Computers seem to be infesting new vehicles so fast, I can’t keep up with ’em all — computers for emissions, engine management, braking, climate controls, and probably for the poser seats. When it comes to maintaining all these systems, I can pull codes out of most vehicles, but then I usually end up researching the fault codes on my computer; so why not use my PC as the scanner, with the AutoEnginuity Scan Tool?
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Many thanks to tmib_seattle for recommending Giles Puckett’s Tubemiter freeware — it allows you to print out cut templates from a computer, simplifying the task of cutting weird angles in round tube. The site seems to be broken, but the download works. Just enter the diameters of the tubes being joined, the wall thickness of the tube being cut, and the angle of the joint — then print, wrap, and cut.
Happily, while searching for the software download I uncovered some really interesting sites on human-powered vehicles, including airships. And so we present you with a cool video that only tangentially relates to the subject at hand — screen shots of the software aren’t visually stimulating, anyway.
If this sparks your interest, check out the International Human Powered Vehicle Association site where I found the video, because there’s lots more cool stuff on there.
Human-Powered Airship [IHPVA]
Whether you love your computer or hate it, it can definitely help you do a few good things — reading Toolmonger is one, obviously, but brewing beer is another. The brewing calculation software called BeerTools Pro can keep even a really serious beer brewer on schedule. You can keep track of your inventory, estimate when each batch should be ready, formulate recipes, and look up guidelines for beer styles. And the reference section archives more information about beer than most of us will ever really understand, right at your fingertips.
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Airplane mechanics keep detailed service and maintenance records in the plane’s logbook — it helps ’em prevent that long drop with the short stop at the end. But a logbook can also remind you to do routine maintenance on your car, or it can help you diagnose the reason for loss of gas mileage before a serious problem develops. For tractors, combines, bulldozers, graders, generators — the machines that run and build civilization — logbooks can save jobs and lives. Mechanic Support makes this Mechanic’s Logbook software that you can configure for almost any application.
You can put Mechanic’s Logbook on your computer for $16 — you might pay more than that for a dead-tree logbook.
When you’re working on a complex project with wood, you can save a lot money by efficiently laying out the pieces, especially if you work with expensive wood. CutList Plus will calculate the most efficient layout for your project, so you have fewer total board feet to purchase, less waste, more useable leftover pieces/bigger chunks, and more money in your pocket. For a Toolmonger, this could also mean more projects — if only they could do this with time!
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We received a tip from a reader today about Stan Harder’s “Harder Woods” site and his free pipe joint template online software.
Apparently Stan was frustrated at the high cost of the PVC connections he’d need for his dust collector project — and he couldn’t find some of the specialty angles we wanted — so he put together a slick application to calculate the exact shape of the cutouts required and output a printable template. He was then kind enough to add the application to his site so you can use it yourself without charge.
To use the software, simply navigate to the page (link below), enter the information about your joint (angle, pipe diameters, wall thickness, and lateral offset), click the “submit” button, and print the templates it returns. If your joint template doesn’t fit well on standard 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper, Stan’s application conveniently splits the design onto multiple pages with registration marks so you can print it and re-assemble it.