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grover
Jan 23, 2002

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devnull420 posted:

Also, is there a good way to get a new bolt to stick back in? My ghetto fabulous plan is to get the bolt out, stick a new bolt through the gate into the hole left in the concrete wall, and then fill it in with pieces of broken concrete (have a bunch of it lying around) and concrete cement. I don't really have a great selection of tools (just the minimum I need to work on my car and various assorted others) so I'm trying to make do with what I got, no way to stick a new bolt into concrete (that I know of at least).
The bolt may be epoxied in, in which case, it's not going to come back out.

Speaking of which, use epoxy to get the new bolt to stick in the old hole They're probably with the hurricane straps in the big box, as they're common to tie houses to foundations.

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grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Back when I was driving my 15 year old camaro, I'd never go anywhere without a full toolset; english and metric sockets, set of craftsmen ratchet wrenches, pliers, adjustable wrench, channel locks, a set of screwdrivers, fix-a-flat, tire plug kit, air pump, and every kind of fluid the car could possibly leak.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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SNiPER_Magnum posted:

Actually, whenever I need hand tools, Lowes is my first stop now.
I swear by Dollar Tree. That way, I'm never terribly upset when I lose my tools, or the motherfuckers at airport security confiscate my screwdrivers, just because Japan measures them differently than TSA. Oh well.

Also, $1 tape measures work just as well as $10 tape measures.

grover fucked around with this message at 00:08 on Sep 7, 2008

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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FireTora posted:

A friendly tip from me. If you ever need a valve spring compressor that isn't this style.

Order one online a week ahead of time. I tried 3 Sears, 2 Kragens, 1 monument, 1 pepboys and Harbor freight and none of them had the other styles. So now I must put off finishing putting my bike back together for another weekend while i wait for my new tool to arrive.
PROTIP: Autozone and advance auto parts have free loaner tools. Nice high quality ones, too You put down a deposit for the value of the tools, and get refunded when you return them.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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The big question is: how will you use it? Your little one is weak, but can plug into any outlet. The 240V one is a better, more powerful unit, but restricted to 240V outlets. It'll also make the lights in your house dim a little whenever it kicks on, heh.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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That technology was originally developed for beer lines, and has been adapted all over the place. We used a similar product for air-blown fiber optic cabling; it was rated up to 200psi and holds incredibly firm. The fiber optic stuff was all ridiculously expensive, but there's really no reason it shouldn't be dirt cheap. And man, it's works great and it's sooo easy.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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ease posted:

Not to derail, but airblown FO ?? Is that kinda like how a electrician will suck his pull line through conduit with a vacuum?

Whats the point, so you can just blow another cable through if you ever need to add another?
Actually, it's a lot like it. In an air blown fiber install, a series of boxes are installed, with empty hollow multiduct tubes between the boxes, usually in a large generic grid-like network. The installer then goes from box to box, connecting tubes in each box with those little push couplings, until a single pipe is made from point A to point B. They then stick an air compressor on one end and literally blow the fiber through the tube Laminar flow in the tube pushes the fibers so they float in the middle of the cable, and they use a special coating on the fibers so the air grabs them and pulls them along. A special pull-head slowly meters out the fiber, controlling the speed of the blow. It's actually pretty slick, and the fiber will go go right around 90 bends.

The advantage is in flexibility, since places are constantly changing configuration, and this really cuts down on the labor associated with fiber optic installation. Especially with very long runs (1000'+) in buildings, which tend to have a high failure rate of conventional cable due to rough handling.

http://www.blolite.net/
http://www.futureflex.com/

grover fucked around with this message at 02:00 on Oct 28, 2008

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Jorsh posted:

this is pretty "duhhh" poo poo but



that walmart $20 rachet set will only take you so far.
Aha, there's your problem right there! You should have gone for the $5 taiwanese ratchet set instead. I've beat on mine with a sledge hammer before (they're disposable, right?) without so much as a crack.

