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Yesterday’s post on pyrography inspired me to do some research and get back into it, so I naturally looked to see what techniques others practice. I found this video of Juan Ricardo Jiménez, an artisan from Paraguay, that both makes you feel inspired and think “whatever I come up with isn’t going to amount to much when this kind of work is running around out there.”

Decades of work, training, mistakes, and masterworks have to flow under the bridge before this level of work is even possible. Especially with a stick heated by coals and the work being done balanced on his leg. The detail he pulls from the spear-shaped head of the iron is amazing.

Fire and Wood: My Grandfather’s Hands [YouTube]


Our friends at Duo-Fast have been doing a little research on what their cordless roofing nailer provides at the jobsite. They found that it’s not replacing corded pneumatic nailer setups, but rather hammer and nails. In the video they talk with Edgar Chavez, a roofer with Feze Roofing on how the nailer has changed what they do on repair jobs.

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Watching shows about Alaska makes me realize how much of a wimp I am. Life looks rougher and a bunch colder there than where I live, but I’m fascinated by some of their tools. And the custom-built V8 sawmill I saw on Alaska: The Last Frontier was pretty damn sweet.

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We came across this interesting project posted over on Instructables by user Vitizop. It’s a cool idea: take a key that you need to carry anyway, and shape it a bit to make it more useful — in this case, a lot more useful. As you can see above, this key can do quite a bit, even if you discount a few of the more far-fetched applications, like #7. Hell, #3 alone would be worth taking your housekey into the shop.

If you follow through some of the additional frames, Vitizop continued the creative streak past 10 uses, adding in a 2.5 cm ruler and even a freakin’ light from a Lego toy.

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According to Top Gear on the History channel last year (yes, we know the Brit version is better; move on) you can grab a $500 ride almost anywhere that looks like crap but has a heart of gold. Some car shows do, and it’s good TV. But when these guys tried it two years ago they got about as far as you might expect. Jalopnik posted the “totally awesome” carnage from YouTube that may actaully be funnier than U.S. Top Gear’s attempt.

Our question is, can you even grab a $500 car than runs reliably? Normally after hearing that question everyone will wax poetic about a cheap-ass car they got on the super deal “this one time.” That’s not what we’re talking about. Most people stumble across a deal or two like that eventually, if given enough time. The trick is, if you had to go out today and find one, could you, and where would you go for it?

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Ryobi is now taking registrations for their new online community, “Ryobi Nation.” On one hand, it’s cool that Ryobi is attempting community building through a place where folks who dig the new green-and-black tools can show off their projects and get discounts on new gear. On the other hand, they’ve now collected a bunch of information on you and can send focused marketing your way.

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The title of the video is “Welding Accident” — which I’m guessing is what people who don’t know what things are call anything with a hose that shoots sparks — but what this turns out to be is a cutting torch no-no.

The worker, sitting astride a large diameter pipe that’s held down on one end by a digger shovel, proceeds to Looney Tunes himself a cut. Of course, when the pipe is free to move, it does so, pitching him off and popping all that stored energy in one quick snap, which I’m sure sounded great as the guy hurled through the air.

Not really a smart play here. Know your loads, know the stress, and plan ahead.

Welding Accident [YouTube]


About a year ago, a rather interesting title changed hands: the bragging rights for world’s largest hammer may have gone down under, thanks to Kevin Plant and his 600-lb. custom built rig.

Australian steals title for “World’s Biggest Hammer” from the US!
Kevin Plant, Founder and Manager of Trade-A-Trade.com can now lay claim to the world’s largest hammer, and it is floating in the Pine River in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia from 4-12 February 2011. The hammer is 10 metres/33 feet long, the biggest in the world.

Of course it’s not the largest “functional” hammer, as smacking a fastener built to the same scale would likely split the strike face in two.

However, it does come with a cool floating case, which is not something you’re going to find with any other hammer.

 World’s Biggest Hammer [YouTube]


Back in March, Ken over at Hi-Fructose wrote about Scott Hove and his unique creations. At first it’s a little difficult to understand what these pieces are made from. Once you do, the struggle is to understand why anyone would do this. About midway through looking at the steps involved it dawned on me that even though the final product is foam, wood, and plastic with colored sugar loaded on top of it the process really isn’t that different from normal sculpting or carving.

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The very minute you think you’ve got a chainsaw under complete control is the very moment it messes you up. Take this fine example in Mr. Gardner’s news report. Just a regular scene of a tree coming down — except if you watch the clip, the guy in the back nearly does a faceplant on the bar of his saw.

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