I hate Allen keys. This set of ⅜" drive hex bit sockets means I rarely have to fight one of those stupid tiny things again!
Ever tried getting an over tightened socket head screw out of a 40 year old motorcycle's drain pan with 2 ½" long Allen key? I gave up. I ordered this set of ⅜" drive sockets to make the job easy, and it was. They come in handy when building a Blahblahblah from Ikea, or pretty much anything that needs a hex bit wrench.
This Crafstman set comes with sockets sized 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. 3 and 4 seem typical for most build-it-yourself furnishing. 6, 7 and 8 seem to be useful all over German and English motorcycles. Getting the seat off a Triumph is now a lot easier.
Not that a lot of socket fasteners come with dictated torque settings, but it is notionally helpful to be able to put these on the torque wrench as well.
I should likely get a set of Torx bits as well, although I still like what I currently use.
CRAFTSMAN EVOLV 7-PC HEX BIT SOCKET SET *METRIC* via Amazon Read the rest
Meara O'Reilly is a sound artist and educator, most recently in residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. She is co-creator of the Rhythm Necklace app, a musical sequencer that uses two-dimensional geometry to create rhythms. Her collaboration with Snibbe Interactive on sound-based cymatic concert visuals for Björk's Biophilia album was included in the world tour.
Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page
OP-1 Portable Synthesizer ($849)
"I have to say that the OP-1 is one of the best new instruments that's out there. I found it to be simultaneously complex and accessible. ... Essentially, it doesn't sacrifice complexity but it has great design constraints that allow you to make something right away. ... It's not a full octave and the keys are not full size. ... There's all these buttons on it that, at first don't make any sense and they sort of just have numbers or whimsical little designs on them and when you press them, all of a sudden there's this advanced functionality."
"It's kind of now my go-to design tool because it's such a focused piece of software, in terms of, it was focused specifically on what I was trying to do, which was basically prototype how something would look on a iOS device and be able to immediately export things and put them in code and put them in action, as opposed to having to do lots of, jumping through lots of hoops to export stuff. Read the rest
I really like Finger Ease guitar string lubricant. While I doubt the spray does a thing for the sound of my strings, I find it allows me to play for quite a bit longer.
Read the rest
Carrying small pliers and screwdrivers can be helpful and comforting. When traveling without checked baggage, I feel strange leaving behind my small multitools. Being without tools is weird.
Read the rest
Martin Bolton made these gorgeous copper dip pens
with lengths of copper pipe, standard nibs and thermoplastic adhesive. He doesn't seem to have any for sale, but I bet they're pretty easy to make with one of those wee copper pipe-cutting gadgets.
Although there are many types of pens like this available, I decided to design and manufacture my own around an existing nib. The design incorporates a standard available component (the nib) and the re-implementation of waste material (copper tubing) in its assembly. The nib was manufactured in England and purchased locally in South Africa from a stationary supplier. The bodies of the pens are cut from copper tubing from the refrigeration industry (presumably). The copper is then polished to luster, which also removes any edge burrs. The design is straight forward - the nib fits into the copper tube, and gets bonded in place with a suitable thermoplastic adhesive. A test prototype has been in use for several months and proves successful. The copper will tarnish, which can be brought back to luster if desired, with a suitable brass/copper polishing compound.
Read the rest
Proselint isn't a grammar checker. It's a "style" checker, warning writers when their work is hackneyed, inconsistent or very obviously not great.
proselint places the world’s greatest writers and editors by your side, where they whisper suggestions on how to improve your prose. You’ll be guided by advice inspired by Bryan Garner, David Foster Wallace, Chuck Palahniuk, Steve Pinker, Mary Norris, Mark Twain, Elmore Leonard, George Orwell, Matthew Butterick, William Strunk, E.B. White, Philip Corbett, Ernest Gowers, and the editorial staff of the world’s finest literary magazines and newspapers, among others. Our goal is to aggregate knowledge about best practices in writing and to make that knowledge immediately accessible to all authors in the form of a linter for prose.
It's in rudimentary form at the moment, but expect it to turn up in web-based form fields and popular apps soon. See also Hemingway App, which does a similar thing but with an eye toward concision and brevity rather than general style. Read the rest
Ed Piskor, creator of Hip Hop Family Tree (which debuted right here at Boing Boing) shared with us some of the ancient artistic tools that inspires his unique technique.
While drawing a splendid Happy Mutant, he takes us through his "war chest": zip-a-tone sheets, letraset, a Leroy lettering gadget, risography, and the immortal spirit of great cartooning.
He also muses on what it's like to teach students who know every corner of a Wacom tablet, but recoil in horror when the only undo level is a splodge of white-out.
Enjoy the 35-minute visit to his studio! And keep an eye out for the Happy Mutant you see below—we'll be auctioning them for a good cause soon.
