Nut Wizard also picks up tennis balls

nutwizard

There are a of Nut Wizard videos on YouTube. People use them to pick up all kinds of spherical objects.

Here's a multi-headed Nut Wizard that makes short work of 40lbs of pecans on the lawn:

Here's a fellow who uses one to pick up shell casings. True to YouTube form, he doesn't show how it works until the video is half over: Read the rest

Kickstarting beltbuckle multitools

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Tony Zentil, a mechanical engineer, has a fully funded Kickstarter for a variety of multitool belt-buckles aimed at skateboarders, snowboarders, and motorcyclists -- they're a significant advance on my old, beloved 686 belt-buckle stolen by the security staff of London Gatwick airport in 2011. Read the rest

Ingenious idea for a Thor toolbox

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If you were a Norse god/superhero who moonlighted as a carpenter, this Thor Hammer Tool Kit would hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately right now it's just a concept design from Dave's Geeky Ideas!

When not being carried around for Asgardian cosplay, this hammer opens up to reveal all the tools stored inside. The handle is shared with an actual hammer, which is fastened into a removable tray. Beneath the tray is a reservoir for loose tools and nuts/bolts.

Read the rest

Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of Wired, shares his four favorite tools

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Chris Anderson is the CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones. From 2001 through 2012 he was Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine. Before Wired he was with The Economist for seven years in London, Hong Kong and New York. He’s the author of the New York Times bestselling books The Long Tail, and Free, as well as Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. His background is in science. He started with studying physics and doing research at Los Alamos, culminating in six years at the two leading scientific journals, Nature and Science. Chris is also the founder of the site Geekdad. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and five children.

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Show notes:

Carvey CNC Machine ($2,000)

CNC machines are subtractive. 3D printers add plastic but CNC machines cut it away. … The Carvey is the first one that really feels like it belongs in my workshop, on my desktop. It's beautiful. It's quiet, it's got a cover, hydraulic hinges, etc. … It's the perfect replacement for a laser cutter in that it does 2D quite easily. It can actually do limited 3D, which is to say give depth to stuff. … Think of it right now as the kind of thing you would use for carving wood, plastics of various sorts.

Cricut Explore Air Machine ($250)

The Cricut is a CNC paper cutter and plotter. Read the rest

Hex bit sockets make Allen keys irrelevant

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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

Sound artist Meara O'Reilly describes four favorite tools

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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.

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Show Notes:

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."

Sketch ($99) "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

Finger Ease is guitar string lubricant that smells nice

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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

How to make a "TSA compliant" multitool mod

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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

Dip pens made of copper piping

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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 is a "style checker" for your writing

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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

INTERVIEW: Hip Hop Family Tree's Ed Piskor on the weird old tools of classic comics

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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

Foldable step stool $10

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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

Kraut makers delight! A $9 cabbage shredder

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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

This tool connects pencil stubs together

Photo: Blackwing Pages

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

Digital guitar tuner for $5 with free shipping

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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

How to separate and stack frighteningly strong neodymium magnets

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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

One of my best purchases in 2015: magnetic tool holder

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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

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