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Posted by on June 25, 2012    |    Leave a reply   

Here’s one of our older posts on maintaining power tools. Lots of useful information here, so I thought I’d share it on our new blog. 

Power tools and other machines are designed for long life, but each requires some care and maintenance to meet its life expectancy. Properly storing power tools, performing maintenance as needed, and replacing machine parts will extend a tool’s life to its full potential and deliver more value to its owner.

We offer some general tips and guidelines below for extending the life of any machine or power tool.

 

Proper Storage

Our three guidelines for tool storage are:

1. Store tools in an area protected from the elements (like moisture).

2. Store tools in a clean and organized space.

3. Store tools in a well-ventilated area.

Tool Storage

These suggestions almost go without saying.

Keeping tools out of the elements protects them from damage and wear. A clean and organized storage space will promote safety, and keeping tools well-ventilated will help them run smoothly when it’s time to pull them out of storage.

It might take a little extra time to put everything back in place at the end of the day or completion of a project, but storing tools the right way will always be worth the effort.


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Posted by on June 20, 2012    |    Leave a reply   

Technology tends to stay pretty much the same in the DIY world in which we all live. Sure we see new driver attachments that can remove even the most stripped screws, and other innovations that help simplify some projects a bit. But truly revolutionary changes tend to be few and far between. Enter brushless power tools.

New brushless options from the likes of Festool, Milwaukee, Hitachi, and Makita are still quite expensive, but as the price begins dropping on these tools, they will revolutionize the way you work.

Looks like a normal drill. But the brushless motor offers many improvements to this Hitachi monster.

 

Here’s how a traditional power tool gets its power:

Magnets are mounted outside a motor’s armature. Inside an electromagnet constantly changes its polarity,  thanks to contact between the brushes and commutator (on the outise of the armature), which allows the motor to spin. The commutator makes constant contact with the brushes and thanks to a little electromagnetic magic, the whole thing will keep going as long as you have power.

Now this system is good, but it does involve a lot of friction. After all, the brushes contact the commutator constantly. This friction leads to worn brushes and over enough time, worn commutators and armatures. It also puts more strain on the engine than is necessary.

But brushless drills change this model. Here’s how they work:

Things are reversed in a brushless motor. Manufacturers move the permanent magnets to the inside and the electromagnets outside the armature. The brushes and commutator are swapped out in favor of a computer chip that does the electromagnetic, pole-swapping magic itself. This results in pretty much no friction. 

So now you have a non-engineer’s description of the differences between classic and brushless motors. But what does it mean for you?

I’m glad you asked.

Because brushless motors don’t need the commutator and brushes, they are lighter. Which means you will carry less weight up the ladder, and hold less weight in an awkward position as you drive one screw after another into a beam.

There’s also significantly less friction in these tools. This means your motor will last much longer. You’ll also get more work time on the same battery used in a classic tool, since less friction results in less battery consumption. And you’ll get more torque and power when driving.

And since a clean surface area where the commutator and brushes meet becomes less important, you’ll find your tool can hold up against the elements better than before. Check out this crazy video for some proof on that. We definitely don’t recommend you take your brand new brushless drill (or any tool) and put it through these tests. Still, pretty cool stuff.

 

Have you used a brushless drill yet? If so, share your experience with readers in the comments!

Posted by on June 12, 2012    |    Leave a reply   

This guest post comes courtesy of Rich from www.grillingwithrich.com. Enjoy!

 

With father’s day next week, I wanted to share with you my top-10must haves for that special dad in your life that loves to barbecue and grill. They range from some outside-of the-box ideas and also some staples that every cook should have!

10. Grill charms™: When you are grilling for lots of people and they each like their hamburgers (or any meat) cooked a different way, it can be nearly impossible to keep track on the grill, which can lead to unhappy guests. If this has happened to you, I would suggest getting some Grill Charms™. Grill Charms™ are dime-sized, stainless steel charms that are placed in food before cooking. The stem holds the charm securely while flipping or moving the food around the grill. Add a Grill Charm™ to food prior to cooking to distinguish different flavors, temperatures, or to avoid health or allergy issues. They stay in before, during and after grilling so when dinner comes to the table, simply look for the charm, and everyone will know which one is theirs. $19.95; Grill Charms

Father's Day  Grilling accessories

Grilling with Rich and his Dad

9. Rotisserie: Want to take your grilling repertoire to a whole new level and impress your friends and family by making some amazing recipes? A Rotisserie is your answer! While this must-have isn’t something new or innovative it is different when it comes to the average griller. There are many great rotisserie attachments that you can purchase for your grill and I would suggest looking at the website of your specific grill manufacturer to find out where to get yours. Prices may vary.

8. Monogrammed Steak Brand: I love taking pride in my cooking and grilling, hey who doesn’t? But when I use my own set of monogrammed steak irons I can take the pride in my cooking to a whole new level. These steak brands also add a fun and unique personal touch to grilled meats. Various web providers are available and you can customize brands with your initials and even logos.

