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Gar's Tips & Tools - Issue #154
Weekly access to tools, techniques, and shop tales from the worlds of DIY
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Mistakes That Newbies Make on the Bandsaw
I always like Jimmy DiResta's tips and techniques videos and if you ask me, we don't see enough of them. In this one, Jimmy talks about 9 mistakes that newbies make on the bandsaw, from using dull blades, to trying to cut cylindrical or round objects by hand, to a better way to support a high-side cut. Jimmy has been using the bandsaw since he was a kid, so you're getting nearly 5 decades of experience in this video. He suggests that you avoid Craftsman blades and recommends Timber Wolf brand.
What’s the Best Brand of Angle Grinder?
In a recent Project Farm video, Todd looks at that jack-of-all-trades tool, the corded angle grinder. Todd tested grinders from Metabo, Harbor Freight, Hilti, Makita, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Ryobi, Ridgid, Porter-Cable, and Black & Decker. The tools were compared for weight, noise, wheel stop speed, no-load RPM, start-up torque, tool vibration, speed cutting through rebar with cutoff wheel, and speed cutting through rebar with grinding wheel. So, which tool came out on top? The $170 (at time of testing) Makita smoked the competition. The Milwaukee (at $120) also did well. And super-cheap brands like the WEN ($27) and the Harbor Freight Warrior ($15) performed as poorly as you might expect. I bought a Harbor Fright Warrior for like $12, as a check-out impulse buy, and man is that thing scary — the noise and vibration are insane.
Rearranging Hardware (and Seeing the Shop As an “Evolving Machine for Making”)
This Adam Savage project video is short n’ sweet -- he basically is rearranging two shelves of nuts and washers on his hardware shelves. But Adam being Adam, he spins this into a greater message about what he calls the "evolving machinery of the shop.” Adam talks about how it’s taken him a while to realize (and do something about the fact) that the main hardware (nuts and washers) he consistently accesses on these shelves is at the bottom. For years, he’s moved everything aside to access these shelves before having the ah-ha that he could just move these rows up above the objects stored in front of them!
We've all been there. We spend weeks, years, even decades, dealing with some weakness in our workflow layout before we break down and do something about it. I am the king of going forever, constantly overcoming some annoyance, over and over again, before finally taking an hour or two (or a day, or whatever) to properly address the problem. Then, I feel like a fool for having gone so long trying to make pretend the problem didn’t existed.
Relatable. If you can’t see the GIF animation, click here. [Hat tip to Blake Maloof]
Readers offer their feedback, tips, tales, and tool recommendations.
As you might expect, the piece on EDCs (everyday carry) in Issue #50 got a lot of responses. Here are a couple:
I like to make my backpack travel-proof, meaning I can get through airport security in just about any country. Usually, because of technology stuff (lots of wires, adapters and gadgets), my bag might have one item I’ve forgotten about that slips through security because X-ray scans take too long and the follow-up rummaging through the bag is also quite tedious. The one thing I can’t live without is a travel-friendly corkscrew. One can always use a nice glass of wine when stranded in Madrid for a couple days. I’ve found one which is plastic and has just the corkscrew piece enclosed in a cylindrical plastic sheath. TSA friendly. All my non-TSA-friendly things end up in my checked bag. How would you pack an EDC if it also had to be TSA compliant?
I have a Leatherman Squirt small folding multitool on my key ring; it gets used everyday! When I was was working in IT hardware support, I used a Gerber multitool in a belt pouch, but forget to put it on my belt these days...