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Grayline 40624 2-Tier Satin Nickel Mesh Organizer
Grayline 40624 2-Tier Satin Nickel Mesh Organizer
Price: $24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Product! Oddly-Sized ..., February 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like this more than I thought I might. The construction is excellent. Welds are clean, paint is perfect, everything is cut perfectly to fit. It is a bit heavier-duty than I expected also - noticeably sturdier than some similar-appearing items I've seen in stores. No stray bits of metal to poke or cut you. and the rack comes in a good box, ensuring it arrives without twisting or other damage.

From a functional standpoint, the drawers (or bins) slide smoothly on the rack's rails. The drawers are restrained in the rack such that that they will not fall out, though they are easily slid completely out when needed.

Why 4 and not 5 stars? One reason alone, and that is size. This rack is relatively narrow (side-to-side) and shallow (front-to-back). It is an odd fit in my cabinets ... which are pretty typical ... leaving too much space behind and not being wide enough to hold many items. Moreover, some tall spray cans do not fit into the bottom bin. I then thought I'd use it under the kitchen sink, but it's too WIDE to sit straight because of piping and the disposal!

I'm sure I'll find a home for it - somewhere. It's too good not to use. It's just one of those things that fits where it fits.

Recommended - but check the dimensions!


Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo, 8.5 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo, 8.5 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Price: $14.88
15 used & new from $14.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Shampoo ... with a couple cautions, February 20, 2015
I really like this shampoo. Despite the long list of ingredients, this is shorter (and better) than many. What I like the most is that I can use a VERY small amount to get a spectacular amount of lather and cleaning action. It is really quite amazing. To those who have trouble rinsing it out, my suggestion is to use less ... FAR less.

Which brings me to my cautions. This product, like most on the market, contains parabens and dimethicones. I wish it did not have them, but I've been less than impressed with the so-called natural products I've tried that do not. As I can use SO little of the Neutrogena, that offsets some of that concern.

I also had to hunt for a good conditioner to use with this product, "settling" in the end for a Pureology conditioner (it's not exactly cheap ...). Your mileage will undoubtably vary.


Rose Beads - Everything you need to know about making beads from your wedding and other special occasion flowers
Rose Beads - Everything you need to know about making beads from your wedding and other special occasion flowers
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A well-written instruction book for a traditional craft, February 20, 2015
Although this book is not what I thought it was when I purchased it, it is only fair to rate it as it was intended. What it is is an instruction book on making craft beads FROM flower petals - essentially from making them into a paste and forming them. This is a very old and traditional craft that was used (among other things) as a way to incorporate particularly important flowers, as in wedding bouquets, into permanent keepsakes. Old-fashioned, I suppose, as opposed to more modern - if expensive - alternatives like freeze or chemical drying, or embedding into glass the flower itself.

Still, this is the only in-depth description of the technique that I have come across. And it is well-written and well-illustrated. I think the technique is worth preserving. If this is a craft you are interested in, I highly recommend acquiring a copy of this book. Keep in mind that the resulting beads are not as hard or durable as, say, glass.


QuickDraw 25' Precision Measuring Tape-Contractor Grade, Features Self-Marking Technology, Tru-View Indicator, Nylon Coated Blade
QuickDraw 25' Precision Measuring Tape-Contractor Grade, Features Self-Marking Technology, Tru-View Indicator, Nylon Coated Blade
Price: $19.99
5 used & new from $17.39

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Idea, Bad Implementation, February 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are a lot of things I don't like about this tape and a few things that I do. Disappointing, really, because the product idea is kind of neat. QuickDraw just doesn't QUITE pull it off.

The good: The tape itself is high-quality and dead accurate, and for both outside (pulling the hook) and inside measure (pushing the hook). In itself, that's a huge win. It easily holds the advertised 9' standout and, with care, will make quite a bit more.

The bad: That stout, accurate tape is housed in an *overly* stout case. It's simply bulkier than it needs to be. Not only that, but the fit of the tape in the case is sloppy. You can easily pull the tape out at enough of an angle to throw off the inside measure by a sixteenth if using the guideline built into the case and not the tape itself. That essentially makes the guide useless except for rough cuts. You don't HAVE to use the guide, of course, but it adds a bit to the size of the case.

