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335Instructables14,524,418Views4,918CommentsVancouver, Washington USA (not British Columbia, Canada--the other Vancouver)Joined July 17th, 2008
I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first tools. I enjoy studying the Bible and retired after 40 years as a Lutheran pastor. I like to dabble with some electronics projects. I have a wood lathe, a radial arm saw, a router, and both a 220 volt stick welder and a gas shielded wire feed welder. I appreciate Instructables from o... Read More »

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  • My experience is limited, but I have never seen what you describe. There are some things to check. The leather pad under the drum should be parallel to the front arm on the NordicTrack and the two holes in the pad should be on the raised locking circles, not any other alignment. On top of the drum should be a roller bearing in the shape of a doughnut and the rollers in it should move freely. A flat washer is on top of the roller bearing. Then comes the tension spring and the knob. I am thinking something is out of place or missing. Also, put a few drops of 3-in-1 oil on top of the leather pad and lubricants the roller bearing about once per month.

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  • Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    A transformer with two output leads will work fine for a single output voltage. Mine had a center tap and that allowed me to make a dual voltage battery charger.

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  • When the one-way bearings ar not working properly, the ski does not grab on the rearward push with the feet. It is enough to make your body lurch and you can easily lose your balance. I would take both rollers off of the shaft and clean the bearings. Only a little very fine metallic dust is needed to interfere with their intended action. You know you are accomplishing something helpful when sopping the Liqud Wrench or WD-40 with a tissue produces a gray stain on the tissue.

    If you body weight is pressing down on the ski it is difficult to imagine the ski would slip on the rubber surface of the roller. My first suspicion would be the one-way bearing. 12" of slippage seems like quit a lot. I would take the time to remove the drive roller and flush it out with something like Liquid Wrench or WD-40, dry it, and lubricate with a drop or two of ATF fluid. You could remove that ski and work the drive roller to see if it is generally free one direction, but locks in the reverse direction while keeping in mind the roller may behave a little differently under a load.

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  • How to Make a Homemade Table Saw With Circular Saw

    I wondered how you manage crosscuts, but see you made a sled for that in another Instructsble. It is generally a good idea to keep the blade as low as possible. If you hand slips onto the blade during cutting, you have a flesh wound. You have not lost a finger.

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  • Phil B's instructable Easy Monitor for NordicTrack Skier's weekly stats: 1 week ago
    • Easy Monitor for NordicTrack Skier
      314 views
      2 favorites
      2 comments
  • Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    I am glad it worked for you. I am sorry you had to go to the expense of another transformer. Thank you for the update.

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  • Auto Battery Charger for 6 or 12 Volt Sytems

    My first thought is the switch for selecting 6 volts or 12 volts is wired incorrectly and creates a direct short across the secondary of the transformer. I observed a great trick when I saw a furnace repairman replace a transformer on the ignition system. He placed a fuse in line with the transformer. If anything went wrong, the fuse blew and protected the transformer.

    Sorry. When you said yours was exactly like mine, I assumed you had a center tap transformer and a voltage selector switch. I suppose I would disconnect the transformer from the rest of the circuit and then connect an ohmmeter to the rest of the circuit to see if it presents a dead short to the transformer. If you have a diode check function on your multimeter, you can check to see if the diodes in the bridge rectifier are funtioning as they should and not presenting a shortcut that allows too much current to flow where it should not. All of this assumes there was no problem with the transformer before you began.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Toy Steam Shovel1 week ago
    Toy Steam Shovel

    Thank you. It is nice of you to say that. I assure you, there are mistakes.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Bench Saw Table for a Wood Lathe1 week ago
    Bench Saw Table for a Wood Lathe

    The brief manual that came with the lathe back when it was new suggested that very thing. I tried it, but did not use it much that way.

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  • Terry,I am happy you found a fix and all is good now. I learned about "Bob's your uncle" reading a little paragraph on the menu of a restaurant by that name. I also never would have suspected the collar was loose or out of place. Thank you for the report.Phil

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  • Very Easy Cadence Meter for Your Bike <$12

    I remembered your cadence meter Instructsble and adapted it for use as a monitor on a NordicTrack ski machine. I found a wheel diameter setting of 0470 on the Schwinn cyclometer works very well and gives readings very close to what I get for the same effort on an actual NordicTrack monitor. One advantage of using the Schwinn cyclometer is that I can see the duration of my exercise session in minutes simultaneously with the ground speed in miles per hour. On my NordicTrack monitor I must punch a button to switch between the two. The NordicTrack monitor I have is twenty or more years old. Electrolytic capacitors on the circuit board and contacts on the touch buttons are aging considerably, although they still work. The bicycle cyclometer gives me new parts, even though they now cost in ex...see more »I remembered your cadence meter Instructsble and adapted it for use as a monitor on a NordicTrack ski machine. I found a wheel diameter setting of 0470 on the Schwinn cyclometer works very well and gives readings very close to what I get for the same effort on an actual NordicTrack monitor. One advantage of using the Schwinn cyclometer is that I can see the duration of my exercise session in minutes simultaneously with the ground speed in miles per hour. On my NordicTrack monitor I must punch a button to switch between the two. The NordicTrack monitor I have is twenty or more years old. Electrolytic capacitors on the circuit board and contacts on the touch buttons are aging considerably, although they still work. The bicycle cyclometer gives me new parts, even though they now cost in excess of $20 for what was $12 in 2008.I do not know if you are still active on Instructables or not. You can see an Instructsble on my adaptation at https://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Monitor-for-...

