A little tool/chisel history that should remain in our family

| October 16, 2018

While sharpening my chisels and practicing my hand-cut joinery last weekend, I remembered that I added a "new to me" wood chisel to my tool roll when sorting tools from my late father-in-law’s barn. It was too large for the current project, but looks as if the steel might hold an edge better than my […]

The 4-cycle Troy-Bilt String trimmer is great, but …

| October 14, 2018

Eleven years ago I replaced my noisy 1980’s 2-cycle John Deere brand "heavy" string trimmer with a much quieter 4-cycle Troy Bilt trimmer (Pony TB465SS). Both were, and are, used heavily as I’ve always had acres of yard to tend. At first glance it was obvious that the John Deere "back in the day" was […]

Practiced my first hand-cut dovetail #woodworking

| October 9, 2018

One would think that will all the years that I’ve been tinkering with tools and woodworking that surely I would have made a few "hand-cut" dovetails? Nope, I’ve always used a simpler joint for hand made projects or for bigger "repeat" projects opted for a router and dovetail jig — which was handmade by me […]

More compliments for Ridgid Gen5X lithium powered tools

| October 3, 2018

If you use your battery powered drills as much as I do and are suffering with something a bit older than a couple of years, it is time to check out the new lithium powered tools. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with both my slightly older Craftsman Drill and Impact driver and […]

Beautiful artwork by someone with TIG talent

| October 2, 2018

FYI … not my work, as I’m nowhere close to having skills like this (although it may inspire me to practice!)

Tool talk: A little bit more regarding my Ridgid tool choices

| September 18, 2018

In recent years, I’ve added a few corded Ridgid tools to my workshop or traveling trunk. I’ve owned a favorite reciprocating saw for about 10 years now and still find it my absolute favorite (also have an old Makita). Because I’m so fond of it, I’ve added an orbital sander which gets use very often […]

Working with an old Shaw wrench from my grandfather

| July 3, 2018

While working with my "travel tool bag" today, I pick up a open end wrench with SHAW on the handle. It brought back memories of my Grandpa Bluhm and where he once worked back in the 1950s or 60s. I sent a photo to my cousin Diane, but because it was a tool, don’t really […]

A great idea: Who hasn’t lost a part when working over water?

| June 23, 2018

I think I’ll archive that idea as a reminder since I always have an umbrella in the back of my Van, 300D or BMW X5 35d … one of those cars is generally at the marina with me! This might be the perfect post to archive my Father’s Day gifts from my kids! A new […]

Basic maintenance on the Kubota ZD326s and John Deere 330

| June 7, 2018

Several of the parts for our now 10 year old Kubota ZD326s have arrived so I started the process of cleaning, greasing and replacing the "broken and beat-up parts." I’m still waiting for the air filters to arrive from China, but have the Kubota branded oil filter and Chevron Delo 400 SDE 15W040 diesel oil […]

New 12-inch Hitachi miter saw. An early birthday present to me.

| May 1, 2018

New tools are my jewelry when it comes to presents … and Brenda agreed to buy me a new 12" Hitachi sliding compound miter saw so I could more easily work on a couple of projects (after promising to do them this year). Hm, what have I gotten myself into??? The first project is to […]

Can a small cheap wet saw double as a small portable table saw?

| March 15, 2018

In preparation for an upcoming project that I would usually rent a wet saw for tile cutting (Home Depot’s price is $26/day), but this time I decided to buy a cheap one on sale for $49 at Harbor Freight. I’ve never been impressed with the well used ones I’ve rented in the past, nor am […]

Thoughts on converting water separator to a desiccant dryer

| December 9, 2017

In a discussion on a Facebook group that I belong to regarding using compressed air tools and moisture control, I shared my budget solution. It really doesn’t do anything to "dry" the air coming from the compressor, but the simple gravity "separator" likely help a little when using shop tools. My biggest issue is that […]

Answering an email from a reader on chainsaw sharpening

| November 25, 2017

A reader wrote me a long email last week after noticing my chainsaw post and had a couple questions regarding how I sharpen the chain/blade on my chainsaws. I really had not giving it that much though since my sharpening technique is probably not expert or appropriate advice. So reader be warned. Over the years […]

Sheering a router bit has me wondering about the quality?

| November 22, 2017

Last summer I bought a 50-piece set of router bits to use in my woodshop and so far they have been great … that was up until I may have push the limits on a 3/16" straight cut bit a little too hard (possibly???).  I only say "may" because the bit was mounted in my […]

Painting and sharpening and changing chainsaw chains

| November 16, 2017

A few of the late fall repairs to go along with splitting wood for winter is to keep my “collection” of old chainsaws running. Although I gave away my small old tiny McCulloch trimming saw from the 1980s, I still reluctantly use my bigger (translate = heavier) 20″ McCulloch Pro Mac 610 (PDF manual) with […]

Weekend fence repair, wood splitting and chores update

| October 24, 2017

A couple days late in posting, but the weather was ideal for jumping on a few chores before the weather turns sour. Since the lawn was still in pretty good shape, I was able to use those weekend hours to repair some of the nearly 2000 feet of 4-board fence that borders our backyard — […]

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 […]

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.