7. Sauce warmer with a Silicone Brush: If you are like me, and you love barbecue sauce but haven’t tried it warmed then, this is the product for you. A stainless-steel pot which is heat proof to 550°F, and has a convenient brush built right into its lid so you will never lose the brush. $36.00; Williams-Sonoma.

6. Smoke Box & Wood Chips: Want to make “fall off the bone tender meats” but don’t have a smoker? Here’s the solution! A smoke box for your Gas Grill. Simply soak the disposable tin in water for 30 minutes with wood chips, drain and put on your preheated grill. Once the smoke begins to pour out, add your meat to the grill and enjoy. I like Weber’s six trial size trays pre filled with wood chips in popular flavors: mesquite, cherry, apple, hickory, pecan, and beech. Once you’ve had a taste, pick your flavor and refill for more future uses. $17.99; Weber.com.

5. Looftlighter: With this innovative lighter you can quickly ignite wood or charcoal briquettes without the need of lighter fluid, chemical fuels or even matches. This product claims to be the fastest, easiest, safest and cleanest way to light barbecues. Make sure to have an outdoor outlet to use it! $79.95; Williams Sonoma.

4. Grill wipes: Clean and oil your grill by adding clings to any grill brush. Makes cleanup fast and easy. Six grill wipes in each individual package 3 strips of 12, any major Home Improvement Store.

3. ’On the Grill’ App from Weber: We all either have an iPhone or even an iPad on us all day long. So why not have one of the best apps on the market to get the best recipes for your next grilling adventures. Not only does this app features 280 classic grilling recipes from Weber plus 40 recipes for rubs, marinades, and sauces that are sure to get you fired up. In addition to recipes you can share your favorite recipes with friends and can personalize each individual recipe, watch how-to videos and have access to a handy grill timer. It’s the app no griller should be without. $4.99; you can find the app in your phone’s app store. 

2. Custom Grill grates: Do you root for your favorite sports team and want to show off your pride when you open your grill? Or do you want to have the ultimate customization on your grill? I found this amazing company where you can customize your grill grates! It is a perfect gift, or treat yourself to a grill grate guaranteed to make you stand out in the neighborhood! $134.99 – $409.99; Yimigrate.com.

1. Thermapen: This is the best thermometer on the market. Ignore the price tag, it is well worth it. The thermometer gives a you an accurate reading of your internal temperature in 3 seconds. Yes, you heard me right, you can get an accurate reading of your meats in 3 seconds! If that doesn’t convince you, how about a 1,500-hour battery life and a water-resistant design that makes it worth every dollar. Plus, it’s what all the pros use! $89, Thermoworks.com.

Posted by on June 6, 2012    |    Leave a reply   

Hey everyone! Gina here, over from ladygoats.com, and I’m super stoked to be here at eReplacementParts to talk about GRILLLING! When I was asked to guest post about grilling, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about…

Tortillas!

Ok, I can imagine all the confused looks that made their way across your faces when you read that, but just bear with me. I’m only a LITTLE crazy!

A few Thanksgivings ago, we went to my husband’s grandma’s house on the Navajo reservation and showed up right when they were prepping for tortillas. I expected someone to eventually pull out one of those cast iron skillets that everyone makes their tortillas on, but that never happened. Instead, we walked right over to a makeshift grill (a hole dug in the ground with some coals thrown in and a grate on top) and cooked the tortillas right over the coals! And you know what? Those were the most amazing tortillas I’ve ever eaten!

One of the most interesting things about that trip was using a tortilla press, which I hadn’t even heard of before! Today, we’re gonna build one, and it’s cheap!


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Posted by on June 5, 2012    |    Leave a reply   

It’s the height of grilling season, and I certainly hope you’re taking full advantage of it. But you need more than nice weather, friends, family and a whole bunch of food to have a perfect barbecue. If you own a broken or malfunctioning grill, that perfect summer evening can become a disaster in a flash.

But we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen. Last week we posted some maintenance and cooking tips, and this week we’re back with videos to help you get through all your grill repairs.

We used a Char-Broil Tru-Infrared grill for these repairs, but you’ll follow similar steps if you own a Napoleon Mirage, a Broil King Imperial, or any other gas-burning, steak-roasting flavor machine. Here are the first two repair videos that can help keep you grilling all summer long. 

How to Replace the Burners

If your burners are clogged beyond repair or simply broken, then this video is for you. Mark breaks down the easy steps needed to get new burners on your grill so you can keep on cooking. 

 

How to Replace the Hose Valve Regulator Assembly

The Hose Valve Regulator helps control the flow of gas into your grill. If it’s broken you’ll have reduced or no gas flow in your grill. This tricky repair should be a cinch with some help from Mark.