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Easy Monitor for NordicTrack Skier2 weeks ago
    Easy Monitor for NordicTrack Skier

    It is fun to think about why something works. Then you can think about other ways to use it, even if those ways seem at first to be unrelated. Thank you for looking and for commenting. (I do not have a treadmill, but I am wondering if this Instructsble could be used to provide a monitor for those, too, as well as maybe some other exercise machines.)

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  • Phil B commented on john pedersen's instructable Home Made Powered Hacksaw2 weeks ago
    Home Made Powered Hacksaw

    I like the way the blade teeth lift off of the work on the backward stroke. Nice job.

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  • Spanner Wrench for Whirlpool or Kenmore Washer Tub Nut

    Very nicely done! The nut from the pipe union is a good idea. Something like this sure beats paying lots of money for a wrench you will use once or twice. Thank you for the photo and for reporting.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Re-Magnetize a Tool2 weeks ago
    Re-Magnetize a Tool

    I have not tried holding a magnet near to my smart phone to see how the built in compass responds. Years ago we visited the USAF Museum in Kettering, Ohio. The museum has a section about life as a POW during different wars. In WW II captured fliers made their own compasses for use in a possible escape. They magnetized a sewing needle by stroking it with a magnet. They attached it to a disc of cardboard like you see on the back of a legal pad. The cardboard disc floated in water when needed. They made a little cup for the water using a phonograph record. They softened it with the flame of a candle and pressing a broomstick into the record with a slightly larger hole in a piece of wood on the other side of the record. This made an impromptu press for making a small cup from the phonograph...see more »I have not tried holding a magnet near to my smart phone to see how the built in compass responds. Years ago we visited the USAF Museum in Kettering, Ohio. The museum has a section about life as a POW during different wars. In WW II captured fliers made their own compasses for use in a possible escape. They magnetized a sewing needle by stroking it with a magnet. They attached it to a disc of cardboard like you see on the back of a legal pad. The cardboard disc floated in water when needed. They made a little cup for the water using a phonograph record. They softened it with the flame of a candle and pressing a broomstick into the record with a slightly larger hole in a piece of wood on the other side of the record. This made an impromptu press for making a small cup from the phonograph record. Water could be added just before use. Someone who did not have a compass could do something like this. Thank you for your kind comments.

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  • Terry,When you mentioned replacing rollers and bearings, are those the the bearings inside the drive rollers or the ball bearings on the flywheel shaft resting inside the recesses in the sideboards? (I had to replace one of those ball bearings because it had seized with rust internally and the shaft was turning on the inner race without the inner race turning with the shaft.) There are washers on the flywheel shaft that keep the shaft from moving laterally, unless someone had one of the sideboards off (as would be necessary to replace a drive roller) and forgot to reinstall the washers between the drive roller and the bearing in the sideboard. Otherwise tolerances are fairly close and it would be difficult for the axle to move lateerally. I believe the axle shaft is 5/8" in diamete...see more »Terry,When you mentioned replacing rollers and bearings, are those the the bearings inside the drive rollers or the ball bearings on the flywheel shaft resting inside the recesses in the sideboards? (I had to replace one of those ball bearings because it had seized with rust internally and the shaft was turning on the inner race without the inner race turning with the shaft.) There are washers on the flywheel shaft that keep the shaft from moving laterally, unless someone had one of the sideboards off (as would be necessary to replace a drive roller) and forgot to reinstall the washers between the drive roller and the bearing in the sideboard. Otherwise tolerances are fairly close and it would be difficult for the axle to move lateerally. I believe the axle shaft is 5/8" in diameter. If I remember correctly, there is a thin plastic washer, two the steel washers, and another thin plastic washer. These are on the shaft between the drive roller and the bearing in the sideboard.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make a Ladder Easier to Move2 weeks ago
    Make a Ladder Easier to Move

    Thank you. I hope it worked out. I try to respond to comments in a timely way, but somehow miss notice on some of them.

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  • Phil B's instructable Uses for Spent K-Cups's weekly stats: 2 weeks ago
    • Uses for Spent K-Cups
      4,137 views
      13 favorites
      6 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Cut Off Saw From an Angle Head Grinder2 weeks ago
    Cut Off Saw From an Angle Head Grinder

    Thank you for posting this. I am glad it works for you.

    Thank you and well done. I hope it does well for you.

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  • Phil B made the instructable Make Whistles From Scrap Metal3 weeks ago
    Make Whistles From Scrap Metal

    I made your whistle. I used a piece of tubing, some sheet metal, and a little bit of rod. I welded it and then ground it smooth. It makes a good whistle sound. Thank you.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Spanner Wrench for a Watch Case3 weeks ago
    Spanner Wrench for a Watch Case

    Excellent. Thank you for your report. You were clever to use an available piece of steel. One problem I had was I found I need to be very careful about the "O" ring that seals moisture out. If I overtighten I can damage the "O" ring and then perspiration gets into the watch.

