Tag Archive for technician

Adventures in Tool Repair: Tool Town Tips

It’s been a while since my last blog entry. We’ve been extremely busy around here. Just to fill the void until my next official blog entry, I thought I’d add a list of tips.

Here they are, in no particular order.

A lot of brushes have a “pop-off” which stops the brushes from wearing too low. This will stop the machine instantly.

Tools that create a lot of “dust” (Circular wood saw, tile saws etc) need to have their brush holders cleaned regularly.

3 in 1 oil, or any other oil that is not labeled “pneumatic tool oil” is bad for your nail guns.

A cut in a power cord can stop your tool from functioning of course. But a bad pinch in a cord can do the same thing.

Having the safety adjusted too low on a nail gun can cause it to misfire.

Almost every chuck screw has left-handed threads.

Don’t know which way to turn the bolt on your circular saw to get the blade off? Turn it in the direction that the teeth on the blade are facing.

A dull drill bit can be sharpened and used over and over again. Down to the solid metal shaft.

The blade lock button on grinders should never be pushed while the tool is running / winding down. Unless it’s a Metabo.

Stripped out allen head screw? Try tapping a Torx bit into it.

Pulling the ground lead out of your cord so it will fit older electrical sockets is never a good idea.

Storing a lithium ion battery in extreme high and low temperatures is not good for the battery. Neither is leaving them discharged for a long period of time.

The vents in powers tools aren’t there for aesthetic purposes. Leaving them clogged with dirt or debris can overheat your tool.

More to come!

-David

Adventures in Tool Repair: A ‘Current’ Event

“How would you like your grinder, sir?”

“Well done, please. Thank you.”

—-

Time and time again, we see tools that look like they need to be admitted to the burn ward at the local hospital. A defective tool straight from the manufacturer is possible, but rare. Sometimes, the tool is either over-used or abused. But there are other circumstances that can cause a tool to ‘spontaneously combust’, so to speak. Today, I’ll be focusing on one reason in particular: Extension Cords.

Extension cords come in a variety of lengths and gauges. The wire in these cords carry electricity very well because copper is an excellent conductor, but there is a drawback: There is still some resistance in copper and resistance causes heat! All tools require a certain amount of amperage to run correctly. The amp draw of any power tool can be found on the decal sticker/plate where the model is found. Using the incorrect length and gauge of extension cord will causes the voltage to drop, which in turn will cause the tool to run slower that intended. This can have a devastating effect on the cord, and more importantly, the tool!

Example: If you have a 25 foot, 16 gauge extension cord, you should only use a tool that uses 13 amps or less.

Below is a link for choosing the right extension cord for many different home applications. Using the correct extension cord can not only save your brand-new power tool, but it can also prevent electrical fires in your own home. Safety is key when using any kind of electrical apparatus. A little bit of knowledge regarding extension cords can easily prevent a hefty repair bill, or even worse… An insurance claim.

Extension Cord Guide

 

Tool Town How To’s – Episode #1 Ring Terminals

Our lead repair technician David is going to be releasing little “how to” videos on our YouTube channel to go along with his blog posts. They’ll be focusing on easy fixes for tools and simple tips to keep your power tools in tip top shape! This is episode 1. 🙂

Adventures In Tool Repair: No Pain, No Plane

Planers. They plane wood. They make heaps of wood chips that could be used for mulch. They were also potentially designed by chiropractors. The latest planer weighed about 500 pounds, and my back is not happy.

This particular planer was brought to us with the complaint that it was “popping”. In the tool repair world, that could mean a gear problem, but with this machine, we noticed the drive chain wasn’t exactly ‘factory’. It was flopping around like the chain on a bicycle that had been constructed from parts from lesser bicycles.  Chains need to be the correct spacing to match their corresponding sprockets. If the chain spacing is slightly off, it can get out of sync, causing the chain to ‘jump’ a tooth on the sprocket. This in mind, we tested the planer with a standard 4×4 and then a 12 inch-wide piece of oak, taking off the maximum amount of wood the machine would allow.

Just as suspected, the chain would jump after several rotations. We could not get the chain to skip a tooth on the sprocket, but we were able to determine that it was in fact a problem with the chain, and not the actual gears. Gear problems are much easier to diagnose, and more difficult to repair in some cases. But that’s another story for another time.

Planers are very useful tools for anyone serious about woodworking. It’s always best to replace worn or damaged parts with the correct parts from the manufacturer. It might save you some trouble in the future, and perhaps someone’s back.

– David Furlong