New lid lets painter mix without mess
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has a new lid for quart-size cans that makes it easier to store, mix and pour paints and finishes.
The Mixing Mate has a built-in mixing paddle with a crank handle, so you can stir the contents before you open the can. A spout with a spring-loaded trigger -- much like the spout on a syrup dispenser -- makes it easier to pour out the paint or finish without drips or spills.
Cam clamps lock the lid onto a standard-size can, creating a tight seal.
The device is made of nonmetal components, so it can be used with both water- and solvent-based finishes and latex paints.
The Mixing Mate sells for $14.99. It's available at Rockler stores and retailers that sell Rockler products, or it can be ordered from the company's catalog or website, www.rockler.com.
Cigar, loose tobacco use on the increase
Sales of cigarettes in the United States are continuing to decline, but that decline is being partially offset by increases in the sales of loose tobacco and cigars, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this month.
Cigarette consumption fell 2.5 percent from 2010 to 2011, but the overall drop in tobacco consumption was only 0.8 percent because of an increase in the sale of other smokable tobacco products, the agency reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
At least part of the alteration in consumption patterns arose because of a 2009 increase in the federal tobacco excise tax on cigarettes that made loose tobacco and cigars cheaper than cigarettes. Regulations prohibiting the addition of menthol and other additives to cigarettes are also less stringent for non-cigarette products.
From 2000 to 2011, the agency reported, overall consumption of tobacco fell by 27.5 percent, from 450.7 billion cigarette equivalents to 326.6 billion. During that same period, however, the proportion of non-cigarette combustible tobacco products increased from 3.4 percent to 10.4 percent. The largest increases were a 482 percent increase in pipe tobacco and a 233 percent increase in large cigars.