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Posts by: Eric Dykstra

The hexapod is a six-legged harbinger of doom. Micromagic’s little devil can only carve out little squares in foam now, but how long until he’s making copies of himself while you’re at lunch?

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Sure, DIY truck-bed liners can protect your truck-bed interior, but they can also protect lots of other stuff, from industrial machinery to that functional but ugly toolbox you picked up at the flea market. You can also apply bed liner to surfaces that need to be non-slip, like helipads. Regardless of which brand you go with, you’re getting the same basic product: a polyurethane base, usually color-tinted, with recycled tire chunks suspended within. It sticks to nearly anything, even itself, making for easy repairs.

So have any of you found extraordinary uses for this stuff? How has it held up in your truck bed? Tell us about it in the comments.

Durabak [Official Site]
Herculiner [Official Site]
Lava-Liner [Official Site]


Miller recently added a new set of digital features to their Elite series of auto-darkening welding helmets. The new masks include settings for welding, cutting, and grinding, as well as an “X-Mode” setting that electromagnetically senses an arc and then automatically switches to a predetermined shade level, with a reaction time of 1/20,000 of a second. The X-Mode setting also prevents sunlight or an obstructed sensor from causing interference.

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Whenever you use superglue or any cyanoacrylate-based adhesive you’re going to get some on you.  And after you’ve gently or not-so-gently pried your fingers apart you’re left with that peculiar sensation that you’ve just removed your fingerprints to further your cat burglary career. If you don’t mind absorbing toxic chemicals you can soften the glue with solvents like acetone — or you can try Glue-B-Gone, a soap-bar-sized porous stone that gently removes the glue and fused skin from your hands.

Street pricing is around $5.

Glue-B-Gone [Great Planes]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


Most of us dutifully change our vehicle’s oil more or less at the recommended interval — your car might even throw a dummy light if it thinks it needs a change. But for the true maintenance fanatic, the IntelliStick will tell you the chemical state of your engine lubricant at any given time, via your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, PDA, or computer.

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Starting a screw in an awkward place can vex even a veteran Toolmonger. If you can hold the screw with one hand and use a driver with the other, you’ve got a chance. Otherwise you’ve got a problem on your hands. Greenlee’s screw-holding drivers hold screws in place with a spring-loaded sleeve that makes for easy, one-handed driving.

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There was a time in the US when the dream of every post-WWII suburban Dad was to have his very own backyard BBQ pit/grill — a monolith of brick and asbestos that he would work nights and weekend to construct, an atomic-age hearth to gather his family around. That trend seems to have passed, and now most people opt for a cheap disposable grill or a high-dollar stainless steel leviathan. But you have to admire something as solid and reliable as built-in masonry, made by hand, that can grill the living hell out of darn near anything.

So what do you think? Is this a relic that should stay in the past or a forgotten DIY treasure that deserves a resurrection? Tell us in the comments.

Free Backyard Grill Plans [Backyard Spaces]


If you’ve ever worked on a job site where you’re outdoors as well as indoors, you might find yourself choosing between clear vision and proper eye protection. Tinted specs blind you indoors, and clear lenses don’t help with the glare outside. SmartLens safety glasses incorporate the same auto-dimming materials found in prescription specs, for safety glasses that dim in just 30 seconds.

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While the Dash-Surfer might look like the unholy union of an ironing board and a piece of exercise equipment, you’ll immediately appreciate the utility of the thing if you’ve ever spent any length of time working under a dashboard. Without any support, the kneeling and twisting can turn into a real pain in the neck, back, shoulders, etc. The Dash-Surfer provides a level and stable surface to lie down on while working under the dash, eliminating the stress and strain of the more conventional method.

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With so many worthy belt sanders on the market, it’s hard to go wrong, but also hard to choose between them all — the choice of accessories available for a particular model can sometimes swing the purchasing decision. Both DeWalt and Bosch offer belt sanders that can be used in their traditional manner or, with the aid of accessories, converted into bench tools.

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