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posted: 7/6/2013 12:01 AM

Real finds for DIYers

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By Dwight Barnett

Here are few of the items I found that might be pleasing to DIYers.

When I'm working by myself I often find the need for an extra set of hands or a jig to support the longer pieces of lumber I need to cut or just to hold in place while I secure it. Rockwell's latest workshop addition is the versatile JawStand XP, and it truly is just like a second set of hands.

The JawStand XP sits on a tripod base with an extendible and maneuverable clamping head that can be rotated up to 90 degrees for working on odd pieces of stock. In the past I would custom-build a platform to hold the stock while I cut it. Now you, too, can do away with building and storing that extra set of hands called a jig. JawStand XP is available online for less than $60.

The Energizer LED 3-in-1 Tripod Light is a very handy and powerful flashlight, at 150 lumens, that operates off four standard AA batteries. The tubular body of the flashlight lights up on one side to illuminate your work area. The light also has the standard forward-facing lamp that can be dimmed simply by pressing and holding the "on" button. On the other side of the body are two holding legs that, when extended, allow the light to be aimed at your project and then left standing hands-free. You can also pivot the front lamp 90 degrees to better focus the work light directly on your project. The LED 3-in-1 Tripod Light retails for under $30 and is available online at Amazon.com and other online retail stores.

Now here is a tool I use every day as a home inspector: The Skil 360 Quick-Select, 4-volt Lithium Ion screwdriver. I have used several different brands, shapes and sizes of battery-operated screwdrivers in the past, but I always needed to have at hand an assortment of screwdriver bits and tips for varying situations. I might need a standard screwdriver point one minute and a Phillips head the next. With the 360 Quick-Select by Skil, I now have 12 of the most popular assorted bits incorporated in one tool. The rotating barrel-shaped bit-storage compartment is illuminated for ease of selection, and the lithium ion battery can be charged from any USB port on cellphones, computers or car chargers so you are never without power. It fits easily in my pocket so I no longer have to carry a heavy nickel cadmium battery tool again.

Ever drop a screw or small part of something you're working on and then spend untold minutes looking for the part so you could finish the project? Here is a tool that can help. The HandyBand is a series of very strong magnets arranged in an expandable wristband that you secure to your wrist or elsewhere on your arm with Velcro fasteners. The HandyBand holds metal screws, bolts, nuts, nails, brads, pins, etc. until you need them. From working on automobiles to hobby projects, the HandyBand will be, well, "handy." It retails for under $15 and is available only online at Handy-Band.com. Please remember to keep strong magnets away from TV sets, cellphones and other electronic devices.

• Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Write to him with home improvement questions at d.Barnett@insightbb.com.

Scripps Howard News Service

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