tools (58)

Recomendo, New Book from the Cool Tool Folks

First, Cool Tools is the most consistently useful destination for me on the web. I can’t count the amount of good tips, tools, savvy I’ve found there. It’s the electronic Whole Earth Catalog, using the same formula of non-commercial reviews by people of like interests.

Now, Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, and Claudia Dawson have come up with a dandy little book of cool stuff. You can’t browse on a computer like you can with a real book. I started thumbing through it one night, serendipitously, and found that the small size was easy to deal with, and pretty soon an hour had passed. Fun!

Secondly, full disclosure: I’ve been a Cool Tools contributor (and fan) for years. So I’m not unbiased. But I believe in peer reviews, such as was started in the late ’60s by the WEC. It’s so refreshing to get non-commercial information from this tribe of tool users.

The book has 560 recommendations, and is 10 bucks, print-on-demand from Amazon here.

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Garden Furniture with Tenon Cutter

I’ve had this tenon cutter attachment for years, just started using it. I just cut down an old wild plum tree and am going to make a garden chair out of plum wood. Fun! I got this from Lee Valley, a great source of carpentry tools.

I recently got the Makita drill — not battery driven, but with cord — from Jackson’s Hardware in San Rafael. It would have been cheaper from Amazon, but at Jackson’s, I get expert human advice. I use Amazon a lot, but also skirt them often. There are other factors to consider when buying stuff other than what’s cheapest.

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Seven Useful Tools in My Shop

Our newly-formed Shelter film crew has started making short videos. With producer Em-J Staples and cameraman and film editor Evan Kahn. Listed in in order of production here: 

https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAI%253D&search_query=lloyd+kahn

To see URLs for buying any of these tools, click on the YouTube icon at bottom after video starts.

Our next video will be on my return, albeit more cautiously, to skateboarding.

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Cool Tools- My Favorite Website

As I’ve said before, this is the 21st century online Whole Earth Catalog. Same M.O.: People like us writing reviews of cool stuff for other people like us. It’s embarrassing how many things I’ve obtained after reading about them here. These aren’t frivolous purchases; all the stuff is useful to me, stuff I’d never have known about otherwise.

I must point out I have a massive conflict of interest here. I’ve written a lot of CT reviews, and these guys are good friends.

That said, I periodically want to turn people onto this rich source of ad-free advice. It’s just madly useful. Take a look: https://kk.org/cooltools

Write a review and they’ll send you an email of new tools weekly.

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A Package This Makes It Seem Like It’s All Worth While

Over the years we’ve sent prison inmates any books they ask for. 20 years ago, we were sending out a lot of weight training books. These days, they’re asking for building books.*

Yesterday this package arrived and it was a delight. The spoon is really nice. Handcrafted, not made in China.

The notes in yellow say:

“Dear Lloyd & friends,

A few years ago you folks were kind enough to send me Home Work for free when I was locked up – so, to return the kindness, here is a gift. Enjoy it! If you come across anyone else who wants one, they are on Etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/242806539/stainless-steel-spork-hand-forged)

Best regards,

Drew”

*If you’re an inmate or know any, tell them to write us for free books. -LK

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