327 posts tagged with tools.
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Starter Toolkit as a Gift?

My sweetie recently moved into her own apartment after living with her parents for a while (screw you, Great Recession!). As part of the coming holidays, I’d like to gift her a starter tool-kit that supports both basic maintenance and our geeky building-stuff-together hobbies. It's been close to twenty years since I bought a starter toolkit, so I’m a bit overwhelmed by choice. Hope me? [more inside]
posted by Alterscape on Dec 2, 2016 - 37 answers

What's a basic toolkit to keep in an apartment?

I have more tools than I can store in my apartment. I have a storage unit in the basement (1 floor down) where I will keep most everything, but I'd like to keep a basic set of tools in my apartment so that I can fix minor things that pop up. What should I keep in my tool drawer? [more inside]
posted by bendy on Nov 23, 2016 - 11 answers

Out in the Twitter sphere..

Are there any tools available for non-technical people that would enable to scrape owned Twitter content (all the tweets that are attributed to a handle)? I know there are ways for more tech savvy folks to tap into Twitter API, however, is there a service (free or paid) that would enable non tech people to load in a bunch of Twitter URLs and get a spreadsheet of tweets? Your input is very much appreciated!
posted by mooselini on Nov 11, 2016 - 6 answers

What is your Hole Hawg?

In an effort to describe Unix, Neal Stephenson draws a comparison to the Hole Hawg, an unattractive but highly functional drill used by contractors but not everyday homeowners. Are there any other 'Hole Hawg' tools out there; tools that are valued by experts but either useless, dangerous, or misunderstood by laymen? [more inside]
posted by leotrotsky on Nov 8, 2016 - 42 answers

What tools do digital project managers use?

For any digital PMs can you describe the tools you use and skills? [more inside]
posted by stormpooper on Oct 27, 2016 - 11 answers

Recommend me a quiet wet/dry vac

I'd like to purchase a wet/dry vac (aka shop vac) that is effective, well made, and relatively quiet. Can you help me? [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The on Oct 25, 2016 - 9 answers

Best time tracking and scheduling tools for a small team?

What are your favorite tools for collaborative time tracking and scheduling? My business partner and I want to be able to schedule our time and track it in the same place. (And we eventually might add other people.) We need a flexible tool (so like, not restricted to fifteen minutes or whatever). Paid is cool as long as it's not a gajillion dollars for enterprise level stuff that we do not need.
posted by schadenfrau on Sep 14, 2016 - 3 answers

Your favorite resources for stakeholder mapping and analysis

I work in the NGO/NFP space across a few organizations and am interested in your favorite and most useful tools/books/software/processes for mapping and analysing relationships for collaboration and fundraising purposes. [more inside]
posted by AnnaRat on Sep 5, 2016 - 3 answers

Can you help this coffee lover make better cold brew at home?

I dearly love my coffee and enjoy the rituals of brewing at home, which I'm pretty serious about, but in my limited attempts to date I haven't had a lot of success making cold brew that measures up to what I can buy from a good coffee shop. How do you make cold brew, and how happy are you with the results? [more inside]
posted by Songdog on Aug 31, 2016 - 35 answers

How do I take a very small daily dose of Vyvanse?

The smallest dose Vyvanse comes in is 30 mg. That's too much for me, and makes me speedy. Opening the capsule and taking a much smaller dose gives me the concentration I want, without the side effects; my doctor approves of this. My guess is that 10 mg- 15 mg is the right dose for me (I understand this might change over time, but that's what it's been for a while). How do I keep the dose consistent? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 9, 2016 - 14 answers

Is there a makerspace on Seattle's eastside?

I love TechShop, but there's none anywhere near here. I think there's some makerspaces in Seattle, but I'm looking for something on the east side (Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland). Some place with tools and space to use them. [more inside]
posted by triscuit on May 29, 2016 - 1 answer

"It certainly does suck."

