1.Baron Fig Confidant Hardcover Notebook- This notebook is my go-to for estimating and taking notes. Its got a lot of awesome features but these are the two most important to me. First of all it opens flat. Seems pretty simple but if you’ve had a non-spiral notebook before you know its a constant battle of bending and manipulating to keep the thing open which is particularly difficult while juggling tape measurers and other tools while working on an estimate. This notebook holds itself open and eliminates that issue. The other feature I find most important is the quality of the paper. As a contractor my stuff tends to get beat up a bit and quality is huge to stand the test of time. These books have over 100 pages in them and they hold up until the very last. I’m super pleased with these notebooks and will continue using them in the future.
2. Silicone Wedding Ring- These rings have proven to be amazing for me in many ways. When I married my lovely wife Aly, I chose a solid carbide ring and wore it for about 4 years. I absolutely loved the looks of it but not the side affects that come about with it. First of all safety is a major concern when in an industry like the construction trades. We have all heard the horror stories of people getting the skin pulled off of their finger when their ring catches on something or worse, a total loss of the finger. Well luckily thats never happened to me. The second concern witch is less graphic but actually what made me make the change I noticed during tile installation. When grabbing a full 24” marble tile from a box my carbide ring bumped into the edge of a tile and chipped it causing me to remove my ring for the rest of the installation. Then I started looking into different options. Thats when I discovered silicone rings. I’m not going to mention any specific brand names because I opted for the super cheap 4 pack of multi colored silicone rings on amazon.com. They have been amazing. No more chipped tiles and if it catches on anything it will either snap or just move out of the way. I highly recommend this style of ring to anyone that works with their hands and has the potential for safety concerns.
3. Timber-mate Wood Filler- Ive tried out many different wood fillers from paint stores, box stores, and elsewhere. I saw this product on Instagram being used by multiple floor finishers and had to give it a shot. Its superior to other wood fillers in several ways that I’ll address. The first is its workability. It’s easy to ball up in your hand and dab into nail/screw holes with your finger as opposed to using a putty knife. Next is the stain-ability. It takes stain very well and matches pigments nicely. Ive had other fillers lack in this department causing a contrast that is less than attractive. Lastly is its non-shrinking and ease of sanding. Since the products dries so quickly it can be sanded usually in just a couple hours after application and when you’re finished sanding you don’t see cracks from shrinkage that are usually apparent with other products. It’s pretty cheap, Made in Australia, and available pre-tinted to many common wood species if you’re working on a raw wood project.
4. Festool RO90 Sander- When I was booking a lot of intricate wood refinishing jobs such as a red oak stair case and railings and a 150 year old pine floor with small closets, tight corners, and other restricted areas I reached out to a buddy on Instagram by the name of @Toolaholic (Keifer Limeback) to ask what sander setup he recommended. He turned me onto the Festool Rotex 90mm sander with CT MIDI dust extractor as his go to for detail sanding work. So as I usually do when Keifer recommends tools that I’m in need of I took the plunge and purchased it. After recovering from the initial sticker-shock on the $1,100 price tag I couldn't be any happier with the purchase. It’s the best sander I have ever put my hands on and the CT MIDI dust extractor is unmatched in quality and performance. In Rotex mode with 40 grit sanding pads the RO90 chewed right through multiple layers of very old oil-based paint and exposed the beautiful yellow pine underneath. And the dust extractor works so well that the sanding pads last much longer than a standard box store sanding unit with dust bag. If you're looking to step up your sanding game and spare yourself some fatigue while doing so then I urge you to try out one of the Festool Rotex sanders. They come in 90mm, 125mm, and 150mm. The RO90 is the only one that comes with a Delta head that can achieve corner sanding which is why I started with it. But i’m sure over the next year or so I will complete the entire collection of Rotex.
5. Joe Rogan Experience Podcast- When you’re working on a job site with loud tools and other distractions its often good to wear earplugs or in my case earbuds. And when I’m not listening to punk-rock I’m usually listening to podcasts. And one of my favorite podcasts to listen to is The Joe Rogan Experience. Joe Rogan is a comedian, MMA commentator, Hunter, and modern day philosopher. His insights are unique and his guests range from every walk of life. This weeks guests were fellow comedian Bill Burr on episode #909, serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk on episode #910, and the most entertaining of the week was episode #911 with radio host Alex Jones and jiujitsusu black belt Eddie Bravo. If you’re looking for an interesting take on life as well as motivation to make your self the best person you can be, I highly recommend checking out the JRE.