Friday, June 18, 2010

Secret Book Stash

I've seen this done with larger books, cut out the pages in the middle and you can hide your secret documents, gun, or other spy paraphernalia inside. I ran across this pocket moleskine for two bucks and had a thought. It's not very often that I get dressed up but when I do I find that it looks ridiculous if I have all my usual stuff with me. That being:
- Wallet
- Leatherman
- Flashlight
- Sharpie
- Small Swiss Army Knife
- Thumb Drive
- Keys
- Lighter- Cellphone and/or iPod
- And sometimes a notebook

Now while one can usually get away with having a cell phone on them, bulging pockets when you're the best man or out with The Missus are a no no. The thought was to put a pocket Swiss, car key, house key, license, credit card, cash, thumb drive and whatever else that's tiny and I think I need. (You may think it odd that I have this Batman complex but when you're a Sound Guy you get so you can't function without the ability to whip out an object that will fix the problem at hand.)

The book has a nice little folding pocket in the back which is a good spot for all the flat stuff, cards, money and whatnot. Cutting out the middle of about 150 pages (out of 192) makes a nice little pocket that's deep enough for the rest. A smoker could even tuck a few away with a lighter and avoid the shakes without carrying a pack. Lucky for me it was graph paper, which made alignment a snap, although if hollowing out a printed book you can just use the margins.

Here's the finished product and now I can step out with just this in my pocket. (Phone and Leatherman always withing easy reach, lest I get twitchy). The only thing I'm considering is diluting some white glue and just swiping the edges of the cut pages to help them hang together. It'll have to be done gently though so the book doesn't wrinkle up.

Getting It Together

I'm in the final stages of a project at work, getting the nursery ready to go back in service. (I work at a hospital.) Despite having the room crammed full of tools I still reach for my Leatherman pretty often.

- Attaching ports to new medical gas cabinets
- Re-attaching cabinet hardware
- Opening hundreds of tiny parts
- Fixing the wired remote for a TV in a patient's room
- Installing outlets

Friday, June 4, 2010

Take It Off

I can't remember all the things I did with my Leatherman this week, but some things that I dismantled with it do stand out in my memory. See if you can guess where I work.

- Removed two oxygen ports
- Took the top off a mammogram machine
- Tricked a code locked door to let me into a remodeling project
- Dismantled a fan to replace a HEPA filter
- Pulled phone wires out of a distribution frame to re-route them

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sharp As A...

Today I was knocking some things off the list around the house while my family was out. I had gotten to the burdocks and was looking around for something to help me whack my way through the forest that is the West end of my garden. Finding nothing helpful around the shop I looked inside and quailed at the idea of taking one of The Missus' chef's knives out to the garden.

Then a flash of inspiration hit me.

I had recently purchased a trio of military style digging tools on eBay. I say military style because the ones that are three for ten bucks are smaller, cheaper, and a good deal flimsier, but even if they turn out to be single use, a tiny, flimsy shovel is better than no shovel at all in an emergency.

So I grabbed one out of the truck and flipped out the file on my trusty Leatherman. A few minutes quick work had one side of the aluminum digging head honed into some semblance of sharpness (indicated by the white arrow in the picture above). It turned out to be quite effective in the battle against the burdocks, and the serrated edge, while likely not up to the task of sawing actual wood, was more than a match for some of the two inch thick pricker bushes I ran into. The short handle was actually a bonus and let me whack away in tight quarters and avoid plants I wanted to keep.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Snip Snip

Friday was a busy day. Had lots of chances to put my Leatherman to good use. I:

- Sliced through some plastic sheeting to build containment around the entrance to a construction area at work.

- Pulled a bunch of stubborn sheet metal screws out of some metal studs in a chase I was re-working in said construction area.

- Pulled a sharp sheet metal scrap out of my boot.

- Unlocked Pried open a cabinet containing networking gear to check on a connection.

- Removed some screws that were keeping a window closed so I could hang out and grab a dangling extension cord.

- Cut the seal on a fresh bucket of mud to finish up a drywall job after work.

- Popped the top on a quart of canned peaches at dinner.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Used And Abused

It's been slipping my mind to update. The only thing I can definitely remember doing with my Leatherman in the last week was taking apart a cordless phone base to re-install the power cable. Tiny Phillips in the bit set came in handy.

