Feb 25, 2009

Sanding sucks! But not anymore.

FlexEdge system

Don't let the polished exterior of the FlexEdge fool you. Beneath lurks raw genius design. The guys at Full Circle International are known to be over-the-top when it comes to intuitive tools for our trade and the FlexEdge Multi-Layered Sanding Tool is no exception. I would have been happy if these guys designed a pole sander that simply had hook & loop but that’s not how these guys think, they don't stop there. The FlexEdge sander was clearly designed to eliminate all the shortcomings of traditional pole sanders with additional benefits.

There's an unwritten rule that states, "To be considered a professional painter, you must tweak every aspect of your craft." That means not only choosing the right combination of product, equipment and tools but also tailoring your systems to perform the way you want them to, not the other way around. After all, you built your business off the successful steps you made no matter how big or small, so why should you stop there.

Designed to compliment the Radius 360ยบ, the FlexEdge system handles a variety of sanding challenges with everything you need to take on corners, tight angles, outlets, bumps, and more.

Features: Aluminum Head, 2 Abrasive Pad Options, Hook & Loop Pad Design, Pressure Pad, 1/4” Foam Pad, Flex Paper, Flex Foam and a No Flip Design. Are you serious? What else can you ask for?

Benefits: What I liked besides the effectiveness and versatility of the multi-layered FlexEdge System is the optional FX4 Lightweight Pole. Weighing only a mere 13.1 oz., this lightweight rigid 1¼” diameter pole coupled with the FlexEdge head provides a lightweight solution to reduce sanding fatigue. The FX4 has a nice comfortable rubber hand grip, you’ll like rolling walls with it too. You can really move fast with this system. I insist you head over to Full Circle International and watch some videos of the complete sanding system and see how it can benefit your productivity in more ways than you can imagine.

FX4 Pole by Full Circle International recom_01 - sm

Feb 16, 2009

10 Prep Products I can’t Live Without

by Jack Pauhl

PWC Jan-Feb09

Be sure to check out my Top 10 Prep Products I Can’t Live Without in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of PWC Painting & Wallcovering Contractor magazine. You may be required to log in.

It’s FREE. You can subscribe to PWC Magazine here.

The Full Circle Sanding System

The Full Circle System
Be sure to check out Full Circle International for the complete sanding system. Products designed to do specific tasks the way they were meant to be done, fast and effectively.

Feb 12, 2009

Tapered Chiseled Tip Precision Brushes

Some corners you just don’t cut!

Precision brushes offer many advantages over those that are not such as fast accurate tapeless cuts with many other benefits. The sole ability to be free from masking tape not only saves money but also countless labor hours. A precision brush allows you to cut farther, faster, more accurately and more easily. Many guys think a brush is a personal preference but I don’t. A brush is simply capable or not capable of doing certain things (PERIOD). Are racing tires going to perform well in snow? I do however think a brush handle can be a personal preference. So, all that said, is it your personal preference to be handicapped by your brushes inability to do great things for you and make your life easier? It may be, but if your goal - like mine - is to maximize every damn second on the job and earn top dollar for your hard work then you need one.

All brushes have learning curves, all of them. What you may or may not know about your cutting-style is that you probably nurse your current brush and manipulate it to do what you need it too. You have grown accustom to working the brush instead of the brush working for you. I won’t argue that you can’t get the job done, eventually - but a precision brush will increase your production rates substantially. I study watching other painters manipulate a brush to get a straight line – all the constant repositioning is eating up your time. I’ve seen guys take multiple loads of paint and reposition a brush a few dozen times simply cutting the side of a casing. I had the whole casing cut in the time it took some of them to cut 18”.