What is the best cordless vacuum money can buy? I hate vacuuming so much and am totally overwhelmed by the market for cleaning machines. Which one will help me tolerate the most loathsome household chore since mopping? [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets on May 2, 2016 - 24 answers

ADD/ADHD for the kid in the workshop

My 9-year-old son with an ADHD diagnosis has recently embraced his love of tools and tinkering. Yay! However every project he embarks upon brings such disorder in its wake, his workshop (our garage) is in a constant state of chaos and is frequently unsafe. How do I help him (and keep my own sanity)? [more inside]
posted by pantarei70 on Apr 24, 2016 - 19 answers

What is the benefit of cordless tools?

Assuming that I only use the tools around the house and already have extension cords is there some advantage to cordless tools that I'm missing? [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm on Apr 20, 2016 - 43 answers

Name that Tool!!

This tool has been in the family for many decades. Even the prior generation did not know what it is or what it is for. 7 photos follow. Here's some descriptive text: [more inside]
posted by BrooksCooper on Apr 3, 2016 - 14 answers

Which stone cutter is this?

Can you identify this stone cutter? [more inside]
posted by StickyCarpet on Apr 3, 2016 - 5 answers

What is it?

Any idea what this thing is? Bought it for a couple bucks at a antique store. It fits the hand nicely and could be a sort of tool or part of something decorative. There's a piece broken off on one end. Thought perhaps it's for bending things? It's plain old iron.
posted by ecorrocio on Feb 15, 2016 - 1 answer

Simple task/timeboxing apps that let me plan tasks on a calendar

I am looking for an app that ideally works on Mac/iPad/Android that lets me keep a list of tasks and then plan those tasks on a calendar on a specific date and time. Due dates are not good enough, I really want to specify that I will do task X on Tuesday from 10.00-10.30. I then want to see a calendar view with all my planned tasks for the day/week, as if they were appointments. [more inside]
posted by blub on Feb 4, 2016 - 2 answers

What Materials will I need to complete these house projects?

I have a number of things that need to be done around the house, that I am hiring a handyman for next week. Since I am not that handy myself, I need some help on the items to buy before he gets here so that he has what he needs in order to complete the project. [more inside]
posted by locussst on Jan 23, 2016 - 6 answers

What is the best goddamn vacuum-insulated travel mug in the world?

Show me the last word in vacuum-insulated travel mugs for coffee. Specific requirements within. [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The on Jan 19, 2016 - 32 answers

Good comparison sites like The Sweethome/Wirecutter?

I was just wondering if anyone knew of other good comparison sites (the best, runner-up, budget choice, etc) for items in the vein of The Sweethome (house stuff), The Wirecutter (gadget & gizmos), The Nightlight (baby stuff), Ken Rockwell (camera stuff), etc? I'm specifically looking for a tool-centric site, but I'm curious what else is out there as well.
posted by JimBJ9 on Jan 19, 2016 - 8 answers

Is there an extended arm tool that will help me turn this water knob?

Moved to a new place and all the water appliances had a turned off water valve, so I opened them. Except the washing machine. The valve is in the back and I can't reach it. [more inside]
posted by manderin on Jan 16, 2016 - 7 answers

What is it? Identify the object.

What is it? Identify the object. It is heavy for its size (2 lb), the housing is metal, the handle is wood, it has a SPST switch that makes a satisfying thunk and the electric motor runs and turns a threaded jawn inside the chrome nozzle-y looking thing. Marked Kenmore cat no 559 8392. Pics
posted by fixedgear on Jan 15, 2016 - 5 answers

Puzzling kitchen-gadgets gifts?

My mother-in-law likes to give (and get) stocking stuffers of obscure kitchen items, which the recipient then needs to identify. Past items include those square hard-boiled egg thingies, pineapple corers, garlic-peeling tubes, and finger protectors to wear while slicing tomatoes. Suggestions for what I could give her? [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on Dec 7, 2015 - 61 answers

Practical odds and ends for the new homeowner

My little bro just bought his first place. What are some things you need as a new homeowner that he might not have as a former apartment dweller? Looking for housewarming/Christmas ideas. The more practical the better. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Nov 30, 2015 - 37 answers

All-in-One Kit or build my own?

Which is the better approach, buying an all in one electronic repair kit set or just compile one from various vendors? [more inside]
posted by jadepearl on Nov 27, 2015 - 5 answers

Gift for fixer-upper?