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  • Make a carbon arc torch for your 220 volt stick welder

    Thank you for your story. It sounds similar to my experience heating metal with carbon rods and an arc. But, I do not have a crowd angry at me if I lose the arc.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Foam Headphone Pads3 weeks ago
    Foam Headphone Pads

    Thank you. If Radio Shack stores were not closing so many places, I would likely just buy another set of pricey replacement pads.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Uses for Spent K-Cups3 weeks ago
    Uses for Spent K-Cups

    Thank you for looking and for commenting. I tried to think of some uses a little different from the lists already available to those who look for them, and to include some things men might find useful, not just things that appeal to women.

    Thank you for looking and for commenting. K-Cups are so ubiquitous that several people you know would gladly save them for you. My wife cautions that because the little cups have wide top and narrow bottom tipping can be a problem. But, that can be countered by securing them in a cluster on some cardboard or keeping them crowded into one corner with other things. I wondered if anyone would notice the slide rule and if anyone would know what it is. This particular one is much nicer than the one I actually used in high school. A widow learned I like slide rules and gave me the very nice one her husband had used. (If there were any question about my age, the last photo gives it away.

    Thank you for your comment. I also have seen or heard about the cup inventor's regrets because he inadvertently added to the landfills. Many K & E slide rules fell victim to KERC disease. It means Keuffel and Esser Rotting Cursor disease. The white blocks between the glass windows rotted away. The rule in the photo is a vintage K & E slider rule, but it was made after K & E changed to a different material that does not suffer from KERCs. I did not use a slide rule in my work. I did enjoy doing calculations on the Pickett 120 plastic trainer I used in high school. Since I have also acquired the K & E rule in the photo and a very similar Dietzgen rule. I did three Instructsbles related to slide rules. They are fairly easy to find. Werner Von Braun headed our space program....see more »Thank you for your comment. I also have seen or heard about the cup inventor's regrets because he inadvertently added to the landfills. Many K & E slide rules fell victim to KERC disease. It means Keuffel and Esser Rotting Cursor disease. The white blocks between the glass windows rotted away. The rule in the photo is a vintage K & E slider rule, but it was made after K & E changed to a different material that does not suffer from KERCs. I did not use a slide rule in my work. I did enjoy doing calculations on the Pickett 120 plastic trainer I used in high school. Since I have also acquired the K & E rule in the photo and a very similar Dietzgen rule. I did three Instructsbles related to slide rules. They are fairly easy to find. Werner Von Braun headed our space program. Both he and his counterpart in the Soviet Union used a Nestler 23 wooden slide rule. It had only the same basic scales found on my Pickett 120 trainer (K, A, B, CI, S, T, C, D, and L).

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  • Replace a Worn Out Bathroom Ceiling Fan

    These fans are a fire hazard when they are old and filled with debris. They should be changed about every dozen years in any circumstance. Perhaps you mentioned that. I changed a couple for a friend of our family. I could not get new fans with housings like the old fans. For some reason I could not just switch motors. Maybe the fan blades would not come off. I do not remember. I bought two new fans with housings a bit smaller than the originals. I cut the mounting plates on the old fans to remove the motors. Then I fitted the mounting plates from the new fans over the plates for the old motors and secured them with screws in holes I drilled. Time was limited because we had to travel in a few hours. This solution worked well.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Locating Floor Joists under Carpet1 month ago
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Learning to Weld1 month ago
    Learning to Weld

    Thank you for the link to your channel. I will try to look at those in the near future. Someone said you never really learn welding, but you are always learning.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Angle Divider for Perfect Miters No 21 month ago
    Angle Divider for Perfect Miters No 2

    Thanks. It will make you an instant expert at tightly fitting meters.

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  • Bicycle torque wrench from a fisherman's scale

    As in your photo, there is a pivot point about which the socket rotates. That would define a beginning point for your measurement. In my photo, I measured 12" from that point and attached a wire loop to which the scale was attached. That gave two pretty definite points and it was easy to measure between them. (You could also slide a piece of pipe onto the end of the ratchet handle if you need to make it "longer" for a 12" span.) I have also come to think of torque as an "about" measurement. About 45 inch pounds is the desirable target, but about 75 inch pounds would be bad. About 50 inch pounds is probably pretty good, too, as would about 40 inch pounds be pretty good, too. If your 12" wrench works out to be really 11.25" your results will likely ...see more »As in your photo, there is a pivot point about which the socket rotates. That would define a beginning point for your measurement. In my photo, I measured 12" from that point and attached a wire loop to which the scale was attached. That gave two pretty definite points and it was easy to measure between them. (You could also slide a piece of pipe onto the end of the ratchet handle if you need to make it "longer" for a 12" span.) I have also come to think of torque as an "about" measurement. About 45 inch pounds is the desirable target, but about 75 inch pounds would be bad. About 50 inch pounds is probably pretty good, too, as would about 40 inch pounds be pretty good, too. If your 12" wrench works out to be really 11.25" your results will likely not move from success to failure, but will be within a range that works.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Mantel Clock Case1 month ago
    Mantel Clock Case

    Nicely done! I am pleased to see you made your own adaptations. Thank you for posting.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Auto battery charger for 6 or 12 volt sytems2 months ago
    Auto battery charger for 6 or 12 volt sytems

    That is beyond my knowledge. I believe you can find circuits for doing that on the Internet. It would be complicated. A simpler thing would be to use a common household timer on the power supply to the charger. Allow the charger to run the number of minutes you know will charge your battery. I did once buy a battery conditioner for auto batteries for about $30. It automatically keeps a 12 volt auto battery fully charged.