So let me ask you this... Can you take a single load of paint and cut the side of a stained casing in one swift stroke accurately with your current brush? If you can then great but if you cant... keep reading.

tapered_tip01

How to determine precision capable brushes 
Take a look at the photo above, one brush stands out as thinner, sharper and more tapered and beveled than the other three. A precision brush will be non-flagged with various tapered filament lengths, chiseled tips, ability to pick up and release paint smoothly with a load capacity to go 7’ (the side of a casing) while staying sharp and true to the line you cut. A precision paint brush with optimum hold capacity can allow you to take a single load of paint and cut a sharp edge over a distance of 7’ accurately in one swift stroke (without) repositioning the brush. That is what a professional precision brush is capable of much like a studless Blizzak tire is capable of stopping and cornering on ice better than any other tire on the market. Those tires are designed to do specific things well.

Blend of Filaments A general purpose precision brush for latex and acrylics will often have a blend of two filament types, nylon and polyester. The percentage of the blend, the overall profile of the brush and the taper ratios indicates the suitability, capability and performance of the brush over various surfaces using various products.

tapered_tip03

Filament Lengths Just because a brush has various filament lengths doesn't mean it will be a precision brush as you can see in the photo above, again one brush stands out as sharper, more beveled and a chisel profile vs. the other three. Thumb through the filaments. The filaments should have various lengths that combined offer a chisel profile to the brush as you can see on the brush (far right). Paint is held in the center of the brush as well as the tapered tips. Filaments with equal dimension along its length are “level” filaments. Filaments with a diameter larger at one end (the butt) than the other are “tapered” filaments. Snap a sharp round double-ended toothpick in half, this is similar to a tapered filament. Notice all the various filament lengths in the brush below.

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Tapered Chiseled Tips Filaments will be thick at the butt with precision tapered tips that release paint gradually, evenly and smoothly. Chiseled tips provide substantially sharp cuts in comparison to flagged tips. In addition, a brush with a rounded-off profile can’t and never will be as sharp as one cut blunt at the end. Would a steak knife be as sharp if it had a rounded edge? What happens with rounded profile brushes is this – the hump or convex profile becomes a handicap and serves as a pivot point not allowing adequate contact of the filaments on the outer edge of the brush to make good sharp contact with an edge, the result being – constant repositioning of the brush as you try to reposition the center cluster of filaments to be out of the way to cut close to something.

Over time a paint brush will automatically develop a convex or triangular shape due to excessive wear depending on how often you alternate the brush while cutting, it’s at this time the brush should be replaced as it’s sharpness is drastically reduced.

tapered_tip002 Taper Ratio characterized by noting the ratio of the thick to the thin diameter of a filament. Standard synthetic tapered filaments are found in ratios such as 15⁄10, 12⁄8, and 9⁄5 where the numbers reference the diameter in thousandths of an inch (mils).

Hold Capacity To go a distance of 7’ with one load it must have large hold capacity somewhat determined by the size of the wood plug in the center of the brush that creates a cavity to hold paint. To determine this, pinch the filaments about ½” from the base of the ferrule, the less dense the more hold capacity. You would think by looking at the photo above the first three brushes would have greater hold capacity over the one on the far right. Not always true, while all four brushes are equal in thickness at the butt (above the shiny metal) the filaments are thin allowing more paint to set in the same area. Take two bowls full with equal amounts of water, place a golf ball in one and a tennis ball in the other. The tennis ball obviously will make the water overflow more than the golf ball.

Sharpness The sharpness of a brush is determined by the various filament lengths, taper ratios and overall quantity of the filaments. Determine the sharpness of a brush by pinching the brush ¼” up from the tapered tips. Sharp brushes will produce a blade-like tip when you pinch. In addition, if you were to take your finger and touch the tips while you have them pinched, they will feel sharp like needles. Its this sharpness that I believe is what makes a true precision brush capable of fast accurate cuts that maintain a constant solid wet edge.

sharp brush

Quality Filaments DuPont’s CHINEX, TYNEX and OREL

CHINEX is (S-R-T) Solid Round Tapered self-flagging modified soft nylon with an irregular surface, more expensive than polyester, stays stiffer longer, better shape and stiffness retention, cleans nicely, long brush life, abrasion resistance 7 times greater than natural china bristle and low moisture absorption.