Looking for a practical gift for my boyfriend for the holidays. We bought a 1954 house and we (he) really enjoy fixing it up. What tools, items, etc. make home renovation projects easier and/or more fun? [more inside]
posted by brynna on Nov 19, 2015 - 31 answers

Electronics tools

What goes in an electronics technician's tool bag? [more inside]
posted by pH Indicating Socks on Nov 7, 2015 - 31 answers

Project management software for visual people with lots of deadlines?

I need help finding a great project management tool for visual people with too many deadlines. Overly-demanding list of criteria inside. [more inside]
posted by mjm101 on Sep 30, 2015 - 11 answers

Which power tools should you wear gloves when using?

Which power tools should you wear gloves when using and which should you not?
posted by Infernarl on Sep 30, 2015 - 16 answers

Learning woodworking on a small to medium scale

I've always wanted to learn about woodworking, but I know very little about it. I have a workshop in my garage that I primarily use for electronics. I have some room for wood tools, but not a ton. What are some resources to learn how to do woodworking without needing large amounts of space and equipment? [more inside]
posted by primethyme on Sep 15, 2015 - 11 answers

Microsoft Word, I am breaking up with you

After several years writing markup in a text editor, I find myself doing some work further up the editorial chain, where the tool of choice is Word. I hate it. [more inside]
posted by libraryhead on Sep 4, 2015 - 11 answers

What socket wrench set should I buy?

I like fixing things, and I'd like to get myself a nice socket wrench set that will last a long time. Questions include: 3/8" or 1/2" drive, or maybe both? Which brands are good at not rounding your bolts while not being super expensive? What's the best way to store them? [more inside]
posted by danceswithlight on Jun 22, 2015 - 16 answers

How do I set up a decentralized neighborhood tool lending exchange?

I'm interested in starting a neighborhood tool lending exchange, both as a way to save costs on tool, but to also better foster community and getting neighbors to know each other. I'm not (at this point anyway) interested in starting a centralized tool library, given the costs and commitment. I'm imaging a google sheet or something similar where registered members can check and see what tools they're willing to lend and then go from there. Have you had experience with a decentralized tool lending or can point me to successful exchanges where I can learn more about their system? [more inside]
posted by Karaage on May 1, 2015 - 5 answers

What would make tiny electronics repair more comfortable?

My husband likes to take electronics apart and put them back together (cameras, smart phones etc.). Right now his setup is ridiculous: he works (mostly) over a big tupperware container to catch the screws that fall into it, unless they fall on the floor, and he holds the flashlight on his iPhone with one hand while trying to wrestle tiny screws into place with the other hand. There has to be a better way; this looks painful. what can i buy him to improve his setup (lights, magnifiers, other things i haven't thought about)? What do you use in your efficient and effective home repair shops?
posted by andreapandrea on Apr 14, 2015 - 27 answers

Where would I find someone who makes single use tools?

Basically I'm looking for whoever the engineer or engineering company would be that creates some kind of specific tool for a one off specific job. Like the Space Needle is built and finished and then, out of nowhere, you need to change a nut and bolt out that was never supposed to be changed. And to do it you need a 40 foot, weirdly angled wrench. Who would build that? And is there a name for the kind of field or specialty this is?
posted by rileyray3000 on Mar 20, 2015 - 17 answers

What's a good buy at the Harbor Freight?

There's a Harbor Freight near me, and it's filled with bargains! But I expect that a lot of the stuff is junk. What are the good values at HF, and what should I avoid? I don't like buying disposable tools (or anything, if I can help it), even if it's cheap; I'd rather pay for quality than just buy garbage, but I'm sure some of their stuff is a good deal. I've heard good things about their pneumatic brad nailer ($20 or so), for example.
posted by Admiral Haddock on Mar 5, 2015 - 39 answers

Got the bike. What tool should I get?

I just bought a bike, and now I need a killer multitool. [more inside]
posted by pdb on Feb 2, 2015 - 16 answers

Can a small milling machine do everything a small drill press can?

