There’s more than one way to drive a screw – DeWalt has you covered. : )

I’ve been deep in the trenches of a LOT of different work here lately.  Since finishing the shop it’s been a revolving door of small projects, shop organization, working in new equipment, followed by more shop organization : ) Obviously, keeping good tools around is an integral part of that revolving door operating smoothly and this DeWalt 20 Volt Cordless Combo Kit is no exception. I’ve put a lot of miles on it since I received it a few months back and I’d like to share my thoughts on it. Check it out:

The drill package comes with the drill, impact driver, 2.0 Ah battery, 4.0 Ah battery, battery charger, and a soft contractor bag. At first I was a bit confused about having 2 different size batteries. After owning and using this set for a little while I think I like the idea of having 2 different sizes to choose from. I like having the smaller battery for times when I just need a lighter impact driver with plenty of power and the larger battery when I know Im going to be away from the charger for a bit.

Both of these little machines feature brushless motors. Brushless motors have really taken over lately as the technology is becoming less expensive to manufacture. The main advantage of a brushless motor over a brushed motor is longevity and efficiency. Brushless motors do not rely on physical contact of a current carrying “brush”. Instead, they use alternating magnetic fields to produce rotational torque against a permanent stationary magnet. Less friction = less heat = less wear = longer motor life. WooHoo!

Let’s focus on the impact driver for a moment. Don’t let the light weight of this driver fool you – it has plenty of get up and go for its size. Although it only weighs 3.4 lbs, it can output a max spindle torque of 1,825 in-lbs (or about 152 ft-lbs) and will turn up to 3,600 RPM. To me, this thing is a little beast when it comes to driving deck screws or using it to torque down nuts and bolts.

All that power in the impact driver can be a little more than you need however. Fortunately, DeWalt addressed this by putting in a basic three-position “power level” switch. Think of it as having a governor on your kids new 2 stroke dirt bike…the power is still there, just dialed down a bit.

I like this feature; I found that if you’re driving in something like a 3” deck screw and you close the throttle all the way open, this thing will drive the screw in so fast you can easily over drive it into the material. The three speed motor control limits the torque to 240,1500 and 1825 in-lbs for gears 1, 2, and 3 respectively. They also choke back the RPM to 1,000 / 2,800 and 3,250 across gears 1, 2, and 3 as well.

The three speed settings allow you to really customize your operation depending on the conditions of your job. Many users find it best to reserve the high speed/torque setting for hard materials, nut and bolt hardware, and other tasks which do not require sensitive drilling skills. Alternatively, if you’re working with light woods or a material that is prone to splitting, the lower gears will offer more utility with fewer over-torque errors.

The last thing worth mentioning on the impact driver are the 3 spindle lights. I love em! I’m not sure why it’s taken so long to see more than one light on a drill head. The problem I’ve ran into with only one light is that it seems to just cast a back side shadow on the head of the workpiece. In some cases, it’s not an issue. Having three lights really helps to produce nice even lighting around the work piece.

Since we’re talking lighting – this drill has a single lamp but it is placed in a totally new spot just above the battery and points upward at a bout a 45 degree angle. To be honest, I’m not a major fan of having the light point up from the battery when compared to even lighting around the spindle. As you can see, when the light shines up from the bottom, it creates a shadow on the top side of your workpiece which is less than ideal IMO. However, it does work well as a stand alone work light.

The light has 3 different settings: dim, bright, and “20 minute” on position. This is a pretty sweet idea which tends to make up for the less than ideal location of the light itself.  If you’re in an attic and need your drill to double as a stationary flashlight without having to constantly bump the trigger to turn it back on then this may be a very good feature for you.

The drill is rated at 2,000 RPM and has three different speed settings raging from 450, 1,300, and 2,000 RPM. It also features a clutch wheel with 11 different positions to fine tune the break away torque when you’re driving something like sheet metal screws.

I recently used the drill on “hammer” setting in for some concrete work. After building a nifty little single seater swing, I installed a concrete anchor to secure the swing from blowing around when it’s not in use. The drill and mortar bits from Bosch performed flawlessly and did not vibrate my hands to bits in the process. The all metal chuck had zero issues gripping onto the hex shank of the Bosch drill bits which easily penetrated the 4,000 psi concrete.

