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  • tooltips hammers

    Hammer Selection
    NAIL HAMMERS: For common and finishing nail sets. Not for masonry nails, cold chisels and other metal.
    BALL PEIN HAMMERS: For cold chisels, punches, rivets and shaping metal.
    BRICK HAMMERS: For setting splitting bricks, tiles, concrete blocks. Also for chipping mortar.
    BLACKSMITH HAMMERS: For spikes, stakes, cold chisels, hardened nails, etc.


    Hammer Safety Tips
    Strike squarely with the hammer striking face parallel with the surface being struck. Always avoid glancing blows and over and under strikes.
    When striking another tool (chisel, punch, wedge, etc.), the striking face of the proper hammer should have a diameter approximately 3/8″ larger than the struck face of the tool.
    Always use a hammer of suitable size and weight for the job. Don’t use a tack hammer to drive a spike, nor a sledge to drive a tack.
    Never use on hammer to strike another hammer or a hatchet.
    Never use a striking or struck tool with loose or damaged handle.
    Discard any striking or struck tool if tool shows dents, cracks, chips, mushrooming, or excessive wear.
    Never regrind, weld or reheat-treat a hammer.


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  • tooltips knives

    Knife and Blade Selection
    Retractable blade knives are a good choice for general use, and offer the convenience of being able to quickly adjust the cutting depth of the blades plus the safety of allowing the blade to be retracted completely into the handle when not in use.
    Fixed blade knives lock blades into a fixed, non-retractable position between the halves of the knife handle. This improves blade stability in severe cutting applications and allow the knife to accept special-purpose blades that are too large to retract into the handle.
    Snap blade knives, like Stanley’s Quick Point™ knives, are built around a blade designed to snap-off or break away in sections, providing a fresh, sharp cutting point, without having to open the knife. These knives are a good choice for light and medium duty applications, or when adhesive materials like packing tape leave a residue on the blade, making a fresh, sharp edge critical.
    Special purpose blades (utility, round point, hook, scoring, carpet, linoleum, etc.) are available for a variety of cutting applications.
    Knives Safety Tips
    Always be sure that blades are properly seated in knives and that knives are properly closed and/or fastened together before use.
    Never leave a knife unattended with the blade exposed. Consider using a self-retracting knife with a spring-loaded blade which automatically retracts when the knife is released.
    Always use sharp blades. A dull blade requires more force and is more likely to slip than a sharp one. Change the blade whenever it starts to tear instead of cut.
    Protect your eyes – wear safety goggles when working with knives or any other tools.
    Always keep your free hand away from the line of cut.
    When making cuts on a surface below you, stand or kneel to one side of the line of the cut.
    Always pull the knife toward you when making a cut on a flat surface. A pulling motion is stronger and more positive than pushing the knife away from you, and the knife is less likely to slip.
    When using a straight edge to guide a cut, either clamp it down or keep your free hand well away from the cutting path of the knife. Be sure the straight edge is thick enough to prevent the knife from “riding up” over the edge and cutting you.
    Don’t bend or apply side loads to blades by using them to open cans or pry loose objects. Blades are brittle and can snap easily.
    When using a knife to cut through thick materials, be patient – make several passes, cutting a little deeper into the material with each pass.


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  • tooltips taperules

    Here are some suggestions to help you keep your tape rule in good working order and extend its useful life.

    The graduated blade is protected by Mylar® but dirt, sand, drywall dust or metal chips can scratch through or wear away the protective layer. Wipe the blade clean frequently when working with gritty materials. Sticky roofing tar and glues can ruin the winding action of your tape rule.


    Moisture left on the blade will work its way into the spring motor and rust will follow. Wipe the blade dry after working in wet environments. Beware of solvents; some will attack the Mylar® seal or melt the protective skin. Use only mineral spirits or alcohol to remove tar or glue.—————————————————-
    Don’t let the blade recoil at high speed; it will strike the case with the force of a hammer blow and the whipping action can damage the blade or pinch your finger. Practice slowing the blade with your finger under the tape’s mouth. Leverlock® models will stop the blade when the lock is released.—————————————————-
    The hook slides to accommodate inside and outside measurements, helping you avoid errors due to the thickness of the hook. Clinching the rivets will make the hook inaccurate.—————————————————-
    Beware of sharp corners. Stepping on the blade will almost always cause damage. Pulling the tape over a sharp edge may create a kinked or twisted blade. Continual flexing of these kinks, when the blade rewinds into the case, will eventually break the blade.—————————————————-
    The hook can be snared easily on cracks, on exposed nail heads, and the like. Take care to dislodge the hook before pulling sharply on the blade. Otherwise you might bend the hook or cause the blade to kink or tear.—————————————————-
    The rugged case will withstand most accidents, but just as you could be hurt by a fall from a ladder or a roof, your tape rule could be damaged by the impact of a major fall. Keep your rule secure in a leather holster or in your tool apron.—————————————————-
    When measuring near power tools, be sure your tape rule blade stays clear of the cutting path. Spinning saw blades and drill bits will rip a tape rule.
    Mylar® is a registered trademark of DuPont Teijin Films for its polyester film. Only DuPont Teijin Films makes Mylar® polyester film.


