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paulengr last won the day on January 30

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  1. ...or until the blade snaps. Need also very narrow 1-2 mm blades on small terminals for control power on 5 mm terminal blocks. Another trouble spot is with a lot of devices they put the screw holes on narrow ears mounted at the base of the device with ridiculously narrow slots along the corners of the housing about a screw width wide. When devices are 100-200 mm deep (4-8") a fat screw driver with some torque pushes out of the slot because it's on an angle. A long narrow one frequently has torque issues either because of the narrow handle or the assumption that everything must be narrow including the blade. So personally I find the very ergonomic German screw drivers don't fit any if my use cases. They are not insulated, they are bigger and bulkier than the Klein, too fragile as "beater" screw drivers, and too big to get in narrow spots. To make matters worse in today's environment the safety crowd is demanding that everything is torqued to spec...that is use a torque screw driver. Frankly, those can only actually be used in perhaps 10% of the locations I run into. It's a nice theory but unless all of the equipment is redesigned it can't happen. The only way that can happen is if inspectors push the issue so that craftsmen can push back on the manufacturer and require them to make a way to comply with the torque spec they published. I have no idea how the Listing agencies ever torque anything to specification for third party testing purposes. In most cases it doesn't seem possible or it only works on ONE item at a time on an open bench. Last issue remember that once corrosion sets in never mind the various effects on screws over time up to 300% torque may be needed for removal especially if thread locker or MbS2 isn't used as a lubricant and screws are not self lubricating brass or cadmium. Most guys assume a screw is once and done. More than once I've just left them or removed with a grinder. If anything it seems to suggest that the ergonomics issues aren't with the screw drivers but the things they are used on. Talk to electricians and plumbers. They use screw drivers more than anyone else. Dry wallers and others just use tons of Phillips #2 or similar fasteners usually with a cordless driver of some kind but they are almost always in wide open areas where accessibility is never a problem and rarely removing screws that are seized up over time. They can just cut them witb a reciprocating saw. I do the same when I can but most jobs require removing just one or two parts for replacement. Even replacing an entire panel involves carefully marking and removing before demo of the old one then trying to stretch wiring and plumbing to fit the new stuff. Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
  2. It's all preference. Some like a squishy handle. Some like hard. Some like very ergonomic Ger designs but they are fat and don't get into narrow spots. Some like the huge old U shaped antique auger things. Personally I believe some of it may be hand shape. I find the Kraftform shape very awkward but I have long skinny fingers. It is also task specific. For large fat screws such as on doors I carry a large portion "impact rated" (can hit the end with a hammer with no damage) screwdriver with a 3/8" flat blade that I can also pry with. The handle is wide with lots of leverage. Intermediate most of them are 1000 V rated insulated screw drivers with rubber cushion handles. I don't like any of them and the blades and insulation are constantly a problem but I've tried several brands with the same result. Mostly in this category outside of those is a Klein 5 in 1. There is something about that particular model that works well and is very comfortable. Very popular with maintenance technicians. The others (11 in 1, 7 in 1) either have junk bits or junk handle. But all of these have serious accessibility problems. A lot of electrical controls locate the screws in extremely inaccessible spots. The screw drivers so far are either too large or too short to reach. That's when I reach for precision style screwdrivers. They are narrow and long, most with a rotating end so you can put pressure on it to hold it in until either the screw moves or the Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
  3. Usually the best contractors don't advertise, it's word of mouth. They have worked with each other so they know who is good and who isn't. Electricians and plumbers especially work together. You can ask your neighbors but you need to know someone that is also a contractor. If you don't know any contractors stop at a job site. Don't bother with cheap housing or large high rise projects...They are fast not the best. And ask more than one so they are not just recommending a brother or cousin. Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
  4. paulengr

    Tough System 2.0

    Actually scratch that. You obviously do NOT own Toughsystem boxes or you would know about the latch system. As standalone stacking boxes the yellow ears on the sides lock them together, SAME as Ridgid, Milwaukee, and even Tough Orgsnizer boxes. As with the others they work very well if you don’t abuse them. If you do not use them and just stack the boxes they will dislodge occasionally in the back of the truck or going up/down stairs. So use as needed. The downside is it’s a stack. Remove all boxes on too to get to the one you need. Where Tough Ststem stands out is in the racking system for workshops, vans, and the DS Carrier. This changes things considerably. The latches are actually the handles. Install a box on the arms by lifting the side handles and slide it on. The rolling cart is goofy. It goes on backwards AND blocks the box above it. Other than that one this changes the stack into drawers...each one is independent of the others. With the handles down there is a square protrusion that locks the handle onto the arms and the clearance between arms is so narrow they cannot shift and get loose but loose enough to be grab-and-go ready. The DS Carrier has yet a third system. There is a locking bar that grabs the otherwise useless ears on the back of every box except the rolling one and can be padlocked. So going back to building a separate lock system, why? I don’t see Dewalt eliminating any of these in 2.9 except maybe the metal clips for the DS lock. Personally I’d maybe make it an optional accessory if I was at SBD. Just put grooves on the box for locating it if you buy the clips. I’ll bet maybe 1% of owners have ever used it. I took them off. All they do is get caught on things. If someone is going to bother to steal a tool on the DS Carrier they will take the whole cart! Why stop with just one tool or box.