DeWalt describes the chuck as “nitro-carburized with carbide inserts for superior bit gripping strength.” What does that even mean? Basically, the chuck material has undergone a surface hardening process that ultimately improves its scratch resistance, fatigue strength, and corrosion resistance. The jaws of the chuck are carbide steel and are also very durable.

When we consider the form and finish of these two tools you really can’t find much wrong with them. It’s 2018 and to have a set of tools come from DeWalt that are not well thought out and not feel good in your hand would be something outta left field. DeWalt’s been a pretty trusted name in the business for quite sometime now and I suspect this drill and impact driver pair will be around for a good while.

Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it. This review was provided in support of the ProSpective Campaign sponsored by The Home Depot. They supply the tool and I supply an opinion. The links in this review are affiliate links and provide a small kick-back to the website which helps to keep the wheel turning. Regardless, I genuinely appreciate your support.


The post There’s more than one way to drive a screw – DeWalt has you covered. : ) appeared first on Wilker Do's.

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Fourth of July Party Recipes, Ideas, & General Insanity

Every year on Instagram Stories I share photos from our friend’s insanely over-the-top party for the Fourth of July. And each year we gets tons of requests for a post with all the photos and links to the recipes she uses, so we’re finally giving the people what they want. Our friend Justine has been hosting these backyard soirees for years – and the only way to describe them would be: EXTRA. And we love her for it. She and her husband John basically just throw this huge party every year for all of us to gather and hang out with our kids and each other. It’s such a great time of year to get together (not as hard with schedules as things around the holidays for example) and when the party ends, her prep for the following year begins. Just kidding. But maybe not…

Let’s dive right in. Each year she sets up a sun tent and decorates it to create a makeshift photo booth with some fabric, sparkly red tulle, and a banner along the back.

Now lean into your screen and really soak up this next sentence, because the success of a DIY photobooth hinges on this single solitary tip: SHE HAS THE BEST PROPS. Every July there are more of them on the little table off to the side for us to choose from. This year there were wigs and beards in addition to all of the oversized glasses and hats and giant inflatable gloves. She says whenever she sees something on sale after the 4th she grabs it for next year, so that’s how the collection keeps growing.

It should come as no surprise to longtime readers that Justine is the one who, instead of a traditional baby gift, offered to make the cupcakes for our daughter’s 4th birthday party (just a few weeks after our son was born). She turned out the most amazing stack of custom decorated treats. BECAUSE SHE ONLY HAS ONE PARTY MODE AND IT’S BEAST MODE. Which explains why she can’t resist large inflatable presidents to greet guests on the hanging daybed on her back porch, for example.

Yes, all of the kids tackled them and smacked each other with them in the yard. And yes it was hilarious.

She also made this cute wooden sign a few years ago that comes out each July. It says things like “food”, “waterslide”, “drinks”, “photobooth”, etc. Are you thinking “this party is almost like a wedding!” – because if so, you are starting to get it. It has snowballed, so every year she has so many things to break out that feel festive and hilarious and even more over the top than the year before. At this point the party momentum cannot be stopped and can only be appreciated with an Abraham-Lincoln hat-tip, which of course is on the prop table.

Speaking of fun, she always rents a two story waterslide for the kids (and the adults, once we have enough jello shooters) because… well, SHE IS THAT DEDICATED TO FUN. The waterslide really takes things to the next level when you record slow-mo videos of other adults attempting tricks like barrel rolls and flips. Five stars, would recommend.

As for other things to do, there are epic cornhole tournaments – and in case it wasn’t obvious, much like Puffy demands that everyone wear white to his parties, Justine demands that we wear red, white, and blue to her gathering each year. There’s even a series of prizes for certain costume categories (we had a big winner in our family this year when it came to an extremely patriotic swimsuit & towel combo).

This is Justine-the-host’s outfit. THAT’S AT LEAST FIVE HUNDRED FLAIR POINTS, GUYS. She decorated those flip-flips herself with ribbon. I know. Commitment level: 1000.

There’s also a leather sofa in the middle of the grass. Obviously for photo ops and general hanging out. It’s pretty much full of people the entire night long. It also makes for a great place to spectate/heckle the cornhole players.

