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Whether you want to keep track of a bunch of stuff or tell people who made it, there isn’t much simpler than using a number and letter stamping set. These hardened steel stamps can be used on wood and softer metals like brass and aluminum.

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You probably want a 36-piece set, which usually has stamps for A through Z, 0 through 8 (9 is 6 upside down), and an ampersand. The stamps sets come in several different character sizes such as 1/8″, 1/4″, or 3/8″.

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The 36 piece 1/4″ letter and number stamping set from Harbor Freight will run you $11, while online similar sets will run you $25 or more.

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Stamping Set [Harbor Freight]
Street Pricing [Google]
Amazon(B00315BCEO) [What’s This?]

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Many cables these days are Teflon coated or don’t require lubrication, so you probably don’t have to oil them anymore — but if you do, a cable oiler seems to be the way to go. Of course, you should check with the manufacturer before you try to lubricate it or you could just make things worse.

You clamp the first type of cable oiler over the end of the cable and spray lubricant through a straw into a small hole in the block — though I’ve read using this method can be quite messy. Another method is to use a hydraulic cable oiler. You stick the cable into the end of the oiler and tighten down the cap, which compress the rubber disks around the cable to make a seal. Then fill the tube with oil and screw in the end with the T-handle. Twisting the T-handle forces oil into the cable.

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Finally, a practical use for jewelry — the Hand Twine Company’s Ring Knife! You wear the ring knife on the finger of your choosing and slip the curved blade under twine, plastic strapping, or other packaging materials you need to cut. It can also be used to cut tape, ribbon, cardboard, small branches, or even light-gauge wire.

The Handy Twine Company fastens the ring knife’s heat-treated steel blade to the aluminum band with nickel-plated brass rivets. They claim they have made their knives in the U.S. since the late 1800’s with the same American materials since World War II.

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Although I own a drill index, surprisingly I’ve never had a complete set of drill bits for it. I bought the index to house the pile of bits leftover from broken sets and other bits I inherited. As you can see in the picture below, I’m missing several bits in the middle row and most of the sizes in the largest. Although the selection of bits has served me well on most occasions, many times I’ve had to ream out a smaller hole or settle for a sloppier fit.

After not having the right-sized bit for a project for the umpteenth time, I finally decided that it was time to remedy that situation. Like all my projects I find that I usually spend at least as much on tools to complete the project as I spend on supplies. So to save money, this time I went to Harbor Freight where I found the Drill Master 29 piece HSS drill bit set with 3/8″ cut-down shanks on sale for $15.

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Forget figuring out how to secure your workpiece with cumbersome hold-downs. Mount a magnetic chuck to your machine and all you have to do is flip a switch and start working.

Of course you’re limited to working with materials that are attracted to a magnet. In reality that will probably be some sort of steel — does anybody machine nickel? Plus you’ll have to have a flat base for the magnetic chuck to grab.

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Think of Strong Hand Tools’ Expand-O pliers like a pair of Vice-Grips (or Vice-Grip knock-offs) in reverse — squeezing the handles spreads and locks the jaws rather than clamping them down. The “jaws” can exert 500 lbs. of spreading pressure and, just like your Vice-Grips, a lever quickly releases them when you’re finished spreading.

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Imagine my surprise when I was a Harbor Freight last Friday and saw a Central Machinery drill press table for $30. I just worked a handful of nights and spent that much alone for the T-slot router bit to build my own table for the last part of the DP 350 review.

Toolmonger covered the inexpensive MLCS table before, which cost $60, but you had to deal with the wait and the shipping charges. In comparison, Rockler’s cheapest table runs $100 and their deluxe model runs $120. This table from Harbor Freight beats the cheapest one mentioned by $30.

But what does $30 buy you? First, the 1″ thick particle board table measures 23-7/8″ by 11-5/8″ and can accept a sacrificial throat insert to back up your holes. The 1″ thick fence rides on an aluminum T-track and is adjusted by loosening two top mounted knobs. A T-slot in the fence accepts other accessories, like the included stop block. The T-track on the table can also be used to mount hold-downs and other accessories. Along both of the aluminum T-Tracks is a ruled stick-on tape for setting the fence.

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Step bits can be handy for cutting sheet metal and plastic, but what if you don’t need a standard size hole? These conical “stepless” bits can create holes of any size from 1/8″ to 3/4″. The obvious limitation is if the material is thicker the hole will be tapered, but then again in some situations that might be desirable.

The pictured bits use a two flute design which supposedly cuts faster and smoother.  The 1/4″ hex shanked high-speed steel bits are coated with titanium-nitride to keep them cool.

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How could anybody resist talking about a product named the Drain Tornado? This water-powered tool connects to a garden hose and uses water pressure to clear clogs in waste pipes and gutters.

The drain tornado screws onto a standard 3/4″ fitting and features a high-powered main jet at the end of the tool and two side jets to “blast through” debris. Two rotary tail knives also help to dislodge material.

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Instead of adjusting the air flow at the compressor, Astro Pneumatics’ digital flow regulator screws right onto your spray gun or other air tool to precisely control the flow of air. Love it or hate it, instead of a analog gauge it uses a digital readout.

Constructed with a mirror-plated finish, the regulator’s electronics are sealed and the display is behind impact-proof glass. Unfortunately this also means the battery’s not replaceable, but the display shuts off 45 seconds after you press the button to give the battery a life expectancy of 5,000 readings.

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