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News from the HIR Mailbox 3/31/20

Here’s a roundup of the latest news on tool and home-improvement products sent to our mailbox.

Powermatic PM2014 Wood Lathe The PM2014 wood lathe is touted as the most accessible lathe Powermatic has ever introduced. The new lathe brings professional-grade woodworking capabilities within reach of more woodworkers by featuring 115V single-phase power input, easy disassembly for transport, and an adjustable stand (optional). Additional features include a movable control box, digital speed and indexing readout, and anti-rotation tailstock key. The PM2014 is equipped with an inverter that converts 115V, single-phase power input to 230V, three-phase output, making industrial performance accessible wherever a standard 115V outlet is available. Consistent torque is provided so that wood turning does not slow down, even at low speed settings. The lathe handles a variety of projects with ease and precision, from turning custom spindles and table legs to crafting bowls, vases and pens. The PM2014 is driven by a 1HP, 230V motor, capable of managing large or off-balance work pieces. Electronic variable speed ranges include 15-900 RPM, 30-1800 RPM and 60-3600 RPM. Spindle speeds as low as 15 RPM with ample torque are ideal for creating intricate, ornamental turnings. The PM2014 lathe provides 20” working distance between centers and 14” swing over the bed. Visit

Quick Roof Clear Patch Quick Roof Clear Patch from Cofair Products is the perfect patch for homes, RVs, marine vessels, trucks, camping gear, skylights, gutters and more. This incredibly strong adhesive will stop leaks instantly and sticks to almost everything. The Quick Roof Clear Patch is UV resistant for two years of direct sunlight. Visit

Black + Decker Book of Home How-To The new Black + Decker Book of Home How-To arrived at our office for review. It’s a pretty slick and hefty manual for a DIY home-improvement enthusiast. Black + Decker has been publishing how-to manuals for many years, and this new edition serves as a as a collection of “greatest hits” featuring a wide range of improvement and repair projects. The book covers a very practical selection of common fixes and upgrades, and that’s where it really shines. While not every homeowner will tackle a remodeling project, we all must face the occasional repair or replacement. From electrical work and common plumbing solutions to more advanced construction techniques and installation guidance, the manual offers 2,000 helpful color photos and 550 pages of handy advice for the self-reliant homeowner. This book gets our seal of approval. Visit

New Reinforced Paperless Drywall Tape FibaFuse MAX is an innovative, reinforced paperless drywall tape. The porous design allows joint compound to flow through the tape for a stronger bond, eliminating bubbles and blisters. The blue reinforcement layer features a tri-directional construction that provides crack resistance in multiple directions and prevents accidental tearing of the tape on inside corners. FibaFuse MAX can be used in automatic taping tools or by hand on factory and butt-end joints, inside corners and for patch and repair. Visit

Gate All-in-One Video Smart Lock Gate’s motion-activated camera streams real-time video to your smartphone, so you know who your visitors are at all times. Never worry about sharing or losing keys again, because Gate lets you assign and manage personalized PIN codes for people you trust to grant access without a key. With Gate’s two-way audio, you can welcome guests or give last-minute instructions to a service provider. Anytime the keypad is used, Gate sends you a text message. The system operates on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and installation is easy, requiring no drilling or wiring. Visit

Garage Gator Storage Lifts Garage Gator motorized lifts from Proslat install easily and maximize ceiling space in home garages. Once installed, all that’s needed is a click of a button by the homeowner to easily hoist large sporting equipment, Christmas trees, kayaks or other oversized items into a secure ceiling space. The motorized lifts make it easy to gain constant access to stored items without ladders or hassles. The lifts hold up to 220 pounds and are available in several options that include a range of weight-bearing capacities and utilities. Garage Gator kits can be ordered direct from the company at

VELUX Active VELUX Active with Natatmo, the smartphone-controlled skylight automation system, is now compatible with Google Assistant. The system allows homeowners to easily achieve a healthier indoor climate in their homes by automating when their skylights open and close to create air flow, and when skylight blinds extend for light control. Since homes are built tighter allowing for less air exchange from the outside, homeowners often breathe air polluted by everyday activities like cooking, cleaning and bathing. VELUX Active automated skylights are designed to help combat negative side effects of an indoor lifestyle, such as asthma and allergies. The system connects to an online weather station to monitor outside conditions and uses indoor sensors to monitor temperature, humidity and CO2 levels inside the home. Based on homeowner settings, the system will open the skylights or extend the blinds if doing so improves the conditions inside the home. For example, if the humidity level inside rises above the homeowners’ decided preferences, and it is less humid outside, the system will open the skylights for a short period of time to refresh the air inside. Likewise, the system may also extend the skylight blinds to block light when the outside temperature is high. With Google Assistant, homeowners can voice operate their skylights by simply saying “Hey Google, open my skylights,” or “Hey Google, close my skylight blinds.” They can also set up a schedule for their skylights and blinds to open and close. A rain sensor ensures the skylights close at the first sign of rain. VELUX Active is also compatible with Apple HomeKit. Homeowners can use the smartphone app to control their skylights even if they are away from the house. Visit

Eldorado Stone Eldorado Stone, a Boral brand, adds a new color palette to its popular Loire Valley RoughCut profiles. The multilayered color notes “blend contemporary hues with classic, nature-inspired textures.” From the press release: “Inspired by the French countryside after which it derives its name, Loire Valley RoughCut presents a sophisticated gradient of ivories and muted creams with touches of sand and rust. The bold, hand-formed shapes of RoughCut incorporate embedded, fossilized artifacts on a roughly cleaved, pronounced face to mimic the character of limestone.” Visit

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