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paulengr last won the day on January 30

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Agreed about PC but I was trying to avoid brand specific arguments. When it comes to tool box systems if you can live with the smaller selection of Rigid it’s a better value than most others. Packout is certainly the most expensive but I can buy twice the Toughsystem boxes for the money and the general size of the Packouts especially internal dimensions is not very good. I’m now in a van. If I started there then all tool box systems are on the table. At the time working from a truck the boxes were going to be outside most of the time so it came down to Rigid, Packout, or Toughsystem. At twice the price, Packouts nest features are not enough to win me over. Rigid is just the opposite...too limited so Toughsystem won for me too. I’ve got about a dozen Toughsystem boxes that hold almost half of my on the road tools.
  4. Milwaukee has always been the world’s machine shop. You’ve got two huge mining equipment companies, a major gear box company, an electrical parts company, plus countless smaller ones. I love visiting there. Brewer stadium is nice too. The only thing close to it is Stihl in Virginia Beach that occupies multiple city blocks and makes not only their own stuff but a lot of other brands too.
  5. Probably power supply failure. Electronics has hundreds to thousands of connections. It just takes one to cause trouble. But sounds like power supply. So open up and hopefully find a failed connection if you are lucky. Sometimes it’s a bad connection from the factory if you are (un)lucky and easy to spot. Power supplies typically also use electrolytic capacitors. You can easily spot these on a circuit board because they are the large can looking devices. They are made by tightly winding up 2 strips of aluminum foil and some paper soaked in an electrolyte (glycol has been used) stuffed in the can and here’s the important detail crimped shut. They normally last about 8-10 years. Usually the electrolyte dries out. Once this happens first the electrical properties drift and eventually it shorts out internally. If you have the proper equipment they can be changed out but we are down to component level failures. Without a schematic (that nobody shares except in very old or military hardware) it is almost impossible to repair. Even manufacturers typically toss the failed boards instead of fixing them. The boards are built by fully automated machinery (photo chemical etching and stenciling, pick and place robots, ovens or wave soldering). Nobody touches them until testing. Less picky locals might dig them out of the dumpsters and fix the ones that can be fixed. These become “grey market” equipment that shows up on E-Bay, flea markets, questionable Amazon retailers with no reputation, etc. If there is nothing obvious then do as the manufacturer does and recycle it. By the way leaving something on a charger is as bad as letting it die. Off charger it loses typically 1-2% charge per day. At zero (true zero) when you recharge sometimes you get cell reversal (battery cell flips polarity) which is fatal. On charger it constantly produces hydrogen gas or ions that are reabsorbed over and over in a chemical process but it’s a chemical process...some hydrogen is lost over time which kills the batteries faster than doing nothing. The best way for long term survival of batteries is to fully charge them leave them off the charger until they are nearly dead (60-90 days) then recharge fully again repeating every 60-90 days. Or take your chances letting them go to zero. The jury is still out on that strategy and when the cycling approach is better (chance of failure vs. long cycles).
  6. paulengr

