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Let's make some holes!

This is a beginner's guide to drills and bits. Need something more basic? Then try An Idiot's Guide to Buying Power Tools or stick with Four Essential Power Tools.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 28, 2014 - 73 comments

The Putter

A putter is a 'putter together of scissors.' This short documentary by Shaun Bloodworth follows the work of Cliff Denton, who works at Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield, one of the last remaining hand manufacturers of scissors. More from the BBC, with Eric Stones, the other Master Puttertogetherer at the factory.
posted by carter on Aug 1, 2014 - 17 comments

Farm Tools for Women

Farming and gardening tools that are actually useful for women.Women play a critical role in producing food,” she says. “Our philosophy is to build on the strengths of women.”
posted by what's her name on Jul 12, 2014 - 32 comments

A tragedy of epic proportions.

What tools did the Vikings use to construct their ships? During the early years of the Song dynasty, while Sridhar Acharya's concept of "zero" was making it's way westward and a pair of anonymous Anglo-Saxon poets was committing the tale of Beowulf to animal skin, a Viking craftsman lost his tool chest. It is speculated that the chest fell overboard off a ship or through the ice into what was then a swamp on the modern island of Gotland, Sweden. The chest was unearthed in 1936 when a chain attached to the chest got caught on a farmer's plow. In it were the tools a Viking blacksmith/ship builder would need to ply his trade. Named the Mästermyr chest its discovery was a boon to archaeologists, historians, re-enactors, woodworkers and blacksmiths. The original tools (catalogue of the items) were restored and put on display. Numerous copies and tributes of the chest or selected tools have been made over the years including a complete replica of both the chest and contents made using period techniques as a 'net project of a blacksmiths and woodworkers. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Feb 9, 2014 - 37 comments

When a Tree Fell in the Forest

Redwood Saga (1946) — Once upon a time, how tiny lumberjacks with tools and muscle power fell the big ones.
posted by cenoxo on Nov 9, 2013 - 61 comments

Watching a thing done well is a pleasure in itself

Jimmy DiResta has made a lot of videos for MAKE Magazine over the past year, and here he shares his five favorites: http://makezine.com/​video/​diresta-celebrating-one-year-on-make/ [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Sep 5, 2013 - 6 comments

we should not confuse a clear view of the future with a short distance

Bootstrapping the Industrial Age So you survived the apocalypse. Here’s what would it take to rebuild the world.
posted by blue_beetle on May 18, 2013 - 21 comments

Park Tool's bicycle repair help and education pages

Major bicycle tools manufacturer Park Tool maintains a neatly sorted bevy of repair, maintenance and technical information articles. Their lead mechanic Calvin runs a video channel that includes -- among many other things -- on-the-road bicycle repair tips. Even more bike info (new bike assembly procedures, road and mountain bike positioning charts, thread concepts, drive train troubleshooting, etc.) is available on the miscellaneous topics page. Don't forget to check out the bicycle mechanics language spreadsheet!
posted by cog_nate on Feb 28, 2013 - 15 comments

Wood, Leather, Steel, Blood

Wood Central is a long lived forum for woodworkers predating even young upstart Metafilter. Having been around for so long the forums are a source of immense knowledge of all things wood and some of that has been collected into posting archives and essays on their Articles and Reviews page. So if you ever wanted to knowWood Central's article page has you covered. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Feb 15, 2013 - 15 comments

Galleries of beautiful bowie knives

Each year Bladeforums members vote for the best bowie knife. The result is a gallery of absolutely beautiful and innovative custom bowies by master craftsmen.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Nov 24, 2012 - 47 comments

"There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

Looking for a project for the winter? Have some spare room and hand tools? Why not build a boat? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 19, 2012 - 47 comments

Tools for the 1/12 scale craftsman

The Toolchest Site does what it says on the tin. Possibly the most mind blowing tool chest on the site is this masterful 1/12 scale reproduction based on the Hewitt chest at Colonial Williamsburg, done by celebrated miniaturist William Robertson. Everything works like the original, down to the lock and the included tools like the plane and the folding rule.
posted by Harald74 on Nov 3, 2012 - 27 comments

smart bird

"Tool use in animals is rare, and bespeaks a level of intelligence that most of us are unaccustomed to associating with non-humans. That's what makes this video of a Green Heron using bread to lure fish to their doom so remarkable. One would be hard pressed to argue that this bird is not thinking critically about the technique it is employing to catch its prey. Not only is it demonstrating logic and reason in its capacity to understand that a piece of bread can be used as bait, it's also passing up the chance to eat the bread in favor of a better meal, actively weighing cost and benefit, pitting immediate gratification against delayed satisfaction. It's a stunning display of animal intelligence."
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 27, 2012 - 68 comments

You Could Chop Down Some Trees Or Build A Cabin Or Something

Yesteryear's Tools is an Internet Magazine that concentrates on hand tools, the toolmakers and the tool distributors that operated mostly between the mid-1800s and mid to late-1900s. Particular attention centers upon the markings and labels of such makers and distributors, specifically those that can be classified as manufacturers and/or major distributors. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Aug 13, 2012 - 16 comments

Not money, but it could be.

