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It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

Quickly Incorporate Curves Into Your Project
If you want to incorporate curves into your project, there are a few ways to do it. You can cut wood into thin strips of veneer and build up a curve layer by layer, you can steam the wood, or you can cut closely-spaced kerfs. Using KerfKore panels is another way to skip these time-consuming methods and get down to building.

Cool Batteries
DeWalt’s done some great things with their cordless tools lately. They just introduced an upgraded lithium-ion battery pack for a new range of tools, but designed the plugs for compatibility with the older generation.

Modern Spark Plug Tester
Modern automotive ignition systems use coil packs for every cylinder, shortening wire runs, increasing spark energy, and improving timing. However, coil-on-plug ignition systems, with their short or non-existent wires, have rendered some proven spark plug tests obsolete.

Gas-Powered Battery Charger
Sure you can run a battery charger with a portable generator, but why not cut out the middle man, especially if you’re off the beaten path where you don’t want to haul around a large generator?

Coming Soon to Knuckles Near You
Mechanix gloves are a popular topic here at Toolmonger. We like their excellent protection, improved grip, and Robocop aesthetic, but there’s an offering coming that’s more up Spiderman’s alley.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

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When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

Smart Bungee System
Got a pile of bungee cords that are the wrong size or the hook at the end just doesn’t quite fit the application? The Joubert Smart Bungee System lets you connect bungee cords together, swap ends, create a three-ended bungee, or create complex combinations you may’ve never imagined.

Applied Vehicle Technology
A recent foray into DIY composite parts has led me to the doorstep of Applied Vehicle Technology. They retail everything you need for at-home carbon fiber lay-up, including the fabric itself, various resins, vacuum-bagging materials, and of course, tools, all at very good prices.

Clearneon Paint
Ever get bored of being able to see the paint you spray? Probably not, since being visible is one of the major selling points of paint, but here comes a challenge to conventional wisdom from Clearneon. They produce a line of UV-reactive paints targeted mostly at computer modders and car customizers, though a clever mind could easily twist this fun stuff into a genuinely practical chemical.

Nylon-Insert Hex Nuts
Lex’s recent post on captive nuts reminded me of some other nuts I’ve been using a lot lately while doing some volunteer work on a search-and-rescue van: nylon-insert hex nuts. Depending on which big box you shop at, and whom you ask when there, they’re also called stop nuts, locknuts, or nyloks (although NYLOK® is a nylon material typically applied to bolts and screws), or nylocks.

Walk Softly And Carry A — Pick Adz
If you’re going to carry a walking stick in the winter, why not carry one that doubles as a pick adz?  While you probably won’t be climbing any glaciers, the pick adz can come in handy chipping ice from walkways and steps.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

Stanley’s Digital Power Station
Stanley’s Digital Power Station is one of those just-in-case items people give you a hard time about buying until they’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and need it. What this unit really does is provide power from multiple taps that can get you back where you need to be — not needing it.

Keychain Knife/Tools
This was going to be a simple post comparing the Gerber Artifact with the Mini SuperKnife as a keychain knife/tool. As I started gathering details, it was turning into a Gerber vs. Gerber post.

The Bastard Child Of A Wrench And A Socket
Whether you call it a Saltus Wrench or a flex combination wrench, it still looks like you left your sockets alone in the dark with your wrenches for too long. I remember running into one of these wrenches in my dad’s toolbox as a kid and thinking, “What the hell is this for?”

French Curves
Readers will no doubt be disappointed that this post isn’t a racy commentary on Sophie Marceau or some such foreign lovely. But, there’s humor to be had. These drawing aids come from (no kidding) Dick Blick art materials. Ever heard a name like that outside of the kind of film you don’t want your kids finding?

Hot or Not: Baling Wire?
There are still companies that distribute baling wire, but what if you just want to pick up a small amount? It seems that rebar tie wire is an acceptable substitute, and you can get a 3 lb. coil of generic “tie wire” pretty cheaply.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger.  If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

Your Alligator Wrench Ate My Goat Wrench
Alligator or “Goat” wrenches have been around for a while. The name “alligator” alludes to the shape of the jaws which look like alligator jaws, but I’m not sure how the name “goat” became attached to these type of wrenches.

Sample Paint — Who Needs That?
I’ll freely admit I laughed at this recently when I saw the ad for sample 8 oz. cans of paint for just under $3 at the Depot. I should have known better; every time I scoff at something like that it winds up biting me in the rear.

Craftsman DOG BONE Wrench
You would think that with my collection of purchased and inherited tools and overall tool hang-up, I would have at least seen one of these before. I have some old Craftsman double-ended ratchet wrenches that are dog-bone shaped, but this version is new to me; I don’t know how I overlooked this.

Aim Your Windshield Washer Jets
It’s a familiar scenario: you twist the lever to clean your windshield, and the fluid mostly misses the glass and goes up over the roof. Though it could be worse; you could be in a convertible.