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  • Tips, Tricks and Tools to Start Managing Your Home Energy Use

    [Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of blog posts about smart home energy management from our partners at Alarm.com, makers of the Connected Home platform. In the coming months, their experts will examine the features and benefits of energy management in the connected home. This month, Jay Kenny explores some ways that you can employ technology in the quest to reduce your energy bills.]

    In our first article, we highlighted the importance of energy management as part of the larger Connected Home technology platform. Eliminating efficiencies in the way that you use energy ultimately increases the impact that your solar production has on your overall energy footprint.

    For our next step, let’s take a deeper look into how technology can provide you the information and tools to comprehensively identify energy waste and take effective, immediate steps to address it.


    Track and Target Waste

    Looking at your monthly home energy bill, it’s difficult to know exactly where costs are coming from and how you can start lowering them. While smart thermostats and appliance modules help reduce the amount of energy used in the home, they aren’t the whole story. You might be surprised to learn how much power appliances like televisions, refrigerators, and washing machines use every day — sometimes even when they’re turned off.

    New wireless monitoring devices let you track and analyze every appliance in your home. Once you know which devices are inflating your monthly bill, automation can help manage those appliances around your daily routine. That way they’re on when you need them, and off when you don’t.

    Take this example: One of my colleagues put a light control module on a motion-sensitive, outdoor flood light used for nighttime security around her home. By monitoring this specific light she discovered that it was being triggered unnecessarily during daylight hours and wasting energy. She created a schedule for that specific light so that it would operate only during nighttime hours, and she saved between 25 and 50 cents worth of energy every day. That can really add up to both energy bill costs and environmental impact.


    Set Goals

    Monitoring and automating devices also lets you measure your progress towards energy saving goals. Smart tools help you set achievable goals for the month and allow you to track actual consumption against them. If you fall behind, you can fine tune automations and schedules on every device in your home to get back on track.

    Learning the home’s occupancy and power usage patterns is the basis for highly personalized estimates around energy consumption and savings, as well as for creating smart schedules for automation. These patterns also ensure that every automation is optimized to be as efficient as possible. For example, thermostat data can tell us how long your home takes to heat up or cool down. Taking this into account allows the energy management service to optimize the thermostat around your personal schedule.


    Actionable Data

    Knowing how the different devices and appliances in your home consume power also helps you make informed decisions about additional investments you’re considering to further enhance your home’s energy efficiency. For example, the thermodynamic modeling that calculates the time and energy needed to heat and cool your house can also help guide you in determining whether new windows or improved insulation would significantly improve your home’s overall efficiency. In an age of overwhelming information, sometimes it’s the little data within your home that can make the biggest impact.



    Obviously solar holds great promise to significantly reduce monthly costs and accomplish energy independence. With Alarm.com and One Block Off the Grid, you can learn about options for incorporating solar energy into your home, and, once installed, monitor how much you solar production contributes to your goals. Integrating this information with Green Button data, as well as whole home as well as device level energy use information, will give you the complete picture about your home’s energy footprint.

    Jay Kenny is the VP of Marketing for Alarm.com, the makers of the Connected Home platform and advanced energy management services.

    Alarm.com has well over 1 million homes subscribed to our Connected Home platform, and we have seen growing consumer interest across all the entire range energy management capabilities in the Connected Home. This includes core energy management capabilities like smart thermostats, lighting control and schedule optimization, as well as the more comprehensive energy features for monitoring appliance and whole home consumption, integrating green button data, connecting to the smart grid, and leveraging cleaner energy sources like solar power. With the Connected Home consumers can create a personalized energy management plan that’s easy to implement and that fits their goals; whether it’s saving money or the planet.


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  • Power Tools History

    Since the ancient Egyptians began using a hand-powered lathe centuries ago, man has striven to make arduous building and assembling tasks easier, quicker, and more efficient through power tools. We’ve come a long way from those sand-covered turning machines, but the end goal is no different from our desert-dwelling ancestors. Today, nearly every home in every industrialized country houses and uses power tools.


    Even though the concept of the power tool has been around for a long time, it wasn’t until the late 1800′s when the first modern-era power tools became possible. The advent of electric motors made highly-efficient stationary and portable power tool technology a reality, and high-speed assembly lines made power tools both affordable and profitable.


