Dead Blow Hammer

Dead Blow Hammers

Here are my two dead blow hammers. Dead blow hammers have a hollow cavity inside the head that is loosely filled with lead shot. The lead shot prevents rebound and focuses the blow. I especially like the ball-pein version when used with punches and cold chisels. The ball-pein is made by Stanley®, the other, Snap-on®. A Harbor Freight dead blow is inexpensive and works well too.

Wasp Trap

Wasp Trap

Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can be pests around outdoor activities in the warmer months. Placing several traps around your home in the spring can significantly reduce the population. I am using Rescue!® W-H-Y® traps with attractants for several species of wasps. Some traps are only designed for yellow jackets, so check the label.

Wright Deep Impact Socket Set

Wright Impact Socket Set

The Wright Tool Company has been manufacturing quality tools in the USA for over 80 years. This is my first Wright Tool purchase, a 3/8″ drive deep impact socket set in metric. I purchased them from the Harry J. Epstein Company.


Wright Impact Socket

These tools are high quality and are affordably priced.


Wright Impact Socket Inside

I will definitely be purchasing more Wright Tools in the future.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

There should be a first aid kit in the shop. I have a 3M Tekk Protection industrial/construction first aid kit.


First Aid Supplies

Look through the kit and check that it meets your needs. Toss out the useless plastic tweezers and add a quality pair. Add extras as needed; flexible fabric bandages for example.


Sponge Bob Bandage

You can monitor usage of the shop first aid kit and restock it as items are used or expire. If you rely on the kit in the house, you may end up wearing SpongeBob.

Wooden Optimus Prime

Bridger Cutting Wood

My youngest child is 5 years old. He loves tools and building things. He also likes Transformer robots. He asked if he could make an Optimus Prime robot out of wood. In this picture, he is cutting the parts. I also let him pull the arm on the drill press to drill the holes.


Optimus Prime

He painted and assembled the project. My shaky hand assisted in painting the details.

Bridger and Optimus Prime

Harbor Freight Combination Sander

I purchased a Harbor Freight 6″ x 48″ belt and 9″ disc combination sander about 12 years ago. This sander has been a great value for the money. I built a custom stand and made a few other improvements to make the sander even better. Check out my YouTube video.


Outside Caliper

This is an outside caliper.


Inside Caliper

Here is an inside caliper.


Outside and Inside Calipers

Outside and inside calipers are used for taking outside and inside measurements.



This is a divider.



A divider is used to scribe arcs and circles. It can also be used to scribe even divisions.


Hermaphrodite Caliper

A hermaphrodite caliper is shown in this picture.


Hermaphrodite Caliper

A hermaphrodite caliper is used to scribe a line a set distance from an edge. It can also be used to find a center by scribing intersecting arcs from several points around an edge.


Cheap calipers can be very aggravating to use. All of my calipers are Starrett® brand. Starrett® calipers can be very expensive if purchased new. There are several brands of high quality U.S.A. made calipers available used on eBay for very reasonable prices.

Craftsman® Premium Ratchet

Craftsman® Premium Ratchet

I was given a gift card and spent it on a couple of Craftsman® premium ratchets. This is the 1/2″ drive model. The slim head does not include a quick release button. The socket is simply pulled off the detent ball for removal. This ratchet features a smooth finish and a longer ergonomic handle.


Craftsman® Premium Ratchet-Drive

The sealed head and 84 tooth design gives a smooth ratcheting action. A 4.5° swing arc can turn fasteners in tight locations.


Craftsman® Premium Ratchet Internals

Let’s look inside. It looks like this ratchet is lubricated with a light oil.


Craftsman® Premium Ratchet Disassembled

The ratchet gear is simple, has 84 teeth, and an o-ring seal. There is no detent ball in this ratchet. A pin and spring goes between the selector lever and pawl. There is also an o-ring seal on the selector lever. This ratchet is easy to take apart and reassemble for maintenance.

I purchased mine on sale for $75.99 which is a great value compared to some of the other premium brand ratchets. This ratchet is made in the U.S.A.

Sander Stand

Sander Stand Plans

I didn’t like the stand that came with my Harbor Freight 6″ x 48″ belt and 9″ disc combination sander. I designed a sturdy new stand that includes wheels so the sander can be moved around the shop or outside as needed.


Sander Stand Steel

The base is made of three 24″ pieces of 2″ x 4″ x 3/16″ tubing. I used a 15″ x 9 1/2″ piece of 1/4″ plate for the sander mount.


Welded Sander Stand

Here the stand is welded together. I positioned the wheel mounts so the wheels would be 1/8″ off the ground with the stand resting on the base.


Painted Sander Stand

The stand is finished with blue Krylon® spray paint.


Sander Stand Feet

Rubber pads are attached to the bottom of the sander stand with 1/4″ screws.


Sander Motor Mounting

Before mounting the sander to the stand, I replaced the factory motor mounting bolts with carriage bolts. This is so the drive belt can be adjusted without wrench access to the underside of the sander.


Harbor Freight Combination Sander Stand

The sander is bolted to the stand and ready to use. To move the sander, simply tip the stand back on the wheels.