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Tool thoughts for women

 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 7403
Location: SW Missouri
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Opal-Lia Palmer wrote:
I live this whole post. Thank you. I was just telling my husband someone needs to make tools for women. Designed by women for women. And I dont mean those crappy pink ones. Real tools for real women. I'm 5'2" always been petite. My hands are small my wrist and upper body are not that strong to hold up heavy tools extended out from my body. But with my light weight power drill, I can build and fix many things. :-)  but that drill was hard to find and still not perfect. Wish I had lighter and with more power.
Thanks again for all your advice in this forum.


There are companies that make them, I don't have that kind of money.
And for lighter drills, read the first post at the start of this whole thread. Pawn shops and junk stores. there really ARE others out there, just not at Home Depot :)
And yeah, I'm a tool hoarder and I won't keep the crappy pink ones.
 
gardener
Posts: 718
Location: N. California
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I have short fat fingers, but still manage to use the ryobi tools fine. I have been doing a lot of projects lately, and the drill and circular saw have been in constant use.  I also have an electric drill. I have been using both.  The electric for drilling, and the battery with the screwdriver bit, make it faster than switching back and forth. I have been wishing for a chop saw, it would be so much easier to get an accurate cut, especially for 45 degree angle cuts. Maybe some day.  The circular saw is small and easy to use, and I'm getting more accurate with practice. I happen to like the table saw. I don't use it for large cuts, that is way too  hard. But I needed trim pieces to attach the plastic to my greenhouse, and rather than spend more money, I just ripped a cheap piece of pine I already had. I adjusted to guide and had all I needed in a matter of minutes.  
The main tool I have trouble with is the weed wacker.  It's so big and heavy I can't work for long at all.  I looked into getting a smaller battery operated one, but my nephew said he has one and I shouldn't even bother, not nearly enough power. I bought a small electric one I thought I would just be careful of the cord. It was great except it had auto feed, and I used up the line in about 10 minutes. Needless to say I never use that thin.  At this point I just tell my son's what I want done, and hope there aren't to many casualties.  Some of my poor plants have paid a heavy price.
Strange enough I have a hard time finding gloves that fit. It would be so nice to find gloves that aren't to long in the finger, or to tight.  I'm still looking. Could a have something to do with not wanting to spend an arm and a leg too.
 
pollinator
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Wonderful post!
The worst thing for me about leaving Australia to live in Britain was having to sell or give away all my tools - I did a lot of carpentry and had a well equipped workshop. I'm about twenty years out of practice now, as I haven't had the time or the space to do much here, Now I want to get back into it, I need to rebuild my tool kit, but I have found modern tools are mostly poor quality. I'm starting to collect vintage tools. One of the things I most need to learn is how to sharpen blades correctly/
A mattock for garden work was mentioned - my absolute favourite for breaking new ground. I inherited my grandfather's old one and loved using it - probably for a bunch of tasks it wasn't designed for.
 
Posts: 82
Location: Ohio
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I have a reverse problem - gloves that are long enough for my fingers are floppy wide and cumbersome - though the stretch gardening gloves from home depot this year fit pretty well so I use those for everything now and they were cheap as hecky too.

I find Ryobi One+ cordless tools work well for the price... And I can hold them... But they're still remarkably heavy. I wish I had my friends Milwakee tools. Expensive but worth their weight in gold!
 
master gardener
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Carla Burke wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:John Weiland: that would be a chop saw, one of the things on my good list! The only thing I'd comment for anyone else considering one is the one I like is like this ( I don't have this brand, I'd have to go look at the brand, don't know off the top of my head) because the wide base on each side of the blade gives it more stability, as well the ability to make angled and beveled cuts instead of just straight like it looks like yours does. I DO like the stability of mine, it never dances around. Mine also has hold down clamps, I like that a lot, things can sit still easily.
My 80 year old mom uses ours easily, it's a great beastie :)
Tell your wife I suggest read the OP of this thread, some good ways to figure out what works for you in there. And please tell her I said "YAY! Tool using women!" :D



This would be a Godsend, for me!! Or, a table saw.



John upped the ante! He got us (though so far, I'm the only one using it) a compound miter saw! I LOVE it!! Works like the chop saw, but with the added options of both vertical and horizontal angles.
 
pollinator
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Yup!.....the chop saw I mentioned waaaay back up in the thread is what I call the "poor man's miter saw".....  Chop saws usually have crude angle-cut capabilities, but nothing like a true miter saw.  I think I stick with the chop saw because then, when I invariably place a board with an angle cut that looks like I chewed the end of it with my teeth and in no way meets the angle of the building.....AND my wife makes note of that fact.....:-) ......  I can say "Well,.....yeah.....sure......if I was working with a MITER saw I may have been able to make that cut...".   Which of course I probably would make poorly even with a miter saw,.....so, you know, I have my excuse pre-packaged.  ;-P
 
Posts: 47
Location: Southwest Washington 98612
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:

Barbara Kochan wrote:Lawnmower handles are too high (near my upper chest), even on their lowest settings, to make for good ergonomics for us shorter folk. Has anyone figured out a clever way to lower a lawnmower handle without needing to weld new attachments? Thank you



You might be able to bend the handles downward. I recommend using an electrical conduit bender... The bender has to be a good fit to not kink the tubes, however. The benders come in different sizes to fit EMT conduit sizes, not "tubing" or "pipe" sizes, but one of them might fit? (either the 1/2" bender which is more like a 11/16" outside diameter, or the 3/4" bender which is more like a 15/16" diameter)
Your local hardware store ought to have conduit benders and if you brought your mower handle you could check the fit before getting one. If you know an electrician, they could probably do it (again, assuming a good fit) in under ten minutes.