I've got plenty of spares, too. I mean, at $5 a set, I've got a set in every car, a set in the workshop, and one in my desk at work.

grover fucked around with this message at 10:44 on Dec 22, 2008

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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SNiPER_Magnum posted:

WD40. This is what WD40 (water displacement) is actually supposed to do.
Do NOT do this! WD40 will coat everything, and you can't get rid of it. Also, it's an insulator. Special-made electronics cleaner does an even better job, and evaporates completely after you've used it. I have a can of electronics cleaner I bought at AutoZone years ago, and I use it constantly for cleaning electronic connectors.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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I've got in my hand a 1lb 3oz (spray-paint can-sized) bottle of CEC "Lectra-Motive Electric Parts Cleaner" with graphics of an alternator and starter motor on the front. I believe it's mostly tetracloroethylene. It works great, but dissolves plastic- not to the point where it melts through or destroys parts, but it'll ruin a laptop screen (I'm pissed at myself for this one, but at least the keyboard works, heh), and will leave a visible mark on plastic components when it dries.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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It's called a flow switch, and yes, they're common

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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I found a ratchet strap on the road the other day, but apparently a truck had found it first. Was twisted well beyond working order. I never find anything cool like a fluke

Also, I *wanted* to swing by harbor freight today when we were in the area to pick up an HDTV, but we couldn't find it! Google maps has failed me utterly, it's sad.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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RealKyleH posted:



An air belt sander. Really Harbor Freight? What could you ever need this for?
I'm sure it comes in really handy for removing VINs and engine serials from those hard-to-reach spots.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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I've got the same question, pretty much. My camaro started making some godawful noises and started smoking so badly last night driving home from the airport, I honestly thought it was on fire, and stopped the car to check! Turns out my pinion seal is pretty much gone. Long story short, there's a 200lb nut on there I need to take off. I'm looking at it as an excuse to buy that impact wrench I've been wanting for a while but couldn't justify.

Can you recommend me a good (but affordable) impact wrench? I don't have a compressor, so electric is preferred to save me the cost of a compressor.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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kimbo305 posted:

It's just that when you're working on the car on stage or at the service area, you wanna work as fast as you can. If I were to get a flat, I wouldn't want to be stuck using a lug wrench to change the wheel. Surely this tool exists? The team I worked for had something like I'm describing.
Lowes has one for $200.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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I got a metal rail for $2 at Big Lots a couple years ago. Came with a full set of sockets, too I keep that one at work with a similarly cheap socket; they way I'm not so upset if someone "borrows" it and forgets to return it. (I lose more tools that way!)

grover fucked around with this message at 16:31 on May 2, 2009

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Just Another XY posted:

This is really novice but I purchased a cheap air compressor from Sears for $24.95, and the drat thing poo poo it self after three tire inflations. Somebody recommend me something that'll work for more than a day.
Those little ones are fine for adding a few lbs to a tire, but you can't inflate entire tires with them without burning them out. I've used my $20 special for about 10 years now; the gauge has busted, but it still pumps air. The trick is to turn it off before it overheats and give it a chance to cool. This may be after every tire. Even if you get a better one (like that Vair), you still need to watch the temp. Compressors don't like to run for long periods of time, that's why the professional ones always use air bottles.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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^^ LOL!

CornHolio posted:

Needless to say, they don't make them like they used to.
Yeah. New tools are grounded and double-insulated so you don't die when the wires inside get old and fray a little.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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I need to fix one of my son's toys, but it's got these asinine triange-socket screws. Where can I find a screwdriver for removing them? I've got a full set of odd screwdriver bits, but no triangles. I'm thinking dollar tree and a grinder would be easiest.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Wagonburner posted:

I got some of those out with just a perfect-sized flathead, was a little pocket-clip give-away kind with some company's name on it.
Hey, whatdoyaknow, this worked! Freaking bazillion little screws, too, about 16 of them. Got them all out, got out the multimeter... and discovered the piece of poo poo "super heavy duty" batteries were fine on the battery tester, but failed under load.