I thought for a lark I'd post a list of all the tools I've used improperly lately:

- Lineman's pliers and screwdriver as hammer and chisel
- Lockblade knife as screwdriver and pry bar
(with a Leatherman right there on my belt no less!)
- Zip wheel as grinder
- Solar garden light as battery charger
- Nail set as center punch (ow, sorry)
- Padlock as hammer

That's all that comes to mind at the moment, although I'm sure there's loads more infractions on my permanent record. Leave your best in the comments.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Brand New Bag

Today I found to my dismay that Nite Ize no longer makes the carrier that I've been keeping my Leatherman, MagLite, Treo, Bit Set and flash drive in on my belt. So I took a chance and bought the new model that seems to be the next size down. Worst case scenario? I'll have to switch to a AAA cell Mag and pick and choose which bits I keep with me at all times. On the bright side the new one has a magnetic catch. That should be nice because the only thing wrong with the old one is that apart from being a little stretched out, the velcro is shot.

As for what I did with my Trusty Leatherman Supertool today...

- Punched down some telephone pairs in the switch room at work
- Crimped some Scotchlocks on a phone line
- Scaled off some doors on the plans for some new doctors' offices
- Cut into the steak to see if it was done
- Opened a bag of salad

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hump Day

My Leatherman and I crawled over the hump today. I found it close at hand when I:

- Relocated a phone at work
- Tracked down an electrical problem
- Opened some well packaged Valentine's candy for the kids
- Straightened out the threads on the yoke of a Source Four (spot light for you non-theater types)

It's all down hill from here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Quick On The Draw

The tricky thing about a boring blog is remembering to update it. I don't think I even took out my Leatherman today, but it did get a little use the other day during a fire marshal inspection. I was leaving the construction yard to follow a group of firemen, the chief, and the building inspector inside the building. The chief snagged his hand on a sharp spot on the fence and started grousing about OSHA. So I whipped out the file and disappeared the offending burr, along with a couple others just for good measure. The Eagle Scouts and the goat from Hoodwinked have got it right:

Always be prepared.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Now It Opens Doors

I've seen on the net that people are taking apart their Leatherman Micras and cutting down their keys to go in place of the blades. I'm not much of a metal worker so I gave it a try with a cheap knockoff first.

With a five dollar mini-tool I got at Wally World I managed to splice in my house and truck keys with nothing more than a bench grinder and a couple pairs of pliers. I expect it would have gone smoother if I had a Dremel at my disposal, but it works for now.

This one's a little fat, and I've already got enough tool power on my person at all times so I'm not really using the rest of the blades for anything. Although when dressed up and not wanting to wear the Bat Belt it might be handy to keep they keys and a couple odd tools in the pants pocket and keep a low profile.

For daily use though I think a micra might be just the thing. Then I could grab one that has wire strippers, replace all the blades with keys and be ahead of the game with a slimmer, more useful package. Of course with the one I have now, I could just take 2/3 of it off and only carry one handle-half loaded with keys.

Now, my friend Tom over at the Leatherman Journal will likely come up with his own CNC milled version in titanium next weekend just to show me up. I may be hitting him up with a few design ideas myself. Maybe we could start a mail order company, fitting folks' keys into the tools of their choice.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Useful Little Bugger

Today I pulled out my Leatherman to:

- Scale off a room on a set of blueprints
- Took a bite out of a ceiling tile to let a cable through
- Took the center post out of a door so 27 bathtubs could be delivered
- Cut four "No Smoking" signs down to size
- Fixed the door on an elevator
- Took a blade out of another multi-tool so I could replace it with my house key.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Switching It Up

I haven't posted a thing about my Trusty Leatherman in quite a while. My buddy over at Leatherman Journal guilted me into it by making a comeback himself today. So here it is:

We took the whole fam-damly out to the Strong Museum of Play for my girl's seventh birthday today. Normally I've got the Bat Belt thing going with a fairly large assortment of tools and gadgets tucked away in a NiteIze holster but I wanted to be a little less conspicuous today. Normally I'm either the house electrician at the local hospital or the guy who fixes all things broke at my house and not much else unless I'm out on a gig where it's more of the same. But today I wanted to cut a fine figure as the hip dad in minimal black.

So I hauled out my Leatherman Wave. A groomsman gift from a college friend's wedding, it's engraved and therefore too special to be wearing out on regular duty. The holster it came with holds a fine point Sharpie and a keychain LED light and that's enough for a little light trekking. Especially in a venue where fixing stuff is somebody else's problem. So slim and trim I wafted through the glorious Halls of Play and unless you knew where to look you would never know that I had on me the means to fix anything but the most major of mishaps.