    The Bosch company was at the forefront of power tool technology in those early years. Founded in 1886 Germany by Robert Bosch, the company initially focused on automobile components with integrated electric parts, and was responsible for such developments as the first low-voltage magneto ignition. Before long, companies in other industrialized nations began developing the first electric power tools, and Bosch introduced its first power drill in 1932. Today, Bosch still engineers and manufactures automotive parts, and its power tool division has grown to include nearly every household and assembly tool on the market – including power drills, belt sanders, circular saws, and more. As part of the company’s growth, it has acquired other successful power tool manufacturers that started during the same early 20th century era.


    In 1923, American inventor Raymond DeWalt introduced the world’s first radial arm saw, a sliding circular saw that could make long cuts with accuracy. One year later, he founded the DeWalt power tool company in Baltimore, Maryland; another company that has grown substantially over the last 85 years. At the forefront of portable power tool technology, DeWalt’s power tools are revered by carpenters and homeowners alike for their long-life, durable cordless battery-styled power drill, circular saws, and other power tools; and the company currently manufactures over 200 types of power tools worldwide.


    Founded in 1915 in Japan, the Makita Corporation has also staked its reputation on cordless, battery-powered power tools – most notably, the hand-held drill, which Makita introduced in 1978. Nine years later, the company had a full arsenal of cordless, professional-grade power tools for contractors. Today, Makita manufactures over 350 different power tools, both portable and stationary, and the pronounced teal color emblazoned on all of their tools is often mimicked by others trying to capitalize on Makita’s reliable name.


    The early 20th century proved to be a hotbed of power tool advancements, and many companies worked hard to develop profit-turning innovations that moved their products off store shelves and into people’s homes. While the term power tool traditionally conjures thoughts of electric drills and sanders, machines like the pipe threader and utility pump are also considered power tools. This is the area the Ridgid company focused on when it was founded in Elyria, Ohio, in 1923. Still a leader in the plumbing tool industry, Ridgid now has a power tool division that focuses exclusively on contemporary power tools and has released its own saws, drills, and even air tools.


    A.F. Siebert founded the Milwaukee Electric Tool Company one year later in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Known for manufacturing heavy-duty power tools, Milwaukee is best know for the ‘Sawzall,’ one of the most widely-used reciprocating saws in the world. Like their power tool manufacturing competition, Milwaukee currently produces portable and stationary power tools like circular saws, drills, band saws, grinders and sanders – over 500 different models in all. Unlike their competition, many of Milwaukee’s power tools are released in both 120 and 230 volt models, drawing the line between household and commercial/industrial power.


    Best known for the Skilsaw they invented in 1924, the Skil power tool company evolved out of the Michel Electric Handsaw Company when they entered the power tool market. Fueled by the ingenious circular saw invention, the company elevated itself to the upper echelon of the small power tool industry with jig saws, grinders, sanders, and a whole slew of handheld, cordless power tools. In 1996, the Bosch company purchased Skil but still keeps its power tools on shelves worldwide as one of the most popular power tool lines on Earth.


    The Delta company has changed hands several times since it was founded by Herbert Tautz in 1919 in his Milwaukee, Wisconsin garage. Tautz focused on small tools but when Delta was purchased by Rockwell in 1945, the company made a profitable shift to the stationary tools – like planers and bench sanders – it’s renowned for today. Delta isn’t the only name this line has carried, however; Rockwell enveloped the company on takeover before selling it to Pentair, which re-introduced the Delta name before selling out to Black & Decker in 2004.


    A veritable power tool power house, the Craftsman brand was coined by the Sears company in 1927. At first, the company primarily manufactured common hand tools like hammers and screwdrivers; but soon jumped on the power tool bandwagon and is now one of the top-selling producers of all power tools, both stationary and portable.


    S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker founded the Black & Decker small machine shop in 1910 in Baltimore, Maryland; and the duo found their niche in the power tool industry by inventing the electric drill seven years later. The pistol-grip and trigger style drill became popular and is now a staple on construction sites and in households alike. Realizing the profit potential of power tools, Black & Decker has grown and acquired several other popular power tool brands, including DeWalt, Porter Cable, Delta, and Kwikset.


    As industrialized nations become increasingly technology-driven, power tool production stands to increase as lightweight, powerful, and longer-lasting batteries try to match the power and reliability of corded power. Versatile contemporary models and thousands of accessories continue to make everything from woodworking to metal machining easier, more efficient, and more profitable for manufacturers, contractors, and homeowners alike. As power tools have become affordable for nearly everyone, only the hammer has resisted an electric redesign destined to change the way we work forever.