  5. paulengr

    Tough System 2.0

    Not sure about 2.0 but on 1.0 all the boxes have a hasp slot. Even if you buy a job box it has a slot for a hasp. I can’t imagine anything but those stupidly useless brief case locks coming built in. A padlock is far more secure and a bicycle/boat lock does the whole stack. The DS carrier has a lock mechanism where you rotate a handle and put one lock on all of them. The rolling box is the only one that doesn’t lock. But you could buy the large non-rolling tool box and have one that latched and locks too. Either way the only place I have ever seen where took theft is a problem on the work site during working hours is Detroit automotive plants especially Ford plant #1. If it’s not physically bolted down they steal it even if you turn your back for 30 seconds. Don’t go there with any tools you want and go back to job boxes. But I live in the South. We take care of that problem here. A thief would be lucky to only get fired. The guy he ribs might decide to punish the thief personally and the law would look the other way, We don’t tolerate that behavior here and that’s why it rarely goes on. I’ve had to overnight in hotels in Charlotte multiple times with an open bed truck, the Libtard sewer of the South, and never had anything stolen yet. After hours or in the back of a truck use the bicycle chain and/or ratchet strap them down. Even latching them together. Locks are to keep honest people out. My grinder removes hardened padlocks in 2 minutes. A couple wrenches does the job in 15 seconds, quietly, and you can learn how on Youtube.. If your boxes are loose in the back of the truck where a thief can simply grab one while walking by they will especially in bad parts of the big cities. Country folk are afraid of being shot where there are no gun laws protecting the criminals. But if a thief is going to rob you on purpose no lock will even slow them down. That’s where the side latches or a ratchet strap are no better than a padlock. ABS is just as strong as steel when done right and it doesn’t rust, and it gives more which you need on the side latches so I.don’t see an advantage: I’ve heard of guys ripping ears and handles off but unless you abuse them I haven’t had trouble. I have accidentally ripped the metal latches off by catching them on things with the latches open though so I don’t see where a metal latch improves this. You sound like you’re better off with job boxes if that’s an issue. The top bins for 2.9 are the half width Tough Organizers. No separate “launch” needed. You can buy them today for $10-15 each. I’m on the fence about 2.0. I keep 4 half width (lengthwise) Tough Organizers in my rolling bin now. The tray holds really long tools. The thing that I’m on the fence about is the lid bins depend on application. And they look like you lose space. The thing is almost every tool box comes with some tray system. Most of them are a dumb waste of space. The idea is frequently used tools. But that’s what an organizer system is for. In my rolling box everything is binned in Tough Organizers or bags (for compactness) now. The tray is mostly in the way if I use it. The 2.0 trays would be genuinely useful (or not) in this box. Just going by internet pictures at least. In my drill box the top trays are a great feature and works wonderful but those are the split lid bins. Except when the tiny latches break which is way too easy to do. Then they are constantly falling down in the way. I think this is the DS130 case. I can keep all my drill bits other than actual drills and a large assortment of sheet metal screws in them where the bottom bins hold common screws like drywall screws and an entire set of hole saws and step drills. Losing the bins would be a step backwards. In all my cases I use for parts storage I can never remember what’s in them and the fixed dividers just get in the way so not very functional. On my tool-oriented DS150s as opposed to the 130 they are too shallow for sockets and too short and tray slots too narrow for wrenches or long extensions so mostly they’re not very useful. I broke one tray so I want to just take it out but then the bins are loose and not locked in so I can’t. I’d be happy losing the tray completely. Not sure how the bins would work though without the a Tough Organizers holding them down or vice versa with the organizers in do you lose the bins? That would make the Packout bin boxes a clear superior product, So I’m on the fence with 2.0. It’s like DS130 vs 150. One is vastly superior as a tool box which keeps the accessories handy. The other is an excellent organizer, better than big Red except useless top tray and no clear lid. The clear lid thing is useless anyways most of the time, When you need to know what’s in it is when it’s in the bottom of the stack! I have few issues because a paint pen fixes the clear lid issue, even stacked. The clear lid one is inferior to both. You can remove bins on the organizer or pack extra bins in the tool box but you really need both and it seemed like Dewalt was trying to kill off the organizer which is a bad idea. Ridgid sucks. They don’t sell the boxes separate and the three boxes are so limited that even T Stak looks good.
