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From the monthly archives: November 2006

First of all, we’ve got to admit that (like birds) we’re a little bit attracted to anything shiny — like Stanley’s FatMax Xtreme measuring tapes.  They do have more going for them than just the shiny bits: Featuring a 13′ standout, this 16′ tape is 1-1/4″ wide and is made from a high-visibility Mylar polyester film with a clear “BladeArmor” coating on the first 6″.  (The hook end gets most of the abuse.)

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Eli, the winner of our comment-based RIDGID combo kit giveaway, took a few minutes to write in and let us know how they work:

“I’ve been using the set almost since the moment I got it last Friday, but today was the first day I used them at work.  Very pleaseing experience.  You really made Christmas come early.  In the picture I’m cutting out some studs above a fireplace to frame in a bookshelf nook for a client’s antique globe collection.  I used both the trim saw and the recipro saw.”

Check out this Friday’s “The Week in Tools” podcast for more from Eli regarding his take on RIDGID tools (and others).


Continuing today’s cordless metalworking theme, here’s a cordless 6-1/2″ metal circ saw from Panasonic.  It runs at 2,900 RPM and draws power from an 18V 3.5 Ah battery.  It also features a wrap-around blade guard with a transparent window at the front so you can see what you’re cutting.

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You’ve heard circular and recip saws called “high amp draw” tools?  An angle grinder’ll make those look downright girlie-man in comparison.  This is the first cordless angle grinder we’ve seen, and we suspect it’s a good thing that it’s lithium-ion powered.  It takes standard 4-1/2″ discs and spins at 10,000 RPM.

If it’ll grind for more than just a couple of minutes, it’d be handy as hell.

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tv2nite.jpg(Wednesday, November 15th, 2006) Mythbusters has two reruns tonight — lazy, lazy Mythbusters.  Aren’t Wednesdays for new eps?  Custom Chess Set should be a good Xmas project. Better to save your money to buy tools, rather than gifts, then use those tools to make gifts.

All times are central.

  • DIY Tools & Techniques: Mobile Bases/Safety Equipment (DIY, 5:00 p.m.)
  • Modern Marvels: Engineering Disasters 17.(History, 6:00 p.m.)
  • Chop Cut Rebuild: Hide ‘n’ Seek (Speed, 6:30 p.m.)
  • MythBusters: Border Slingshot (Discovery, 7:00 p.m.)
  • MythBusters: Explosive Decompression (Discovery, 9:00 p.m.)
  • Unique Whips: Bullet Proof (Speed, 9:00 p.m.)
  • Junk Brothers: The TV and the Couch (HGTV, 10:00 p.m.)
  • Hammered with John & Jimmy DiResta: The Custom Chess Set (HGTV, 10:30 p.m.)
  • Unique Whips: A Unique Dream Part 2 (Speed, 11:00 p.m.)
  • I Love Toy Trains: “Great Train Layouts you can Visit.” Stanford Model Railroad club; Edgerton P.A.L. Layout.(RFD-TV, 11:30 p.m.)



Most starter MIG rigs offer tapped voltage settings instead of continuous adjustment, both because it’s less expensive and because it simplifies things for beginner and intermediate welders.  But while most units offer a five-tap system, Hobart’s new Handler 187 has seven settings, which gives you better control.

Hobart also says the 187’s improved inductor keeps a tighter reign on amperage, which in turn “smoothes out the arc” and improves metal flow.

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Because of our (and our fathers’) appreciation for Case pocket knives, we were happy to check out the new book in the Images of America series, W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. We hoped for more details about the knives, but the book is mostly a Case family photo album with captions and commentary provided by two long-time Case employees. It documents the achievements of the entrepeneurs, craftsmen, and businessmen and women who comprised the Case family “dynasty” over the last hundred years.

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Today Bosch released four “kits” — a drill/driver and hammer drill/driver with various combinations of batteries — that make use of their new flexible power system (FPS).  The FPS lets you select between a “SlimPack” 1.3 Ah battery to lighten the tool for shorter jobs or a 2.0 Ah “FatPack” for the longest possible runtime.  Bosch says that thanks to li-ion power, even the SlimPack offers 15% longer runtime over other NiCd 18V tools.

Both drill/drivers bring 600 in-lb of torque to the table.

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tv2nite.jpg(Tuesday, November 14th, 2006) Tonight: A new Overhaulin’, what might maybe a new Chop Cut Rebuild, And some good stuff on DIY. There are a host of reruns and such, and as NBC used to say: “If you haven’t seen them, they’re new to you!”

All times are central.

  • Machinery of the Past: 1927 Chevrolet, rare British 1948 Morris three ton; 1927 Gleaner combine; German Hanomag tractor, episode 144 (RFD-TV, 5:00 p.m.)
  • DIY Tools & Techniques: Sanders and Joint Comparison (DIY, 5:00 p.m.)
  • Modern Marvels: Glue (History, 6:00 p.m.)
  • Dirty Jobs: Fuel Tank Cleaner (Discovery, 7:00 p.m.)
  • Rides: Thump (TLC, 7:00 p.m.)
  • Dirty Jobs: Jobs That Bite: Episode 1 (Discovery, 8:00 p.m.)
  • Overhaulin’: Episode 12 (TLC, 8:00 p.m.)
  • Dirty Jobs: Jobs That Bite: Episode 2 (Discovery, 9:00 p.m.)
  • Overhaulin’: Episode 13 (TLC, 9:00 p.m.)
  • Made in America: Burt’s Bees (Travel, 9:00 p.m.)
  • Chop Cut Rebuild: Smell My Paintgun (Speed, 11:00 p.m.)
  • 10 Things You Must Know: Vinyl Siding (DIY, 9:00 p.m.)
  • Made in America: GE Transportation (Travel, 9:30 p.m.)
  • Trade School: Aviation Maintenance (DIY, 9:30 p.m.)
  • Unique Whips: A Unique Dream (Speed, 11:00 p.m.)

We’re on “insomniac suggestion strike.”  Do they think all Toolmongers are in bed by midnight and up at the crack of dawn?  Ok, so many Toolmongers are, but not all.  C’mon here — throw us a bone!


You’ve gotta love the way Ryobi’s adding everything but the kitchen sink to their 18V One+ line, including this new wet/dry canister vac.  What a great idea!  We’ve got a humongo-big wet/dry, but it’s a PITA to drag out just to clean up the car or pick up a small spill.  This looks great for that kind of thing, and if you’ve already bought into the One+ system via one of Ryobi’s low-price combo kit deals, you’re good to go.

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