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  • History of electrical engineering

    Ancient developments

    Thales of Miletus, an ancient Greek philosopher, writing at around 600 B.C.E., described a form of static electricity, noting that rubbing fur on various substances, such as amber, would cause a particular attraction between the two. He noted that the amber buttons could attract light objects such as hair and that if they rubbed the amber for long enough they could even get a spark to jump.

    At around 450 B.C.E. Democritus, a later Greek philosopher, developed an atomic theory that was remarkably similar to our modern atomic theory. His mentor, Leucippus, is credited with this same theory. The hypothesis of Leucippus and Democritus held everything to be composed of atoms. But these atoms, called “atomos”, were indivisible, and indestructible. He presciently stated that between atoms lies empty space, and that atoms are constantly in motion. He was incorrect only in stating that atoms come in different sizes and shapes. Each object had its own shaped and sized atom.

    An object found in Iraq in 1938, dated to about 250 B.C.E. and called the Baghdad Battery, resembles a galvanic cell and is believed by some to have been used for electroplating inMesopotamia, although this has not yet been proven.


    17th century developments

    Electricity would remain little more than an intellectual curiosity for millennia until 1500

    When the Italian scientist Girolamo Cardano started a study on electricity in De Subtilitate (1550)[3], distinguishing for the first time the electric strength from the magnetic one. In the 1600 the English scientist, William Gilbert extended the study of Cardano on electricity and magnetism, distinguishing the lodestone effect from static electricity produced by rubbing amber. He coined the New Latin word electricus (“of amber” or “like amber”, from ??e?t??? [elektron], the Greek word for “amber”) to refer to the property of attracting small objects after being rubbed. This association gave rise to the English words “electric” and “electricity”, which made their first appearance in print in Thomas Browne’s Pseudodoxia Epidemica of 1646.

    Further work was conducted by Otto von Guericke who showed electrostatic repulsion. Robert Boyle also published work.


    18th century developments

    By 1705, Hauksbee had discovered that if he placed a small amount of mercury in the glass of his modified version of Otto von Guericke’s generator, evacuated the air from it to create a mild vacuum and rubbed the ball in order to build up a charge, a glow was visible if he placed his hand on the outside of the ball. This glow was bright enough to read by. It seemed to be similar to St. Elmo’s Fire. This effect later became the basis of the gas-discharge lamp, which led to neon lighting and mercury vapor lamps. In 1706 he produced an ‘Influence machine’ to generate this effect. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society the same year.

    Hauksbee continued to experiment with electricity, making numerous observations and developing machines to generate and demonstrate various electrical phenomena. In 1709 he publishedPhysico-Mechanical Experiments on Various Subjects which summarized much of his scientific work.

    Stephen Gray discovered the importance of insulators and conductors. C. F. du Fay seeing his work, developed a “two-fluid” theory of electricity.

    In the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin conducted extensive research in electricity, selling his possessions to fund his work. In June 1752 he is reputed to have attached a metal key to the bottom of a dampened kite string and flown the kite in a storm-threatened sky. A succession of sparks jumping from the key to the back of his hand showed that lightning was indeed electrical in nature. He also explained the apparently paradoxical behavior of the Leyden jar as a device for storing large amounts of electrical charge, by coming up with the single fluid, two states theory of electricity.

    In 1791, Luigi Galvani published his discovery of bioelectricity, demonstrating that electricity was the medium by which nerve cells passed signals to the muscles. Alessandro Volta’s battery, or voltaic pile, of 1800, made from alternating layers of zinc and copper, provided scientists with a more reliable source of electrical energy than the electrostatic machines previously used.


    19th century developments

    In the 19th century, the subject of electrical engineering, with the tools of modern research techniques, started to intensify. Notable developments in this century include the work of Georg Ohm, who in 1827 quantified the relationship between the electric current and potential difference in a conductor, Michael Faraday, the discoverer of electromagnetic induction in 1831, and James Clerk Maxwell, who in 1873 published a unified theory of electricity and magnetism in his treatise on Electricity and Magnetism. In the 1830s, Georg Ohm also constructed an early electrostatic machine. Thehomopolar generator was developed first by Michael Faraday during his memorable experiments in 1831. It was the beginning of modern dynamos — that is, electrical generators which operate using a magnetic field. The invention of the industrial generator, which didn’t need external magnetic power in 1866 by Werner von Siemens made a large series of other inventions in the wake possible. In 1878, the British inventor James Wimshurst developed an apparatus that had two glass disks mounted on two shafts. It was not till 1883 that the Wimshurst machine was more fully reported to the scientific community.

