After all these years – a 50 piece set of 1/2″ carbide router bits

| August 13, 2017

The older I get the more often I stumble on items to include in my book, "Things To Buy When You Are Young" … or at least one that I’m slowly putting together and working on. I’ve fumbled with woodworking most of my life and to be fair, have purchased or been giving my share […]

Start one project and sidetracked to another

| August 6, 2017

While drilling a couple of precision holes, I notice the relatively new larger drill press table extension wiggled out of position if it was bumped. The problem was that it was designed to clamp to the small steel table that comes with most tabletop and floor stand drill presses. To correct I added a scrap […]

Got to love those functional old Mercedes Benz W123s

| July 30, 2017

Sort of makes hauling a few spare parts, some fluids, a toolbox and spare tire seem hardly worth mentioning?

Archive: Tools and toolboxes to carry in the trunk of your car

| July 27, 2017

Hagerty (the classic car company) posted an article talking about essential tools to keep in your car that I wanted to archive. I’ve always kept tools in my car along with odds and ends and even fluids like antifreeze, oil and brake fluid. The problem I face is keeping the correct tool in the right […]

Very handy and inexpensive shield from a soda – pop bottle

| June 24, 2017

After pelting my eyes with metal chips while grinding as a teenager, I’m overly careful when using tools nowadays. The nighttime of agony and picking out metal chips from my eyes was enough to teach me a lesson … and I’m so thankful to still have my eyesight. Be warned if you are reading this […]

Tool Tips: Screwdriver hacks [video]

| January 13, 2017

  A few of these screwdriver hacks are not necessarily new, but could be helpful if you are ever caught shorthanded for the right tool. I’m particularly fond of using the wrench and screwdriver together (above left) as even with a full set of wrenched and sockets, there are a few oddities preventing wrenches from […]

Thoughts and a video on a rigging bag from Lin Pardey

| January 7, 2017

While contemplating complexity vs simplicity in life and on sailboats, I once again stumbled on a precious morsel by Lin Pardey who has been land-based in New Zealand. Taleisin was sold to a young couple who now enjoys Lin and Larry’s “home” for over 30 years (mentioned before). Lin continues to write, appear at boatshows […]

Scavenger from one furnace to keep another furnace going

| December 20, 2016

A chill is in the air, but likely that has more to do with our 21 year old 80,000 BTU furnace acting up. We have three furnaces so I’m hoping it is the "pressure switch" once again; it does seem to be the weak links on modern high-efficiency furnaces (or could be all furnaces for […]

Black Friday and Cyber Monday thoughts of shopping – eww!

| November 26, 2016

No visits to the mall, stores or even online shopping for me on Black Friday, but I have started the process of looking for a new camera "system" to replace my aging DSLR. With my first granddaughter on the way, it might be time to get back to my roots and revisit my old hobby […]

Weather wise, October weekends do not get much better

| October 30, 2016

What a great autumn weekend in Cincinnati. We had a gorgeous sky last night although the panorama photo mode on my "aging" iPhone 5s doesn’t do it justice.   Saturday was spend enjoying the outdoors as besides mowing the backyard, I "chipped away" at my wood pile by splitting and ended up cutting a few […]

John Deere 330 Diesel 10K Generator project update

| October 13, 2016

After doing a little maintenance and replacing the front tires on the John Deere 330 last month, I finally finished the simple 10K generator setup and wired up a new longer power-to-house cable. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to come up with a mount that makes it easy enough from my wife to connect the generator […]

Tidbit how-to tip: Use a clothespin to help hold a small nail

| September 20, 2016

Here’s  a last minute blog filler for those who have ever (or might) hit their fingers when hammering in a small nail or tack. For years I’ve used needle-nose pliers to hold the nail, but since we have a bunch of extra "bag clips" (it is what we primarily use clothespins for) laying around, I […]

How loud are Honda and Predator inverter based generators?

| September 19, 2016

Good question: By ear, the slightly smaller and far lighter Honda EU2000i inverter based generator is definitely quieter than the less expensive, but larger in dimension, weight and power Predator 2200. Read on for a few more points. I like both of inverter generators and each will serve a slightly different purpose. The Honda is […]

