product guides

Guide to choosing the best drill press

There are several factors one should consider before buying a drill press. you might want to take multiple trips to the hardware store before you make the decision. When I bought mine i took many trips to various shops to find the best price machine that I could (while still getting a high quality drill press). It’s good to get some hands on experience looking at them before you buy, as online all you can see is a picture, which can mislead you into thinking it’s bigger or smaller than it actually is. Check out the points you need to pay attention to listed below.

Price & Budget

For those of you who are on a tight budget you need to look around in order to get the best value. Most of the time you won’t need to pay anymore than about 300 dollars or so, although you can always pickup a second-hand machine at a lower cost. The good brands like WEN and SKIL tend to be a bit pricier. In my opinion the extra cost is worth it because of the great quality. Also these brands usually offer a good warranty. As for which type of drill press is the best bang for buck? I would go with the benchtop drill press. They are basically the middle size, and are perfect for most people. The other more expensive option is the floor drill press, these are massive and usually only used by professionals.

Speed, gears, and power

Back when I first started using drill presses for woodworking my one had only one gear, and one speed setting that was fixed. However now days this is not the case. Most good drill presses come with multiple speed settings, allowing you to adjust the RPM from quite slow right up to very high speeds 1000+ RPM. This is a useful feature if you plan on working with more than one type of material (like both wood, and metals). Some material like steel don’t need a high RPM but rather require you to have a high powered motor. You should look for a drill press with at least 1/2 Horsepower if you want to work primarily with metal/steel/etc.

What height do you want your drill press?

If you have a lot of space and are a professional requiring a powerful machine, then you might go for something very tall like a floor standing drill press. Other wise, go for a benchtop drill press. The height is measured from the chuck to the table, and ranges from only a few inches with small drill presses designed for jewellery like the mini drill press, to 15 or more, for larger projects.

Chuck Size

The chuck is the part of the drill press that secures a drill bit in place. what chuck size you need depends on whether you’ll need extra large drill bits for whatever you’re working on. If you want to drill a hole of 3/4 inches diameter then obviously you need a drill bit that is equally big. However, not all chucks can support such a large bit, so keep that in mind. Most drill presses come with a maximum chuck capacity of 0.5 inches, which for most people is enough. You can always replace the drill press chuck later, if you need to.

What will you use it for?

Although this is a vague question, it must be considered. What you use your drill press for will be the ultimate factor in determining which model to buy. If your use will be general purpose then something like the SKIL 3320 or Craftsman 12 inch is a great choice. If you will be using the drilll press in your workshop for huge objects then you will need something larger. Most of the time if you’re just a hobbyist, anything over 10 inches is over doing it, and a waste of money.

 

product guides

The Bench Grinder – What you need to know

Bench grinders are, put simply, a “must have” tool. Anyone who is interested in grinding metal for their job or hobby aught to have one. If you don’t already own one, but intend to buy one soon, then read on. There are some import things you must consider to buy the best bench grinder, and we will go over our list of the top considerations. Ideally after reading this article you will be well prepared to get the best value for your money when you go shopping!

 

Top Things to Consider

Buy from a reputable manufacturer

To make sure that you’re purchasing a good grinder you should check out some bench grinder reviews. Also see what the general consensus is around the brand you’re considering to buy from. It’s a good idea to look at online forums in the DIY niche for this type of information. A well known brand like SKIL is usually a good choice, since they’ve been around and making quality tools for quite a while. Overall the key thing to be aware of is that you get what you pay for, so don’t expect the world if buy something very cheap!

How Much Power do you need?

Bench grinders come with varying levels of power. How much power you need depends on the type of job you need it for. For the lighter tasks just about anything on the market will be absolutely fine. If you’re looking at a higher end machine for more demanding tasks you should go for the most horsepower available. As well as power, speed is important. Now days most bench grinders have adjustable speed, so it’s not an issue. Another concern that is just as important as speed is the type of grinding wheel. However, it should be noted that regardless of whatever type of grinding wheel it comes with you can always install a new one later. The different types of grinding wheels basically differ in that some are more coarse/rough than others. If you’re not sure which you’ll need, don’t worry too much, they’re easy to replace and cheap to buy.

Is a built-in light needed?

If you’re working in a dimly lit area you will need some kind of light source to brighten it up. Some people use a dedicated LED light for this, but a better option is actually to use the lights built in with the grinder. It helps keep the spot your grinding very well lit and visible.

Does it come with a good Warranty?

Even high quality bench grinders occasionally come with faults.  As mentioned above, buying from a good brand will mitigate this risk to a degree. Though, it’s still a good idea to get one with a good warranty!

 

Tips & Tricks

Easy-to-Understand Basics of Excel

This is a brief yet concrete introduction to the world of Excel. This list should be helpful when you’re just getting started using excel. You can use it to create a foundation upon which you will further build your knowledge (with additional study).