Good news is: I got it fixed! Will me a much happier christmas getting a working toy as oppose to a broken one. Thanks for the help, guys.

grover fucked around with this message at 20:01 on Dec 5, 2009

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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I won a cordless impact wrench as a door prize last night.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Sexual Lorax posted:

Please let me know your impression of it. I'm in the market for a 1/2" cordless impact, and $100 seems like a really good price for tool, charger, and two batteries.
I haven't had a chance to use it yet, and don't really have any projects at the moment I can test it on, but it seems well built and feels solid. It's HEAVY, I can tell you that much- probably 2-3x heavier than my [corded] hammer drill, and that's without the battery. No idea how it'll hold up under heavy use, but this was the annual awards banquet for the local autocross club, and the people that picked out the door prizes really know their poo poo, so I can only assume it's a decent piece of equipment. (For reference, the other door prizes were an aluminum racing jack and gift certificates for dyno pulls at two local race shops.)

Edit: I take that back, I need to change the brake pads on my wife's 4Runner, but we were unable to loosen the bolts, even after lowering the jack and dropping the weight of the truck on the ratchet handle. This will be a PERFECT test for it. I'll post back the the results, but it may be a few days until I get a chance to do it.

grover fucked around with this message at 02:59 on Dec 7, 2009

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Uthor posted:

Christmas tool question edition:
Is there an easy way of checking which bulb is burned out in a string of lights? I just went through them one by one, which sucked and it's more worth my time to just buy a new strand. At this point, though, there's like 8-10 mostly good strands in the house that just need that one bulb tracked down and replaced.
Fortunately, christmas lights have progressed from component level maintenance in the 60s, to assembly-level maintenance today. If one bulb in a string burns out, you buy a new one (by which I mean a new string) for $2 and move on. Shoot, it's probably easier just to throw out all your old lights and buy new than to try to save them from year to year.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Speaking of wrenches...

Only registered members can see post attachments!

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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ab0z posted:

What is this?
(besides hilarious)
Old Photoshop thread about protips. Can't recall if it was a phriday or not.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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I scored a new torque wrench for christmas! Santa bring anyone else new tools?

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Kynetx posted:

Vermont American any good? I use their taps a fair amount.
It's about as cheap as you can get. I use a lot of their products when I have to buy a "disposable" tool/blade/bit for a project (or I don't feel like the trip to Lowes and am stuck with the the meager selection at the corner hardware store.) They're certainly not professional grade, but they work well enough for small jobs.

I've literally melted Vermont American masonry bits. And I mean the first 1/8" of the bit turned into a ball. I've gotta find a picture of that...

Edit:
Found it. The carbide tip would snap off while drilling, and the soft steel bit would just slag itself. And no, I didn't take them up on their lifetime replacement policy.


grover fucked around with this message at 15:26 on Jan 22, 2010

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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We just unwrapped a brand new 1/2" craftsman ratchet last week, and the loving thing was broken out of the box. I've seen them break before, but never broken out of the box. Their quality control has absolutely gone to poo poo, but they're still priced like it's a premium brand. At least the generics are priced like generics.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Sawzall is like duct tape in reverse, it's perhaps the most awesome power tool in existence.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Splizwarf posted:

If I had ratchets with no lifetime guarantee I wouldn't be beating on them. Also, I'd still make sure I had some I could beat on. Sometimes, a hammer and a ratchet go places that a wrench, a breaker bar, and an impact gun just can't go. Maybe if I had a wrench that I could mount deepwall sockets on, that turned... hmm.
None of my ratchets have lifetime guarantees, yet I beat on them all the same... because I don't give a poo poo. I've got 3 more just like them, and can replace them with another $5 set anytime I want. I've yet to break any, and it's sure not from lack of trying or wailing on them with hammers and breaker bars.

Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've only had one fail, and it was one a friend of mine found in the trunk of a junked car, and already broken when I got it. I unfortunately didn't realize it until my car was on the lift, oil drained, filter off... and only then discovered the ratchet was unable to tighten. So, moral of the story is to always carry a spare?

grover fucked around with this message at 21:40 on Apr 6, 2010

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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RealKyleH posted:

There's a difference in "meeting the spec" and being qualified to it. Any idea what the spec number on the package was (e.g. MIL-DTL-22520 or AS22520 for hand crimping tools)? I can often lookup what companies are qualified to certain products.
Yeah, you've got to be careful about this. MIL-SPEC include both design and testing requirements. A lot of manufacturers will claim to build their [whatever] in accordance with MIL-etc, but don't actually undergo the testing process and thus do not actually meet MIL-SPEC. You can often tell this by the way their word their claims, like saying "designed to meet" instead of "meets." If they provide NSN numbers or GSA schedule information, it's probably legit. Otherwise, I'd ignore it as just more baseless marketing.

MIL-SPEC isn't necessarily any better than commercial; many are simply out-of-date. Others are overbuilt for unique military requirements; for instance ceramic and stainless steel fiber optic connectors designed to withstand the shock of torpedo hits that would shear off plastic connectors. Mixing the two has bad consequences- if you try to use a MIL-SPEC fiber optic connector on a piece of commercial-grade equipment, the stronger spring tension on the MIL-SPEC connector can break the plastic plug.

grover fucked around with this message at 09:59 on Apr 23, 2010

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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PBCrunch posted:

There is a lot of talk about electrical connectors here so I will ask a question.

I am looking for a MALE relay harness. It is easy enough to find a female relay harness that the relay fits into, I am looking for something that will allow me to easily relocate a relay to a more convenient location without cutting existing wiring and without the chance of mixing up the wiring. I am looking for these in the hundreds of units.
May be cheaper/easier just to cannibalize a compatible relay for this.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Wagonburner posted:

I figure this is as good a place as any to ask.
Just curious, not having problems just always wondered this.

How does a portable gas generator, old-fashioned non-inverter style maintain the 3600 rpm? I've never had one apart but I can see a little tie-rod looking thing open the throttle up if I plug in a heater or something high wattage. Is there like active electronics or something in there managing that? Surely it's something simpler than that, but how?

The carb looks like a normal lawnmower/gokart type with that little tie-rod going between it and some box, what's in the box? what's in the box?
Mechanical governor. Pretty simple, really. Voltage and frequency regulation is rather poor on small gens, though. I've got a 3500 Watt gen I use on my house during power failures. It's plenty for all the lights, TVs, computers, etc, in my house, but not the AC or water heater. I actually need to run around and turn on every light in the house to load it down to 120V, or it'll put out 128V. We ran the stove on it once, and it was interesting. Each electric element on my range is around 1800W, and they use on/off switching to maintain temperature (I just used one). I could hear the difference when it switched on/off and see the lights in the house dim/brighten- the meter in the wall told the tale, as voltage went from 125V when it was off to 110V when it was on.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Aeka 2.0 posted:

screwdrivers are also the tool that disappears the most. I don't know how many I've bought (20+) but I can only account for about 5 in my toolbox right now.
I've got a million screwdrivers, pliers, etc, but they all seem to vanish. Case in point- last christmas, 5 scant months ago, I gave my wife 5 dollar tree needle nose pliers as a gag gift because despite having 3 or 4 various pairs, we can never find them. I can account for exactly one of them right now. The rest are scattered to the 4 corners of the earth. But at least there is ONE that I know where to find it, and that's better than before

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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CornHolio posted:

Anybody have an answer to this?
It will take longer if you don't spin quite that fast, but I don't see why it wouldn't still work.

I'd get a corded drill for this project. Otherwise, you're going to be working for 5 minutes and then waiting 4 hours for the battery to charge.