Machinery Scans a showcase for some of the most detailed advertisement engravings produced. During the later part of the 19th century most machinery and equipment makers spent large sums of money to have their tool or piece of machinery converted into an engraving for advertising. The scans are of engravings produced from the 1850s-1890s.
posted by Mitheral on Feb 28, 2012 - 27 comments

"I don't have any prizes to give out, I'm just going to tell you how to live your life."

Bret Victor (previously, previouslier) shows off some mindblowing tools he's created to demonstrate not only great insights in user experience, but also his philosophy: "Inventing on Principle"
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism on Feb 15, 2012 - 15 comments

A Field Guide to Antique Hand Tools

When it comes to hand tools, many woodworkers will tell you that they just don't make 'em like they used to. Unfortunately, making sense of the myriad versions and model numbers of antique hand tools can be a daunting task. Fortunately there's Patrick's Blood and Gore for Stanley hand planes, the Disstonian Institute for Disston saws, Old Tool Heaven for just about everything ever made by Millers Falls, and HyperKitten, which includes pages on Metal Routers, Stanley Bench Planes, and Harvey W. Peace saws. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Feb 3, 2012 - 16 comments

Toolimation

Toolimation: An animated take on building up a touring bike [SLYT]
posted by BlooPen on Jan 28, 2012 - 18 comments

For those family computer rescue sessions

Here are some free tools for rescuing infected Windows systems: Windows Defender Offline Beta - Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 - BitDefender Bootable CD - Avira Bootable CD - How To Geek provides instructions for scanning a system from an Ubuntu Live CD.  For more info, click through.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 21, 2011 - 43 comments

Slices, dices

20 Cool and Useful Kitchen Tools. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
posted by twoleftfeet on Dec 4, 2011 - 92 comments

WoodTreks - A Wood Working Video Blog

WoodTreks is a well-produced video blog about traditional woodworking with hand tools. Many of the videos are aimed at the beginner. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Oct 31, 2011 - 21 comments

Sciweavers' online productivity tools

Sciweavers' free online productivity tools include an international virtual keyboard, OCR, image format conversion, and just about every manner of PDF manipulation imaginable.
posted by Trurl on Aug 17, 2011 - 17 comments

Beware the creeper!

Meatcraft - Real World Minecraft
posted by Artw on Apr 21, 2011 - 13 comments

TL;DR? Book Shrink.

Book Shrink tries to pick out the sentences of an input text that are most representative of the text as a whole; that is to say, find the essence of a text. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Feb 10, 2011 - 39 comments

No Tool is Gone, Under the Sun

Kevin Kelly, writer and founding executive editor of Wired magazine, made the bold statement: "I say there is no species of technology that have ever gone globally extinct on this planet." The challenge was laid, including a search through the agricultural tools section of an 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogue. Every item listed in that section was still made, somewhere in the world (and found online, to boot). Additional challengers were found, from the 8-Track (still being made [previously]), anvils (plenty), astrolabes (pick one [listed under Astrolabe Reproductions]). Button hooks? Check. Shoe X-Ray Machine? Probably extinct (via). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 1, 2011 - 176 comments

Has opposable thumbs, walks upright, and makes stone tools.

Since 1990, Woody Blackwell has been seriously flintknapping: shaping flint, obsidian and other stones into tools, using a process called lithic reduction. [more inside]
posted by avoision on Oct 14, 2010 - 20 comments

Web Design Tutorials and Inspiration

Web Design Ledger is a publication written by web designers for web designers. The primary purpose of the site is to act as a platform for sharing web design related knowledge and resources. Topics range from design inspiration to tips and tutorials and everything in between. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Oct 11, 2010 - 15 comments

Creative Action for Collective Good

Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. Not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives, and livelihoods. At its core, sustainability is about people. The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action. It is a place to co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 20, 2010 - 9 comments

Heaven is, as heaven does ...

"My brother says that some day two men in white coats will come and take me away. Someone said that if they are men, after looking at the shop, they will forget what they came for and I should remain free". A photo tour of the home workshop of Mr. Jacques Jodoin, including a video walkthrough.
posted by woodblock100 on Sep 8, 2010 - 31 comments

Palettes & pigments: famous artists' use of color

Why preserve Van Gogh's palette? - an exploration of color from the actual layout of various artists' color palettes - Degas, Delacroix, Gaugin, Moreau, Renoir, Seurat, Van Gogh. (via Neatorama) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on May 30, 2010 - 15 comments

Chinese Military Shovel WJQ-308

"The multifunction folded shovle (sic) boasting a happy combination of a spade, pickax, trowel, hewing, knife, saw, scissors, hammer, operner (sic), shield, anchor, and oar is perfect design and refined making, making a pioneer in tools family!" I can guarantee you that never before (or, likely, again) will you be so inspired by a multifunction shovel commercial. The music is exhilarating! (PS: This shovel does freaking everything.) (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by GatorDavid on May 7, 2010 - 78 comments

What Color Is Malachite?

