Rafn's Latest and Greatest Product Reviews 2016
For the second year in a row we thought it would be helpful to share some of the new products we have worked with this year. Each was created and used in response to a need in the marketplace whether for convenience, safety, or aesthetics.
Dri-Eaz F284 DefendAir HEPA 500 Air Purifier
By Mike Harnden, Rafn SPG Superintendent
We have used this compact version of a HEPA air exchanger at our ERA Living project and it has been a excellent tool for keeping dust and odors way down in occupied work conditions. Working in a retirement community, managing dust is on the top of the list for respiratory reasons and general cleanliness outside our area of work. They clean the general area of dust in the air very quickly, within minutes. They are quiet, light and very portable. Filters are available through Amazon and they also provide a carbon filter that's pretty effective in dealing with smells from carpet, paints, glues, and epoxies. They have variable speed fans and units can be daisy chained 3 at a time. They also have GFI outlets on them for the tools you are using nearby.
These units are so much more effective than anything we have had in our tool shop before. At $900, they are a little pricey but pay for themselves with reduced cleanup labor and the added boost of customer satisfaction in occupied spaces. HEPA filters run about $10 each and carbon filters about $30 each. You can vacuum filters a few times and you will see pretty quickly how effective they are with what they pull out of the air. They are well built and should have a good life to them. This is one of the best new products I’ve seen in a while.
Megaman LuxMeter Smart Phone App
By Todd Morran, Rafn Superintendent
A great new smart phone app that can do the work of more costly light meters is the Megaman LuxMeter. I have used this app to check building and parking lot lighting levels while performing building assessments for owners. I have also used it to verify that newly installed lighting levels were within the owner’s specifications.
This app emulates a lux meter to measure light levels in a given space. You will need to calibrate, which is easily done, and to do this you will need access to a traditional light meter. Once set, LuxMeter measures the brightness of the environment instantly. It measures in both LUX (one lumen per square meter) and FC (foot candle).
Massaranduba Wood Decking
By John Kellberg, Rafn Senior Superintendent
We installed Massaranduba decking at our AMLI Wallingford apartment project this year. The boards have grooves for installing clips and once on the joist you drive a screw in at an angle to hold it. The wood is so hard that it requires predrilling before you can screw it down. Due to bowing, we also had to employ a few different tools to straighten the boards for installation. While cutting this wood it is recommended to wear respiration protection as the sawdust can be allergenic and toxic, though after it is finished it is benign. The finish we used was an oil finish that helps keep the wood’s appearance. And while it does seem to weather quickly, that may be part of the appeal.
Massaranduba is native to northern South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Locals often refer to it as bulletwood for its extremely hard wood, which is so dense that it does not float in water. It can be a good choice for outdoor applications as it naturally resists rot and is highly resistant to splintering, however it takes maintenance and has a tendency to cup. We purchased our material for our project through Preston Woodcraft in Preston, WA.
De-Solv-it Citrus Solution
By Todd Miller, Rafn Superintendent
We had a project earlier this year that included powder coated steel panels. To protect them during shipment to the jobsite they were wrapped in protective plastic film, which when removed left a very hard to remove surface residue. We tried several different products to remove the residue on test pieces and eventually found a citrus cleaner called De-Solv-it which cleaned well without damaging the finish. Best of all it is 100% organic, non-toxic, biodegradable, and is made in the USA.