Justine also does things like rolling silverware in bandanas and tying them with twine BECAUSE THAT’S WHO SHE IS AS A PERSON. She actually confessed to me that each year she has a ton of these left over, so they’re not that high maintenance. Note: her definition of high maintenance might be slightly different than other people’s based on her ALL IN level of party-throwing.

The food is always fun and we actually do a pot luck thing so it’s not too much on Justine & John’s shoulders. We each bring a side dish for everyone to share and meat for our own family for the grill. Also, note the sock and shoe combination here. Just saying. We do not mess around when it comes to our costumes.

Since around 20-30 people come each year, there’s always a giant amount of food – and a lot of it ends up being themed. Blue corn chips with red salsa for example, or this bean dip with little olives and tomatoes to make a flag (it’s just a layer of refried beans, a layer of guacamole, a layer of cheese, and a layer of sour cream with the tomatoes and olives on top).

These mozzarella, basil, and tomato skewers are another example of the good eats that feel sort of themed (the blueberries add some blue, right?). Add some salt and pepper, drizzle them with balsamic glaze, and thank me later 😉

We always bring what I affectionately call “pigs in a blanket,” which I’ve learned are called “Lil’ Smokies” here in Virginia. Still getting used to that name. The kids love them though – they’re always completely gone by the end of the night.

The drinks are also, to borrow a term from Lil’ Wayne: “off the chain.” These are jello shooters, for example – and the cherry is so clever because if you pull the stem it lifts the shooter out of the cup so you can suck it down and remark how amazing the hostess is. Here is a kid-friendly recipe without any alcohol (just add vodka if you want them to be true jello shots).

Justine also made these awesome red, white, and blue smoothies for the kids – all of whom raved about them except for one non-fruit-loving child. Let the record state that cute straws and the little jelly jars are the key to a ridiculous amount of serving flare, so do with that information what you will.

And you can’t have a big ol’ gathering without red, white, and blue margaritas for the grown ups. It should be noted that because I helped in the kitchen, these weren’t as beautiful as they should have been. We think if we added more ice to thicken them that the red, white, and blue layers would have been more distinct. But as Justine’s husband John so eloquently stated, “we were going for margarita speed over margarita perfection.” Here’s the recipe for ya.

One of the biggest reveals of the night (there are usually 3-5 of these surprises because JUSTINE DOES NOT MESS AROUND) were these waffle cones that she had individually decorated with red white and blue melted chocolate and sprinkles. THE KIDS WENT HAM FOR THESE.

Also, I thought her use of the teal blue milk crates was so adorable and asked if she saw that on Pinterest and she said she had been standing in her daughter’s room and looked at them and thought “those would be perfect for my cones!” which floored me. I mean this woman clearly has her own version of Pinterest running in her brain 24/7.

One other thing on the menu that I would definitely highly recommend was this amazing dessert called “Berry Lasagne” that Justine whipped up:

Yes, that’s a white chocolate drizzle that she added right before bringing it out. And let the record state that any party that required me to drizzle white chocolate during the actual party would lead to me breathing into a paper bag in the kitchen, but Justine just has that party expert gene. Here’s the recipe for the berry lasagne, and here’s a shot of it all sliced and served on a patriotic plate:

After all the food and drinks (and competitive watersliding), we gather on the back porch and the patio to watch the fireworks that Justine’s husband John takes a ton of pride in.

Every year they get bigger and more insane (they’re legal here in Virginia for all of the Northerners wondering – I had to get used to that when I moved to VA). There’s always a fire extinguisher nearby and it only had to be used one epic time when the table very slowly caught fire after the fireworks ended.

So that’s Justin & John’s completely over-the-top and SO MUCH FUN annual party. Hope the recipes and photos come in handy for anyone else who is walking around with their own personal Pinterest running through their brain. I always get a little mushy during the fireworks because it’s so rare to get together with friends and family that you love – so it’s such a treat to have these awesomely festive and completely committed friends to get us all in one place to enjoy each other’s company every year. WE LOVE YOU J&J! Thanks for ALL THE MEMORIES (and all the photobooth props).

P.S. Wanna see the most extra thing I’ve ever done for a patriotic party? Here’s a watermelon trick I learned years ago (John looks like a baby in that first picture). 

P.P.S. Did you know that we send out what basically ends up being a bonus blog post each week?! Sign up for our free weekly emails to get them delivered right to your inbox. 