Basics Overview:

 

  • MS EXCEL is used for calculations, databases, and to create reports, etc. that contain numerical data.
  • An Excel worksheet is divided into cells.
  • Each cell is identified by the column and row in which it is located: A3, G6, etc.
  • The active cell is highlighted; it is the cell where data is about to be entered or altered. Upon opening a blank Excel worksheet, A1 is the active cell.
  • Data in the active cell also appears in the function (fx) box above the worksheet.
  • Navigate by using the arrow keys.
  • Access a cell: Navigate to OR click on desired cell.
  • Enter data: Go to desired cell and type in the data/ or an arrow key
  • Alter data: Go to desired cell //use arrow keys to go to desired position in cell
  • Delete data: Go to desired cell /; OR
  • Block desired cells /
  • Alter row width: Block cells to be altered/Format/Column/Width; change the measurement to your specification
  • Alter column width: Block cells to be altered/Format/Row/Height; change the measurement to your specification; OR, at the top of the worksheet where the column letters are located, place cursor on column line between the column to be expanded or retracted and the column to its right; opposing arrows appear; drag column to desired width
  • If no cell can be activated after pasting a formula: ,OR left-click in the function (fx) box above the worksheet then Left-click on any cell

Check out this Video:

 

 

product guides

What you need to know before buying a new soldering iron

One of the tools that cannot be missed in any electrical hobbyists arsenal is the soldering iron, especially if you often work with wires or circuits, then you can’t live without one of these. Although it is a fairly straight forward and basic tool there are some things you must know before you buy. There are also a lot of different options out there when it comes to picking one. If you’re just getting started with this great hobby – then opt for a cheap soldering iron. Otherwise, if you’re a professional you’ll want a very high quality station with temp control and all of the additional features that the more expensive products tend to come with. Because there are so many choices in this area it’s always a great idea to absorb as much information as you can before you spend any money on a product. So let’s go over some of the key points!

The design of the soldering iron

This is a crucial element to consider. The way in which your tool is designed will determine whether it can get the job done perfectly for your project. The most basic type of soldering iron is known as a “soldering pencil“, this is the cheapest type but also the least capable as it doesn’t have any form of temperature control. There are also soldering stations, these are probably the most common. The soldering stations from well known brands like weller are very well built. Soldering stations feature a stand where you can put the iron while it’s hot. They also have adjustable temperature controls which is necessary when working with different materials. The heat-up time is often extremely fast, and this is a feature you should bear in mind as it can save you a lot of head ache down the road.

Conclusion

Overall, my favorite soldering iron is the weller wlc 100 – check it out here. It has got a fantastic reputation within the electronics community. It also comes with a pretty good warranty, so if anything does go wrong you’re safe knowing that you can get a replacement.

Tips & Tricks

Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Professional Charcoal Drawing Out of Any Photo

What many people do not know is that Photoshop just is not for photographs anymore. It can also be used for creating fun, original, and unique drawings. So in this tutorial you will learn to do just that: create drawings out of photos! Specifically in this Photoshop tutorial, we will be creating charcoal drawings. Often charcoal drawings can be very abstract, even portraits, but Photoshop allows us less talented people to create a gorgeous charcoal drawing that is perfectly professional looking. A lot of other Photoshop tutorials on the web will show you how to just apply a basic filter, which is boring and can make your pictures look even more drab than you might have started with. But with this tutorial, you will also learn how to make a professional and antique looking background. This will make your new work of art perfect for printing, framing, or scrap booking. It will even be web-ready if you want to post it online.
So to begin with, you will need to find an image to work with. In this tutorial, I decided to use a portrait, but you can use basically anything. Landscapes, portraits, sports scenes, macro shots, etc will all work just fine in this tutorial. If you just want to practice on a picture for the sake of learning or you can not find a suitable picture of your own to work on, you do not need to use one of your own. There are tons of free (yes, free!) stock sites that have tons of pictures for you to use. A good site to start looking is www.sxc.hu.

Once you have found a good picture to work with, you can start making it into a work of art!

Step 1) As always, open your image as its own document in Photoshop. Make sure that is 300 DPI and in PSD format.

Step 2) Now once you have your image in front of you, you will need to add a new layer. Click Shift+Ctrl+N on your keyboard. On the color drop down menu, you will need to add a color to this layer. A yellow works good with the charcoal effect, but you can choose any color you like. Make sure you name this layer so you can easily refer back to it.

Step 3) Next, go back to the image layer and copy it. Then place it as the top layer on the layer menu bar. Apply the glowing edges effect by going to Filter gt;Stylize gt;Glowing Edges Filter. A preview will be show in this new little menu. Move around the sliders until to achieve an effect that you are happy with. Every picture if different, therefore some setting will look better.

Step 4) Then, you need to “Invert” this layer by going to Image gt;Adjustments gt;Invert. You will also need to make it black and white because obviously charcoal is in black and not color!

Step 5) Right click the image layer again on the layer menu and go to Blending Mode. Change this to Multiply.

Step 6) Again, copy the background layer and desaturate it by going to Image gt;Adjustments gt;Desaturate. Place this on top of all the layers and add noise to the image by going to Filter gt;Noise gt;Add Noise gt;Monochromatic/Gaussian. Once you have selected the amount, set the opacity to about 80%. This will show the right amount, but not be overpowering.

Step 7) On that same layer add a layer mask by going to Layer gt;Layer Masks gt;Hide All. Change the charcoal to a large smudge or smear brush and paint on the white mask to reveal the new charcoal effect.

Step 8) Now select the layer mask a choose a full motion blur by going to Filter gt;Blur gt;Motion Blur. Then apply Filter gt;Brush Strokes gt;Cross Hatch.

Step 9) Go back to the original paper layer and will it in with a new pattern by going to New Fill Layer gt;Pattern. Choose any one you like and then change the blending mode to multiply or overlay. Multiply tends to work better on most images.

Then you’re done and you have a new professional looking charcoal drawing.

Some additional tips:
Crtl+Alt+Z will take you back a step if you make a mistake. You can use this hot key at any time.

Check out this useful resource: photoshop for noobs