... As does the quirky line drawing mechanism. All this is is a pencil lead held under spring pressure against a small toothed metal wheel. To use it, you measure to that selfsame guide, with which the wheel is aligned, and push or pull the case sideways, neatly (or not) drawing a line at your mark. Sounds good, but it's poorly constructed. It took some fussing to get the spring mechanism to bear against the lead properly, and using it for a normal outside measure requires you to align with the guide on the case. As that's inset from the edge, you can't see what you're measuring! Finally, the lead is replaced through a tiny - and I mean tiny - hole at the top of the case. Wonder how long THAT's going to stay clear in the shop or on site? Oh, and the spring mechanism is open as well (you can see the slot in the product picture - the one with the little red button). The leads are quite thin. Nice that QuickDraw includes extras. Good luck finding them when you need one. They come in a little plastic case, which will SURELY prevent them from breaking while rattling around in your tool box for months ... uh-huh. Interesting idea - lousy implementation.

I honestly can't recommend this tape either for its marking features or despite them. I don't like how they are implemented, and I don't like the case. Both need to be addressed to make this tape a durable tool that can be relied upon on-site. Too bad, too, because again, the tape itself is quite nice. This product seems to be an honest attempt that misses the mark (excuse the pun). I'd like to see an improved version that improves visibility, tape fit to case, and implements a robust marking mechanism.


Glad OdorShield Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags, Gain Original, 100 Count
Glad OdorShield Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags, Gain Original, 100 Count
Price: $19.01
2 used & new from $19.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Evolutionary Improvement, February 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a long-time user of Glad trash bags, being partial to their Force Flex brand since it came out. They stretch without (usually) breaking, withstand a reasonable piercing pressure, and afford the ability to easily add more trash when you take it out of a container when full. I do find them somewhat prone to leaking, however.

The Gain bags continue much of the Force Flex advantage. That's surprising, considering only the top portion of the bag is the Force Flex material. In practice, however, the bottom is usually stuffed full and it's the top where you need the most flex. The Gain bags are just fine in this regard. The bottom is where the worst problems occur with a trash bag. If they leak, it's from the bottom, and anything trying to poke a hole through is under more pressure in the lower part of the bag as well. The gain bags resist both somewhat better. It's not a huge difference, but enough to notice. In bags containing wet trash alone, I had no leaks. I did have a small amount of leakage in a bag with broken glass and some wet paper towels - but few bags other than a contractor's bag are going to withstand that.

Using a smoother (versus the Force Flex bags, that is) plastic in the lower part of the bag turned out to have another advantage. It's easier to put into a container without trapping air. The Force Flex bags are softer and I usually wind up holding the top band away from the container in order to press out the air trapped between the bag and container walls. The Gain bags hold their shape enough using the "shake to pop them open, hold with a bubble of air, and stuff" technique works sufficiently that I dont have to bother.

All-in-all, a useful pickup over Glad's other bags.

Worthwhile, Recommended, but Nothing Earthshaking.

The scent is, well ... at least it's not overpowering. Seriously, who needs perfumed trash? If it smells, empty the trash!


Constructing a 5-String Banjo: A Complete Technical Guide
Constructing a 5-String Banjo: A Complete Technical Guide
Price: $15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars KINDLE Edition Review, February 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Constructing a 5-String Banjo should be regarded as a technical reference primarily. It is not a mass-market, coffee-table, or even enthusiast book, though some of the last might be interested in the details. Nor is it really intended for a novice builder. You won't find the usual start-with-the-basics lists of tools required, materials to gather, and basic technique instruction. Nope - the author launches right into construction. He assumes a basic knowledge of tools and woodworking, and that you have certain tools (e.g., a bandsaw) though he does mention lesser alternatives here and there - anyone up for cutting a truss rod channel with a Dremel?

Much detail is devoted to neck construction and rim layup alternatives. Binding and decorative finishing is also well-covered, including inlay. Metal furniture get far less build attention (naturally).

Pictures are ... OK. They work, but are a bit dark, at least in the Kindle edition. All pictures are B&W, except the cover. There could be more, but are adequate for the purpose. Fortunately, they have enough detail to zoom in sufficiently. This was a particular concern when buying the Kindle edition, as the sample includes no pictures! The included technical drawings at the back of the book are crystal clear. There are sufficient measurements to scale them to full-size drawings in the case of the rim. That is not true of the neck, unfortunately. Measurements there are confined to scale (25 1/2") and fret spacing. You would have to figure the rest out yourself - or have a copy/print shop zoom the drawing to EXACTLY the right size based on the scale. Same with the head.

There is enough here to build an excellent banjo from scratch (again, assuming purchase of metal parts), but only if you are knowledgeable and have some (preferably instrument) building experience and woodworking skills. Neck building, in particular, is going to be daunting for a novice, and involves both high precision and construction of smoothly flowing compound curves across angled parts.

The Kindle Edition is recommended, with cautions above regarding the technical drawings.


