The board stretcher is good, but the hammer nail set is terrific! I've gotten so good now I can pick mosquitoes out of the air and 'nail' them to a board with one swing.
I have to jump in here because I corresponded back in October to Martin over my new roof. (Martin, I never got to have exposed rafters because "She who must be obeyed" didn't want them.) Anyhow, I went with a "warm" deck design with some modifications. New rafters, 6 inches solid foam below, 3 inches solid foam on top. This was dictated by the realities of the 200 year old Post and Beam we are renovating. On top of the top foam (which is foam sealed AND taped at all joints) we have 1X4 strapping onto which the metal roof is attached. The structure is a 5 1/2 X 12 slope, so the snow doesn't slide off until a serious thaw sets in. And to lay some claim, we are in a micro climate type ski country 60 miles south of Buffalo NY - last Wednesday before the current storm that's shutting everything down the Hyway super announced at a village board meeting we already had 168 inches of natural snow (that's 14 feet) and still have more than two months to go. I feel a need to differentiate between ice dams and icicles. We no longer have ice dams. We have icicles, but ones we can deal with. The west side gets icicles at one point - below the skylight ... I lost that discussion also with "The Boss". On the east side, the icicles are along the entire edge. The roof, insulation and roofing is the same so I'm not sure what to think yet, but the icicles form as the snow on the roof slides forward and freezes in front of the edge of the roofing. I've heard that R-value is an indication of how heat transfer is slowed down, but that there is no "perfect" insulation, that some heat loss will always occur. (Especially if you have R-3 skylights.) This is a simplified description ... I also have valleys, a triple wall stove stack, a dormer, etc., but NO leaks! First winter in 11 winters here, and in terms of snow and cold, a doosie. I put my roof rake away, and bought a wide shop floor type broom head which I use only to 'sweep' snow off the side porch roof - other wise it gets too high and blocks off the dormer window. From my experience, insulation works. I've heard all the claims about 'diminishing returns' ... my advice is search for recycled solid foam. I found Dow blue board at 1/3rd the price of new. The house has never been warmer, yet the wood usage and back up oil furnace cost is lower than ever, and this is a hard winter. I also differentiated above between roof deck and roofing. There is a ventilation space between the roofing and the 'structure'.
I have to agree. I've wanted to ask this question for some time - if Hitachi was on the skids. I bought a 12 inch compound miter saw and the folding fence didn't line up, the fence isn't straight causing the piece to move back routinely which can bind the blade,and we don't even bother with the laser light since it's off to the left a good 3/32s. I did buy a small Hitachi NI-CD impact driver a few months ago as another driver for a metal roofing job. It was on sale and isn't bad, but the battery runs down sooner than our Makitas. On a similar but different note, we installed a Bosch gas range recently, allowing brand name recognition to impact our choice, and what a piece of junk. The oven door trim on the right side fell off! The adhesive didn't stick well, and the metal trim piece fell off. The bakelite molding above the oven door broke off, and routinely the electric ignitor "hangs up" and doesn't stop clicking. After a few calls, we showed the customer how to pull off the burner switch and with a small screw driver, move the isolator gizmo a bit to break the circuit, but what a disappointment. The real problem is the distribution channel's decision to spend money on transport (from China) rather than on production labor craftsmanship (in the US) to bring quality products to the market. That's not to say it isn't possible. I'm old enough to remember when imports from Japan were junk, but when will China start making decent products, and doesn't the US importer play a role in specification and QC inspection?
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