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It seems like there’s a never ending supply of gadgets to assist the homeowner in hanging pictures and shelves; it’s not like it’s rocket science, is it? Here’s an interesting one — the Kapro Prolaser Set-A-Shelf which combines a ruler, level, stud finder, sliding stops, and a class II laser into an all-in-one measuring tool.

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Will lasers make wigglers obsolete? There’s a case to be made that you can set up your mill faster and with less fuss with a tool like the pictured laser edge/center finder. Move the laser beam to the edge of the workpiece and zero your scale. You can just as easily locate the mill over scribed lines or center-punch divots by aligning the laser dot over them.

The finder is accurate to 0.001″ and the dot size is adjustable with a polarizing attachment. The finder uses SR44 batteries that last for over three hours of continuous operation; of course you’ll probably only turn on the finder for short sessions, so the batteries should last a while.

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Following the more-is-better philosophy, the Bosch GPL5 uses five beams to project plumb, level, and square points. It also self-levels (up to 5°). Available for around $200, the 1 lb. unit is 4.125″ × 3.125″ × 1.625″, and can be secured using its 1/4-40 or 5/8-11 threaded mounts, or via straps or magnets with its multipurpose attachment. It can be easily re-calibrated in the field (and comes with a wrench for just that purpose). Its accuracy is ± ¼” @ 100′. Three AA batteries supply power.

If you’re not into multi-axis laser leveling, maybe you could modify the GPL5 for use as a garage/shop intruder alarm.

Bosch GPL5 [Manufacturer's Site]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Bosch GPL5 Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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Laser cutters and computer-aided machining got together in a shed a while back, and the net result is a neat new technology for cutting profiles in tubing of all dimensions. Among many other uses, high-budget race teams use these machines for cutting their tube frame members. They send the company a CAD rendering of the frame, and shipping containers full of pre-made tubes show up on their doorstep. Stick together, weld, and the job’s a good one.

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If you need to check drive pulleys to see if they’re out of alignment, one way to do it is to use the Gates Drive Align laser alignment tool.  It can show you if the drive pulleys are offset or angled with respect to each other.

Gates’ tool uses a 650nm (red) laser diode powered by a replaceable lithium battery which provides 20 hours of continuous use. It can be used on all automotive serpentine belt drives with four or more ribs.

The Drive Align Laser includes glasses that help you see the laser better, a bungee cord to secure the laser tool to the pulley, and an Allen wrench to align the light beam. The tool comes in a high-impact plastic carrying with space for the other accessories. Overall the Laser Drive Alignment Tool will run you at least $125.

Lazer Drive Align [Gates]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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