Maxis VarioPivot Clamping System
Bessey’s Maxis VarioPivot clamping system extends the versatility of your bar clamps by attaching them to your bench, somewhat like the previously covered VersaClamp.  It works best with Bessey’s K-Body Clamps, but they claim the system works with other bar or pipe clamps too.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

Budget Shop Truck Build, Part 4: A New Transmission
After a bit of a hiatus we resumed our search for a transmission for our shop truck project. We learned several things in the process, not the least of which is this: transmissions can be expensive.

Counter Bore For Auger Bits
If you need to recess a large bolt when building a deck or other outdoor project, it’s usually a two-step process. This is okay if you only have to hide a few bolts, but if you have to recess a ton of bolts it’d be easier to slide Makita’s counter bore over one of their industrial ship auger bits and do it in one step.

Bosch RN175 Roofing Nailer
Bosch added another gun to its Full Force line with the RN175 Roofing Nailer. Like other roofing nailers the RN175 features a coil-style cartridge and is smaller and more balanced than a framing gun might be.

SpeedPak Utility Knife
The companies that make new and improved utility knives must think that millions of dollars in labor are lost each year when workers stop to change blades. Either that or they just need to make a better profit margin on blades. Not to be left out, Clauss manufactured yet another “next generation” utility knife that uses a cartridge-based system to hold and replace blades.

Dap 3.0 — The Official Goo Of The 21st Century
If you’ve had to do any kind of home repair in your time you’ve most likely hand your hands on a Dap product at some point. Dap has been sealing and weatherproofing things for years and the folks over at Dap R&D have now rolled out Dap 3.0.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger.  If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

Extra Deep Hole Saw
Browsing the FAMAG Catalog I came across this unusually deep set of hole saws. These hole saws were designed for drilling holes up to 300 mm (almost 12″) deep! If you have a problem ejecting the plug from a regular “short” hole saw, how are you ever going to get a 10″ plug out of one these extended hole saws?

Serrated Edge Utility Blades
Ever notice how you never have to sharpen your steak knives? The serrated edge keeps its ability to cut much longer than a straight edge, but some of the trade-offs are you don’t get as clean a cut and it’s not fun to sharpen. Neither of these disadvantages matter for many tasks you’d use a utility knife for, as you’d probably rather work longer without stopping to change blades.

Bridge The Spiral, Don’t Crush It
A standard hose clamp doesn’t work very well for clamping a spiral hose such as that found in dust collection systems. It has to clamp over one of the coils which can make a less-than-airtight connection. To solve this problem you can use a bridge hose clamp which has an offset connector that crosses over the coil without crushing it.

Mittler Brothers Ultimate Notcher
We’re going to start with the bad news about Mittler Brothers’ Machine and Tool’s Ultimate Notcher: $3900. So you won’t be seeing one of these in your kids’ high school shop anytime soon, nevermind your own. This is a tool designed for an extremely specific function – to notch tubes for TIG-welded race vehicle frames and roll cages.

Wheel Bolt Pattern Gauges
It took me forty minutes to find an online answer to a very simple question: what is the wheel bolt pattern for a 2006 Chevrolet HHR? Given the simplicity of that question, I’m either the world’s worst Googler or the Internet is a Biblical flood of poorly-checked information.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger.  If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

SpeedClean BucketVac
The 1-hp BucketVac vacuum head fits any standard 5-gallon bucket like a lid and turns it into a shop vacuum. This is brilliant — not only does it make use of buckets lying around the shop or jobsite; you can lug it around or store it in the shop in a minimal space.

ATX Power Supply Tester
Fixing computers can be a puzzling business, especially when faced with odd startup behavior and intermittent power issues. One of the most common causes of computer hardware problems is failure of the power supply, yet many technicians and do-it-yourselfers aren’t aware of the possibility, pointing instead to a dying motherboard or faulty RAM as the cause.

A Different Concept For Insulated Wrenches
You’ll see tons of wrenches that are insulated by coating the handle, but to meet the 1000V ATSM standard rating, Klein does something a little different: they embed two ratcheting box end wrenches in see-through plastic so you can visually confirm they aren’t touching. Grab one end of the wrench and there’s no path for the current to flow to the other.

Home-Brew Wind Power
A friend of mine in Louisiana pointed me to an interesting site a few days ago. Scoraig Wind, a website full of one man’s experience and accumulated knowledge from years of making his own power with wind turbines. Using primarily wood, old pipe, and junkyard car alternators, Mr. Hugh Piggott and a few of his mates have had some impressive success harnessing the wind, and it’s all done in spare time from their garages.

Hot or Not? Tactical Knives
We like tactical knives. They have a nice clean look and are handy to have around. However, depending on what level of state, federal, or general media outcry you’re looking at, the idea has come up more than once to try to limit or ban the use or sale of tactical knives here in the states. We began to ponder the subject in some depth.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger.  If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

A Flexible Shaft With Built-In Dust Extraction
We’re seeing more and more dust collection devices aimed at the home woodworker. For instance, you wouldn’t think a flexible shaft tool would kick out much sawdust, but then again it doesn’t take much sawdust to make a huge mess. Enter the Flexible Shaft & Dust Extractor sold by Lee Valley.