    During the latter part of the 1800s, the study of electricity was largely considered to be a subfield of physics. It was not until the late 19th century that universities started to offer degrees in electrical engineering. In 1882, Darmstadt University of Technology founded the first chair and the first faculty of electrical engineering worldwide. In the same year, under Professor Charles Cross, theMassachusetts Institute of Technology began offering the first option of Electrical Engineering within a physics department. In 1883, Darmstadt University of Technology and Cornell University introduced the world’s first courses of study in electrical engineering and in 1885 the University College London founded the first chair of electrical engineering in the United Kingdom. The University of Missouri subsequently established the first department of electrical engineering in the United States in 1886.

    During this period work in the area increased dramatically. In 1882 Edison switched on the world’s first large-scale electrical supply network that provided 110 voltsdirect current to fifty-nine customers in lower Manhattan. In the late 1880s saw the spread of a competing form of power distribution known as alternating currentbacked by George Westinghouse. The rivalry between the Westinghouse and Edison systems was known as the “War of Currents”. AC eventually replaced DC for generation and power distribution, enormously extending the range and improving the safety and efficiency of power distribution.

    George Westinghouse, American entrepreneur and engineer, financially backed the development of a practical AC power network.

    By the end of the 19th century, figures in the progress of electrical engineering were beginning to emerge. Charles Proteus Steinmetz helped foster the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States, formulating mathematical theories for engineers.

    Emergence of radio and electronics

    During the development of radio, many scientists and inventors contributed to radio technology and electronics. In his classic UHF experiments of 1888, Heinrich Hertz demonstrated the existence of airborn electromagnetic waves (radio waves) leading many inventors and scientists to try to adapt them to commercial applications, such asGuglielmo Marconi (1895) and Alexander Popov (1896).


    20th century developments

    John Fleming invented the first radio tube, the diode, in 1904.

    Reginald Fessenden recognized that a continuous wave needed to be generated to make speech transmission possible, and he continued the work of Nikola Tesla, John Stone Stone, and Elihu Thomson on this subject. By the end of 1906, Fessenden sent the first radio broadcast of voice. Also in 1906, Robert von Lieben and Lee De Forestindependently developed the amplifier tube, called the triode. Edwin Howard Armstrong enabling technology forelectronic television, in 1931.

    Second World War years

    The second world war saw tremendous advances in the field of electronics; especially in RADAR and with the invention of the magnetron byRandall and Boot at the University of Birmingham in 1940. Radio location, radio communication and radio guidance of aircraft were all developed at this time. An early electronic computing device, Colossus was built by Tommy Flowers of the GPO to decipher the coded messages of the German Lorenz cipher machine. Also developed at this time were advanced clandestine radio transmitters and receivers for use by secret agents.

    An American invention at the time was a device to scramble the telephone calls between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was called the Green Hornet system and worked by inserting noise into the signal. The noise was then extracted at the receiving end. This system was never broken by the Germans.

    A great amount of work was undertaken in the United States as part of the War Training Program in the areas of radio direction finding, pulsed linear networks, frequency modulation, vacuum tube circuits, transmission line theory and fundamentals of electromagnetic engineering. These studies were published shortly after the war in what became known as the ‘Radio Communication Series’ published by McGraw-Hill in 1946.

    In 1941 Konrad Zuse presented the Z3, the world’s first fully functional and programmable computer.

    Post war developments

    Prior to the second world war the subject was commonly known as ‘radio engineering’ and basically was restricted to aspects of communications and RADAR, commercial radio and early television. At this time, study of radio engineering at universities could only be undertaken as part of a physics degree.

    Later, in post war years, as consumer devices began to be developed, the field broadened to include modern TV, audio systems, Hi-Fi and latterly computers and microprocessors. In 1946 theENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) of John Presper Eckert and John Mauchly followed, beginning the computing era. The arithmetic performance of these machines allowed engineers to develop completely new technologies and achieve new objectives, including the Apollo missions and the NASA moon landing.

    The invention of the transistor in 1947 by William B. Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain opened the door for more compact devices and led to the development of the integrated circuit in 1958 by Jack Kilby and independently in 1959 by Robert Noyce. In the mid to late 1950s, the term radio engineering gradually gave way to the name electronics engineering, which then became a stand alone university degree subject, usually taught alongside electrical engineering with which it had become associated due to some similarities. In 1968 Marcian Hoff invented the first microprocessor at Intel and thus ignited the development of the personal computer. The first realization of the microprocessor was the Intel 4004, a 4-bit processor developed in 1971, but only in 1973 did the Intel 8080, an 8-bit processor, make the building of the first personal computer, the Altair 8800, possible.


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  • The History of Hardware Tools


    Hardware hand tools are used by craftsmen in manual operations, such as chopping, chiseling, sawing, filing, forging, and more. The date of the earliest tools is uncertain. Tools found in northern Kenya in 1969 maybe about 2,600,000 years old, and even older tools may remain to be discovered.

