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Toolmongers Top 5

Wow!  What a week.  We’re out in the shop right now shooting some video coverage that you’ll see next week here on Toolmonger, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at the best of this (awesome) week:

Hands-On: We Put 946.5 lbs. on Husky’s X-Workhorse
Believe it or not, we don’t really want to break things all the time.  We do, however, question any plastic-y portable workbench that says it’ll hold 750 lbs.  But rather than just wonder, we decided to find out by loading up the X-Workhorse — a cool little folding table designed to hold a miter saw or serve as a workbench on the jobsite — with lots more than even the advertised 750 lbs.  In short: It held the load.  It even held it when we whacked on it with a 2×4.  Check out the post for pix.

Finds: Swench Manual Impact Wrench
A reader (thanks, Kevin) wrote in to call our attention to this incredible tool which he used in the Navy.  It’s a spring-loaded impact wrench; You crank it around 30-degrees or so winding up the spring, then BANG!  It lets go and drives (with the biggest version) up to 7,000 ft-lbs of force.  Holy crap.  Even the little version whacks out 500 ft-lbs.

News: Dealing With Tool Failures On-Orbit
Why is it that NASA only makes the news when things go wrong?  When astronauts lost a bolt and broke a tool while installing a new solar panel array on the ISS this week, CNN and others dutifully covered it.  We were just glad to see the sweet tools these guys use get some attention.  The tool that broke was essentially a socket extension, and luckily they had another about 70′ away in a toolbox.  Check out this post for some pictures of the (incredible) toolbox. 

Finds: Olson’s “Cool Blocks” Bandsaw Blade Guides
We just discovered these, but apparently they’re widely known among lifer woodworkers as “the best first upgrade for your bandsaw.”  They’re composite layered blocks that replace the metal guide blocks that usually come with your bandsaw.  They not only do a better job of guiding, but they also cool the blade, which increases its lifespan.  Best of all, you can actually afford this upgrade.

Finds: GearWrench’s New X-Beam
This week GearWrench announced their new X-Beam wrenches.  They’re just like standard ratcheting combo wrenches but with a twist — literally: They have a 90-degree twist in the center which lets you push on the flat side instead of the knife-edge like usual.  Why didn’t someone think of this 10 years ago?

Next Week

Look out for our new video content.  We’re also launching a survey contest to try and better understand what kind of Toolmonger content you like best and where you’d like to see us expand coverage.  We’ve been jumping around trying to cover just about everything you can do in the shop, but we’re sure there’s more we could do.  Hopefully you’ll let us in on what that could be.

Don’t forget that your comments during the month of September could win you a RIDGID XLi Lithium-Ion combo kit.  Last month’s winner picked up a combo kit from Milwaukee.  All you have to do is what you always do: share your ideas and opinions here on Toolmonger.  Tell us we’re full of it!  We can handle the truth!


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