Miele GN Replacement Dustbags (4 AirClean FilterBags, 1 motor protection filter, 1 AirClean Filter)
Miele GN Replacement Dustbags (4 AirClean FilterBags, 1 motor protection filter, 1 AirClean Filter)
Offered by evVive Home
Price: $18.95
63 used & new from $15.45

5.0 out of 5 stars What a Dustbag!, February 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
How do you review a vacuum cleaner dustbag, of all things? I give the Miele bags 5 stars. Does that mean, as Amazon describes the star system, that I "love" them!!!??? Well, no. It's a dustbag. But like virtually all Miele products, these are excellent ... dustbags. Seriously, they are made of high-quality materials that leave no residue from micro-fine dust leakage inside the vac. They seal perfectly. They don't clog, even when very full, such that your vacuum sounds like it's trying to consume your entire carpet. And finally, they don't create a mess when you take them out of your vac and toss them.

Highly recommended, considering they are the only game in town for Miele vacs ... (make sure you get the right ones!)


Herbal Essences  Wild Naturals Rejuvenating Oil Elixir, 2.8 Fluid Ounce
Herbal Essences Wild Naturals Rejuvenating Oil Elixir, 2.8 Fluid Ounce
Price: $5.70
4 used & new from $5.70

4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent, Light-Bodied Oil, February 10, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After receiving this, I tried it immediately. Having used the Herbal Essences conditioner, which doesn't condition sufficiently for me, I was interested in seeing how the matching oil would work with it.

Like the conditioner, this product is very much on the light side of things. Light bodied. Light in color (almost colorless). Lightly scented.

It's not bad for oils of this type. It does help reduce the flyaway hair that the conditioner left. I'm not sure that you use much less actual oil in the end. I found I had to use a little more of the product in order to get the effect I wanted. On one hand, I suppose you could say you are paying more for the volatile ingredients like alcohol. On the other hand, I like lighter oils like this better because they are easily applied with more control than heavier oils. And I particularly like the lack of color. Many Moroccan oils, by contrast, are a deep yellow. The pump bottle is convenient and an improvement over more typical open cap bottles.

A viable alternative for those seeking a lighter oil.


Crain 126 Staple Remover
Crain 126 Staple Remover
Price: $11.18
2 used & new from $10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Staple Remover - but not for every circumstance!, February 9, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is an excellent staple remover - but primarily for the staples and conditions for which it's designed. That is, medium and wide-crown upholstery staples ... in upholstery. That means relatively heavy foundation materials (e.g., burlap, canvas, padding and fillings) and upholstery-weight fabrics. Hardwood frames are common, but materials typically keep staples from being driven flush with the wood surface. Under those conditions, the tip of this remover slips under the staple with a bit of pressure against the material, and there is usually enough frame space to allow the rockered bottom of the remover to work. Lever down, and out pops the staple. If you have enough space to slip the tip under fare enough, the tool actually grabs the staple.

NO staple remover can remove flush stapes (or sunken staples) in hardwoods without some gouging. And this is NOT the tool to use for those, either, as you risk breaking the tip. For those staples, you're better off using a prong-type remover like the Osborne.

The Crain will let you get at 90% or more of the staples in a typical job. You will zip through those. Don't waste your time or risk the tool for the others. Grab a prong tool.

Good, solid construction. Smooth chrome. Comfortable handle. And inexpensive.

Recommended. But do use as intended.


Wood Is Good WD205 Mallet, 18-Ounce
Wood Is Good WD205 Mallet, 18-Ounce
Price: $35.83
3 used & new from $35.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Appearances are Deceiving, February 9, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It looks so simple in the picture. Hard to tell if it's well-made. Plain-looking, white wood handle. Plastic top. That's it ... Yet glowing reviews. Frustrating.

I looked at this mallet for a couple of months before buying it. I was considering several alternatives, all of which cost between $20 - $100 more than the Wood Is Good Mallet. Yet because I couldn't really discern the quality of the Wood Is Good Mallet, $35 seemed expensive. When I started looking for information outside of Amazon, I found the same glowing comments, so I broke and bought it.

It's an EXCELLENT mallet! The handle is hard maple and it is finished *exactly* as its product literature states - to a silky smooth finish. The handle is also very well-shaped. I like to be able to choke up on the handle near the head, and it's very comfortable to hold doing so. The urethane density is perfect. Very firm, but with the slightest give. A tap on granite gives the barest bounce. All of which means maximum striking efficiency with no damage to your tools.

The 18 is weighted with lead in the head (under a sealed maple plug). The mallet is a bit top heavy, in a good way. It performs like a somewhat heavier mallet as a result, but without the overall weight.

Highly recommended. Including over more expensive mallets.


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