    Bourdon Tube Pressure Gauge

    In 1849, the Bourdon tube pressure gauge was patented in France by Eugene Bourdon.


    Chainsaws or Chain Saws (Also look under Saws below)

    The history of the chain saw and the mystery of its invention.


    Drills – Drill Chucks

    Jacob’s Chuck

    A. I. Jacobs invented the first three jaw drill chuck, Jacob’s Chuck. The Jacobs® Chuck Manufacturing Company was founded in 1902 by the inventor.

    Martin Cherrington invented the horizontal directional drilling in 1972.



    “Let There Be Light” — The flashlight was invented in 1898 and the biblical quote of “Let There Be Light” was on the cover of the 1899 Eveready catalog.


    Hand Tools

    Center for the Study of Early Tools

    Antiques Tools



    A hammer is a tool designed for pounding or delivering repeated blows. The hand held hammer is an ancient invention no one inventor can be named. A “hammer” is distinguished by many other names, such as pounder, beetle, mallet, maul, pestle, sledge, and others.

    Pneumatic Hammer

    Charles Brady King of Detroit invented the pneumatic hammer (a hammer which is driven by compressed air) in 1890, which he patented on January 28, 1894. Charles King exhibited two of his inventions at the 1893 Worlds Columbia Exposition; a pneumatic hammer for riveting and caulking and a steel brake beam for railroad road cars.


    Hydraulic Jack

    Richard Dudgeon, Inc. was founded in New York City as a machine shop. In 1851, founder and inventor Richard Dudgeon was granted a patent for a “portable hydraulic press” – the hydraulic jack, a jack which proved to be vastly superior to the screw jacks in use at the time. In 1855, Richard Dudgeon astounded New Yorkers by driving from his home to his place of business in an innovative steam carriage. The noise and vibration generated by the “Red Devil Steamer” frightened horses so badly that city authorities confined it to one street. Although the inventor claimed the carriage could carry 10 people at 14 m.p.h. on one barrel of anthracite coal, it was too far ahead of its time and failed to gain popular favor. Other inventions attributed to Dudgeon include: roller boiler tube expanders, pulling jacks, filter press jacks, steam forging hammers, railroad lifting equipment,  heavy plate hydraulic hole punches, and many types and sizes of lifting jacks.


    Lawn Mowers

    Lawn Mowers & Greener Pastures

    The first patent for a “Machine for mowing lawns, etc.” was granted to Edwin Beard Budding (1795-1846) from Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, on August 31, 1830.


    Machine Tool – Hall of Fame

    The American Precision Museum is the home of the Machine Tool Hall of Fame. It is an incredible collection of pictures and biographies of some of the leading figures in the development of the machine tool industry.


    Paint Roller

    The paint roller was invented by Norman Breakey of Toronto in 1940.


    Pliers – Tongs, Pincers, Plyers

    Simple pliers are an ancient invention – no one inventor can be named. Two sticks probably served as the first uncertain holders, but bronze bars may have replaced wooden tongs as early as 3000 BC.



    Saws are toosl with a thin metal strip with teeth on one edge or a thin metal disk with teeth on the periphery. In 1777, Samuel Miller invented the circular saw in England, the round metal disk type of saw that cuts by spinning and is used hand-held or table-mounted. Large circular saws are found in saw mills and are used to produce lumber. In 1813, Shaker-Sister, Tabitha Babbitt (1784-1854) invented the first circular saw used in a saw mill. Babbitt was working in the spinning house at the Harvard Shaker community in Massachusetts, when she decided to invent an improvement to the two-man pit saws that were being used for lumber production. Tabitha Babbitt is also credited with inventing an improved version of cut nails, a new method of making false teeth, and an improved spinning wheel head.

    In 1807, William Newberry invented a band saw. In 1780, Gervinus also invented acircular saw, however, a more primitive one.


    Screws and Screwdrivers

    Early Screws – Archimedes Screw – Phillips Head Screw – Robertson Screw – Square Drive Screws – Screwdriver



    There is history behind this cutting invention.


    Tape Measure – Alvin J. Fellows – 1868

    On July 14, 1868, Alvin J. Fellows of New Haven, CT patented the tape measure. Alvin’s measurements were 40-46-42.


    Tool Chests

    The look of tool chests can tell us much about workers and workplaces.


    Wrenches, Monkey Wrench, Ratchetless Wrench

    A wrench is also called a spanner, it’s a tool, usually operated by hand, for tightening bolts and nuts. Solymon Merrick patented the first wrench in 1835.


    Welding Tools and Welding History

    In 1885, Nikolai Benardos and Stanislav Olszewski were granted a patent for an electric arc welder with a carbon electrode called the Electrogefest. Benardos and Olszewski are considered the inventors of welding apparatus.