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How to Dramatically Change the Appearance of Your Home through Painting

One of the perks of being a homeowner is that you always can think of gazillion ways to alter, improve, or remodel your living space. Even though you felt like everything about your home was perfect back when you first moved in, you now feel there is a dire need for change. But the problem is doing a major refresh means spending a lot of money. You think of some minor and gradual improvements like buying a new couch, replacing the carpet, or re-arranging furniture. But all of them do not really qualify as legitimate transformation. What you are after is something that dramatically changes the appearance of your home, but without shelling out hundreds of dollars.

bedroom paint

You may not agree with it at first, but the solution to your predicament is actually quite simple: paint. If you want to change the ambiance or feel in your home, painting it is a surefire way of doing that, minus the pricey investment. If the idea is to give your living room or kitchen a new look, you can easily do that by picking a completely unique, even contrasting color.

With paint, you can even transform your living space into something that feels bigger inside. Some homeowners have a lot of clutter inside but they no longer notice it because they’ve gotten used to the mess. But if you get rid of the clutter and try out some new paint colors that make you room or place appear bigger, you will be amazed by the result.

Different Layers and Shades

The best thing about painting as a solution to changing how your living space looks and feels is that you can experiment with different layers and shades with very little risk involved. Thankfully, you’ve got a lot of walls surrounding the rooms, which means you can use it as some sort of canvas to experiment on which color best suits the interior space. It is a case of trial and error, but you eventually will find the right color. If you feel like your living room or dining area is boring or lethargic, picking a bright, active, and energetic color will make tangible improvements. If you do not feel calm and relaxed in your own bedroom, that might change by painting it with a color that represents serenity, calmness, and relaxation.

Do Not Hesitate to Experiment

Money is not the primary investment in painting your home, commitment is. If you really are serious about dramatically changing the appearance of your home, both in and out, you should prepare yourself to channel the inner artist in you. In other words, do not hesitate to experiment. After all, you’re the one who feels like things must change in your surroundings. Of course, the term “experiment” does not mean you just go all out without carefully considering the steps you take. For instance, you cannot buy a boatload of paint of the same color if you haven’t even tried it. The first thing you should do is paint a small area in your house with the color you choose. If you feel like it’s the right paint color, move on to bigger picture. If it isn’t, look for another one.

Hire the Pros If You Lack the Confidence (or Experience)

Finally, both interior and exterior painting projects require a high level of commitment. It means you ought to put in the time and effort in it for the project to succeed. So, if you want some change on how your home looks, but you do not have the confidence in doing it yourself, you are certainly better off hiring professional painting contractors. There’s no shame in it.

The post How to Dramatically Change the Appearance of Your Home through Painting appeared first on Fast n Clean Painters.

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California DPR Copper-based Antifouling Paint and Coating Restrictions Now in Effect


The California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) new restrictions on copper-based Antifouling Paint and Coating Restrictions have become effective as of July 1, 2018.

Adopted Jan. 1, 2018, Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations (3 CCR section 6190, “Copper-based Antifouling Paints and Coatings”) was amended to provide:

  • DPR will not approve new applications for registration of copper-based antifouling paints or coatings for use in California on recreational vessels where the adjusted daily mean copper release rate exceeds 9.5 micrograms per square centimeter per day.
  • Any copper-based antifouling paint or coating pesticide product that is currently registered for use in California on recreational vessels where the adjusted daily mean copper release rate exceeds 9.5 micrograms per square centimeter per day is subject to cancellation pursuant to Food and Agricultural Code section 12825.

In January 2018, DPR informed all registrants with copper-based antifouling paint and coating pesticide products that exceed the maximum release rate, of their options for compliance and the approaching deadline. According to DPR, over 90 currently registered copper-based antifouling paints and coatings comply with the maximum release rate.

DPR has stated that it is in the process of reviewing all currently registered copper-based antifouling paints and coatings to determine which products are subject to cancellation as of July 1, 2018. Following this review, DPR will initiate proceedings to cancel the registrations of all non-compliant copper-based antifouling paint and coating pesticide products, regardless of whether the registrant has submitted data for DPR’s review.

More information on DPR’s Reevaluation Program is available at

Contact ACA’s Allen Irish or Raleigh Davis for more information.