Regarding those two particular drills for other future projects... I wouldn't expect much out of them. The $20 cordless has a clutch that will prevent you from overdriving screws, which is nice. The corded will probably work well as a light-duty drill, but will not be so great at driving screws. (You've got your cordless screwdriver for that, I suppose.) Neither will be up to the task of boring large holes through hardwood, powering hole saws, etc. Keyless chucks like both have are great for light duty. For $15-20, they're not exactly long-term investments; you might as well treat them as throwaways. If it works for you after this project, great, if not, eh. I've gotten my money's worth out of a great many throwaway power tools like this.

grover fucked around with this message at 00:38 on May 30, 2010

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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CornHolio posted:

Otherwise I suppose I'll get this.
FYI, this drill is on sale at HF for $15 this weekend.

http://www.harborfreight.com/retail-flyer

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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Yeah, I should have prewarned that, too. Consider that $15 drill a disposable tool that MIGHT last you this one project, but is not an investment. Something an apartment dweller who needs to hang a shelf might buy. The battery will die frustratingly quickly on more involved projects, and it won't have the torque for bigger screws; it's not a good drill to use with that buffing kit- get a corded drill. $30 will buy you a decent corded drill that will serve you for years.

I should have known better than to go to Harbor Freight for a $25 set of metric flex ratcheting wrenches. Ended blowing $173 this morning. Ah well, I'm at least now the proud new owner of SAE and metric deep-sockets, a brake bleeder and a pressure washer. And a bunch of other random crap. Ironically, I ran into one of my buddys at Advanced Auto on the way home - buying brake fluid to bleed his brakes today. So, might get used already.

Speaking of which:

grover fucked around with this message at 15:43 on May 30, 2010

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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oxbrain posted:

I hope you enjoy hand cramps and squishy brakes.
How so? I've only used one of these once before; it was a loaner and sucked, but I thought it was because it had a leaky gasket. I have to run back today anyhow to return the deep sockets- realized I already had both sets, DOH! Also, paid for a can of gojo but it's not in my bag; probably still at the checkout.

grover
Jan 23, 2002

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SNiPER_Magnum posted:

You have to pump the poo poo out of that thing to get any amount of fluid. And if you don't have a good fit on your bleeder screw, you get a lot of little air bubbles. I don't think it's worth it unless you don't have friends and can't get speed bleeders.
Makes perfect sense. I took your and oxbrain's advice and returned it... and bought my new favorite tool, an 18" ratcheting breaker bar with 1/2" drive

For anyone following my HG repair: I got the driver's side exhaust manifold off with my new favorite tool. Got a stubborn bolt on the EGR valve slowing me down on the passenger side, though. In the meantime, I'm PB Blasting the crap out of everything. Edit2: and all the driver's side head bolts. All but one stinking bracket bolt I somehow missed, and just when I started removing it, it started to rain and I had to pack up quick because the last thing I need is rainwater in my block.

grover fucked around with this message at 00:13 on May 31, 2010

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grover
Jan 23, 2002

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CornHolio posted:

Man, that sucks. What $30 corded drill would you recommend?
That was just a price point I threw out; I didn't have any particular models in mind. (I spent $80 on a Hitachi corded hammer drill when I built my addition and it's been awesome, but it's more than you need.) Any corded drill should be fine for your headlight project; cordless just drain batteries too fast when used continuously. I'm sure many others here will chime in, but features I like in a drill are keyless chuck, clutch and variable speed. Window-shop your local Lowes/Home Depot and check out their selection. The difference between the REALLY cheap drills and the high-end is usually pretty apparent when you see the heft. Having a second bolt-on handle in order to be able to deal with the torque is usually a pretty good sign, too

If ALL you want to do is this headlight job, that $15 corded drill you linked would be fine. You could use it for light projects, and can always step up to something better if you have some new project and it's just not up to the task. I've done this before, too; $15 angle grinder, for instance- bought it for one project, finished it, and it's got some issues but still grinds, so I'm still using it

grover fucked around with this message at 00:23 on May 31, 2010

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