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Having seen too many guys with bits of wire sticking out of their bellies, I decided long ago that a) I’d never use a straight wire brush on a power tool, and b) I’d avoid sticking any kind of brush on a 10,000 RPM angle grinder.  Anything doing abrasive work at that speed will shed bits, and I’d rather not find those in me.

So here’s my solution: quite a while back I picked up a cheap(-ass) Chicago Electric 7″ polisher/sander from Harbor Freight and installed a knot cup brush on it.  It spins at a max of only 3,300 RPM, which works fine for knocking off paint and corrosion but keeps the wire where it should be.

Note: I just checked and the same model is still for sale at HF for $50.  If you keep an eye out, though, this item tends to end up in the sale bin pretty regularly.  And if you’re worried about reliability: I can’t vouch for it as a polisher/sander, but I’ve used this tool in this capacity on and off for four years now.

7″ Variable Speed Polisher/Sander [Harbor Freight]



I asked you to show me your tools, so I figured I’d better show you mine first.  This old Milwaukee portable band saw is a total lifesaver when you need to cut steel outside of the shop — or when you need to make a cut that’ll never fit into your standard saw.  My Dad picked this up used at a flea market about fifteen years ago, and I inherited it a few years back.

I’m always surprised at how few people actually own one of these.  I understand that there’s a stand available to turn it into a sort of mini-standard-band-saw, but Milwaukee wants about as much for the stand as they do for the saw itself.  Maybe I’ll get around to building my own at some point.

Anyway, now that I’ve shown you mine, you can show me yours via our new Flickr photo pool.  (You can see more pics of the portable band saw there, too.)


After raving about the utility of tools like Stanley Proto’s Rotator Ratchet — which allows you to drive the ratchet by rotating the handle with your wrist as well as turning it the normal way — I came across the tool pictured above in the bottom of my “spare sockets” drawer.  Turning the T-handle at the left rotates the ratchet head.

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