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  • Phil B's instructable Make a Conduit Bender's weekly stats: 2 months ago
    • Make a Conduit Bender
      2,009 views
      21 favorites
      8 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make a Conduit Bender2 months ago
    Make a Conduit Bender

    Those are individual decisions only you can make. I have gotten along without a bender for many years. But, in recent years I have found myself using EMT on projects, and I have one coming very soon. Part of making a bender was that coming project and part was simply the challenge.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make Some Nice TV Trays2 months ago
    Make Some Nice TV Trays

    Thank you. The design and the specifications are original with me. The license on the publication is open, so you have no restrictions against using the design. I wish you much success. Please report back later with some photos of your trays and of an advertising brochure, if you use brochures, or a link to what you offer on the Internet.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make a Conduit Bender2 months ago
    Make a Conduit Bender

    Lorddrake, yes. I explained that in the text boxes.

    Thank you. I simply have interesting problems to solve.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make a Conduit Bender2 months ago
    Make a Conduit Bender

    Thank you for looking. Once I have something like this, I tend to use it more than I expected.

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  • Phil B's instructable Fix a Frozen Concoction Machine's weekly stats: 2 months ago
    • Fix a Frozen Concoction Machine
      354 views
      7 favorites
      0 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems2 months ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    I am glad. Thanks.

    After years of using black ink, I opened a bottle of dark blue ink I had bought on a close out sale. To my surprise, it can go for a long time without the pen being used and the ink still flows. That would not be the case with the black ink I have always preferred. So, there is a difference in inks, too. In general though, fountain pens like to be used (and cleaned) often. Thank you for your comment.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable A Sensible Wheel Kit for a Welder2 months ago
    A Sensible Wheel Kit for a Welder

    Thanks you for your ideas. My father did electrical wiring and I was his helper until I left home permanently. I grew up with an aversion to pulling on cables. We now live in a different house and my workshop setup is entirely different. Still, it makes more sense to me for the operator to be able to move a welder from its front rather than its back where the back could easily be against a wall. Sometimes I have to reach through cables and that is a little annoyance.

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  • Phil B commented on muyo19's instructable How To Fix a Fountain Pen2 months ago
    How To Fix a Fountain Pen

    I will give it a try.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable What Bible Should I Buy?2 months ago
    What Bible Should I Buy?

    Thank you for your comment. Somehow I missed it earlier.

    Thank you for your very kind comment. During the last five years I have been working at gaining more facility with the Hebrew I was required to study fifty years ago, but never really learned well enough to use. I have been doing that by means of a free app. named Blue Letter Bible on an iPad. The display is two-column, and I can choose any of several English versions to parallel the Hebrew text. Sometimes I use the King James Version. I am constantly amazed at how accurately it follows the text, even if the style of expression is sometimes very dated for modern readers. In 2011 National Geographic Magazine had a very interesting article on the world-wide influence of The King James Version over the last 400 years. I bought a print copy of the magazine in an airport. If you have not see...see more »Thank you for your very kind comment. During the last five years I have been working at gaining more facility with the Hebrew I was required to study fifty years ago, but never really learned well enough to use. I have been doing that by means of a free app. named Blue Letter Bible on an iPad. The display is two-column, and I can choose any of several English versions to parallel the Hebrew text. Sometimes I use the King James Version. I am constantly amazed at how accurately it follows the text, even if the style of expression is sometimes very dated for modern readers. In 2011 National Geographic Magazine had a very interesting article on the world-wide influence of The King James Version over the last 400 years. I bought a print copy of the magazine in an airport. If you have not seen it, a library near you may well have it. Since retiring from regular service in a local congregation, I tend to use a German edition for most of my Bible reading because I would like to be more able with that language, too. One nice new English version is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. It comes as a free component of The Blue Letter Bible app.

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  • Phil B commented on borism-25's instructable Table for Circular Saw - 55$2 months ago
    Table for Circular Saw - 55$

    An alternative to losing 25mm of blade availability with the blade coming through the table is mounting the saw to a steel plate an inletting for the plate.

    I was reading a book about table saws. It mentioned European table saws often use a sliding carriage. I wanted to do that, but it would have made somethings in building the saw more complicated for me.

    To clarify, this is a description of what I did. I did not have one piece of steel plate, so I welded up one. Distortion from welding caused some additional problems. When I decided I wanted a really smooth top, I filled in the voids with auto body putty and screeded it to be level with the table. Because I wanted to be able to lay the blade over at an angle and a circular saw does not have trunions like a commercial table saw, the throat is a bigger opening than most table saws have. I looked to see what you are using for a miter gauge. I saw your slots for one. I made my own miter gauge that I set with a framing square against the other miter gauge slot. It is quite precise.https://www.instructables.com/id/My-Table-Saw-from-a-Circular-Saw-Redone/

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  • Phil B commented on mikeasaurus's instructable Restore Old Paper Cutter3 months ago
    Restore Old Paper Cutter

    When I served as a pastor, we had a couple of these paper cutters, one of which got near constant use. The blade dulled in time. For a quick and effective fix, I removed the blade on the arm and held it a few degrees off of vertical while I stroked it on a fairly smooth area of a concrete sidewalk. It was not fast, but the blade was good for another dozen years when I had to do it again. I do not remember if I sharpened the blade portion on the square table.