  6. paulengr

    guitar crack

    Adding anything to the inside changes the resonance. Same with routing. This type of repair is tricky to do because the body of the guitar is part of the acoustics. So if it's just an appearance thing (it just hangs on a wall) then a lot of options are possible. If you care about the acoustics find your local professional musical instrument shop (not guitar center) and go from there. If you reglue need to duplicate what the manufacturer used AND it's not that easy. Another approach is a professional restorer. These guys are pros at putting almost anything back together but again not easy to find. This may sound odd but call a local moving company or two. They know who to call because if something gets damaged in shipment they are on the hook to get it fixed if there is insurance involved. But they're more the cosmetic specialists usually, but might know someone. The people you are looking for don't advertise very much and the ones you want don't advertise at all. It's 100% word of mouth. A crack in anything sets up a high stress at the microscopic level that you cant see that acts to push things apart and increase the crack size working against the remaining glued material pushing it together...The crack wins. A common mistake with partial cracks is not addressing the crack tip that you cant see because right now it looks solid. This problem though is basically considered "fatal". Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
  7. I would tend to agree somewhat and it’s annoying. Random orbit sanders though are really finishing or edge tools, not large area. If you try to use a random orbit sander over a large area for say stripping, you get a much less even surface. That’s where the belt sander shines. But you won’t find much if anything cordless when it comes to belt sanding or say large grinders for good reason. With a grinder or a random orbit sander (I do mostly metal work) there are lots of small quick jobs where I might need the tool for maybe a minute or two like cleaning up the rough edges after sawing. And some jobs are just better cordless. Like hitting a painted metal surface where I’m attaching an electrical ground. But for large areas or say beveling an edge prepping it for welding even with three chargers I can’t recharge batteries fast enough to keep up. That’s why I reach for the corded tool on bigger jobs. But I’m not a finish carpenter or cabinet maker so to me a belt sander is not an every day tool compared to a random orbit sander or grinder that I use every day. Plus back in the day belt sanders were cheap and what the average homeowner bought. Random orbit sanders were purely professional grade tools. Random orbit sanders have come down in price and the skill level is almost zero so that’s what homeowners get these days.
  8. Dust collection is asking a LOT of a cordless tool. Cordless vacuums last just long enough to get the job done...about 10-15 minutes. The extra torque/power of a sander with a vacuum gives you maybe 3-5 minutes run time if that. Plus where would you fit a reasonable size canister? Face it vacuum attachment makes the most sense and keeps it a student project. Might want to look at frameless motors. For your application best would be a motor where the belt rides on the outside and the center is fixed (stator and rotor are swapped) which you can get in a frameless style motor but requires you supply bearings and similar parts. In conveyors you can buy a motor roller which is similar except it also has a planetary gearbox inside the roller. Fixed speed. In a belt sander you don’t cary this. Look at First Robotics for parts. REV Robotics sells a nice inexpensive small 12 VDC brushed or brushless motor controller. For testing we rig them to run fixed speed or off a pot (program everything via USB and a small setup program on your laptop). Look to Panasonic for Li-ion batteries from say Digi Key. Power Tool manufacturers (Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee) use 5-15 cells in their battery packs. 5 cells in series is 18-20 V. You need more like 2-4 cells but to start with I’d recommend a small NP12 which is a sealed 12 V lead acid battery common in alarm systems for instance, cheap with decent Ah ratings, and can be charged with a common car charger. Step it up to Li-ion once you have a working prototype. That gets you quickly to a working prototype.