Another use for a carabiner – holding the air fill nozzle

| September 10, 2016

Sometimes American ingenuity and out-of-the-box MacGyver thinking comes together in the craziest ways. My dad gave me an incredibly useful 10 gallon Portable Air Tank that is easier to use than a slow poke portable air compressor. I use to use it extensively when having to fill the leaking tires on the John Deere prior […]

A broken tool, a stuck part and fixing them

| June 25, 2016

In rounding out and connecting the dots in a couple previous posts, I’ll summarize with a short post and what happened. When reinstalling the brake caliper slides the other day on the BMW X5 35d, I snapped off my Craftsman branded hex socket when tightening down the slide. It was careless on my part as […]

A test of patience: Sears Craftsman tools – Guaranteed Forever

| June 23, 2016

Follow up to previous post: Here’s the beef (long-ish winded) — I have a bunch of Craftsman tools and have always appreciated their "fair" quality and knowing that Sears stood behind them (and "use to be" in every town). As times change, Sears is no longer what it once was and the convenience factor as […]

Ever tested Sears Craftsman broken tool policy?

| June 22, 2016

The tools my dad had were for the most part Craftsman (Sears) … and the sockets and ratchets that I have are almost all Craftsman … and the set I gave to for Taylor are as well. Interesting thing … even though I have a couple broken sockets and ratchets, I’ve never tried to return […]

How to get out of a common-cold, runny nose induced funk

| May 17, 2016

After realizing Monday’s topic was a bit depressing, it is time for a "TWO-fer positive" post, besides the sun warmed me up and is baking away my head cold (kept me down all weekend). It’s time to be a little more optimistic. First, here’s a beach scene that can transport just about anybody to that […]

A battery hack has revived the analog Triplett meter

| April 27, 2016

A leftover weekend project was to see if I could get my dad’s old Triplett 630PL meter back to working shape. As a boy, I remember "carefully" using "his" meter when I was in junior high school and attempting to build Heathkit projects … like my shortwave radio. Thankfully I never has to depend o […]

Downloaded iOS Carly for BMW app and ordered OBD adapter

| April 22, 2016

The saga of our poorly running 2010 BMW X5 35d continues while replacing component by component the SUV is inching back towards running condition. The most recent hiccup was a bit of a computer glitch after getting the ECU back from the tuner. I was hoping that as as soon as I powered everything back […]

TechFriday: A digital thermometer is a must have gadget

| April 8, 2016

On our last trip out sailing on Encore I noticed the Volvo was running hotter than it should be. My first thought was a lack of cooling water flowing in through the new smaller strainer, but then it was possible the coolant was low — I added about a quart. After returning home I also […]

BMW X5 35d weekend wrenching update

| April 4, 2016

In order to start working on the BMW X5 35d upgrades this weekend, I ordered a set of "star" sockets known as E-sockets. I picked up the larger set partially because I wanted the plastic storage box … and the Torx bits (already have "some") came with it — Amazon’s price with Prime shipping was […]

Denatured alcohol rather than oil for sharpening stones

| March 4, 2016

One of my favorite YouTube channels is the Tips from a Shipwright with Louis Sauzedde. His helpful tool tips and how-to techniques are always worth listening to … even if I’m no where near the level of woodworker as are most wood boatbuilding advocates. If you sharpen any tool, the advice from Louis in how […]

A table for my portable bandsaw

| March 1, 2016

I tinkered with my portable bandsaw this past weekend by adding a small table in order to make a couple delicate and more accurate cuts. I was planning to add a hinging mechanism  (still might) to use as a cut-off bandsaw for metal bar and tube stock. For now, the bandsaw and small wooden table sets up […]

The bench top drill press holds bits and drills straight

| February 21, 2016

The new Jacobs Chuck for the bench top drill press arrived this weekend and although I didn't have any pressing projects, decided to dril a few holes anyway. The quality wasn't bad for $20 and although its not a smooth ball bearing chuck, it made a perfect replacement for my dad's small Delta drill press. […]

Replacement options for a tabletop Delta drill press chuck

| February 16, 2016

One of the tools inherited from my dad’s workshop was his small tabletop drill press. Unbeknownst  to me, there is a wobble after mounting a bit. I removed the chuck and it looks as if that is the problem … tried to test the arbor and don’t think it is off??? This is a backup […]

