I do however walk through unplowed driveways, parking lots and through the rain while moving tools and equipment in and out of the truck so having dry feet is paramount to capping off a good day at Read More


I have to be honest. I don’t normally stand around in 4”-5” of water on the job. I do however walk through unplowed driveways, parking lots and through the rain while moving tools and equipment in and out of the truck so having dry feet is paramount to capping off a good day at work.

I’ve been wearing the KEEN Utility Pittsburgh boots for work [and play] for a couple months now and I’m impressed not only with the KEEN.DRY system but the comfort and support has surpassed my expectations. For those not familiar, the KEEN.DRY system is a proprietary waterproof membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in. I’d put it up against the major brand of waterproofing we’re all familiar with.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 11.35.07 AMThe support and protection built-in include full-length TPU stability plate providing forefoot flexibility and underfoot stability; when mated with the metatomical footbed design where an engineered arch support cradles your foot for all day comfort.

I’ve been a longtime wearer of natural leather upper boots so moving into a composite build boot of natural leather and cloth took a little getting used to. Boots like the Pittsburgh are slightly bulkier than the typical all-leather boot but that has more to do with the engineering in design for flexibility and durability. Rubber, cloth, nubuck leather all play a role in the upper build of the boot.

The soles are non-slip oil resistant rubber and provide aggressive traction on this model. I’m more accustomed to a less “off-road” tread but I haven’t found anything negative to say about the tread pattern; if I have any comments on the tread I’d say climbing my step ladder is where I most notice the aggressive pattern. Once in a while my foot will catch on the edge of a ladder rung where it may not have with a smoother, more typical work boot tread pattern.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 11.35.37 AMOverall I’m impressed with the KEEN Utility Pittsburgh boots. Material quality is very high, build quality as well. Comfort concerns went straight out the window after day one of wear and have not changed in the short time I’ve been putting them to work. I’ve got my eye on a few other models that may be a little closer to what I’m used to for style and features but, these being the most popular model in the US [in Canada they’re known as the Hamiltons] I’m not surprised based on the overall quality and design.

Click this link to visit KEEN’s site and see more about the Pittsburgh boots.

 

 

Tool options for a variety of cutting, crimping, and pressing tasks DEWALT announces its further expansion into trade-focused products with five tools dedicated to the Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Trades; categories DEWALT plans to continue to develop as the brand  expands its line in the future. Featuring cutting, crimping, and pressing tools, the new line Read More

Tool options for a variety of cutting, crimping, and pressing tasks

DEWALT announces its further expansion into trade-focused products with five tools dedicated to the Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Trades; categories DEWALT plans to continue to develop as the brand  expands its line in the future. Featuring cutting, crimping, and pressing tools, the new line includes products with premium ergonomics, the capability to complete wide range of applications, and compatibility with the existing 20V MAX* system from DEWALT.

Electrical Tools

New DEWALT electrical tools include a U-Type Died Crimper (DCE300) and a Dieless Crimper (DCE350). Both feature the Crimp Connect™ System, an intelligent onboard reporting system integrated into the tool that reports and prints the date, time, force, and successful crimp cycles completed by the tool as well as the tool’s calibration and service history. An LED panel on the tool is used as an interface that powers on or off the tool, indicates battery state of charge, cycle completion, and if recalibration or service of the tool is needed. Another bright LED work light helps to illuminate the crimping area when working in dark spaces. Finally, the tools each include a shoulder strap for convenience when transporting around the jobsite.

The Died Crimper (DCE300) delivers a 12-ton crimping force for UL classified crimps using connectors from most manufacturers. It accepts U Type dies from most brands and has a capacity from #8 – 750 MCM Cu /1000 MCM Al. A 270° pivoting head allows the crimper to maneuver in tight spaces while forward and reverse trigger switches provide one-handed control of the crimping operation.

The Dieless Crimper (DCE350) features a universal 4 pusher design and crimps #8 – 750 MCM Cu/ 1000 MCM Al. An innovative head design helps reduce user error when crimping smaller cable, thereby providing durability. A 360° pivoting head allows the crimper to maneuver in tight spaces while forward and reverse triggers, as with the Died Crimper, provide one-handed control of the crimping operation.

Another tool available for the electrical industry is the Cable Cutter (DCE150) which is capable of cutting up to 750 MCM Cu/1000 MCM Al, cutting a full range of copper and aluminum cable. A hardened steel cutting blade provides long life, can be self-serviced, and is replaceable; a convenience for working in the field. A bright LED work light helps to illuminate cutting area while and inline forward/reverse switch offers quick and convenient operation.

Plumbing and Mechanical Tool

The new DEWALT Press Tool (DCE200) is capable of pressing pipe fittings from 1/2″ to 4″ in copper and stainless steel pipe.  The Press Tool is capable of completing the full range of presses listed above and is compatible with a wide range of crimping heads and attachments for different materials and applications. The head of the tool pivots 320° to maneuver in tight spaces and the crimping jaws are protected from corrosion with a black galvanized coating. This tool also features the Crimp Connect™ System, a bright LED work light that helps to illuminate the workspace and an LED panel which powers on or off the tool, indicates battery state of charge, cycle completion, and if recalibration or service of the tool is needed. Finally, this tool also includes a shoulder strap for convenience when transporting around the jobsite.

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Tool

The new Threaded Rod Cutter (DCS350) is capable of quickly and cleanly cutting a range of threaded rod sizes including 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ mild steel rods and ¼”and 3/8” stainless steel rods.  The four sided rotatable cutting die allows the user to cut each of the three different sizes of threaded rod with the same tool just by rotating the cutting dies to the size needed. The unit does not create chips or sparks while cutting, providing a burr-free cut that can easily be threaded onto fasteners. The Threaded Rod Cutter is part of the DEWALT Perform & Protect™ line of power tools which is designed to provide a high level of one or more of the following: control, dust containment, or low vibration, without sacrificing performance. The Threaded Rod Cutter eliminates fast moving cutting blades or wheels which can bind up when cutting or trimming threaded rod. The unit includes a bright LED work light, a forward/reverse/lock off switch, and a hang hook. A full line of replacement cutting dies will be available as well.

Available in June 2016 where DEWALT products are sold, users who had previously needed to switch tools from their DEWALT drills to their industry-specific tools will benefit from the convenience and performance of the 20V MAX* system, now available for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, MRO, and HVAC professionals.

*Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18.