    Mr Sam

    No inserts unless you make them or buy two and move the bins from one to the other. Personally I’m not a big fan of T-Stak. If you need one big bin Keter is cheaper for mostly indoor less demanding environments still with good seals like T-Staks. You get a lot more room in a Keter box. Lots of mechanics use them for their bolt bins. Great price comparatively. So this is good if you are on a job and just need say 4-10 bolts, nuts, and washers. One box can easily handle an assortment from 1/4-1/2” with various lengths. If you need rugged then I would go with Toughsystem DS150s or Packouts. Both are “nail duty”. Instead of dividers each compartment is a removable bin. You don’t have the problem of nails getting under the dividers and you can pull out just the bins you need for a job. These are about the heaviest boxes out there. I kept them in the bed of a pickup for a couple years. All my parts and tools stayed dry, rust free, and was easy to grab just the stuff I needed for a job, and locked together for transport on highways. Perfect size for larger bolts, entire boxes of nails, etc. Not sure what to do with T-Stak. Bins won’t hold an entire box of nails and you don’t get much space with the small size. The drill box is OK for drills but no option for say a Sawzall. For small electrical parts I like the Tough Organizers that are very cheap, stack like the others, and fit easily inside Toughsystem boxes like the dolly. I think the whole concept of T-Stak is for say CATV techs. They need sort of midrange organizers that handle smaller tools and parts but very few larger bolts and nails I guess. They don’t need framer grade boxes or huge assortments of parts like electricians. Personally I fall somewhere in between. I’m a motor service tech. So I might work on say a 1000 HP motor. The base bolts are say 1/2” and lugs are 4/0 with 3/8” bolted connections plus tape, termination kits. All obviously Tough System or Packout or Keter size bins. There are usually a bunch of small sensor wires, heaters with Stakons which fit best in Tough Organizers (lots of small parts). Same situation in the panel or drive. I could use T-Stak for some in between sizes but since none of these systems are cross compatible it does me no good.
  7. Output is constant and maxed out. Either the driver transistor has shorted out or a sensor on the control board failed. Replace boards in it but frankly with prices what they are it’s scrap. Normally the control board limits and controls voltage/current so it will crank it up if it gets loaded down then back off when it is up to speed. In your case it’s not doing this anymore.
  8. I think he means a drill/driver. Dewalt, Metabo, and Makita target the builder market. Hands down if you are working in wood they are the go tos for tools. Usually the top tool ends up Dewalt or sometimes Makita. In some tools like a corded grinder Dewalt beats out Milwaukee. But as an overall tool line Milwaukee is more of specialists tools. They have a lot more tools specifically for plumbers, electricians, and mechanics. Most of my wood working tools are Dewalt or Metabo but those stay at home. No space on the van for all of it. I load them only when needed. The M12 stubby impact will work on a lag bolt but it’s meant for automotive mechanics. It’s light but I don’t see much point on a builder site when I would be drilling almost as much as shooting screws and tightening nuts and bolts, and cramped space is usually not a factor like working under the hood. The 1400 foot pound impact will probably tighten a lag bolt too without snapping it off and stripping out sheet metal screws instantly if you turn it way down but we use it for fasteners over 3/4”. And the M18 Fuel drill/driver is slower than the Dewalt on high speed for driving screws but if you’re not careful in metal on low speed in drilling metal and it grabs it can easily bruise or break your wrist just like the old D handle drills. When Milwaukee made the M18 comment they already had experience with the M28 line that they’ve all but abandoned. This was when we had the Kobalt 24 V stuff, Dewalt sells “20V” and came out with Flexvolt. We have seen this before when we moved from 12 V NiCd to 14.4 V NiMh then to 18 V Li Ion. This was Milwaukee saying there was no technical advantage to higher voltages on a brushless Li ion platform right when Dewalt was claiming the advantages of 60 V tools over 18/20 V. So they avoided doing yet another battery line. At some point way beyond drills and impacts you run into limitations in higher currents and higher voltages just make sense. That’s why large trucks have 24 V battery systems and power companies use thousands of volts on power lines. The MX line is something really new. It isn’t impact guns. It’s kind of an area where Hilti has a few products but right now most of those types of tools are either corded, hosed, or gas engines. If it works out for them in 10 years it will be like drill/drivers today where the market is dominated by cordless. But the big thing is most of those tools are rented and time will tell whether the rental companies are willing to invest or not, or can get a premium on renting them. It looks like Milwaukee is making products that can do things the others can’t. Like a light plant that fits on a dolly instead of a tow behind or a core drill you can safely use on a ladder instead of putting up scaffolding. These are different products, not “me toos”. This opens up new markets so it’s not just a substitute. My prediction is like any truly new product demand will be slow at first then either fizzles out or takes off. In today’s instant gratification works though Milwaukee staff need a lot of patience. They need to market to a different crowd and they have to realize that if I’m say a tool rental company I’m taking a big risk on a new product that may have little interest in the higher rental fee, and on whether Milwaukee will fold up shop and skip town in a year if they don’t like how things go. When SBD comes out with the Dewalt light plant or buys up Hilti, we will know it’s successful. Right now they are too busy putting out red rebranded Chinese tools.
  9. Service tech. Plenty of cab space. Service area includes Lejeune, Bragg, and on Monday I’ve got work to do on part of the water system for Seymour Johnson. Was thinking of the typical tractor trailer size roughly $100-200 range. They sound great but when I looked at one of the Igloo models in Walmart for instance it was obviously only useful for say keeping medication cold.
  10. You can do it. We have solar farms in NC (second only to California in solar) that are hundreds of acres. But realistically it’s not usually worth the money to do more than trickle charging to maintain. But for instance at a local mine we put up portable wi fi hot spots which were a couple car batteries, a solar panel, an inverter, and the radio. Trouble is the wind are up the solar panels with blown sand and dirt (scratched them up) in a year.
  11. Glasses are only a problem for pilots and where you can’t use them. But the image on the retina (optic nerve) is larger depending on how close the lense is. Think of it like the resolution on a computer. Everything might be in focus but you can’t make out details as the resolution gets lower. Second problem is scratches, dirt, and fogging up. I could just never keep a pair of glasses in good condition doing maintenance work for more than a few months at most. And most industrial mechanics toss safety glasses a lot more often than that. So contact lenses are much better than glasses even with all the trouble. You still end up with at least safety glasses in some plants but that’s it.
  12. paulengr

