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© Copyright 2009 Work-4 Projects Ltd.
Tool Talk logoBy Jon Eakes

Evolutions in Cutting and Clipping

Energy efficiency can often be enhanced by simple changes in construction techniques, and products change with time to help us do that. These products illustrate that evolution and show that, as the materials we work on change, the blades we use to cut them change as well.

Drywall Framing Clips
There are two companies competing to give us clips for attaching the edge of board to structural nailing, thereby avoiding that extra stick of wood just for a nailing edge. In corners, this eliminates the double stud and leaves more room for insulation where heat loss can cause problems. On ceilings, this can uncouple the drywall from the framing to deal with truss up-lift.

Prest-on’s Corner-Back clip has been around for a long time. It clips onto the edge of the drywall and then offers a tab for attaching to the facing stud. It does, however, require the right size to match the drywall thickness and can give you problems on a rough edge. It has done us good service for years, but moving a board around with clips on the edge can be a problem.

Enter the Nailer, which allows you to fasten the clip to the wood first. If you like, it can also be screwed to the drywall first, so you have the best of both worlds. And if the legs don’t line up with your structure, just snip them off.
Prest-on has fought back with its own version of attaching-to-the-wood-first clips: the Framer-back.
The large holes on the stud side in the Nailer are actually easier to work with than the mesh style, which is designed to receive a drywall screw blindly from through the drywall, in the Prest-on model.
I’ll vote for the Nailer.
Unfortunately, you will probably have to go on-line to buy any of these advanced framing clips because the stores haven’t figured it out yet.

On a related note, the Boardmate, invented in England, is a very interesting tool for holding drywall panels in place while getting those first fasteners in. You put up your first panel of drywall, then nail or screw this holding tool over the edge of that panel. Slide the next panel into the sloped slot, up square against the first panel, and it is held there while you work on the other end of the panel. One-man paneling, even on ceilings, is now easy and accurate without support poles. Check out the product tab on the Nailer Web site to see the video.
The Nailer: www.TheNailer.ca
Prest-On: www.Prest-On.com

The Cutting Edge

Over the last year, three new blades have come out that you will want to know about:
Have you tried cutting cast iron drain pipes recently? Lennox has made your life easier with its Diamond 2122 Recip blade for cast iron. At $15, it tested out cutting through 4” cast iron pipe three times faster than carbide, making over 15 cuts per blade. Finally, a clean quick cut through cast iron with your existing tools.
Stainless steel has become an increasingly common design element, so Bosch has brought out special jig saw blades just for this material: the Bosch T118GFS 36 tooth and T118EFS 18 tooth. The Stainless Steel blades are suited for cutting thin and medium gauge steels. They are available in 18-TPI for 8- to 16-gauge steel and 36-TPI for thinner steel, from 16- to 26-gauge. For optimal performance and durability, it is recommended you add oil to the cutting surface to reduce heat build-up. Also, the tool should not operate above 1,500 strokes per minute in a non-orbital stroke mode. 

The Bosch T308B 12-TPI blade has precision ground scalpel and pointed teeth. The scalpel teeth produce the cleaner cut on the bottom of the surface while the pointed teeth from the shank to the middle of the blade provide the cut for the top surface. The 4-1/2” blade increases productivity by allowing users to cut a greater number of materials such as hard and soft woods, MDF, melamine, plywood and laminated particle board.

And last but not least, my tool accessory lesson for this month: If you can’t find that special blade where you usually shop, don’t waste your time; go right to Amazon.com. It will be much faster than a retail store special order.

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