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  • Circular Saw to Table Saw conversion. Dangerous and clumsy

    Many people make this conversion. I have made several and currently have two Instructables related to this type of conversion. I wanted several things to make it safer, more precise, and more versatile. Those involve two absolutely parallel slots for a good miter gauge. I made my own miter gauges and they are fairly heavy duty with no slop. I have machine screws for adjusting the blade tracking. That allows me to make minute corrections when vibration makes the blade not quite parallel to the miter gauge slots. Those adjusting screws allow me to remove the saw for ripping a panel and then put it back into the conversion table in alignment. I use an accurate framing square to set the rip fence perpendicular to the miter gauge and parallel to the saw blade. And, for safety, I always set t...see more »Many people make this conversion. I have made several and currently have two Instructables related to this type of conversion. I wanted several things to make it safer, more precise, and more versatile. Those involve two absolutely parallel slots for a good miter gauge. I made my own miter gauges and they are fairly heavy duty with no slop. I have machine screws for adjusting the blade tracking. That allows me to make minute corrections when vibration makes the blade not quite parallel to the miter gauge slots. Those adjusting screws allow me to remove the saw for ripping a panel and then put it back into the conversion table in alignment. I use an accurate framing square to set the rip fence perpendicular to the miter gauge and parallel to the saw blade. And, for safety, I always set the blade so the teeth barely peek above the work when cutting. If anything pulls my hand toward the blade, I will need a band aid, not reconstructive surgery. And, use pusher sticks, use pusher sticks, and use pusher sticks.

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  • Phil B commented on DouglasC10's instructable How to Drive Safely in a Snowstorm3 months ago
    How to Drive Safely in a Snowstorm

    About thirty years ago we had a big Mercury station wagon. Our street had a slight downward grade as it come to a stop sign on a fairly busy main street. The last one hundred feet became slick. When I tried braking gently, I needed enough brake pedal to overcome the big engine that the wheels locked up and the car went into a skid. I hit on the idea of putting the car into neutral three or four car lengths, maybe more, before the intersection. I could apply featherweight pressure on the brake pad and avoid wheel lock-up and skid. Once stopped I could put the car back into Drive. The idea of starting in second gear with some snow situations was actually in our driver training textbook. It sounded counter-intuitive to me, but I used it a few times and it worked just fine. It was mostly fo...see more »About thirty years ago we had a big Mercury station wagon. Our street had a slight downward grade as it come to a stop sign on a fairly busy main street. The last one hundred feet became slick. When I tried braking gently, I needed enough brake pedal to overcome the big engine that the wheels locked up and the car went into a skid. I hit on the idea of putting the car into neutral three or four car lengths, maybe more, before the intersection. I could apply featherweight pressure on the brake pad and avoid wheel lock-up and skid. Once stopped I could put the car back into Drive. The idea of starting in second gear with some snow situations was actually in our driver training textbook. It sounded counter-intuitive to me, but I used it a few times and it worked just fine. It was mostly for situations where you feared breaking traction and spinning the wheels. You had to nurse the clutch fairly carefully. When we lived in Tennessee for a time I saw people driving around in pickup trucks because something big was supposed to be better in snow. There might be three or four guys in the cab. When the wheels began to spin, the extra people got out and pushed. I thought if only they would just sit in the back of the truck they would do better, and there would be no danger someone would slip under a wheel.

    I grew up driving in snow. A manual transmission gives more control. Sometimes 1st gear provides too much torque and it is best to start in 2nd gear. When stuck, rock the car back and forth to get enough momentum to get out of the rut. When approaching a stop sign where the intersection is slicked with packed, icy snow; slip the transmission on your automatic into neutral and use a very light touch on the brakes to avoid locking the wheels. Start slow and stop slow. Leave lots of distance between you and all other cars. Load extra weight over the drive wheels for better traction.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Ruger Mark III Pistol Take Down and Assembly3 months ago
    Ruger Mark III Pistol Take Down and Assembly

    I do not have my pistol anywhere near and it has been a while since I have done the task. But, do be very careful to hold the pistol exactly as described step by step. If you do not, things inside do not fall into their proper place. Sometimes the pistol needs to point upward, sometimes downward. Take no shortcuts. Ignore no detail. You will not notice that something inside is out of place, but the pistol will have problems like you describe. II would have thought the photo in step 8 shows what you are asking.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Use a Steel Square as a Try Square3 months ago
    Use a Steel Square as a Try Square

    Thank you for a good idea. I shared the basic idea with a man who had only a couple of flat steel squares, but sounded as if he would not mind having a try square. He planned to go home and try it. I have not talked to him since to know how it worked out for him.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Build a Baking Powder Submarine3 months ago
    Build a Baking Powder Submarine

    Thank you for looking.