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  • A brief history of tools

    Tools tell us about the society that made them. The more advanced a society, the more it produces, and the more tools it uses. The story isn’t one of continual development as there are periods when progress is slow or even goes backwards. By Roman times many hand tools we would recognise today were used. The Roman joiner had a more extensive tool chest than his Medieval counterpart. Specialist crafts and tools were developed to harvest and turn wood into useful things. Sawyers, Carpenters, Joiners, Carvers, Wagon builders, Shipwrights, Millwrights and Musical Instrument makers have all used the properties of different types of wood to make goods. Every stage of a process had its special tool, from saws and axes to gouges and chisels.

    A craftsman’s tools were his main means of earning a living. They were a huge investment in time and money, either being made by himself, or purchased from specialist manufacturers and suppliers. The cost of a fully equipped tool chest in 1797 was £15.10.4d. (£15.52p), about a years wages for a skilled craftsman. This is why many older tools are stamped with names and initials. Sometimes there are several sets of names, as valuable tools were passed down the generations, or sold to new owners after retirement. Individual or family marks, together with manufacturers stamps, offer one of the clearest indications of date and age, provided you know what the initials stand for


    Axes and adzes

    Date back to at least 8000BC when Reindeer antlers were sharpened to form a cutting edge. Later on the stump end was hollowed out to hold a piece of hard stone or flint. Combined antler and wooden handled axes first appeared about 6000BC. Copper and Bronze axes and adzes developed after 3000BC in the Middle East. Iron axes similar in shape and size to the form we know today, developed sometime between 500-200BC. During the Middle, Axes and Adzes were developed into many different forms and shapes. During the Eighteenth Century, advances in saw design led to a slow decline in their use, although an 1969 trade catalogue still lists 47 different types of axes for various trades, including coachmaking, coopering, and boat building.


    Benches, vices and cramps

    The first benches appeared in the Greek and Roman period. Work was held in place by pegs driven into pre-drilled holes in the top of the bench. By the early 17th century simple wooden screw vices were in general use. By the early 19th century bench vices as we know them today began to be developed. Metal cramps using wooden screws were in use from the late Medieval period. Improvements in screw design made them more widely available for woodworkers from the 17th century, although the modern ‘G’ cramp form did not appear until the early 19th century.



    By the Roman period, the plane was a key element of the carpenter and joiners tool chest. Wood and iron planes from all over the Roman World have been found, including a fine example from the Roman town of Silchester in Hampshire. Specialist forms for particular jobs developed, including smoothing planes, moulding planes and Jack planes. It allowed Roman craftsmen to produce highly sophisticated joinery not seen again in Western Europe until the late 17th century

    Planes did not go completely out of use during the ‘Dark Ages’, although few have survived, suggesting that there was not the demand for highly finished woodwork during this period. Emphasis was on carved decoration, rather than quality joinery. Very little survives in fact much before 1600, and tool historians have been forced to rely on paintings, illuminated manuscripts and early printed books. Increasing demand for high quality wooden architectural features and furniture after 1600 led to a revival of the plane in all its forms. The development of manufacturing processes like veneering also called for even higher standards, and directly contributed to the rapid evolution of new types or improvement of existing standard tools.

    Many 17th and 18th century planes had elaborate scrolled handles and carved decorations, although the basic form remained unchanged until the early 19th century. Specialist plane makers began to appear from the early 1700s. A major design improvement was introduced in the 1780s, in the form of the double iron or cutting edge to prevent tearing. Industrially produced all metal steel planes became common from the late 19th century, although wooden planes continued to be available until recent times.


    Hammers and mallets

    Early hammers were simply hand held stones and continued to be used in this form until the Greek period. Hammers with handles were made of bronze, iron and finally steel. The Romans made extensive use of nails and developed the basic claw hammer as a result. English hammers developed with round striking faces and were known as the ‘Exeter’ or ‘London’ pattern. Various trades developed specialist hammers to suit their type of work, including picture framing, upholstering, saddle making, veneering, engineering and even telephone cable installation. Mallets date back to early history when tree branches or roots were used as a kind of club or cudget. The Egyptians and Romans both used wooden mallets, although the typical square sectioned English mallet did not develop until the later medieval period.


    Chisels and gouges

    Stone Age chisels made of flint were succeeded by copper and bronze examples. From the earliest metal working period they made in two basic forms, one to fit into a socketed handle, the other with a spike or tongue, allowing a handle to be attached. For centuries there have been four basic patterns of Chisel

    • Firmer Chisel – general purpose tool with flat blade and parallel sides, made to be worked with a mallet
    • Paring Chisel – lighter, long and thin blade for finer work, not suitable for use with a mallet
    • Mortise Chisel – thick stout blade and substantial handle for use with a mallet. Used for cutting mortises in woodworking joints
    • Special Purpose Chisels – variety of forms, used by carvers, turners, millwrights and wheelwrights for specialist jobs.



