As part of its grand new plan, the FCC is making a major push to involve and inform the public. RSS feeds, a blog, and a Twitter account have all made relatively recent appearances, along with a home broadband speed test. To better help the public understand the current frequency allocations, the FCC has also rolled out several great new interactive tools on their website for "reviewing how spectrum bands are allocated and for what uses, and who holds licenses and in what areas."
All right, smarty pantses, give this one a go. Lately, you brilliant DIYers have been making shortwork of our Guess This Tool contest, so we're going to mix it up a little and see if we can't stump you for more than 10 minutes. This is a tool of sorts, but it's in the early stages of a PopSci Dissection. As usual, the first and most precise answer in the comments will win something from our friends at Stanley: a FatMax 24-inch level. Good luck.
When bending metal tubing, the ever-present issue is the inherent desire of that tubing to buckle and fold rather than stretch in just the right places and bend smoothly. There are a number of ways to overcome this when bending tubing, but this is one of the simplest and cheapest: bending springs. Read on to learn how and why they work.
A new year, new obscure tools, and more stuff to give away. The last installment of our contest proved way too easy, so let's see if this one is a bit more of a challenge. Tell us in the comments what this is and the first and most precise answer will receive a Stanley FatMax tape measure.
Over the past few years, hand tools have become more user friendly. By making tools from lighter materials, and incorporating ergonomic styling with comfy grips, even the humble hammer has evolved. Stanley's tweaks to a new suite of tools takes garage staples (like flashlights, levels and tool storage) and goes a step further by using technology to help you get the most out of your gear.
While Letterman's Grinder Girls proved that the best use for an angle grinder is to let beautiful women in bondage gear make sparks, it's actually one of the more versatile tools you can keep in the shop. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility: Get too trigger happy and you can quickly destroy your project and your fingers. Here's your crash course to wielding one of the more badass of the handheld power tool genre.
What: Angle Grinder
Why: There are few faster ways to abrasively remove material from steel, expecially with something handheld.
Cutting through solid steel with flaming bacon certainly has its appeal, but for large-scale industrial processes, the Fraunhofer institute thinks electromagnetic pulses may work better than the other white heat. Case in point: their new electromagnetic pulse (EMP) device that cuts through steel faster than a laser, and cheaper than a machine tool.
Building things from metal can seem intimidating—metal just feels so much more permanent than, say, wood, and with the all the sparks and pressurized cylinders, it seems like just a matter of time before you blow up your shop. But once you know your way around a few key tools, you'll be amazed at how simple metalwork can be. Case in point: the plasma cutter. This small, relatively inexpensive machine has one dial, no cumbersome gas tanks, and can zip through any conductive material faster than a jigsaw through pine. It's also basically a sci-fi machine made real (c'mon, it slices through steel with hafnium and air!). And since they're for sale in most big-box home stores, you can even put one on your X-mas list. Master this, and your metal creations can take on just about any shape you want.
Yesterday's mystery tool is officially known as the Monitor model 107 "Patented Wire Stitcher" manufactured by the Latham Machinery Company of Chicago, IL. Bookbinding operations like the one that gave the machine to me used it to place those big staples in thick stacks of pages to be bound. I'm sure you've always wondered what kind of stapler it takes to make that staple. This is it.