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  • Phil B's instructable Mount a Fireplace Mantel's weekly stats: 3 months ago
    • Mount a Fireplace Mantel
      618 views
      10 favorites
      0 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle engine problems3 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle engine problems

    Thank you for the photos. It appears you have the commonly used drive system, which is a centrifugal clutch on the engine shaft, a sprocket on the drive wheel, and roller chain to connect the two. A centrifugal or speed clutch contains weighted sections held inward toward the shaft by springs. When the speed of the engine reaches a pre-determined threshold, the weights overcome the force of the springs and move outward to a bell-shaped housing that has a small chain sprocket on it. The centrifugal clutch is probably about the only thing that can go wrong. The clutch weights might be stuck with rust or corrosion so they do not engage the bell housing, or the bell housing might have an oily or greasy coating that causes it to slip on the weights, or the weights could be excessively worn a...see more »Thank you for the photos. It appears you have the commonly used drive system, which is a centrifugal clutch on the engine shaft, a sprocket on the drive wheel, and roller chain to connect the two. A centrifugal or speed clutch contains weighted sections held inward toward the shaft by springs. When the speed of the engine reaches a pre-determined threshold, the weights overcome the force of the springs and move outward to a bell-shaped housing that has a small chain sprocket on it. The centrifugal clutch is probably about the only thing that can go wrong. The clutch weights might be stuck with rust or corrosion so they do not engage the bell housing, or the bell housing might have an oily or greasy coating that causes it to slip on the weights, or the weights could be excessively worn and not engaging the bell housing. A new centrifugal clutch is not terribly expensive. Make certain a replacement fits the same shaft size and locks onto the shaft in the same manner as the original, if you decide to replace the clutch,

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle engine problems3 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle engine problems

    It sounds as if your engine is running as it should. You simply are not getting power through the drive train to the wheel. Is the centrifugal clutch engaging? Is there any kind of locking pin that has sheared? You will probably need to remove shields and follow the drive train to see what is not engaging and what you can do about it.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Make an Auto Radiator Pressure Tester3 months ago
    Make an Auto Radiator Pressure Tester

    I am not well qualified to know. Newer radiators are plastic, at least in part. My impression is that those are not repairable. Older copper radiators are repairable. As you likely know, there are products designed to stop the leak in much the same way that your blood clots when you have a cut. That works with a small leak not under too great a pressure.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Setting Up a Radial Arm Saw3 months ago
    Setting Up a Radial Arm Saw

    There is some play without the knob. I would not want to use the saw if the knob were missing. But, I am quite certain it is a standard bolt and thread size (assuming you live where English sizes rather than metric are the norm). I am away from my workshop for a few weeks and cannot check for you, but I am guessing it is 5/15", possibly 3/8". You should be able to find that knob on eBay. Or, a member of Instructsbles has quite a few parts for these saws. I could ask him if I might give you his name for contact.Another option is to put a knob end on a short bolt with wood or something else, or bend a bolt so it has an "L" shape for a handle.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems3 months ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    Scott,It sounds like a poor fit between the nib and the feed. See the text and photos of the Instructsble around step 7 on how you can use very hot water to soften and reset the feed in relation to the nib. Flushing the pen regularly as you do is a good idea.

    I am glad. Thank you for the report.

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  • Phil B commented on dovetailsanddadoes's instructable Saw Blade Cleaning3 months ago
    Saw Blade Cleaning

    More than 40 years ago Sears sold a solution for dissolving gums and varnishes on saw teeth. I asked at Lowe's about something and the older gentleman said his father always used turpentine. It works well.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle engine problems3 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle engine problems

    I had a similar accident with a small garden tiller. I went searching on the Internet. What I found suggested removing the spark plug and putting about a teaspoon of oil into the combustion chamber. Then put a socket wrench with a long bar on the flywheel nut. Turn the engine slowly in one direction only until it is free. Put the spark plug back in, put back any parts you removed, and try starting it. In my case, the engine started and ran fine. I am sure I did not do it any favors and caused some extra wear. We sold the house where we lived at the time and left that tiller with the new homeowner. I cannot say if it is still working, but expect it is.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable A New Paradigm Rack for Garden Tools3 months ago
    A New Paradigm Rack for Garden Tools

    Thanks. That should work.

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  • Phil B's instructable Angle Divider for Perfect Miters No 2's weekly stats: 4 months ago
    • Angle Divider for Perfect Miters No 2
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  • Phil B's instructable Loss-Proof Comb's weekly stats: 4 months ago
    • Loss-Proof Comb
      580 views
      19 favorites
      2 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems4 months ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    First, I would flush the pen thoroughly in water at room temperature. It could soak. There may be ink dried in the passageways. Also check the nib to feed fit. Renew the fit as described in the Instructsble. Most pen problems come from a poor nib to feed fit.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Loss-Proof Comb4 months ago
    Loss-Proof Comb

    Thanks. I thought I had seen combs that food out of a case. Mine is working well and I have not lost it, yet.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle engine problems4 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle engine problems

    Here is a link to the problem you describe, but with 4-cycle engines. Still, some things would still be applicable. As it mentions, heat causes things to move. In the case of your 2-cycle engine, a mating surface may be opening and letting in too much air. Check all screws and crankcase bolts for tightness, assuming the gaskets are still good. Is the a good spark you can see when you turn the engine over during the time it will not start? Remove the plug wire and set up a small gap to a grounded wire, maybe with another spark plug. I seem to remember hot start problems can be caused by fuel percolation problems. Is there any reason why the fuel system would have overheated and caused a vapor lock? As the article notes, there could be several different causes. http://www.repairfaq.org/sa...see more »Here is a link to the problem you describe, but with 4-cycle engines. Still, some things would still be applicable. As it mentions, heat causes things to move. In the case of your 2-cycle engine, a mating surface may be opening and letting in too much air. Check all screws and crankcase bolts for tightness, assuming the gaskets are still good. Is the a good spark you can see when you turn the engine over during the time it will not start? Remove the plug wire and set up a small gap to a grounded wire, maybe with another spark plug. I seem to remember hot start problems can be caused by fuel percolation problems. Is there any reason why the fuel system would have overheated and caused a vapor lock? As the article notes, there could be several different causes. http://www.repairfaq.org/samnew/lmfaq/lmedwrwh.htm