I've been looking into getting a small, bench-top drill press. I'm also kind of intrigued about those small milling machines that places like Harbor Freight sell. Can the mill take care of all my drilling needs and also allow me to, you know, mill stuff? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Jan 9, 2015 - 16 answers

How do I maximize this small space?

My rental apartment has a hallway nook at the top of the stairs, one side of which is just a bannister. I have a lot of stuff. How do I use this space effectively and attractively? Is there some kind of sturdy and attractive cabinet or wardrobe or portable closet solution? [more inside]
posted by pseudostrabismus on Jan 7, 2015 - 14 answers

Is a 6mm router bit shank the same size as 1/4"?

I'm looking to buy an unusual router bit to put in a CNC router which takes 1/4" shank bits, but the bit I've found is listed as having a 6mm shank. Can I expect that the vendor (or manufacturer) is just pretending at being metric and ignoring the 0.35mm difference in their listing, or are there incompatible metric router bits out there in the world?
posted by kiwano on Jan 6, 2015 - 8 answers

Suggestions for Small Group Decision-Making/Voting Online?

Please help my little union find an online platform for decision-making. We would like a secure way to dis/approve proposals and vote yearly for officers. Anonymous voting with a unique identifier is required. Bonus points for discussion capabilities and ease of use. [more inside]
posted by willie11 on Dec 17, 2014 - 2 answers

Need computer science maven! Predicate languages...

I was peripherally involved in a recent work project predicate languages parsing and some natural language. I am interested in learning about modern development environments in these areas. Very basic and on up - I know what predicates are and natural language processing at a beginner level, decent understanding of code and networks, but not computer scientist. I want to easily parse and database a string of predicates from another application, set a value, quickly evaluate only if relevant, evaluate them against a database and set a shared memory location. All thoughts appreciated!
posted by sfts2 on Dec 10, 2014 - 4 answers

Armored Cable? Springy Stand-off?

When I use the hedge trimmer to do anything except trimming hedges (such as trimming the weeds that grow between the wooden steps out back), I inevitably nick the power cord. I need something that will either help keep the power cord away from my feet (like an extra-long "strain relief" spring), or a better shielded cord that is trimmer-proof. Suggestions?
posted by IAmBroom on Dec 9, 2014 - 9 answers

how do you secure a christmas lawn ornament to the ground?

How do you secure a Christmas lawn ornament to the ground? I'm talking about the plastic 40 inch high decorations, like the Santa Clauses, and Mrs. Clauses and snowmen. [more inside]
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Dec 7, 2014 - 3 answers

Best multiple-use tools?

Which hand tools that are made to singly perform the function of a set are worth not just having on hand, but actually replacing the set they attempt to cover for? For a tradesman, for a DIYer, for a weekend warrior, for a fumble-fingered homeowner. (Examples: adjustable wrench, ratcheting dogbone, multi-bit screwdriver) Tell us your favorites! [more inside]
posted by attercoppe on Dec 1, 2014 - 13 answers

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few

TechWritingFilter: As a lone writer, what tools should I use to create amazing user- and developer-facing documentation? [more inside]
posted by woodvine on Nov 12, 2014 - 7 answers

Bootstrapping Music Projects - What Tools are Out There?

Are there any other softwares similar to Hooktheory's Hookpad? [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Sep 26, 2014 - 1 answer

Minimal tools for basic wood projects

I'd like to become more adept at basic wood working/carpentry skills, but I'm pretty clueless. My first project is to modify an existing wood work bench by removing a portion of the cabinets and extending a plywood countertop over the open space[1]. I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on tools, but I'm unclear what the minimal set (especially of saws) is for doing this job reasonably right. [more inside]
posted by primethyme on Aug 3, 2014 - 15 answers

How do I cut a small rectangular hole in plastic?

I'd like to tidy up my Raspberry Pi projects by putting them in custom cases. The pre-made cases have holes for every port, which I don't need (and sometimes I have sensors and other things that need holes of their own). I have some plastic project boxes, but I'm not sure how best to cut the holes I do need. [more inside]
posted by primethyme on Jul 26, 2014 - 6 answers

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