TYNEX is nylon type 612 and softer than CHINEX with twice the abrasion resistance of OREL.

OREL is polyester, offers stiffness retention and bend recovery, three times the abrasion resistance of hog bristle.

Each are quality filament types found in brushes with their own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Some brushes use a blend of one, two or three of these filament types to make a brush unique with specific characteristics and features.

Looking for the DuPont S-R-T name on a brush is by no means an indicator of a great brush. While the filaments are quality - the blend of filaments – the various filament lengths – the cut and taper ratios make or break a brushes precision characteristics and what the brush is capable of or best suited for.

Tynex® is a registered trademark of DuPont for its brand of nylon filament. Only DuPont makes Tynex®.

Purdy® Cageless Frame 754009-1

Purdy Cageless FrameThe new Purdy Cageless Roller Frame is 22% lighter than the leading 5-wire roller frame and a damn good frame that does double duty. I am all about using fast and reliable product with multiple advantages. I don't roll rooms in 10 mins or so because I’ve been painting forever – it takes great product too.

Purdy first introduced this cageless frame for 1 1/2” cores back in June 2008 and its becoming more and more popular. When the first 1 3/4” cageless frames came out years ago as part of the Purdy PRO-EXTRA Series, I knew a standard nine had to follow.

purdy cageless closeNylon-fitted bearings provide smooth rolling, a hexagon spring tension ring ensures roller covers fit securely on the frame and the aluminum-alloy construction is lightweight yet durable.
Purdy Cageless GripPurdy replaced the wooded handle found on the original 1 3/4” cageless frames with a nice contoured,  rubberized ribbed comfortable grip if and when you ever need to handle the frame on its own. This is the kind of grip I’d like to see on their extension poles.
Purdy CloseUp six prongFeatures an integrated six-pin ferrule which securely snaps into a matching receptacle on the QuickFit™ Extension Pole.
Purdy CloseUp Inset -800 The rigid Purdy Cageless Frame is best paired with the QuickFit™ or PRO-EXTRA Extension Poles which both feature a 1-touch, JiffyLoc™ release system allowing users to hot-swap roller-cover frames on the fly, enabling painters to complete entire projects faster than ever before providing the ultimate rolling experience. You can use this frame with any legacy pole but why would you do that?
DSC_9778_800Mark Eichelberger of Purdy demonstrates attaching a White Dove roller cover to the cageless frame.

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Feb 10, 2009

Purdy PRO-EXTRA Extension Poles 754624

Purdy PRO-EXTRA Extension Pole The Purdy PRO-EXTRA JiffyLoc Extension Pole 754624 is sold as a 2’ – 4’ pole but it’s not.

Length Closed: 24 3/4”
Length Open: 3’ 7” add 3” with the quick-release adapter to be used with the PRO-EXTRA or cageless frames.
Weight: 1lb 6.5oz. Heaviest in its class.

This pole features square aluminum tubing with 6” incremental adjustments enclosed in a fiberglass casing and a firm bulky rubber grip that will rip up your already dry hands. 
JiffylocThe Purdy PRO-EXTRA series extension poles are very rigid and easy to adjust even while rolling without having the roller ever leave the wall! It’s two inches shorter than its competition on legacy frames and a bit heavier.
Purdy Cageless Grip This photo shows the comfort grip on a Purdy Cageless frame. This is the type of grip I would like to see JiffyLoc’d to the extension poles. Having the option to snap a handle on and off like this would make my day. I think a combination between the 6 prong JiffyLoc system and a male plug would make the handle solid.
TIPS: You can modify this pole like I did and punch-out notches anywhere you want one to adjust locking the length. The pole comes standard with 6” inch slots for adjusting. Also you can cut off the black rubber grip and replace it with bike handle bar grips of your choice. Heat the handle bar grip to get it on and use soapy water. The soapy water will evaporate in time. It’s not easy but can be done and worth it in my opinion.

Adding a frame to this pole can easily bring its combined weight to over 2 1/2 lbs. without a loaded roller cover.

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