LivingHome Home & DIY Resources Archive Tech Tools

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On Daybreak USA, August 20, 2014. All About Makerspaces

Q. What are Makerspaces?

A. There’s a trend called the Maker Culture that is sweeping the country with actual places where you can go to create DIY projects called Makerspaces. The key to these places are their high tech tools which you could never afford for your home workshop. This includes 3D printers, computer guided router tools, laser cutters and etching tools, and full woodworking shops.

Q. How does someone find a maker space and get involved?

A. There is a Web site called that currently has a directory of about 250 makerspaces, so most large and mid-size cities will have at least one place. And they charge monthly memberships or one-time fees to learn the equipment and do your own projects. Memberships range from about $40 a month to $200 for that serious DIY’ers who are making things for a business, like creating projects to sell on Etsy

Q. So how fast is the trend growing?

What’s interesting is that some big companies are stepping up to sponsor or host events and spaces.

For instance, the software maker Autodesk acquired Instructables, an online community of makers. And General Electric is hosting what it calls GE Garages, temporary workspaces. Even the  government is getting involved. The U.S. Department of Defense has formed a partnershi with TechShop, a national chain of maker workshops.

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On Daybreak Radio, August 13, 2014: New innovations in power tools, when two is better than one

Daybreak Host Jay and I talked about some recent innovations in power tools. What’s on tap?

The overall theme was that most power tools like reciprocating saws and oscillating sanders are designed to be tough and fast in cutting through or smoothing materials, but not finessing the results with clean cuts or super smooth surfaces. But, a company called Dual Tools got in touch with me about solving these problems with two blades for the saw and two heads for the sander.

How do the two blades work. It might actually sound kind of scary or dangerous.

Well, what’s cool is the dual blades on the saw move back and forth in unison. This is called a counter action and I like to think of it like a two bladed razor. The first one makes a cut in the material and immediately the second one smooths the first cut to prevent splintering and breaking.

As for the sander, here’s how two heads work for it.

Usually swirls marks are created anytime you use a sander that has a singular rotating motion. Meaning you have to keep moving the sander around to get rid of the swirl marks.

But with two counter rotating heads you get a smooth finish in fewer passes over materials like wood, brass, stainless steel, painted and polished surfaces and with wood you eliminate the tendency to actually burn and mark the wood.

Find more on these Dual Tools innovations here.

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Kim Garretson, LivingHome’s director, now is a frequent guest on PopTechRadio


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LivingHome founder Kim Garretson now appears weekly as the home improvement and home technology expert on the 65-station network carrying the Daybreak USA show. 

This week I’ll be talking about a new way to get your kids involved and active in DIY projects at a young age via At the site are simple projects with safe tools, social sharing of completed projects, and sew on patches for a job well done. Start your kids now, and then move them up to learning how to use your power tools as helpers for bigger projects. And teach them design software tools so they can be the ‘architects’ of your home improvement projects.

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LivingHome relaunches in 2014 as a home living service. This will be the fourth relaunch of LH since it debuted in 1994 as the Web’s first home living magazine. In 1995, powered the first relaunch as a sponsored digital media service for its first Web site, called The Hub, and actor Martin Sheen voiced the intro “LivingHome is brought to you by Toyota. I love what you do for me.”

In 1997, Home and Garden Television (HGTV) partnered with LivingHome for the first hybrid CD-ROM/Web home living magazine. The CD-Rom was sold at Barnes & Noble and included 60 minutes of video clips from HGTV with interactive tools on the disk and Web from LivingHome. Sponsors included Toyota, Pella Windows, Frigidaire, and MCI. The New York Times listed LivingHome as one of the best Home Sites in ‘97.

In 2000, LivingHome was named the “Top Pick” in the Dream Home category by USA Today Weekend (see image above). We were similarly honored in 2001.

In 2001, LivingHome developed the first-ever all video broadband channel for an ISP’s premier content offering. Our Time Warner Cable broadband channel featured several hundred video clips plus great home living content.

In 2008, LivingHome began focusing on emerging home-related online and mobile apps. We also featured curated content on digital options for home enhancement, such as download-to-print high resolution images from the Web.

Now, in 2014, the new LivingHome takes the next step in its evolution with a content and services focus on technology advancements for Web, mobile, social and local usage that let homeowners save time and make smarter decisions in enhancing life at their homes.