    Framing gun

    I’m confused. Cordless “framing” nail gun? The market is 99% pneumatic for a reason. A few finish nails sure but for framing you’d never use an electric gun. Way too slow and charge limited. Maybe BC to frame out an electrical panel or minor plumbing rough in for stubs but it’s not really a framing nailer. That’s like showing up to a crane job with a come along on an A frame and a crew of HD day laborers that don’t speak English instead of a crane and certified riggers. Sure it might get it done but it’s not the right tool for the job.
  13. Thinking about an iceless cooler in the work truck. Been carrying a cooler for years. I used to do the ice thing but it’s a constant hassle. With a good thick “Yeti” style cooler (I have the Walmart version) ice lasts a day or two in summer but I noticed that it insulates so well that even ice free water stays roughly “average” temperature which means slightly cooler in the daytime and drinking “lukecool” water isn’t too bad. So I’m already using the space in the cab and thinking a cooler that would hold maybe a half case of water and a sandwich or two would be really nice. My service area is 3-4 hours so I typically have a 2 hour ride on average both ways so plenty of time to chill down on the road. Any experience with these things? Igloo advertises heavy but I was not impressed with what I saw in a local store. Truck stop units look tempting but hey it’s a truck stop...could be good, could be a waste of money. Anyone have any experience good or bad?
  14. Almost me too. Chuck is locking up and basically worn out. Ordered a new chuck, Rohm same as Dewalt, Makita, etc., but in goofy Milwaukee 9/16-18 thread. Hopefully this one will outlast because the one thing that sucks about it is the chuck. Will be changing it tomorrow. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Uhh no no no! First off I have lots of pool experience. Head over to the Trouble Free Pool forum as far as chemicals. The worst thing you can do is trust the idiots at the pool store when it comes to chemicals. Don’t believe me? Try this. Take a bucket of water. In fact take two to two different pool stores preferably from someone else’s pool. Do each one on a different day or at least morning band afternoon. Have them run both samples. If you are lucky one store might give you the same results but usually not. Ok and the chemicals? Totally overpriced. I have paid $20 for what amounts to a box of $0.99 Arm and Hammer grocery store baking soda. Or muriatic acid for roughly 1000% markup over the auto store price. Bleach is cheaper even if you buy the liquid bottles at Walmart! Expect to pay hundreds of dollars per season in the pool store. And if you are truly feeling like donating to pool store profits here’s an easy method. They have a product that goes by several names but the key chemical is biguanide. It works sort of, for a little while, at massive profits even by pool store standards. That’s until the water molds start and you can’t kill them after spending hundreds on chemicals. I’m not making this up. There are issues to be sure like making sure the salt (if you run a salt system) does not contain iron remover but other than that I buy a few things from Amazon and the rest locally, just not from the pool store. You can easily buy chlorine at the discount store if that’s your thing or go salt water. Bromine is just an overpriced chlorine alternative that is basically chlorine and biguanide is the biggest scam going. First get educated. Head over to a web site called troublefreepools.com and most important their awesome forum. Second get a Taylor test kit off Amazon. There are lots of moving parts here. TFP tells you what testing stuff you need and which tests work best. Third if you can stand the price get a saltwater system. Why? Super stable, super cheap chemicals, crystal clear water sand the least amount of work. But a titanium chlorine generator cell is not cheap. Ok so quick scenario of a worst case. So I just put in a 14,000 gallon in ground fiberglass pool. Poured down rain for weeks so no concrete yet. I just got the salt in and was circulating water just to get construction stuff out. No testing because no test kit. That stayed with the old house. Wife and daughters decide to have a pool party and spring this on me!! So I go to Lowe’s and buy a tarp to lay over the rebar and a test kit. pH is close but salt is low, not enough stabilizer (cyanuric acid) which just makes the chlorinator work harder, needs more buffering. Worst problem is I’m down around 0.5 ppm chlorine. Pool party in one hour. Even at max output no way I can fix the chlorine. So off to Walmart. 4 jugs of bleach and a box of baking soda. Dropped it all in slowly in the skimmer with some stabilizer and salt the pool contractor had on site. Pool guests arrive, stave them off with food to give it time to circulate (pump cranked up to cleaning speed) and things are looking good 20 minutes later and no issues at all. This is an extreme example. As I’ve said I’ve done my I own work opening, maintaining, and closing pools for years. I know what works and what doesn’t. The pool store doesn’t even know about liquid bleach and would tell you what I did was impossible or dangerous. I’m not saying this is a good way to run a pool just that an average person can easily do it. Only thing I’d say about TFP is they like to run salt water systems at 0.5-1 ppm chlorine. I found it’s just not easy to control down there. 3-5’ppm is much easier to control and I had no algae and crystal clear water. Don’t believe the 10-30 ppm the pool store tells you. It’s wrong but they just use some software program that is designed to sell chemicals at inflated prices. Or if you just want to spend money have the pool store put it in and send someone over once a week to maintain it for you. You trust your money and your health to a 16 year old high school kid on their first time part time job with a boss that’s a hippie straight out of the 60s right? I thought so.
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