Workshop dust control for a basement woodworking shop

| October 13, 2020

Thrifty or maybe frugal is the word choice that I use, but occasionally “cheapskate” might be a better fit? I’ve used a 3-speed Jet Tools Air Filtration System to clean the air in my basement woodworking workshop  to reduce the amount of dust. It works reasonable well but suspect a lot of dust still makes […]

Power Tools: A new Ridgid 18-volt Cordless Caulk Gun

| July 25, 2020

It looks like Ridgid has a great new tool (I have a few other ones), but at $79, it seems like a lot of money for the ordinary handyman homeowner to spend for an 18-Volt 10 oz Caulk Gun? Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to at least looking at tools the next time I stop in […]

New smaller and lighter SubCompact Ridgid 18V cordless tools

| April 28, 2020

My wife and kids think I should be working for Ridgid Tools as I have been extremely happy with their cordless tools of late. I have updated my old NiCad driver and drills with newer Lithium based brushless tools and they are so much better. A big thank you continues to go out to Katelyn […]

The Canary cam, another cardinal and a painted pry bar

| April 24, 2020

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that our brightly color cardinal enjoyed “looking at himself” in our window’s Canary cam – he was probably looking for a mate. Now that he’s found one … he seems to be avoid her; she is likely checking his usual haunts and asking “where is he?” I suspect there […]

A miter jig for cutting door frames and a #TBT feather board

| April 9, 2020

Last week while continuing to s-l-o-w-l-y work on the bookshelves and painting project, in-between outdoor yard cleanup and cutting the lawn for the first time in 2020, I also used the frame cutting miter jib previously mentioned. It is amazing just how much more accurate this set-up for my table saw crosscut sled is over […]

Woodworking crosscut sled discussion and bookshelves update

| March 29, 2020

This is a two-purpose post: A woodworking (sort of) bookshelves project archive update and shared information on a jig I made. First, the bookshelves and music room/ library painting coming along slowly. I’m bogged down with putty, sanding and painting after adding a strip light shield (wood to hide the LEDs that I’m planning to […]

Leftover photos: A lousy Valentine’s Day gift & antique miter box

| February 18, 2020

Here’s a Twofer Tuesday archive from a couple weekend photos on my phone: First, I tried to use Brenda’s grandfather’s handmade, and well worn, antique miter box to cut a couple pieces of trim .. but ended up using my powered Hitachi sliding miter saw to clean up the cut instead (I did use his […]

Woodworking worktable and new machinist’s square follow-up

| February 4, 2020

A week or so ago, I mentioned that my woodworking tools were often in the way when sticking out of the tool tray on my work table. It is nice not to have tools above the surface as I’m often rotating a larger project. So I added a little side “holster” for the bench dogs […]

Do you REALLY know how to use a builder’s tape measure?

| February 1, 2020

I’ve used tape measures for decades both when working in construction (summer job) and for hundreds of home improvement projects .. YET never really knew why the 19.2" on center diamond mark was on tapes. Most building codes mandate that studs be spaced 16 inches apart, so the tape will help you stay on the […]

Keeping woodworking bench dogs handy but out of the way

| January 23, 2020

It has taken years, but I’ve finally decided to move my woodworking bench dogs from the tool tray (see below). A bench dog is an accessory used on a woodworking workbench to allow clamping of wooden items while being worked or planed. Ever since building my work table and vices with bench dogs back in […]

A peaceful quiet surprise snowfall and quality steel in tools

| December 16, 2019

December is here … and the snow arrived last night (snow 9 years ago), although it isn’t anything drastic, just peaceful and quiet. Actually the heavy snow surprised me considering Sunday afternoon was relatively pleasant and I was in the home theater watching Sunday Night Football (Bill beat the Steelers). When the game was over, […]

Finally, a crosscut table saw sled jig for my woodworking shop

| December 10, 2019

After posting a photo of a table saw crosscut sled a couple weeks ago, I finally decided to finish the one I had been planning. In part because I had some extra 1/2” white finished plywood (I didn’t want to use the heavier 3/4”) and in part because I needed to cut a bunch of […]

Archive: Reorganizing my workshop and a new outfeed table

| November 24, 2019

While I was suppose to be cleaning up and throwing away junk that has taken over some of my basement woodworking shop, as usual ended up sidetracked in making a few jigs for my upcoming projects AND reorganized a couple of cabinets that were buried under boxes and clutter on a back wall. I moved […]

An inexpensive JonCutter arborist chainsaw and Amazon woes

| September 7, 2019

After giving away my “newer” Poulan chainsaw to the hard worker we hired to stain our fence this summer … so he could clear our neighbors fence line and stain his fence too … I replaced it with a low cost Arborist climbing and limb cutting saw without paying attention to the month-plus delivery timeframe […]

Productive home chores weekend while watching Dorian

| September 3, 2019

The approaching hurricane kept my attention this Labor Day weekend (writing this for Tuesday on Sunday) as there was really nothing I could do to prepare the condo in Delray Beach or our boat Encore (in the water) in preparation for the approaching storm. Likely when this posts, we will either have dodged a bullet […]

A dab of epoxy and a neodymium magnet can be like magic

| March 6, 2019

Back on what would have been my dad’s birthday, I posted a photo of my new Ridgid work light hanging on his old toolbox. The toolbox was one of those items of my dad’s that both my brother and I wanted when we were going through our parents belongings – I ended up with it. […]

A bit of my family legacy and our history found through tools

| January 31, 2019

In my workshop there is a spot on the wall behind dad’s small drill press and my router table for old tools. As mentioned before, I use Brenda’s dads’ dental tools regularly and have put a few of DadH’s woodworking tools on the wall – it is too bad I passed on the dental chair. […]

A light for my bandsaw and a discontinued Ridgid worklight

| January 24, 2019

Today would have been my dad‘s 90th birthday. Here is something he would have enjoyed… With it being so cold this week, it was a good time to be working in the basement workshop in the evenings. Besides working on getting my Hitachi Miter Saw fitted to my workbench and dust collection for a new bookshelves […]

If you have a workshop, you need a few medical instruments

| December 30, 2018

Twice this past week I used medical instruments in my workshop. The first repair was to use a non-needled syringe to suck out some moisture in a pump switch … thanks Brenda, it was handy (although I have used them before “with a needle” for delicate parts lubrication). Second, was to use the surgical instruments […]

The “looks like new” temporary second-hand spare tire arrived

| December 12, 2018

The final piece of converting our 2010 BMW X5 35d from run-flat tires to normal tires is now complete … a temporary spare. Unfortunately, I’ve lost much of my "under the rear floor" storage area (below), but have the security knowing that I have a spare tire and the tools to change it. The only […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.      Instead of borrowing my dad’s small electric splitter as usual, I “had” decided to rent a larger gasoline powered splitter so I could haul to where the logs […]

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 […]

Tool Tip: Extracting a damaged screw

| January 5, 2008

A friend of mine asked me for some help in repairing a piece of furniture with a couple of damaged fasteners (Phillips headed wood screws). In talking with him about using a ‘screw/bolt extractor,’ or ‘cutting’ a new slot in the screws (above), I realized this might not be something everyone knows about? Hmm … […]

Bought a new Troy-Bilt 4 cycle string trimmer

| May 26, 2007

Oh … I bought a new toy this week; and I came on it by accident. After stopping in at several hardware stores, and shops that handle John Deere equipment, in an attempt to find a new spool head for my 2-cycle John Deere string trimmer — vintage 1980s — I ended up purchasing a […]

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.
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