Be A Guy

Archive for the ‘Tool Kit’ Category

Shaft Detent- 2 Speed Stanley Chest Drill

In Tool Kit on May 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

The Need to Putter

In Cat Skull Studio, Tool Kit on April 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

When I started this Blog I was unemployed and needed the intellectual stimulation. Now I need the physical.

There are a few things going on here:

  1. I’m close to some major changes in my life- so time to think is important.
  2. I’ve noticed over the years in this kind of situation mastering a new skill set is important.
  3. I’m returning to my hippie roots?
  4. This is a tune up for a major piece of furniture which will include wood and metal.
  5. Somehow this shape jumped into my head one day.

Don’t know what got into me, cold roll 14ga steel, 16d cut nails, Lincoln mig wire & bee’s wax– maybe the last of my bee’s wax…

Thought about templating the layout onto Mylar or flashing and then decided to one off it…

Glued paper to the sheet for layout and visibility- too much time on the computer plus age… cut it out with a saber saw

The wings are eyeballed to be ¼” (1/2 “ overall), on each top side, wider than square, to accentuate the flare….

Textured the metal on a 30# usher anvil (no such thing in the anvil forums) I pulled out of the trash (same haul that I got the machinist vise and a woodworker’s vise that needs some babbet pouring), which I’m probably going to bust if I ever mount it the proper height…. Read the rest of this entry »

Skill Set I Wish I Had- Knapping, Skill Set I’d Rather Not Have- Genocide .2

In Be a Guy, Tool Kit on September 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Stone tools shed light on early human migrations

Hominins with different tool-making technologies coexisted.

Matt Kaplan in Nature

I’m intrigued by the evolving evidence that homonids- I note they are now homonins- of various evolutionary branches coexisted. Or probably, more accurately shared the same geography, competed for resources and killed each other in the same manner that wolves kill coyotes. I’m sure that the boogie man is a Neanderthal and that a big problem we have with racism arises from genetic memories of these times. So next we have to acknowledge that if someone looks “other” there is reason for concern as other and invader are synonymous. In an earlier post I make reference to just such a wanton massacre witnessed by Samuel Hearne, which makes no sense in most of the world today- but is sensible in a world where starvation occurs yearly and death is a force that must be appeased. Or we can look to the Inuit idea that it might be a good idea to breed with an other as the gene pool could use some spicing up. Remember weapons are dandy- but evidently language skills trumped physical prowess. Physically Neanderthals were the NFL Pro-Bowlers of Hominids and Cro-Magnons were really talented amateurs. And if history teaches us anything it is that when two cultures with disparate technologies meet the one with advanced culture will almost always prevail- and let’s face it we weaponize all of our technologies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Skill Set I Wish I Had

In Be a Guy, Tool Kit on August 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Don’t know whether or not I can Flint Knapp because I’ve never attempted it…

I do suspect that in previous lives I spent a lot of time doing this. I think I may have been admired for my knapping skill. I also suspect that this was essentially a time killer before TV, smoking and surfing the web… There are midden piles of flint shards that fill canyons. I also know that an adept mechanic could knock out a point in minutes- otherwise you wouldn’t find them discarded and lost all over the place. That would be you, I find all sorts of stuff, I find owl castings in tall grass and contact lenses on athletic fields. But I don’t find arrow heads. Standing in the middle of a field in PA I mentioned this to the guy I was bird hunting with and he reached down, picked up an arrow head and said “Like This?”

Do know that Flint and Obsidian blades are many more time sharper than Shorty’s Straight Razor.

Do know that John Lord [click for video] is the man.


In Be a Guy, Cat Skull Studio, Tool Kit, Work on July 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I was an outlier in an arcane art- hammering. Mostly nails, but I busted a lot of things with a hammer and have driven many stakes and fence posts.I can tap down the concave in Japanese chisels and plane blades.I can peen bolts to hold forever and set saddle rivets. I’ve driven a few nails in hooves and hammer forged tools and implements in iron and steel.

I own dozens of hammers; from 10 pound mauls with 30″ fiberglass handles to 200-year-old upholsterer’s tack hammers. 28 oz waffle faced framing hammers and rig axes. Shake axes and dry wall hatchets. Ball peen hammers of all weights. Shot filled, rubber and wooden mallets. Steel handled Estwings and a nifty Tim Allen with a wooden doe foot handle. Curved claw and ripping claw. Shop sledges with jury rigged pipe handles and a 22 oz trim hammer on which I fit an 18″ hatchet handle.

I have hammers with friction grooves, magnets and spring-loaded ball bearing gizmos designed to allow the mechanic to start the nail with an awkward reach. While I eschew novelty hammers- I’ve driven more than a few staples with the hammer on a fence tool.

My grandfather taught me to drive nails in workbench top projects in a front moving circular method that I’ve never seen anyone else use and only use as a trick.

I taught myself to swing a sledge and a maul when my mother decided to stop paying for split firewood. (I also became adept at putting new handles on these instruments of destruction).

I installed kitchens with nails before there were cheap electric screw guns and cheaper phillips head screws.

I’ve driven Jesus Spikes on log cabins and pushed wire brads into picture frames.

I set a million roofing nails w/ one tap in a million 3-tab shingles and the same goes for 8dHG’s on cedar shake roofs, masonite siding and T111.

I know how to shake roof barbs in a stripper and I can bundle and align a handful of commons while lighting a cigarette.
I know 6d on cedar shingle siding and 4d on asbestos siding.

I’ve hammered the driver on flooring machines to cover an acre.

I still feed nails with an odd under hand hold that has my fingernails towards the work which exposes less chance of busting a fingernail. (Another aside I believe in and use the practice of melting through a fingernail with a red hot nail to relieve a blood blister.)

When I started framing houses, California style, it was all about driving 3 1/4″ 16d (penny) Cement Coated Box nails– box nails have a smaller shank than common nails. Like the big boys I could soon knock them home with one swipe. I pioneered, or invented, the technique of simultaneously driving two framing nails to pull crowned boards into alignment. There are dozens of guys who would still think of me when they use this trick I taught – if anyone still used nails.
I drove thousands of pounds of finish nails into trim. Turning the point to cut and not split was second nature to me. I could drive a nail flush without leaving pecker tracks and bring a nail set into play without fumbling the nails in my hand. Someone taught me the trick of setting the head of a common nail on exterior work with the head of another nail held sideways and extended that technique to breaking the skin on hardboard siding. I figured out it is more effective to clip the points off nails, rather than try to blunt them for a board end where splitting is a concern. I’d like to think there are dozens of carpenters who still carry Klines after seeing that trick.

I dumped a handful of clothes washing powder into 50# boxes of framing and drywall nails to make them easier to set. I greased trim nails with soap, wax and in a pinch by rubbing a 4d along the side of my nose, or an 8d through my hair. I now know this lubing significantly effects the nails holding power.

When I first hung drywall blue ring shank nails were the only way to go. The first nails I drove into concrete were cut nails.
I was partial to Plumb brand wooden handled hammers- steel gave me tennis elbow.

Now 90% of nailing on a job of any size is done with tools using pneumatics, gas combustion, electric battery or powder.

Better yet half the assemblies are now screwed together.

My pride in this skill is the same some old boy felt in 1911 because he was adept with a buggy whip.

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