  9. As to combo kits IF you need all the tools they make sense and you can save money. Like buying a kit with say a drill/driver, a charger, two batteries, and another tool such as a saw. Then you can add on others as needed. But pay attention to what’s in it. Often the tools are the weaker or older versions or stupid useless tools like really clunky flashlights. If you add up everything count the “junk” tools as $0 when figuring your savings. So those huge $500 combo kits are often stuffed with crappy tools or tools you don’t want or need. Even premium Dewalt and Milwaukee kits are that way. But smaller kits make sense. When you look at modern tool batteries that cost around $100 each and the bare tools are around $100 if you find say a drill and 2 batteries for $200 thats like buying batteries and getting the tool for free. All the manufacturers offer these “starter kits”. After you buy one set though additional combos usually only make sense if you need more batteries. Also look at the available tools down the road. If you expect to eventually need a certain tool that should affect your buying decision. If you buy say the Rigid set you can’t expect to expand later with a vacuum or a tower light. What you don’t want to do is have 3 different brand/voltage batteries that are not compatible because you overspend on batteries. Choose your tool platform to minimize batteries. I have 2 drills, 2 impacts, a couple saws, grinder, vacuum, and job site lights on one battery. My crimper and several meters are all on different batteries. Just keeping them all charged us a lot of extra work. It would have been much worse if I didn’t standardize on one battery platform. Also don’t overlook corded tools. Certain tools like grinders, table saws, and air compressors are available cordless but the corded version is much better. I have both corded and cordless grinders. Yesterday I easily got inside a box to strip the paint where I needed a grounded electrical connection with a cordless grinders but putting a bevel on a piece for welding would quickly drain the battery and the corded one is more powerful and faster.
  10. Ryobi is an HD house brand. Amazon can’t really be an authorized distributor by definition. That is just retailers reselling HD stock. Kind of like buying it on EBay. So good luck on warranty claims and watch out on Amazon on impossibly cheap deals especially battery scams. But it depends on what it is. I have no issues about buying off Amazon or Ebay but it’s buyer beware territory. If you are looking at other retailers CPO Outlets is normally authorized on refurbished and discontinued tools and so the warranty is good. The big thing is Ryobi is meant for the homeowner/DIY market. So don’t expect the best torque or the best batteries or long tool life as a “daily driver”. HD is selling it cheap for a reason and that’s the problem with it. It’s kind of like power tools from Harbor Freight. They are cheap but you are just asking for a world of problems and issues. If you try to return they will just up sell you. If you are looking for inexpensive weekend work or a disposable one time use tool it’s not as bad as say Harbor Freight. But you can do much better. When it comes to tools function should be your first concern (after safety). Color shouldn’t be a concern. I would steer you towards the Rigid or the Milwaukee M12 tools for two reasons. You get better torque, better batteries, and longer life without the huge premium on the M18 or Dewalt 20V tools. The Rigid set is a very nice 18 V set with a value price. If those 4 tools is what you need great. That’s the big limitation...very short tool lineup. Metabo/HPT is very similar to Rigid. In this instance Rigid is an HD house brand too (they are independent) but Metabo is independent. So you get the 18 V tools at a decent price. The M12 line especially is used extensively by tradesmen as a secondary tool. Milwaukee has supported it for years. Many M12 tools aren’t even available in M18. As in I can carry a tiny impact gun, lighter drill/driver, and save a lot of money when I don’t need the 18/20 V tools. The little portaband and the reciprocating saw for instance are perfect for residential electrical work. I mostly have 18 V tools only because my customers are mostly industrial so the stubby M12 impact won’t do much on a 1-1/8” nut. Only reason I don’t recommend the Dewalt 12 V line is they never continue to support it so if you buy today don’t expect it to be there tomorrow. And Makita is overpriced. Plus if you are worried about appearance Dewalt, Milwaukee, and Makita are instantly recognized and used on construction sites and in maintenance shops everywhere as professional grade tools. Nobody is going to question those or even Metabo. But if you show up with a Ryobi tool it’s like wearing a pink hard hat...nobody will take you seriously. Not even your neighbors.