Read the rest
This foldable step stool is 11 inches high, and is only 1.5 inches thick when folded up. It has replaced a non-folding plastic step stool that we'd kept in on the floor in the closet. It's on sale at Amazon for $10. Read the rest
Xeni got me addicted to making my own kraut. Life has me addicted to specialized kitchen tools. Combine the two and I've decided I just love this cabbage slicer/shredder.
The strong handled, wide stainless steel bladed tool easily converts a cabbage into kraut size slivers. Perfect for mashing and smashing in your kraut jar. Gone are the careful slicing and cutting down of a cabbage with my chef's knife. This feels a lot safer!
Cleaning is as easy as rinsing the blade off and lightly wiping it down. The tool is also dishwasher safe.
If you like making kraut, this shredder is a cheap and easy way to cut down the cabbage.
Westmark Germany Cabbage Slicer with Stainless Steel Blade via Amazon Read the rest
The Tsunago pencil sharpener lets you "chain smoke" your pencils by connecting pencil stubs together. The Tsunago ("let's connect") has three blades. One sharpens like a normal pencil sharpener. Another bores a hole in the bottom of one stub. The third makes a plug in the other stub. All you need is a bit of wood glue to keep the pencil pieces stuck together.
Here's some who used the sharpener for a courageous Blackwing pencil rescue.
(Thanks, Kent!) Read the rest
I don't know how long this deal will last but $5 for a digital guitar/ukulele/violin/bass tuner (on Amazon) is a great deal. I already have one but I just bought a couple more to give away. Read the rest
Brainiac75 made a pair of wooden tools that he uses to separate and stack large neodymium magnet discs. I've pinched my fingers quite a few times with tiny neodymium magnet discs and have learned to respect them. These big ones are very dangerous. You could easily lose a finger if these magnets were to smack into one another. Please get some thick gloves, Brainiac75! Read the rest
I bought this wall-mounted magnetic strip to have easy access to tools I need for simple household tasks: opening packages, hanging pictures, assembling furniture, tightening loose nuts, installing door locks, measuring things, simple plumbing repairs, etc. It's much better than keeping the tools in a kitchen drawer, because I can instantly find the tool(s) I need. The magnet is very strong, so I don't have to worry about a tool falling off. The strips come in various lengths. The one I bought is 24 inches long. The shortest I've seen on Amazon is seven inches. Read the rest
Perfect for all your underwater stealth-drilling needs, the Nemo Power Tools SPECIAL OPS is submersible to 100 meters, has an 18v lithium battery, and is all-black for maximum concealment.
Its 1000-watt brushless technology ensures maximum efficiency and durability. It comes with a durable carrying case, battery charger, pressure valve and pump to pressurize the drill, and two 6Ah batteries, to make sure you’re ready for jobs that require extra power and time. The Nemo SPECIAL-OPS comes with additional accessories geared towards the tasks carried out by special forces.
Nemo SPECIAL OPS accessories include a diving headlamp, a diving tool belt with tool bag, and a handy waterproof bag to keep your battery charger dry.
It's sadly out of stock right now, but $2,000 when they have them in. Models submersible to shallower depths are less expensive, but not very stealthy at all.
[Nemo Power Tools
via @joeljohnson] Read the rest
Have you ever wondered why the riveted metal tab that holds the end hook on a tape measure has slop in it? It's not because it was manufactured by a shoddy company. Gareth Branwyn at Make explains the reason:
If you’ll notice, the inch marks on the tape actually start 1/16″ short. That’s because the thickness of the hook itself is 1/16″. So, if you take an inside measurement (pressing the hook end against the work piece you’re measuring), you will get an accurate measurement. But also, if you hook the end onto a work piece, the play in the rivets will move the hook out to compensate for hooking onto the material, creating a 1/16″ gap between the hook and the tape, allowing for an accurate measurement.
This is just one of five wonderful things about tape measures you may not know. If you already knew all five things, please crow about it in the comments and remark how surprised you are that not everyone is aware of this information. Read the rest
The dream of desktop manufacturing is now a reality. Take a look at the incredible variety of things you can make with a Glowforge laser cutter, from wallets to leather sandals, lamps to dollhouses, jewelry to phone cases. In this video Glowforge CEO Dan Shapiro shows how easy it is to make a laser cut item simply by drawing your design on a piece of material. Visit glowforge.com/boingboing to get $100 off a Glowforge today. [Sponsored Post] Read the rest
Tara Tiger Brown is the founder of nonprofit organization LA Makerspace, the premier STEAM service provider for the Los Angeles Public Library. She’s also the co-founder of Kithub, creative electronics kits for kids, and co-founder of Connected Camps, which has online camps for kids including a Minecraft coding club.
Read the rest