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IPPIC Partners with World Ocean Council to Present Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) Session on Biofouling and Invasive Species


The International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC) is partnering with the World Ocean Council (WOC) to present a special session at WOC’s 2018 Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS). The 2018 SOS will be held November 14–16 at the New World Millennium Hotel in Hong Kong.

The IPPIC-led session, “Biofouling and Invasive Aquatic Species: The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project – Opportunities for Business Collaboration and Implementation,” will examine how the ocean business community – particularly ship owners and operators –  can act to manage biofouling and mitigate the threat of invasive species. IPPIC member companies are leaders in creating innovative and effective products that control or minimize biofouling, and which foster good hull-management practices in the global shipping fleet. Both IPPIC and WOC have worked to focus attention on biofouling, including its potential to serve as a vector for the introduction of invasive species and the significant threat to ocean biodiversity that this can pose.

A major international initiative to address biofouling – the GloFouling Project – is being launched with WOC as the lead implementer for engaging ocean industry action with and through key organizations, including IPPIC, which is a strategic partner of the initiative. The project is a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and is intended to help protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive aquatic species. The GloFouling project focuses on preventing the transfer of aquatic species through biofouling on ships’ underwater hull and structures.

The development of innovative coatings that control biofouling on ships, offshore structures, and other key infrastructure involves not only technical research hurdles, but also a host of regulatory challenges producers must face bringing these products to market. Coatings researchers must balance the requirement for products that not only control biofouling effectively, but which do so in a way that is cognizant of the need to minimize ancillary environmental damage, including harm to other species that are not implicated in fouling. In this way, coatings scientists must balance the need for effective treatments while avoiding harm to the marine environment.

The IPPIC-led session fits the summit’s 2018 theme, “Ocean Sustainable Development – Connecting Asia and the World,” and is intended to advance action by considering:

  • The GloFouling Initiative and the role of coatings in preventing invasive species;
  • Role of coatings in greenhouse gas reduction and greener shipping;
  • Regulatory and other challenges to effective biofouling management; and
  • The emergence of the maritime sector in China and how it impacts the market for antifouling technologies.

The SOS 2018 will assemble ocean industry CEOs to consider the future of the ocean business, provide projections on growth of the ocean economy, bring together women leaders in the maritime sector and Young Ocean Professionals, address port resiliency, sustainable fishing and aquaculture, energy from the ocean, marine pollution, marine biodiversity, and increasing ocean knowledge through industry data collection – and other topics critical to the Sustainable Development goals.

To learn more about the 2018 SOS or register, visit

IPPIC and its members have long been leaders promoting effective biofouling management on a global level. In addition to its research and development activities to provide products to the global maritime industry, IPPIC has been a key contributor at the IMO, developing a biofouling management structure and template to help ship owners and operators put in place an effective biofouling management plan. IPPIC also works with business organizations, other non-governmental organizations, and all levels of government to help develop smart regulation of biofouling and hull management tools and products.

IPPIC is comprised of members representing associations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. The Secretariat position is currently served by the American Coatings Association. IPPIC provides a forum for information exchange and cooperation on the major issues and priorities facing the paint and printing ink industries worldwide. For information about IPPIC and the activities it is involved in on behalf of the global paint and coatings industry, go to

Contact ACA’s Allen Irish for more information.


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Colorado to Develop Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) and Consumer Product Rules


On June 4, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register additional air quality designations for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA officially designated 51 areas as non-attainment zones.

NAAQS are standards for outdoor ambient air that are intended to protect public health and welfare from pollution. These non-attainment states will likely adopt more stringent coating Volatile Organic Carbon (VOC) regulations in the future.

Accordingly, Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment has developed a Consumer Products and Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) regulations website, which notes that it intends to initiate an AIM VOC and Consumer Product rulemaking process in September 2018 and likely adopt final regulations in 2019.

Colorado has been reviewing both the California and Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) AIM and Consumer Product regulations as a model for its rule. ACA has urged Colorado to adopt the OTC Phase I AIM VOC rule given that Colorado has similar cold weather challenges as the northeast states.

If your company manufactures and/or distribute AIM or Consumer Products in Colorado and are interested in these rulemaking activities, please consider joining the ACA AIM VOC and Consumer Product Committees.

Contact ACA’s David Darling for more information.

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