  11. Are you trolling? Stanley Black and Decker owns the Dewalt brand and brands their premium tools with it. By definition it is going to be a bit better than Stanley. The exception might be they have made a name for the Fatmax tape measure brand as a premium. It is sold as a cheap brand so it is positioned to be somewhere at the bottom end such as tools made for distribution by Walmart. SBD has other brands but currently they are marketing Craftsman as their mid grade. Husky is the HD house brand just like Kobalt is the Lowe’s house brand. The various tools are made by various companies and HD occasionally rotates manufacturers. So it’s a bit of a crap shoot but usually similar to the Craftsman brand but positioned to siphon off a few dollars of SBD royalty money. There is a list of “who owns who” on the toolguyd web site that explains the relations of Chervon , TTI, SBD, Snapon, etc. It’s easy to compare tools made by the same company. They don’t hide their good/better/best. It’s much harder to compare say Dewalt to Milwaukee. For instance years ago SBD sold a great impact screwdriver set under the Stanley name then discontinued it. In the last couple years it reappeared branded Dewalt. Recently Milwaukee offered a set for a couple more bucks and I like it even better. These are good for two things. First if you have a rusty or stripped screw hit the screwdriver with a hammer to knock the rust off and cut new slots. Second they are good as beater screwdrivers...you know doing things with them that you are not supposed to do to screwdrivers like pry bars. Milwaukee has better tips. But both are pretty good and much better than a lot of what’s out there.
  12. paulengr


    No such thing. Never used electrics. Too gimmicky and either doesn’t hold up or doesn’t last all day. Do it the way we do in Northern Michigan: two gloves! Or actually gloves and mittens. Use a decent liner glove first. The knit industrial gloves are perfect. The kind you might use in fall or spring. The outer mitten is worn over the liner glove. Think snowmobile mittens. The warmer the better. And don’t be afraid of wearing the “kiddie” string with the clips to hold the mittens. Or wear a Carhartt style “chore coat” or a belt with large pockets to hold the mittens. When doing “rough” things like slinging a hammer or handling lumber you will be warm in the mittens. Then for detailed work get everything ready first. Drop the mittens and work quickly. Usually you can get a good 20 minutes before your hands are too stiff and the mittens go back on. It takes about twice as long though to warm up as it does to cool down. Also make sure to have at least two sets. The insulation value of anything that gets wet is zero so need to be able to swap out and have a dry pair at all times. I stuff them in my upper bib overall pocket so they are already warm when I need them. The whole key to insulation is dead air. So when you wear two gloves the air space between them adds to the insulation value even more than the gloves themselves.
