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 Nut splitter

Some times nuts are too much seized on screw or head is so much damaged or worn that they cannot be unscrewed with conventionnal wrench or socket.

So last solution is to destroy the nut to loosen the assembly. For this you can try using a saw or an angle grider but you risk to damage the screw and access may be difficult.
Nut splitter is a simple low cost tool that will do this work without above problems.

Working principle is based on a wedge that is pushed by mean of a screw and forces the nut to break.

Use is very simple, just put the nut you want to loosen in the hole of the tool and screw tool until the nut breaks. Do not overtighten to prevent damage to the threads under the nut.

When the screw is broken normaly it can be loosen without effort.

 Electric planer

Electric planer is a very efficient tool to remove material from a wood board in order to adapt size or plane a rough surface.

Use is easier than manual planer and doesn't need to be an expert in blade sharpening.

Working principle is similar to milling machine, with a cylinder fitted with two blades that grind wood wile turning.

the electric planer can :
  • Prepare raw wood before sanding to get a flat, leveled surface
  • remove material for adjusting a part to a desired size
  • chamfer an angle
  • plane top or bottom of a door which doesn't fits well
  • make a rabbet (machining in "L")

Settings :
Planer has a wheel for adjusting the depth of cut depending on the thickness of the wood to remove. The setting is usually done by steps of 0.1mm. Maximum depth depends of planer power.
use :
Use is very simple but still requires a little practice. Before using planer you must check that blades are in good condition because if they have an impact you will obtain a defect to the wood surface and if they are worn this will increase the effort necessary to move the planer and surface will not be smooth. You must also ensure that the wood is clean (no grit and without nails or metallic parts because the blades will be damaged if they hit this kind of objects).
 Put the front of the tool on the surface to be planed, at this step blades must not be in contact with wood. The engine must be started before entering in wood. Then planer must be held firmly, pressing it forward. The feed rate must be constant without straining the engine. You have to cover in one time the entire length of the board, otherwise you will obtain some defect where you have stopped.

If board is larger than the planer you will have to do several successive passes but it will be difficult to get a perfectly smooth surface you may need to sand the part after.
Screwdriver's tip :
If you are equipped with an electrical wood planer think to buy raw sawn wood that is cheaper than plane one.

 Concrete sander

Concrete sander is working on same principle than conventional wood or metal sander except that the abrasive disc is replaced by one or two diamond wheels. This allows to sand or grind hard materials as concrete or stones.

This tool can be used for several application but due to its size it will be limited for small surfaces even if efficiency is quite impressive.
It can be used for :
  - flattening or removing small defects on concrete slab
  - polishing stone floor or pavement
  - remove old tiles glue
  - remove roughtcast on wall
In general it will be great on hard materials but will not work on soft surfaces as old carpet glue or thick paint.

Several different types of diamond wheels are available and to be selected according to work to be done.
This type of grinder will be usefull for diyers in home construction or renovation and will make works hardly possible without or far more longer by other means.
As it is very agressive, to obtain a good result procced by several steps without forcing  on the tool. If you work inside, connect to sander a good vaccum cleaner as it generates huge amount of dust.

The only constraint will be the cost of the machine and replacement wheels even if they last quite long time. You can choose to rent one if you only forecast to use one but pay attention as diamond wheels are often not comprised in initial price. So it could be cheaper to buy one taking into account that you will have it for any future application or that you can sell it after.

 Test : Are milling drill bits really working ?

Since few years a new type of drill bit is available on the market. This milling drill bit is made to be used both as a standard bit for normal drilling but also for small milling to enlarge a hole or make a goove or a fence.
Center part of the drill is replaced by many small teeth like a cilindrical wood-rape.

We decided to test one of these in order to check its real milling capabilities.

Test was made with 5 mm standard plywood.
For drilling operation, no diference was noticed compared to a conventional drill bit. 

For milling / cutting, first part of the test was made using a cordless drill (12V ; 1200RPM capability). Even in 5 mm ply, result was quite disappointing, needing very long time to cut few milimeters. and consequent effort on the drill to progress in the wood.

Then we decided to install the bit on a normal drill (500W 2500RPM). Result was completly different with real milling capabilities and efficiency. This is mainly due to the higher rotation speed.

To conclude if you use a cordless drill, this type of drill bit will be limited to small work as enlarging diameter of a hole. But it will have more use with a more powerfull drill. It can be uses with wood and soft metals as aluminium, cooper or brass. The only limit will be the thinkness of the material (5 mm in metal and 2 cm in wood seems to be a realistic limit) as more you will increase thickness more the milling will be hard and long. 
Anyway it can be usefull for DIYers if you don't have correct bit size or if you want to do oblong holes.