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle engine problems4 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle engine problems

    I am not aware of your location. I spent eight years west of Cleveland, Ohio. We did not get the heavy lake effect snows they got on the east side, but it was still more than enough snow. I was the pastor of a church. The church owned a Gravely 4-cycle tractor with mower and a snow blower attachments. It was parked in a lean-to next to our garage. I did the responsible thing and made certain the engine oil and filter were fresh and the 2 volt battery was charged. I figured I needed to keep the "L"-shaped driveway around our house clear after a storm so I could get to the hospital or someone's house if there were ever an emergency and people wanted the pastor right now. We also had a preschool with a church parking lot that ran between two streets a block apart. The preschool n...see more »I am not aware of your location. I spent eight years west of Cleveland, Ohio. We did not get the heavy lake effect snows they got on the east side, but it was still more than enough snow. I was the pastor of a church. The church owned a Gravely 4-cycle tractor with mower and a snow blower attachments. It was parked in a lean-to next to our garage. I did the responsible thing and made certain the engine oil and filter were fresh and the 2 volt battery was charged. I figured I needed to keep the "L"-shaped driveway around our house clear after a storm so I could get to the hospital or someone's house if there were ever an emergency and people wanted the pastor right now. We also had a preschool with a church parking lot that ran between two streets a block apart. The preschool needed to have two wheel tracks across the parking lot cleared so parents could enter from one street, drop or pick up kids, and exit on the other street. After a snow, I was the one on the scene who, by default, made those things happen. I was glad to have such good equipment and did not mind the maintenance work to keep it ready too much. The clearing of the snow, especially ice crystals blowing back into my face did not thrill me.

    Thank you for the good report. I love success stories. It is a bit of a pain to run the engine at the end of the season until the gas is gone, even if you make your best effort to drain all you can from the tank first. It seems so wasteful, but it is worth it. I am glad you got it without too much difficulty. Now, for your sake, I hope you do not have a lot of snow and really do not need to use the blower!

    I do not work on engines regularly, and do not now own anything with a small engine on it. There was a time when I had to keep a couple of small engines running, If the carburetor sat for a couple of years with old fuel in it, chances are real good something is gummed up. Then there is also the total age of the machine to consider. A couple of people here had older machines. Ten years seems to be a tipping point. At that age, gaskets, and possibly also crankshaft seals no longer seal. Air leaks into the crankcase and makes the mixture far too lean for the engine to run. But, those usually do not start and run for a short period. They just do not start, except with starting fluid. Then they stumble and die.A lot depends on what type of carburetor your engine has. I know Briggs & Stra...see more »I do not work on engines regularly, and do not now own anything with a small engine on it. There was a time when I had to keep a couple of small engines running, If the carburetor sat for a couple of years with old fuel in it, chances are real good something is gummed up. Then there is also the total age of the machine to consider. A couple of people here had older machines. Ten years seems to be a tipping point. At that age, gaskets, and possibly also crankshaft seals no longer seal. Air leaks into the crankcase and makes the mixture far too lean for the engine to run. But, those usually do not start and run for a short period. They just do not start, except with starting fluid. Then they stumble and die.A lot depends on what type of carburetor your engine has. I know Briggs & Stratton used a pulse carburetor with a diaphragm, but that is usually on 3.5 HP engines and 4-cycle. In time the diaphragm is no longer taut enough to function and needs to be replaced. Some carburetors have a float. Those can be come "heavy" by a few grams and they do not shut the gas supply off when they should. But, you see moist gas on the spark plug or running out of the engine and the exhaust smells like fresh gas, if it runs at all.I mentioned fuel starvation. That can happen when the vent cap no longer lets air back into the gas tank because the little vent is plugged. But, the engine usually runs for a few minutes before stumbling and dying. You can test the engine by loosening the cap just a bit to see if it no longer stumbles. The air cleaner can be restricted. The fuel filter (if it has one, usually in-line between the tank and the carburetor) could be restricted. It is good maintenance to replace fuel filters periodically, anyway. Most small engine carburetors are fairly simple, but there can always be small passageways that are blocked with gums and varnishes from old gasoline. And, a main point in this Instructable is that (as above) gaskets are assumed to be tight and sealing, but a mounting screw even one-quarter of a turn loose lets in air that makes the mixture lean. Usually those keep the engine from starting at all, though. You could get some carburetor cleaner and spray into the engine. Let it soak. Then blow it out or chase it with starting fluid to clean it out. You will probably need to do this a few times to open up whatever is gummed up. As you likely know now, it is a good idea to run the last bit of gasoline out of the machine at the end of the season. I tried to do that with our mower, leaf blower, string trimmer, and garden tiller. When I did that I never had any trouble at the beginning of the next season. (We no longer have any of those machines.)If you cannot find the proper gaskets, you can often trace and cut your own from a gasket material you would get at an auto parts store. A mower repair shop can probably get the right gaskets for your if you need some.

