How to Clean a Dryer Vent Easily

Rotary LintEater Kit RLE202

 

This is how I clean a dryer vent quickly and easily. When they designed this house, the dryer was a long way from the outside wall, so they put a 10 foot plastic pipe in the concrete foundation. It has been a headache from the start. Lint collects on the walls of the pipe and has been impossible to clean effectively. Even worse there are two 90 degree bends. The best I could do was scrape the sides with an 8 foot long stick and blow the lint out with an electric leaf blower. Happily I found a solution on Amazon that really works. A Gardus RLE202 LintEater Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System. Not a catchy name for sure, but I love it. Here is a link to it on Amazon. It is an affiliate link but costs you nothing. Gardus RLE202 LintEater 10-Piece Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System

I dreaded trying to clean the vent, but when it takes forever for my clothes to dry and you know they are wearing themselves out – something had to be done.

IMG_1484IMG_1477IMG_1478

 

The LintEater comes with an 2 brushes, a cutter tip for rain gutter use, 4- 3′ flexible rods and 2 adaptors to fit to a standard 4″ dryer vent.  I used the adaptor to hook my shop vac to the dryer vent while brushing it out. A clean way to do it. No dust in my face. If you don’t have a shop vac, you could turn on the dryer to air dry and clean from the outside. A dryer doesn’t blow very hard though. You can see from the pictures the rods are very flexible and when screwed together reach 12 feet. You do need to attach the rods to a power drill to spin the brush. This gives it the great cleaning action. The instructions suggest you wrap some tape around the area where the rods are screwed together. This is to prevent them from unscrewing if you accidentally switch the drill into reverse.

IMG_1475IMG_1473Cleaning Dryer Vent

 

In the pictures above you can see the brush fed through the dryer vent plug, then it is inserted into the vent. This vent was cleaned several months ago so the buildup is not bad. Not like when I first did it!

IMG_1481IMG_1480IMG_1482

 

I attached my shop vac to the vent and then fed the cleaner, attached to my drill,  into the vent. Since I vent wasn’t too dirty, I did all twelve feet at one time . Feed it in slowly, with a back and forth motion to scrub the vent. The first time I did it, I added one three foot section at a time. Making sure that each section of the vent was clean before adding on another rod. When the vent is caked with lint, it causes friction on the brush. The rods are flexible and want to whip. Adding one rod at a time reduces this.

The brush is short so can get around elbows. This is where it really shines for me. At the far end close to the dryer there are 2 elbows. This traps lint. When the cleaner hits that area, I can really hear the lint being sucked into the vacuum. You can see the collected lint in the picture above

After years of my dryer vent being half-way clogged, it is clean. This product makes it easy. Now I clean it whenever I feel the dryer is taking too long to dry clothes. This saves wear and tear on my clothes and energy. As you can tell I am real happy with this product.
Gardus RLE202 LintEater 10-Piece Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System

 

 

Review Campbell Hausfeld Air Hose Reel

CH Hose Reel

I purchased the Campbell Hausfeld PA500400AV  Retractable Air Hose Reel recently, and am quite pleased with it. This air hose reel review is what I have experienced. It comes with 50 feet of 3/8″ air hose on an enclosed reel. The hose feeds out and retracts smoothly. That is important to me. I have been using a regular hose for years and cursed it every time. Unless you twisted it to get the curl out, it would not lie flat. It was a hassle every time. This hose is a breeze to use. I can pull it out to my driveway. Hold on to the hose when it retracts though!

After using it for some time just sitting by the compressor, I finally mounted it on the wall. It does have a handle on top for portability, but it is better mounted to a wall. It does come with several lag bolts. Remove the bracket from the reel and bolt it down then reattach the reel.

IMG_1468It can swivel side to side. Sticks out from the wall 20″, 15″ tall and 8″ thick. I read an online review that they were concerned it does not have hose guides on the sides, just on the bottom. I don’t think this is a problem as it pivots in the direction being pulled.

