Category Archives: Hand Tools


Documenting a tool on it’s way out of my shop. Rare as it is, I occasionally part with a tool. I decided to sell this micrometer because I haven’t reached for it in 10 years.

Starrett Micrometer #230


By no form of measure am I considered to have, use or embrace “engineering” skills. I recently bought a digital dial caliper to measure small things and I still can’t get an accurate reading on teeny tiny watch parts and whatnot. So, in the experience column we’re going to have to put none. Ok, ok.. every guy with a shop as complete as mine has and uses a micrometer from time to time. Thing about this Starrett No. 230 Micrometer.. I use a much older micrometer made by Brown & Sharpe mfg. that came in a L.S. Starrett velvet lined case.

Continue reading STARRETT NO. 230 MICROMETER 0-1″ .0001″ WITH BOX

North Brothers Yankee Handyman No. 133H

Tool: Yankee Handyman No. 133H, North Brothers Manufacturing Company

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As usual, before I write about a tool on, I do a bit of online research to see what other’s are saying. Thanks to Ron’s Woodshop, I learned a little about the number system with this old Yankee driver. If Ron is correct, the number 1 in the model No. 133 indicates this driver has a spring. So, it is a model 33 with a spring, making it No. 133H.
I do recommend checking out Ron’s page on Yankee drivers solely for the video at the end where, neglecting to pre-drill, he struggles to drive screws into a board with two Yankee drivers. I watched the video because it says for the “bloody-minded” but I never did see him rip any skin. Oh well, I don’t really like horror movies anyway and I’ve ripped more skin in a year than the average human does in a decade.  Continue reading North Brothers Yankee Handyman No. 133H

M. Klein & Sons Lineman’s Plier No. 201-8NE

Tool: M. Klein & Sons Lineman’s Plier No. 201-8NE

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Shortly after I reviewed the 2011 Klein-Kurve Wire Stripper I was in my shop cleaning up and clearing out some tools I haven’t used in a while when I came across my old, and I mean really old, Klein side cutters. This pair of M Klein & Sons lineman’s pliers I inherited decades ago.


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Continue reading M. Klein & Sons Lineman’s Plier No. 201-8NE

Bahco Detail Carbide Scraper

Tool: Bahco Triangle Detail Scraper

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I really like this little scraper. It’s a dangerous little beast and can cut through most finishes, if not most materials. I’m certain if Carry Underwood dug the Bahco scraper into the side of her boyfriend’s suped-up 4-wheel drive it would have been irreparable.

[rating:5/5]  Continue reading Bahco Detail Carbide Scraper

Klein 11055 Klein-Kurve Wire Stripper

Tool: Klein 11055 Klein-Kurve Wire Stripper

As a carpenter, my job includes a little of everything but most of the wire pulling, stripping and connecting on a job site is left to the electricians. As a handyman, though, the tasks of the electrician are commonplace and buying the correct tool for a job increases one’s efficiency and productivity.

[rating:3/5]  Continue reading Klein 11055 Klein-Kurve Wire Stripper

The little things

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When I’m not reaching for a pencil I’m likely to be reaching for one of the little tools sitting on a slice of reclaimed mahogany that I use more than all the tools on Oddly enough, I only bought a few of them.

It’s interesting how some of the tools I appreciate the most I didn’t anticipate owning. Certain tools, like the odd-shaped blade with the dark wood handle, find their way into your shop and take a favorite spot.

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Continue reading The little things

Tajima CR202B Ultra Thin Chalk Line

Tool: Tajima CR202B Chalk-Rite II Ultra Thin Chalk Line

Precision is what a chalk line should be about. Until I found the Tajima CR202B Ultra Thin line I never experienced such fine marks despite a large collection of chalk boxes. This is a love-at-first-use tool. My Tajima is an awesome chalk line that makes one wonder where it’s been all these years and starts a hankering to experience more Tajima products.

Continue reading Tajima CR202B Ultra Thin Chalk Line

Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe

Tool: Cold Steel Trail Boss Camp Axe

For thousand of years the Axe has been a quintessential tool for humankind. Once an integral part of every carpenter’s tool box, the axe is rich with symbolism, history and function. An Axe is a bad-ass tool in the hands of a carpenter and the Trail Boss was an instant favorite that I now carry in my truck day-to-day! Though I queued up nearly a dozen Fiskar and Gerber modern ceramic chopping tools before purchasing this traditional steel axe with it’s hickory handle, I am very happy with my purchase.

Continue reading Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe

Kim’s 1997 Poplar Door Jig

Well, this may be the first ‘tool’ on this site that I made. A jig is certainly a tool and this one, though slapped together in 1997 is still put to use on site. Yesterday I used this to hinge some closet doors and it works like a charm.

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This device is used to hold a door while the installer mortises the door’s edge for hinges. A quick flip of the door in this jig and I drilled for ball catches. Thought I’d throw this handy device on today since it’s served as a tool in my arsenal for more than a decade and still in use today. Continue reading Kim’s 1997 Poplar Door Jig

A 1905 Starrett gauge, but what is it?

Admittedly, I own a select few inherited tools that I have no experience with. Here’s an antique Starrett tool that has me wondering: What is it?

While cleaning my shop this week after using the destructive, chip throwing “Lancelot“, I found this tool on my top shelf (yes, unfortunately, wood chips covered everything, reinforcing the notion of using my “assembly table” for assembly only.)

Can I assume since it’s Starrett that it’s for measuring? Sure, it’s got a rubber wheel that when rolled, turns a dial that is labelled from 0-100 with inexplicably odd numbers at each mark around the dial: 19,28,37,46, 55… – I see a pattern here.

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Continue reading A 1905 Starrett gauge, but what is it?