    Pincers and Pliers

    Roman blacksmiths made extensive use of iron tongs for working metal, although they used their claw hammers for removing nails. Specialist tools for cutting and bending were occasionally illustrated in medieval pictures but did not come into general use until the 18th century.


    The saw

    Saws date back at least to the Egyptians, who used copper hand saws up to .5 metres long. The Greeks and Romans who improved the basic design, by introducing wooden frames for supporting the blade, and setting the saw teeth alternately, in order to get a better more accurate and easier cut. The big break through came after 1650, when the process of rolling wide strip steel was developed in Sheffield and Holland. Wider bladed saws made it possible to do away with the wooden frame, and the steel hand saw, as we know it, was born. English saw makers developed the wider type handle still in use today, while continental makers produced a pistol-shaped handle. As furniture and joinery work became finer and more detailed, specialist saws were developed to help the craftsmen achieve the desired effect. Sash, tenon and dovetail saws with thinner blades, finer teeth and a steel or brass strengthening bar or back, began to appear, together with new types of open handles for ease of use.


    Boring tools

    These include braces, bits, augers and gimlets, and are all used for making holes in different types of material. The Egyptians used a variety of drills and awls to make holes for wooden pegs, which held their furniture together in place of nails and screws. Pictorial evidence shows the use of bow drills, which were later used throughout the Middle East and Classical World, as early as 2540BC. After the Roman period, craftsmen preferred to use heavier, more substantial tools, like breast augers and braces. Augers were widely used throughout the Medieval period and later for boat and house building and general woodworking. Steel was welded into the entire length of many iron augers to provide extra strength. The last survivor of the auger family still in regular use is the gimlet, which dates back to at least the 15th century. The Joiners Brace or ‘piercer’ first appeared in Europe in the 15th Century. It was an entirely new type of tool and had not evolved from an earlier form. All metal braces were being used in Germany by the early 1500s. The basic design was gradually refined over the years until the mid 19th Century when the current form was finally fixed.


    Files and rasps

    Although files and rasps were in general use from possibly the Egyptian and certainly the Greek period onwards, their use began to change after 1300, when more complex mechanisms like clocks began to appear. 4th century files were basically similar to the types in use today, being of different sizes with straight or tapering sides, and flat, round, semi-circular, or multi-edged profiles. The file teeth were cut by hand using a special sharp-edged hammer or hammer and chisel, until mechanisation took over in the late 19th century. By 1900 Sheffield tool makers produced 10,000 different types of file cut, profile and size.


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  • Tool

    What is tool ?

    A tool is any physical item that can be used to achieve a goal, especially if the item is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tool use by humans dates back millions of years, and other animalsare also known to employ simple tools.

    Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such as “instrument”, “utensil”, “implement”, “machine”, or “apparatus”. The set of tools needed to achieve a goal is “equipment”. The knowledge of constructing, obtaining and using tools istechnology.


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  • Tools and Fact Sheets

    Our tools and fact sheets cover a variety of important wilderness issues — from managing roads and building trails in national forests to steering energy projects away from sensitive wildlands.

    At Wilderness, we use a blend of policy, partnerships and science to address important issues affecting designated wilderness and other wildlands. Find information and facts about the following areas:


    Wilderness designation

    Using the Wilderness Act, Congress is able to designate new public lands as wilderness. A mere 5 percent of public lands is designated wilderness — roughly 110 million acres. We need to protect millions of acres more.


    Monument designation

    The president can designate public lands as national monuments using the Antiquities Act. When a wildland receives monument designation, it also gains new protections against development and other threats.


    National forests

    National forests are a vital part of America’s public land system. So much of what makes our country special would vanish without them.


    Bureau of Land Management lands

    Our public lands face many threats — energy development, off-road vehicle use and other development activities. At Wilderness, we work with the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies to balance how we use and protect public lands.


    Oil and gas

    Much of the oil and gas produced in the United States comes from public lands. Our work helps to protect these lands from further harmful development of fossil fuels.


    Renewable energy

    Clean energy sources like wind and solar can help us reduce climate change, but can harm wildlife and wildlands if not sited carefully.


    Outdoor recreation

    Millions of Americans enjoy recreation on our public lands each year. It’s important to balance opening wildlands to recreation opportunities while also protecting them from harm.


    Conservation funding

    When funding exists for important conservation projects, there’s a better chance that wilderness is protected, studied and managed well.


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