IMG_1472I was concerned that it would not be able to provide the volume of air necessary for the impact wrench I use to remove lug nuts on my car. It had to be 3/8″, but I could not find the hose diameter anywhere. Even on the Campbell Hausfeld website.  From the pictures it looked smaller and it was not available in a “brick and mortar” store to look at. So I took a chance and it turned out to be 3/8″. Runs my air tools fine.  You can get it at Amazon  through  this link Air Hose Reel .

After mounting it to the wall I attached it to my compressor through a regulator/moisture filter. In the past I have had problems with the cheap regulators that attach directly to the compressor, so I got a better one, but it didn’t come with a bracket. I made a little holder for it and some accessories with 2 pieces of 1/2″ plywood. Coated it in polyurethane. The regulator just sets in it and seems stable since there is no stress on it.

So after getting everything mounted I am quite happy with my setup and no more cursing. At least at the hose.

air accessories

 

air accessories 2

Oneida Dust Deputy Review

Ridgid WD1450 and Oneida Dust Deputy

Ridgid WD1450 and Dust Deputy

Oneida Dust Deputy Review. As mentioned in my previous post on the Home Depot  Ridgid 14 gallon shop vac, it is great except for the filter clogging rapidly. I needed a way to pre-filter the air. I decide upon hooking up an Oneida Dust Deputy to my Ridgid Wet/Dry Vacuum. This dust separator was the solution.

Their are quite a few dust separators on the market, including one that Rockler sells. Kits are also available to make your own. Fortunately, I saw a video by Marc Spagnuolo the   “Wood Whisperer” where he did a comparison of four brands. The Oneida looked like the one for me. I ordered one and it arrived on my doorstep. The Dust Deputy sold on Amazon is basically 2 heavy duty 5 gallon buckets with a cyclone separator on top. The bottom bucket is used if you want to put wheels on it and attach it to your shop vac like I show above. Then you

Oneida Dust Deputy Attached WD1450

Dust Deputy Attached WD1450

slide the top bucket into it. This is for easy removal when you need to empty the dust and chips. Oneida gives you the parts to physically attach it to your vacuum (bolts, foam spacer block, wheels) So it rolls along with your vac. I did not do this right away. Oneida also includes a good quality  hose to hook the cyclone up to the vacuum. If you want to attach it to your vac, cut the foam block to the vacuum’s profile and run the 2 bolts between the bucket and the vac. Yes you have to drill two holes in your vac.

How good does it work? It works great! I emptied my vacuum and attached the Dust Deputy. After vacuuming up a bunch of sawdust and chips, there was just the tiniest bit in the shop vac. Like a teaspoon full if that. Good news for me, I could then install filter bags since they would not fill up quickly. Now the suction remains constantly strong. I move the unit to the power tool I am using, but usually have it hooked up to my table saw. I also use it to clean up the shop.

The unit does build up a static charge. Oneida gives you some copper tabe to attach to the cyclone to dissipate it. You then attach a wire to a washer that drags on the ground to “ground out” the charge. I did get a good jolt one time, though not exactly sure how. Regardless, I am very happy with this product and would buy it again.

Oneida Dust Deputy Dust collection bucket

Dust Deputy Dust collection

Ridgid WD1450 Wet/Dry Vac Review

Ridgid WD1450

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my review of the Ridgid WD1450 wet/dry vacuum. I was tired of the dust coming from all my power tools and flying all over the garage. I did not want to pay for a shop dust collection system, so I decided to get a good shop vac and see what it could do. I settled on one from Home Depot after reading many reviews. The Ridgid WD1450 is about $100 and gets you a well built, 14 gallon, relatively quite, powerful wet/dry vacuum. It comes with a hose, 2 wands, a surface cleaner attachment, and a bag that carries attachments on the vac. There are many additional attachments available at Home Depot. I like that it comes with a long power cord. I have been happy with all  the Ridgid products I have purchased.

This thing is powerful. Keep small children and pets away when using! OK that is a joke, but it is strong. I needed a lot of suction because I wanted to use it on shop tools like a table saw. It does the job with my table saw. It doesn’t get all the dust, because my saw isn’t designed for efficient dust collection, but it really helps keep the small stuff out of the air. I think it is a real bargain for the price.