 Remove embedded security screw

In order to prevent electrical and electronical devices dissassembly, manufacturers often use security screws with specific head shape. Fortunately you can buy security screw on the market. But if screw is embedded in a deep hole, in general the adapter is too large to go inside and it is impossible to reach the screw.

An easy method to solve this issue is to modify the screw tip in order to allow its use with a simple flat screwdriver.

For this you will have to make a groove at back of the tip. Pay attention to center it pretty well. Tip material is very hard you can try to make the groove with a metal hand saw but the best will be the use of a coridon disk fixed on a mini drill.

When done just put the screw tip inside the hole an use adapted flat screwdriver to unscrew.

At reassembly you can replace security screw by a standard one to ease any further reopening.

 Infrared Thermometer

An infrared thermometer allows to measure temperature of an object without any contact. Two main types are available one for medical purpose allowing check of body temp and an other one for general purpose and especially work requiring temp measurement. Note : the medical thermometers are generally limited in range and includes a compensation to convert external skin temp into real internal one, so it will not be convenient for other purpose.

Main interest of infrared thermometer is to allow measurement at a certain distance (for high temperatures for example) and gives accurate and immediate value compared to conventional thermometer needing contact and a certain time to reach the value. It can measure very high temps but also do numerous different measures in a short time. Accuracy is also very good.

Use is very easy, you just have to direct it to the area you want to measure and then press the switch to obtain value. A laser pointer is also included to ease aiming.

So it will be very useful to check temperature of your car engine, check isolation of your house and detect cold air leakage of a window or also check your fridge temperature. Many other application are also possible.

If your about to buy one first thing to look at is the range temperature, you will prefer the higher range temp between negative and positive 700°C will be a great value for all DIY applications. Obviously price will directly depend of range capacity. Some other options a
For personal use models that you can find on the net for less than 50 Usd will be sufficient compared to branded ones that will not bring any improvement even if price is far more higher.

 Universal wrench socket

For ratchet wrench normally each size of screw needs a dedicated socket. But since few years a new type of universal socket is available on the market, it can automatically adjust to all standard sizes but also non standard bolts from M4 to M12 (1/4 to 3/4 inch) witch correponds from 7 to 19 mm wide head.

Two different types of internal mechanism is available :
  - one with several splinned washers fitted on springs
  - the other with many needles with hexagonal shape which are independantly spring loaded (as shown on the picture)
Depending of size and shape of screw head the needles (or washers) retracts in socket in order to adapt to the head. 
System with needle seems to us to be more versatile especially for non standard sizes so it should certainly be prefered.

Many advantages can be found for this socket, mains are :
  - only one tool fits most of screws you will find in your home, tools or your car
  - ensure you to have correct size each times
  - save time for assemblies showing different sizes of screw, rending void necessity to replace socket at each screw
  - be usefull for foreign standard or old non standardized screws
  - allow loosening of damaged head screw where normal socked has no more grip

The only limits will be use on some screws with inverted profile as Allen screws and also due to socket size screws with small access.


 "Drill Doctor" internal mechanism / 220V convertion

 Drill Doctor is one of the most effective tool for sharpening your drill bits for personnal use.
The different models are available either on 110V or 220V but unfortunately the 220V model produced for exportation (outside US) is far more expensive, maybe due also to importators.

So you should have wonder if it could be possible to buy a 110V model and transform it into 220V operating.

We have made the test for you and bought a brand new Drill Doctor 750X. So we decided to dismantle it to see how it is made inside.

If you belived to find some electronics or a transformer then you will be quite disappointed. In fact there is only a 110V (120VAC) motor on which is attached the diamond grit wheel, a switch and a little "black box" named KBL610 which is in fact a rectifier that convert alternative current (A/C) into direct current (D/C), thats all.

Conclusion : 

First solution to convert it into 220V would be to change the motor by a 220V, unfortunately such type of motor is not so easy to find as most of other tools or appliance use built-in motor. Similar size could be found from model airplane but will run on 12V so will not solve the voltage issue.
Then regarding the economical aspect, buying a spare motor would certainly cost more than buying a cheap step down tranformer (200 Watts power will be convenient). The other avantage to have a transformer is to have possibility to power other 110V tools or battery charger. Such solution remains cost effective compared to a 220V model.
  Note : 12V motor could also be considered as an alternative on technical side (not for economics), if you would like to use your Drill Doctor outdoors, as it could be powered by a car battery.

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