Archive: Motor mount adjustment tools need for Encore

| February 4, 2016

While working on aligning the Volvo diesel on Encore last week, I realized that my tool bag didn’t have the correct wrenches to adjust the motor mounts. I’m archiving the correct tools  for the future. To adjust the Volvo alignment requires a feeler gauge and TWO 15/16” open ended wrenches – one needs to be […]

Amazing in 2016 to have gas prices below $1.50/gal

| January 17, 2016

Finally added the corner desk area to my workbench

| November 24, 2015

After cleaning out the garage workshop to prepare for my woodstove addition, I removed the drawing table/desk area that I added when I was building the Sonex airplane (no longer needed since selling my project). The desktop was almost a perfect fit for the corner area in my basement workshop so I put it in […]

Boat tool failure – checking with SeaDog to see about support

| November 22, 2015

The first time I tried to use my relatively new Sea-Dog Impeller Puller and it FAILED. Really bumming that the threads seized at first use and I had to resort to the needlenose pliers again. As soon as I applied a little torque to the T-handle, it froze in place. No amount of heat or […]

Mantus Snap-On Light is a sturdy and handy boat gadget

| October 30, 2015

Well know anchor manufacturer Mantus created a nifty light that they debuted at the fall boat shows this year; the Mantus Snap-On Light look well made and like something Encore needs ($55.00).  I also like their RAM mount Mantus Rail Clamps!

My 2002 Honda Odyssey gains a shelf and workbench

| July 21, 2015

The weekend project is coming together in the back of the “new to me” low-mile 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan I bought for $3700 from my dad. I wanted a shelf/workbench that can serve a couple of purposes. It doubles the storage use of the area behind the rear seat and enables me to fold all […]

A close call while welding for the “little piggy who had none”

| July 19, 2015

I “know better” than to wear shorts and non-leather shoes when welding … but with the shop temperatures in the 90’s I ignored the safety rules and ruined my pair of good Keen shoes. Thankfully, after burning through my sock (don’t normally even wear them) the hot slag didn’t seriously burn my toe, but did […]

The Rat Zapper: A better mousetrap, but a bit more expensive

| July 14, 2015

It really works! The “new to me” Rat Zapper Classic RZC001 mousetrap did its job in our poolhouse/workshop last night. After baiting the little “garage gizmo” with a few nuggets of Tootsie’s dog food, it “caught” a first mouse in what I hope will be many. It’s an interesting gizmo in that converts 4-AA batteries […]

Early Roman version of the Swiss Army multi-function tools

| June 18, 2015

For those who carry or admire those multi-folding tools like the Swiss Army knives and tools (like me), here’s something that pre-dates the popular red ones that many of us carry from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, UK. This multi-function spoon, fork, knife and picks “eating implement” was made from iron and silver and was […]

Blacksmithing Basics: Forge Your Own Flatter | Make:

| June 4, 2015

A flatter is a tool used to make other tools. Make your own flatter and never buy a tool again! Source: Blacksmithing Basics: Forge Your Own Flatter | Make:

Better kitchen knifes: Appreciating a sharp blade and good steel

| May 28, 2015

Shortly after Brenda and I were married, I commented that I was going to write an advice book for new couples that included the good and bad decisions we made when buying things for our home, yard, kids and our life. After all this time I’ve yet to write the advice book, but continue to […]

Added a gas powered wood splitter to my list of man-toys

| May 4, 2015

With the piles of new firewood in the woods after the latest “big expense,” what’s a few more dollars? So I bought a wood splitter.     

Tip: Cover sharp edges of cotter pins with a blob of silicone

| April 22, 2015

Every once in a while I run across a good idea and save the tool tip. I don’t recall which sailing magazine or source I clipped this to my iPad in, but wanted to archive to my blog. I’ve noticed a few purchased products with a silicone blob on electrical connections, but adding a little […]

Victorinox Swiss Army knives/tools and customer service

| February 19, 2015

As mentioned previously, I returned my “out of production” (Europe only) Victorinox SwissFlame knife in for warranty service, and although they could not repair it, they honored the lifetime warranty. Not only did they sent me the new SwissTool™ Spirit X as a replacement, but they return the defective knife – superb customer service. As […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.