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  • Phil B's instructable MIG Nozzle Cleaning Tool's weekly stats: 4 months ago
    • MIG Nozzle Cleaning Tool
      2,162 views
      20 favorites
      4 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Curing 2-cycle engine problems4 months ago
    Curing 2-cycle engine problems

    Is that a 2-cycle or a 4-cycle engine? If it runs a short time and then dies, that sounds like fuel starvation. You would need to look for anything that could restrict fuel flow or cause the mixture entering the combustion chamber to be too, too lean.

    I can only guess. Have you checked the spark plug for oil fouling? The exhaust ports from the cylinder head to the exhaust pipe and muffler could be partially occluded from carbon deposits, depending on how long it ran with too much 2-cycle oil in the fuel mixture.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Fountain Pen Problems4 months ago
    Fountain Pen Problems

    Do you know how it got to be too tight? Did it leak and ink dried in the threads, or did someone screw it on too tightly? If it were a nut and a bolt, you would heat the nut to make it expand on the bold and break free. You may be able to use hot water on the cap to do the same. If dried in in the threads is the problem, soaking the thread area in water may dissolve the dried ink. There is something called a fiberboard wrench. They are used with camera lens parts. They are like a band that fits snugly around the body of the lens section. When the handle is squeezed together the grip is hefty without applying too much pressure in any one place. You might be able to improvise such a wrench custom fitted to your pen and also another for the cap.

    I found the wrenches I mentioned, but they have a different name. http://stores.ebay.com/Micro-Tools/_i.html?_nkw=flexiclamp&submit=Search&_sid=3838713

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Twist Drill Sharpening Helper4 months ago
    Twist Drill Sharpening Helper

    Someone else suggested that. Yes, the space below the nuts is 120 degrees wide and that is very close to the 118 degrees suggested as the standard. But, how do you make certain the 120 degree angle is centered or equally divided on both sides of the drill's center line? The guide I detailed shows you each face is 59 degrees from the center line of the drill. Two nuts show you only that both faces are 120 degrees apart.

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  • Phil B's instructable Twist Drill Sharpening Helper's weekly stats: 4 months ago
    • Twist Drill Sharpening Helper
      35,682 views
      87 favorites
      24 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Twist Drill Sharpening Helper4 months ago
    Twist Drill Sharpening Helper

    My son-in-law has a smaller Drill Doctor. I used it successfully once, but got poor results another time. The very fine grit indicated to me it is a good machine for a light touch up, but very slow if substantial grinding is needed to restore the drill's profile.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Strange Toilet Leak4 months ago
    Strange Toilet Leak

    I did install one of those newer ballcock designs oin another toilet. I also wanted to explain that granular material mysteriously appearing on the bottom of the tank can get under the flapper to cause a strange leaking, and that granular material could be from rusting components a DIY person can replace with his own parts he made.

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  • Phil B's instructable Strange Toilet Leak's weekly stats: 4 months ago
    • Strange Toilet Leak
      441 views
      5 favorites
      5 comments
  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Improvise a Female USB Connector4 months ago
    Improvise a Female USB Connector

    Thank you. I once picked up a copy of the 13th edition of his "Upgrading and Repairing PCs" on a sale table after the 14th or 15th edition had been published and decided to read it cover-to-cover. I learned a lot of things, but did not understand everything. Later I bought a copy of his volume on repairing laptops and read it cover-to-cover, too. The 'genius' label might be appropriate if I had understood everything.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable Re-Magnetize a Tool4 months ago
    Re-Magnetize a Tool

    Thank you for looking at this. Electromagnetism is one of a few ways to magnetize a tool. Others include storing a tool in line with the earth's magnetic lines of force between North and South Poles and storing a tool in a drawer next to a strong magnet. Yesterday I was in a restaurant. When I picked up my butter knife, the handle of the spoon came with it. The knife was magnetized, although not from the factory, I am sure.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable An Improvement to a Dremel Tool4 months ago
    An Improvement to a Dremel Tool

    Thank you. As you can see from some of the other comments, newer Dremels come with a screwdriver point on the little collet wrench. Mine was inherited from my father-in-law's estate and is older. It came without that little screwdriver tip. I am glad you can use the idea.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable My Table Saw from a Circular Saw Redone4 months ago
    My Table Saw from a Circular Saw Redone

    Thank you for looking and for your comment. Although you are joking with me, the photo shows another table saw I put together because I needed one in that place. I had no access to any saw other than the Skilsaw that would become the main component of this table saw. I used the long leg of a framing square as a guide for the saw. That meant a lot of careful measuring followed by clamping and cutting one cut at a time until slots for the miter gauge were uniform in width and exactly parallel to one another. It is possible to do this without any other saw to assist, but it means slow and careful work. I have found by experience photos larger than 100 to 150 kilobytes are often slow to display, so that is the file size I aim to use.

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  • Phil B commented on Phil B's instructable MIG Nozzle Cleaning Tool4 months ago
    MIG Nozzle Cleaning Tool

    While I used hardened cut nails, I do not think hardened steel is necessary. Mild steel should be hard enough. The nozzle appears to be copper, which would be softer than the mild steel. After reading reviews about a set of MIG pliers that performed poorly at cutting the MIG wire, I am quite content to use a set of pliers I already have that cut wire well. I know commercial MIG pliers can be used as a hammer, but I have not needed that feature and do not expect to.

    Real MIG pliers have square tips for better scraping, while needle nose pliers are rounded smooth on the upper surface. Perhaps a needle nose pliers could be ground to have an upper surface more suited for scraping without wearing the pointed tips too much.

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