Growing up, I always remember that every garage I visited (and there were many) had one of those rickety old trouble lights hanging on the wall somewhere. Over the years, the possibilities for shedding light on a situation have grown wildly, even more so since we began seeing LED flashlights not too long ago.
Known in photography circles for their Gorillapod flexible tripods, Joby has taken the concept and added a removable LED flashlight to it. The Gorillatorch comes in 4 models, the model the folks at Joby sent us was the BLADE.
It pains me to think that I’m writing holiday gift suggestions before Halloween, but I’ve had so many cool things sent my way to write about that I’m just going to have to go for it. Besides, here in Southern Ontario we’ve had frost a few times already so the time is right to talk about the Garant SnoFlex shovel.
Every now and then I’ll receive products to review that are nothing short of awesome, yet it takes me ages to do a proper review as I don’t have the need to actually use said products. These little jewels are one of those products. Sadly, I just don’t spend as much time working on projects in The Garage as often as I’d like and I can’t really use a ratcheting wrench on a camera or a keyboard.
I had seen ads on TV for these Craftsman wrenches and thought they would be cool to try, so I was happy to receive not one, but two sets to test out. Who doesn’t love new tools? They come in two styles. The chrome set are open end wrenches with a different imperial size at each end. One side of the box surface has a unique shape with a spring loaded cam that allows the wrench to turn on a nut, without removing the wrench. This turns out to be pretty handy if the project is in one of those spots where you only have room for a quarter turn at a time.
The ratchet effect works very nicely, if not as quickly as a traditional socket ratchet but certainly easier than a traditional open end wrench. The sloppy worker will have to pay attention to putting the wrench on the nut straight, as once there is an angle these tools may be inclined to slip off the nut. Keeping any wrench straight is a good practice anyway, as it prevents the rounding off of nuts.
When I received a request to review something from Whirlpool’s Gladiator Garageworks product line, I was understandably giddy. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a new tool chest? Leave it to me to be more than a little bit non traditional.
The piece they decided to send me is a rolling cabinet that has a sliding shelf for holding larger pieces of equipment. Pros often use this style of cabinet as a base to support a tool chest or as a movable work station. In either case, the GGW Gearbox is up to the task. The heavy duty welded case is rated to hold a whopping 1,400 lbs, while the interior shelf is able to hold 65 lbs. That shelf slides out a full 20″, ensuring that the full shelf is indeed usable. It also lessens the chances of injury while trying to access a heavy tool.
The doors are made of diamond plate steel and stay closed with full length magnetic closures, that ensure the doors don’t warp over time. To keep any unwanted, prying eyes from visiting the contents, the doors have a single industrial style lock.
Mobility around the shop is provided by large, smooth rolling castors. The heavy rubber wheels are 2″ wide and 5″ around, ensuring stability when moving the cabinet. They worked quite well as I moved the big box towards its new home.
The kitchen. [Read more…]
Remember the days when your car wouldn’t start, so you went into the garage and pulled out the trouble light. You know the one, it had a reflector and cage around it to keep you from smashing the bulb, but somehow the bulb was always broken when you got to it. It was raining out, so you had to be really careful with the slightly wonky wires where they came out of the handle. Problem was, that those wonky wires had to be wiggled every now and then to keep things working and you gave yourself a nasty shock when you grabbed it with a wet hand. That was if you were lucky.
Many of us who have worked in a real shop have seen or heard the tales of entire dealerships being burned to the ground when one of these disasters on a wire made contact with a bit of spilled 89 octane.
Then came the LED trouble light. The first ones were obscenely expensive and often didn’t work very long before the supplier replaced them for free. Then, as the LED technology improved, we began to see some hardcore cordless lights that were even more expensive. They foretold the products that were to come.
Recently I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of the new products that the good folks at Stanley have on the market. Once I had a look at the products, I just had to have a peek. I mean, what self respecting gearhead would turn up an opportunity to check out some new lighting products?
And so, here I am taking photos of Stanley’s new BarFlex pivoting light and the Squid Bright work light before I rip open the packaging to get things charging. I won’t go into too much detail right now except to say that these tools are yellow (a big plus in my garage) and have a bunch of LED’s which promise to light up any project I choose to attach them to. Oh yeah, they also have some pretty unique methods of supporting themselves which promise to make them useful for just about anything.