Get palette ideas from sites like GenoPal, generate color schemes with tools like Unsafe Color Match, put a color in and spit a palette out with Color Blender, or sharpen your color theory skills with The Meaning of Colours. These are all from the 50 Best Color Sites for Designers.
posted by netbros on Mar 11, 2010 - 7 comments

B-Rhymes

B-Rhymes is a rhyming dictionary that compares words based on their sounds, making it ideal for finding near-rhymes.
posted by archagon on Feb 15, 2010 - 28 comments

Exploring Ingenuity in Iron ...

Alloy Artifacts an "online resource for 20th century hand tools and the companies that made them".
posted by Mitheral on Aug 25, 2009 - 9 comments

Primitive Mixology

Aesop's tale of the clever crow just might be a case of astute observation. (Somehow, the story lacks the same panache when a great ape is the hero.)
posted by IndigoJones on Aug 7, 2009 - 14 comments

Analog Art (mostly)

The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies
posted by Miko on Jul 2, 2009 - 38 comments

Tools made in German Prisons

Escape and other tools made by inmates in German prisons, from the photographer Marc Steinmetz. My favorite is the functional battery-powered shotgun, although the hand-made toaster is a testament to the love of a decent breakfast. via.
posted by Rumple on Jun 27, 2009 - 21 comments

Web Building Tools

Fyrdility has been busy with useful web building tools. First, he has a jQuery plug-in to provide support for the CSS Template Layout Module. Template layout demos using the plug-in here. Then, there's the When can I use... browser compatibility tables that let you know when you can start using the latest web technologies, like CSS3, HTML5, SVG, etc.
posted by netbros on Apr 29, 2009 - 14 comments

Hacking the Sky

Hacking the Sky: Robert Simpson writes astronomy tools for use with Google Earth, Google Sky, and Twitter.
posted by Upton O'Good on Mar 4, 2009 - 5 comments

"It was like he was cross-dressing in private -- an old man out there sponging by himself."

I, for one, welcome our new loner female, tool-using dolphin overlords. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 27, 2008 - 40 comments

Hammer Time

Hammer quiz. Identify the intended use of speciality (mostly vintage) hammers. A sister site of Puzzle Photos (previously). [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Apr 3, 2008 - 28 comments

Notch tubing without a notcher.

Cope pipe without a jig. Enter a few parameters and get a pdf that will give you a printable pattern that will allow you to notch tubing for welding or brazing to another pipe.
posted by Mitheral on Mar 15, 2008 - 35 comments

quoting with image maps

Kwout, Use it to grab a quick quotation or other screen shot from a web site and embed it into a blog or other website (one click to Flickr and Tumblr).. [via/via] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 26, 2007 - 20 comments

Plans for simple plywood boats

Hannu's Boatyard is a site by a Finnish guy who offers free plans for two dozen simple plywood boats you can build, along with photos illustrating the build process of each. He also describes basic woodbending technique and some of the design process, in a pleasing writing style that makes me want to get off the internet and make things. My favorites: Portuguese style dinghy; tiny stubby halfpea; round, Welsh-style coracle -- if you click on no other link today, click on the coracle link and scroll down at least to the black and white photo.
posted by LobsterMitten on Oct 12, 2007 - 31 comments

The Superior Works

A wonderfully told story about a guy's exciting find. C.A. Jewett's Patternmaking Chest. (Via)
posted by growabrain on Jun 6, 2007 - 24 comments

Beauty And Function

Ichiro Hattori makes the finest knives in the world. Chef knives (gyuto KD series) start at $860 USD and top out at $1175. This hunting knife is priced at $2150. These are not collector knives. They are made for everyday use. Text and images of the process and a YouTube vid of same (23:40 mostly in English).
posted by sluglicker on May 29, 2007 - 63 comments

Free online photo editor: Picnik.com

Picnik. Free, online photo editing tools.
posted by loquacious on Feb 1, 2007 - 8 comments

A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not why ships are built.

Make Life Better with a Sailboat-in-a-Closet. A multi-section plywood meditation for overcoming life's vicissitudes through apartment woodworking.
posted by paulsc on Dec 5, 2006 - 9 comments

Pennant Race Visualizer

Baseball Race. "[A]n online application that allows you to view any Major League Baseball season, split by league or division (even wild card races), as an animated, date-by-date race between the various teams you choose."
posted by brain_drain on Sep 11, 2006 - 22 comments

No, W is not on the list.

The 20 Greatest Tools of All Time. As chosen by Forbes magazine.
posted by empath on Mar 22, 2006 - 97 comments

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