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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.     

A new pocket knife, the SwissTool™ Spirit X is heading my way

| February 7, 2015

Those spending much time around me know that I’m a pocket knife (and tool) kind of guy. I’ve carried a knife ever since I was 5 years old … yes FIVE. I actually still have that “little tiny” inch and a quarter bladed souvenir pocket knife that was given to me by my grandfather. He […]

Parts arriving for the Mast Mate climbing ladder

| January 9, 2015

After tinkering a little bit with my “climbing board” idea mentioned last month, I decided to spend a few more dollars and rig a Mast Mate climbing ladder with sail slugs to fit Encore’s mast. My liveaboard buddy Mark measured my Selden slugs and sent me a drawing so I ordered enough slugs to fit […]

Tooltip: Carabiners for boxed end wrench storage

| October 16, 2014

Here’s a tip for using carabiners to organize boxed end wrenches that was posted on Lifehacker. Since I keep most of my wrenches in my drawered tool box, this is unnecessary and would slow access … but I do keep a few wrenches in soft tool bags in the trunk of my car and on […]

Woodworking: The best material for a table saw throat plate

| December 18, 2013

When needing to make precise cuts or dadoes on the table saw, I have found that making them from the marine material Starboard is the best (shop around for price). Most likely the experts in woodworking have found other stock that would just as well, like the self-healing cutting board material, but since I had […]

Impeller puller for my nautical toolbox

| December 3, 2013

An early Christmas present to myself. I’ll probably never need an impeller puller for the boat again, but now I have one.

How to tell if you are mechanically inclined (semi-edited)

| September 9, 2013

I chuckled when I saw this top ten list appear in a hands-on automotive forum (there were more than 10, but I shortened it). It is pretty accurate.   Wherever you go, you hear your wife say "let my husband help you fix that." You have many tools (and multiple toolboxes), including special service tools […]

Sharing tips for loosening Rusty Nuts

| April 2, 2013

  Here’s a tip posted by Lee Jennings titled “Rusty Nuts.” Excellent tips although mine is a repost of a repost. I ran across this a while ago in a post from the (Twin City DX Association) The info could prove useful the next time you run across an “impossible to loosen” nut on a […]

Modify old tools for special uses–sharp wedge tipped pliers

| December 22, 2012

Here’s a tool tip (pun intended) right up my alley from a Cruising World reader … sharper-wedge shaped needle nose pliers (used for pulling staples, etc). I regularly modify cheap screwdrivers for a variety of project … and will add this modification to one of my junker pliers.

Northern Tools and Equipment markets to biodiesel customers

| September 26, 2011

It has been a while since I mentioned anything on biodiesel … primarily because the feedstock used to produce it have risen along with oil. The fact that new cars and their emission controls have also thwarted biodiesel fuel in higher than 5% doesn’t help. Still, it is interesting to see companies catering to the […]

A confession from a toolaholic– recommending a cordless drill

| April 10, 2011

IMPORTANT UPDATE: This post has received higher than normal traffic years after the original post. My longterm experience with this and product is now negative (see comments below) and I’m no longer satisfied with the quality of this small drill — so buyer beware. For those that know me, I have an addiction to tools, or at least […]

Successful Christmas light repair using the Lightkeeper Pro

| December 4, 2009

In a follow up to my post concerning defective Christmas lights, I’ve been working to salvage strings of mini lights before tossing them into the landfill. So far I’ve been pleased the Lightkeeper Pro and have been successful in being able to repair at least a dozens strands of lights. The fixes have not been […]

Defective Christmas lights and the Lightkeeper Pro

| December 1, 2009

I know that I’m not the only one ‘collecting’ tangles of miniature Christmas lights which grows each season as the decorations are packed and unpacked. I’ve vowed a number of times to either fix or dispose of the faulty and half lit strings. This year, knowing my repairman patience is nearing it limit, I’m giving […]

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.