  13. They already have a 3/4” 1400/700 ft-lb impact. We use the bushing style adapters to fit the 1” socket tools.
  14. Just as an end user I prefer the Dewalt corded grinders for the combination of power and ergonomics. They have a cheap crappy 4-5” but their midrange 4-5” and 7” are top notch. That’s why a lot of welders use them. The Flexvolt idea is all wet on small hand tools. The larger batteries are 10 or 15 cell. They are adding extra contacts so you can run say 2 or 3 strings of 5 in parallel or one string of 10 or 15 cells. It is a simple modification to a standard battery pack. If we start with an 18 V motor and we want more power out as we increase current we get more power but heat scales with the square of current so we quickly lose that battle. If we increase the voltage we can add windings to the existing coils making the motors fatter especially as we go to higher voltage insulation so the gain is not as much as you’d expect and definitely not linear. The alternative is more coils...double stacked rotor for instance. Same diameter motor but twice the length, twice the power, and twice the current with no voltage increase and beating the voltage game. Milwaukee has been down this road before with a 28 V line. Dewalt here is following Milwaukee but with their 28 V vs at the time 14.4 V experience obviously they figured out stacking beats voltage at these sizes. So far Flexvolt seems like a waste of money over 20V Max. In outdoor power tools where space is less of an issue this is where 60 V tools make sense but 5 Ah Flexvolt batteries are just way too small over say the Ego batteries, When it comes to cordless 4-5” the M18 Fuel is equal to corded in power but cordless. I’m not going to attempt to strip paint on a large area or grind welds all day but for a cutoff tool or knocking out sheet metal cutouts or cleaning up rough edges, it’s so much easier than messing with cords and wins the power race. As to drill/drivers in low gear I have bruised my wrist with a M18 drill jammed in a piece of steel on a Gen 3 Fuel drill. I have no doubts if I clutch the drill with my thumb wrapped around it I will break it. Done that before on a corded Milwaukee D handle 20 years ago. It’s a common mechanic injury. In high speed gear it beats out the Dewalt drill driver my buddy has in both speed and torque. The only thing I didn’t like about them was the poor chucks but now they buy Rohm just like Dewalt and others. You could accuse them of copying but Rohm is used by just about everybody. I’m partial to Morse from doing machinist work but I don’t think Morse has a decent keyless design. The only complaint I’ve heard about the Gen 3s is poor battery life but if you have more power you should expect less battery life on a 5 cell. They’re coming out with the larger Panasonic batteries (HO) though that fixes this albeit there are some packaging issues because the form factor has grown and for instance it doesn’t fit the M18 Rover as well.
  15. Just to follow that up in the US we tariff imports not exports by law, THEN sales tax on top of that no matter the source (depending on state laws), and then tax the US manufacturer. So the current tax avoidance scheme practiced by Apple is they make iPhones by Apple HK. They “charge” Apple USA around $950 for a phone they sell for $750. So Apple USA “loses” money on every iPhone they sell and conveniently moves some AppStore profit overseas too so that they pay $0 corporate tax to USA for years. Tariffs put a stop to that nonsense because they tax imports rather than corporate profit. We did it to ourselves by slowly moving from import taxes to mostly income taxes. Now that is reversing the incentive is going away. There are obvious ways around this. You can make the parts in Asia then assemble it in the US but this only avoids the import tariff but corporate taxes still apply. Aside from the artificial tax implications, labor costs are about 1/3rd in Asia compared to North America but don’t stop there. Shipping is a major cost too. So that effectively kills moving production to Asia for any products that weigh a lot. Cell phones and computers can be made anywhere but say gear boxes are not so easily made and imported. By way of example small electric motors sold by Westinghouse under say 50 HP are made in Korea and imported. Large ones are still made in Round Mountain, TX. Second issue is automation. Highly automated production actually favors North America. The reason is simple. Sure the value of cheap labor goes away. But if tech breaks in the US you can get a tech on it in a few hours and parts generally within 24 hours before it is back up and running. In Asia first the tech takes 36+ hours to fly from the US then identifies the issue and it’s another 36+ hours for the parts to arrive so realistically downtime is around 5 days on every breakdown compared to 1-2 days in the US. Even though the part might actually be made in Asia! Plus there are tons of problems with quality control, decision making, you name it. Take for example there is a small worm gear box that the entire solar panel sits on top of in a solar farm that costs about $150. They are made by the thousands and it’s very cut throat so shaving even a couple dollars off the cost is a big deal. The panels are assembled on site. Once the panel is built replacement however is basically crazy costly because a crane is needed to lift the now assembled solar panel. There are often hundreds per solar field. An Asian manufacturer screwed up the seals when they translated the dimensions from Imperial to metric and now thousands of gear boxes have to be inspected and repaired because of this mistake, to the tune of hundreds of thousands per year that basically killed the cost savings in outsourcing it. And this is just one example of a simple legitimate mistake without even getting into IP theft, fraud, and other criminal activity. This all greatly increases the risk and costs of global manufacturing supply chains. I’ve been involved in doing outsourcing just once. It was a total flop that cost the company millions to set up and millions more in write offs to undo it. Don’t think for a minute that TTI doesn’t factor all this in. There is not nearly as much value in outsourcing as people think and not done as much as people think for that reason. Foxconn (Apple iPhone plant) is the exception not the rule.
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