The one complaint I have with it, is the suction is so strong, it lifts most of the collected dust into the pleated filter instead of leaving it on the bottom of the vac chamber. This clogs the filter quickly cutting down on the suction. I hate cleaning filters and I had to do it often. Home Depot does sell bags to use with this vac. They work well and the suction doesn’t fall as quickly with them. With as much saw dust that I collect, this can get expensive real quick. So I found a solution I will share in my next post. Dust Deputy

Ridgid WD1450 Filter Bags

Ridgid WD1450 Pleated Filter and Filter Bags

Bathtub Caulking the Best Way

I find this is the best way to caulk a bathtub. No one likes to re-caulk a bathtub, but it is a necessary evil. If it isn’t done- it looks terrible. Even worse, water will get behind the tile and damage the wood underneath. The best way is to remove the old, mildewed and loose caulk. By removing the old caulk and replacing with new, you will have a long lasting repair. If you just go over the old, the mildew will just transfer to the new and there will not be a good bond.

Caulk Removal Tools

Caulk Removal Tools

The goal is to have an elastic seal between the tub and the wall. When the tub is filled with water, it actually moves down slightly from the wall. Each gallon of water weighs eight pounds plus a person- it adds up. That is why the caulk has to flex or it will crack. As in painting, preparation is the key. You have to remove as much as possible of the old caulk. Here are the tools I use. Feel free to improvise. I use the razor blade to scrape and cut, the screwdriver and pick to get under and lift, the long nose pliers to pull strips of caulk off. It is great when you can work loose a section of old caulk and it comes off in a long strand. Unfortunately, that seldom happens for me.

Here is a tool I find useful. It is an oscillating multifunction tool. You can get them cheap at

Oscillating Multifunction Tool

Oscillating Multifunction Tool

Harbor Freight or Amazon. Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
They sell them cheap, because they get you on the attachments. The saw blade I use comes with the tool. A simple steel saw. You don’t need carbide, because we are not removing hard grout. I use a thin steel sheet to protect the tubs porcelain if I slip. When using any of the tools, take care not to scratch the tub or wall. You have to be very careful if you have a fiberglass tub or wall.

After you have removed all the old caulk, use a vacuum to get all the loose bits. Here are Bathtub caulk removedthe two grouts that are most popular at Home Depot. I have been having a tough time with the Kwik Seal mildewing after a year (really annoying). I have started using the GE white silicone for better mildew resistance. You can also get it in a big tube to use with a caulking gun.

Bathtub Caulks

Caulks

Before applying the caulk, have a bunch of paper towels handy and a small bowl with soapy water in it. Apply a bead of caulk. The thickness of the bead takes practice. Too little and you won’t fill the gap. Too much and you will have a lot to clean up. So do a little section first. Take your finger, dip it in the soapy water, and smooth the bead of caulk down so it blends into the wall and the tub with a dished look. Remove excess caulk with your finger. You want a nice seal. Wipe the excess off of your finger with the paper towels. Do another section. You can blend one section into another with your finger. Keep on going. Dipping your finger in the soapy water keeps the caulk from sticking to your finger, giving a smooth finish. Once you are done, stand back and look at the difference it makes! Follow the directions on the caulk for drying times.

Applying Caulk Bead

Caulk Bead (Click to Enlarge)

Smoothing Bathtub Caulk Bead

Smooth (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathtub Caulking Finished

All Done!

 

Kreg Rip-Cut Review

Kreg Rip-Cut Circular saw Cutting GuideOver the years I have had trouble with handling full sheets of plywood. Cutting them down to size is necessary. They are too heavy and big for my table saw, as it may be tipped over. I needed a safe way to rip them down to size. I was glad to see a you tube video where the Kreg KMA2675 Kreg Rip-Cut
was being used. The Rip Cut looked like it would solve my problem. I ordered it from Amazon.

