Thursday, October 23, 2014

Minor excitement this morning at the Currie household...

My wife tells it best in an email she wrote to family about 10 minutes after "extraction". Tool-related point: I first tried cutting the aluminum needle (twice) with my brand new Rebar carbide-equipped plier head. It hardly made a dent in it so I switched to a Dremel and a parting disk. Had to stop briefly to allow the needle to cool. ================ "As I backed into my swivel chair to start my morning devotions, I stepped on to a knitting needle in my knitting bag. The photos show the rest. Neill had to first cut the needle and his best pliar tools could not do it so he used a dremel drill. Then he was able to pull the needle out. My fear was much greater than the pain. Then he got me all bandaged up. The needle went in at the arch and came out at the side of my heel. There was hardly any blood. It's throbbing a bit now. All I can say is thank goodness for Neill." ================

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Alcohol stove, my latest iteration

After a long period with a very bad back, I needed something to perfect. Here's what I came up with after a few months, and lots of aluminum shavings on the floor. Weighs very, very little. Brings 2 cups of water to a boil in 5 mins, can also be regulated so it'll simmer or bake. There's an optional heat exchanger (a perforated piece of a cigar tube) that'll increase output at the cost of reduced efficiency, and knock about 30 secs off of the boil time. The coke can slice slides up/down to regulate the burn accurately. The top cap cuts the flame from the center, forces it out the sides, and diffuses the flame, making it better for frying/baking. The three pot support legs unscrew and slide into the hollow handle for storage, however, everything assembled will slide into a camping mug. The bottom is double layer with an air gap so it'll work well in lower temperatures, and there's also a primer base for when it get really cold. Burns yellow Heat or Denatured Alcohol. When this sucker is running on high, a stainless steel spoke put into the center of the flame folds in the heat after about 20 secs !! Thankfully, the flame path takes the heat away from the aluminum parts well enough.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gerber MP600

This is a Gerber MP600 that I just traded on for a SOG Paratool. I actually have/had two of these, each with slightly different blade/tool configurations, part of the whimsy of Gerber I guess. IIRC they were the first multitool Gerber produced that had truly locking tools, and it must have been one of the first multi's ever that incorporated a blade coupler. This one is obviously in excellent condition. I don't remember ever using it "seriously", but I may have sharpened a pencil with the blade to check sharpness ;-) Good multi's never die, they just move on to a new home.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

In praise of peening...

I recently got a Leatherman PST in trade. It needed some TLC. I decided to pull it apart, attend to any mechanical issues, and buff it all nice and shiny again. The screwed pivots suffered some wear/damage, as I don't have the correct tools for disassembly so I bought a length of 3/16" Brass from the local hardware store and peened all the joints. I have to say that careful peening with accurately sized stock in decently sized holes leads to a wonderful feeling. There's zero play or wiggle throughout the entire tool, and it's possible to dial in just the perfect amount of friction for closing and opening. It's a feeling of precision and quality that is just slightly above even what one experiences from even a new Leatherman, from one with conventional fasteners that is. Of course, one can further tighten the peened joints at some point in the future (if ever needed). Drill out a joint, to replace a tool, just like with a SAK. There's a slight decrease in section with a peened Leatherman as the rivets stick out less than threaded fasteners, and this aids pocketability a bit as it slips in or out of a pocket freer than with the relatively snaggly stock fasteners. The PST also looks cool with the peened Brass heads :) All in all, I am very pleased with the operation.