• For those with wings fly to your dreams

    Tools: What men don't tell you

    Love this title, though since being in Cali I don't feel it's so accurate. Perhaps "Tools: what folks in the know don't tell you"  would be a better fit. I've met many a computer engineer of varying genders who don't know a Phillips from Straight screwdriver.  On the flip-side my carpentry teacher, she was one of the most talented people I met.

    People who use tools on a regular basis sometimes take for granted those of us who may not use them in our daily life.  Even I, when it comes to tools used in electrical wiring/electronics have the tendency to just assume. But you know what they say when  you assume.  One of the things I love about GRID Alternatives is that, asking questions is highly encouraged because accuracy and safety are so important. Volunteers install the system, and aside from working in the MSP (main service panel- where all the breakers are) volunteers do everything. So it's very important that people ask if they don't know something, no matter how much it may injure their pride.  When it comes to tools especially.

    1. Stripping...not that kind. I'm talking about screwing, no wait I mean tools lol. it's so Wednesday. Anyways You're probably familiar with the noise a drill makes when it's "stripping" a screw.  Here's the thing there are drills and there are impact drivers. Impact drivers sound very similar to a drill stripping a screw or doing something else wrong with a drill. Also Impact drivers have a lot more torque than the comparable drill so keep that in mind.
    How can you tell the difference?
    drill on the left. impact driver on the right

    So Impact drivers tend to be more "squat" in appearance also only take 1/4" hexagonal bits. So it won't take regular bits.  ...oh then there's hammerdrills but that's a whole 'nother beast.

    2. More than one tool for the job: this is something I really learned installing solar with GRID. On the roof for cutting shingles to fit flashing I preferred tin snips. Alot of guys tended to prefer a knife and couldn't use the snips as well.  On the ground when it comes to splicing rails and pipe, I really must admit the Saw-zall which I call Sawzilla, lol is intimidating. It's loud, it's heavy for me, it feels geared to the right-handed (I use tools lefty because my dad taught me that way) oh and it chop your leg like hot knife on butter. When possible I use a bandsaw, much lighter, much easier.

    This image is in my mind, every time I look at a duct or crawlspace.
    3. Safety first last and always.  This goes back to that Saw-zall. I see plenty folk grab that thing with one hand, hold the object they're cutting in the other and cut like it's nothing.  Me I use both hands and am very deliberate.  Safety glasses, knee pads, all that good stuff. I never do anything that makes me uncomfortable: getting in crawlspaces or ducts I may not fit (I always think of winnie the pooh). This is something encounter my job as an auditor.  Also anything unsteady, just use common sense.

    That's it for now. Good luck getting through the rest of Wednesday.
    Friday can't come soon enough!


    About me

    I'm a 20-something Southern girl living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've been working in the wild and wacky world of non-profit green construction in one way or the other for over 3 years. I'm also the owner of Oakland's own Engineered Cupcake.