Thank you Kenneth and others. I should have mentioned that it is a electric (battery) mower and has a safety mechanism that requires the mid handle adjustment to be fully extended, not partially collapsed. That said, if the type metal can tolerate it, the idea of bending the handle down is very intriguing. I probably even have the conduit benders here already. Ha!

I've not tried to bend non-conduit, so wonder how I would know if the metal of the handle would bend or fold, even with the proper tool. Anyone know?
 
Posts: 78
Location: Landers, CA
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Found a new, lovely tool much better than tin snips.  
Milwaukee® long cut snips are designed for cutting long, straight runs of up to 20ga cold rolled steel.  The 3" blades achieve more cutting length per stroke for straighter, cleaner cuts.  All Milwaukee® snips feature forged cutting heads for maximum durability and machined steel blades for precision cuts.  They are designed with a one handed locking mechanism for ease of use while cutting cold rolled steel, stainless steel, aluminum, vinyl siding, screening, cardboard, leather and copper.  The model number is 48-22-4037.  I got mine at Home Depot.

I use a lot of 1/4" hardware cloth.  Yes, I know its wire, not cloth, but men named it - LOL!  I use it to build enclosures for my fruit trees. Living in the desert, we have rats, squirrels, mice.  I built these structures like greenhouses. Hardware cloth even on the ground.  Nothing gets in.

But back to the snips.  Anyone who has had to cut this wire knows you always end up with cuts and scratches. The cut wire has a multitude of tiny, sharp points that will snag your skin and clothing. Same applies for chicken wire.  Tin snips (and know that they come in different models and are not reversible.  Some will cut on the left side, some will cut on the right side.  What this means is that if you are cutting 36 or 48" stock, if you can't cut to the other end from where you are standing, you will have to walk around and finish it on the other end. A real drag when you are doing more than one piece).  Although I have the $60 Harbor Freight electric snips, I am usually to lazy to drag them out for this kind of project. But these are great for cutting the wavy plastic, polycarbonate and galvanized panels.  Don't be frightened of them.  If you go slow, use small vises for stabilization, all will be well.  You can't really cut a straight line on these panels with manual tin snips.

Okay.....the Milwaukee straight snips.....a gift from heaven.  They are long. Why is long good? First is they give you more leverage when cutting aluminum shiny sheets (non wavy).  Need to cut a square piece of aluminum sheet, these are your babies.  Second lovely feature.  They are straight snips, they are not angled to cut right or left, perfect for hardware cloth or chicken wire.  Third and best feature.  They are long enough so that you won't get cut or scratched while cutting.  Hardware cloth springs up as you cut it.  I use 48", so a lot of opportunity for it to spring up and hit you as you cut. And yes, I've had it spring up and hit me in the face. At 48", or even 36 - you are most likely going to have to stand on it while cutting to be able to cut in one step.  I absolutely love these snips and they come in handy for all manner of projects that need a longer cutting head, or you need more leverage to cut something wedged away where you can't reach with the little snips.


Milwaukee-long-straight-cutting-snips.png
[Thumbnail for Milwaukee-long-straight-cutting-snips.png]
 
Purity Lopez
Posts: 78
Location: Landers, CA
30
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Barbara Kochan wrote:

Kenneth Elwell wrote:

Barbara Kochan wrote:Lawnmower handles are too high (near my upper chest), even on their lowest settings, to make for good ergonomics for us shorter folk. Has anyone figured out a clever way to lower a lawnmower handle without needing to weld new attachments? Thank you



You might be able to bend the handles downward. I recommend using an electrical conduit bender... The bender has to be a good fit to not kink the tubes, however. The benders come in different sizes to fit EMT conduit sizes, not "tubing" or "pipe" sizes, but one of them might fit? (either the 1/2" bender which is more like a 11/16" outside diameter, or the 3/4" bender which is more like a 15/16" diameter)
Your local hardware store ought to have conduit benders and if you brought your mower handle you could check the fit before getting one. If you know an electrician, they could probably do it (again, assuming a good fit) in under ten minutes.



Thank you Kenneth and others. I should have mentioned that it is a electric (battery) mower and has a safety mechanism that requires the mid handle adjustment to be fully extended, not partially collapsed. That said, if the type metal can tolerate it, the idea of bending the handle down is very intriguing. I probably even have the conduit benders here already. Ha!

I've not tried to bend non-conduit, so wonder how I would know if the metal of the handle would bend or fold, even with the proper tool. Anyone know?



Barbara, can you post us a picture of the mower?
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