Using my plywood cutting table with a circular saw worked well. The table supports the plywood while using a cutting guide. You can use a straight edge (a straight board will work) to guide the saw while ripping. It works OK, but it takes awhile to set up for each cut. It has to be determined how far the blade is from the edge of the “shoe” that the straight edge will rub against. Add this to the dimension that has to be cut. If it is two inches from the blade to the edge of the saws shoe, and you want to cut a 24″ strip, the straight edge has to be clamped down at 26 inches. Don’t forget about the 1/8th inch the saw blade kerf takes up too.

Using the Rip-Cut, all this is done automatically. It can rip up to 24 inches. It clamps to your circular saw using two clamps. After it is assembled the first time, iSetting Kreg Rip Cutt can be removed and reattached quickly.  I would re-zero the pointer each time though. This is easily done by sliding the Rip Cut’s edge guide up against the saw blade and adjusting the measuring pointer to zero.  Be advised that you do have to assemble the Rip Cut and adjust it to your model of saw the first time. Just snug down the clamps. They have pointed tips to grab on to the saws plate. It can be adjusted for right or left handers.To adjust the cutting width, just pull up on the grey lever and slide to the desired measurement. Push the lever down to lock.

Using Kreg Rip-Cut Plywood

Place the edge guide against the panel you wish to cut. Start the saw and cut keeping the edge guide firmly against the edge. I hold and push the saw with my right hand, while pushing the guided against the edge with my left. I have the plywood slightly over hanging the table so it doesn’t interfere with the edge guide. The guide is a little thicker than 1/2 inch.

 It works best for long rips. For shorter cuts it doesn’t work well, as the guide edge is not long enough. Kreg does sell a tool for crosscuts, but I do not have it. I use a cross-cut sled on my table saw. You can make a cross-cut guide easily. If I see a good plan I will post it.

I am quite happy with my purchase of the Rip-Cut. It allows me to quickly cut down plywood to a workable size. The only complaint I have- I wish the cutting guide was a bit longer. As you get to the end of a cut, the guide stops supporting the cut before the blade is all the way through. I have to learn to “follow through” with the cut. It hasn’t been a problem. I do my finish cuts on a table saw . If you don’t have a table saw, you could use this with a cross-cut guide to make shelves and simple cabinets.

If you are interested, please use my Amazon link to look at the Kreg KMA2675 Kreg Rip-Cut. It doesn’t cost you anything and helps pay for my web-hosting.

Cutting with Kreg Rip-Cut

 

Gerber EAB Folding Razor Knife Review

This is a review of the Gerber EAB Lite razor knife. I love the Gerber EAB Folding Pocket Knife. Gerber 31-000345 E.A.B. Lite Pocket Knife, Fine EdgeIt is a great everyday carry knife.

I carry it in my pocket every day, as I would miss it if it was not there. I have carried a pocket knife of some sort since I was 12 years old. Back then it was a Boy Scout knife. In those days you could carry a pocket knife to school and no one thought anything about it. “Be prepared” was the motto. Now it is “Be afraid”

Gerber EAB closed

The reason I switched from a regular knife to a razor type knife is because I like a razor sharp blade. I can sharpen a regular knife very sharp, but it looses it’s edge quickly when using it on everyday things like cardboard. Cardboard and paper are really abrasive. Not to mention when you use it on tape, it gets all gummy. On the EAB, when your blade gets dull and nasty, just flip the blade over. Talking about blades, when you need to buy new ones, make sure you get ones that are not too long. If they are, the blade will stick out past the metal body of the knife when closed. It could easily cut you leg while in your pocket. The Irwin ones I have a picture posted of, are the right length and do seem to stay sharp longer.Irwin 2084200 Blue Blade Bi-Metal Utility Blade, 20-Pack

Gerber EAB Open

The one thing I do miss about a regular knife, is the ability to use its blade as a wedge. An example would be opening up a crack wider by inserting the knife edge and wedging it wider. A razor edge can not do that. If they added a flat blade screw driver to it, the EAB would be complete. It does come with belt clip I never use. Maybe Gerber could make a substitution.

Overall The Gerber EAB is a great everyday carry knife. The one I have is the “lite” version. I guess this is because it has some grooves cut into it, trimming away grams of weight. I think it looks more cool than the regular version. Cool factor thumbs up! I would by it again in a heartbeat.