Adesso Shop-Proof Keyboard
Toolmongers lucky enough to have a computer in their shop (whether for CNC, CAD, simple word processing, or to satisfy that Twitter addiction) have probably gotten crap in the board at some point. If you’ve ever wrestled with an aluminum chip stuck under your spacebar or tried to type with fingers doused in 5W-30, you probably know what I’m going on about.

Spring-Loaded Small Parts Holder
When working with small parts, you come up with all kinds of creative ways to hold them so you don’t have to grow a third hand. Micro-Mark’s spring-loaded small parts holder may allow you to junk some of your jury-rigged creations.

Lost That Spark In Your Life? Call The Spark Doctor
Meteor’s Spark Doctor is yet another multi-tool, but this time they’ve specialized it for working with spark plugs. This multi-tool boasts eight different tools for removing, tuning, and cleaning your plugs.

Rockport Boots
Toolmongers with feet that would impress a yeti know the pain of trying to find a good pair of work boots. Wide-footed individuals the world over have leaned towards New Balance products for ages, but New Balance doesn’t make work boots, do they? Well, sort of: Rockport Works, a work shoe manufacturer, contracts with New Balance to design their foot beds and toe caps, leaving the uppers, tongue, and lace arrangement for themselves, at least according to Moe at Harry’s Army Surplus.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger.  If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

Socket With Butterfly Wings
It looks like EZ Red designed their butterfly sockets for fasteners on which you’d normally use a flare wrench but can’t get the wrench around the fastener. Just wrap the butterfly socket around the fastener and when you close it, stick a 1/2″ ratchet or breaker bar into the square drive hole to turn it.

Preview: Stanley Virax M20 Plus
A pressing machine squeezes fittings together to make solderless joints in copper, stainless and PEX tubing even with residual fluid still in the pipe. It’s wicked handy and it’s what many pros use to fix leaks in modern pipes. Stanley VIRAX now launched the first of its pressing guns into the U.S. market.

Leatherman Charge ALX
We’ve seen different versions of multi-tools for ages, but they rely on a simple straight-edged pocket knife to do most of the real work. Leatherman’s interesting Charge ALX model is a little different. It does away with many of the old issues multi-tools faced, like those Phillips drivers.

Hot or Not? Festool MFT/3 Basic Multifunction Table
Festool’s MFT/3 basic multifunction table looks like a piece of thick pegboard with some legs from a card table. It’s more than that, we think. It also comes with rails and a lot of options and $475 sticker shock — standard.

Easier Molding Installation On Bullnose Corners
Bench Dog has a new product that can help wrap molding around bullnose corners. Designed to work with 3/4″ radius rounded corners, this trim gauge slips over the bullnose and indicates where each joint needs to land to get a professional-looking three-piece corner.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.

 
tm-top5.jpg

It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger.  If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select:

A Guide For Smaller Pocket Holes
With Kreg’s new Micro Pocket Drill Guide, you can fit two pocket holes on a board as little as 1″ wide and 1/2″ thick. The pluggable holes it creates are 25% smaller than standard pocket holes, allowing you to use shorter 3/4″ pan head screws.
 
Drill Bit With a Ball Bearing Stop
Now here’s a good idea — integrate a ball bearing into a drill bit stop. When the stop hits the work piece, the bearing will stop and allow the bit to keep spinning: no marring, scratching, or burning from the spinning stop. It’s not a new idea: the Forstner Depth Stop we covered previously uses this, and now so does FastCap with its new Layout Drill Bit for drilling shelf pins for European-style adjustable shelving.

Turn Your Drill Press Into a Planer
Yes, we know that drill press bearings aren’t designed for sideways loads, but that doesn’t seem to stop companies from designing gizmos like the Wagner Safe-T-Planer. This rotary planer chucks into any drill press with a 1/2″ chuck to shave off up to 3/8″ in one pass.

A Rasp Made From A Bunch Of Saw Blades
Instead of raised teeth, the Shinto Saw Rasp uses high-quality saw blades. This open-web saw tooth design eliminates clogging, and its up-to-the-edge teeth allow you to get into corners where your normal rasp won’t go.

Editorial: Trucks and Practicality
We’ve been talking about the difference we’ve seen in the truck market this year. Even down where we live in the land of big trucks, it’s starting to change. I was walking into one of the local big boxes today and saw three lawn care guys jump out of this truck, pictured above. It got me to thinking about those same three guys a few years ago and what they might have driven then.

Help us choose next week’s Top 5!

We’d appreciate your help in choosing next week’s Top 5, which’ll be featured here, elsewhere, and in the podcast as well. While you’re reading TM this week, look out for the “Interesting Post” button at the bottom of the article:

interestingpost1.jpg

When you see an article that piques your interest, click the button once. You’ll return to the same page, but TM’s software’ll score your click for future reference. We’ll check in on the totals before selecting next week’s Top 5.