Category Archives: Tools

Sick and Tired of Mosquitoes? How I Got Rid of Them With Talstar P Pro

Our home is in a former swampy area that was drained in the 1980s and a subdivision built.  In short, you dig down and can hit water fairly soon – usually within 10 feet.  At any rate, we’ve had a very wet spring and summer and had standing water in our lawn until late-June and the mosquitoes have been the worst I ever recall in the 20 years we’ve been here.  We could not stay out at night or we’d get attacked unless we hosed ourselves down with Deep Woods Off.  In short, something needed to be done.

This hedgerow is right by my garage and ensured the mosquitoes had a perfect base to attack me from and rings our property:

When I was at Ace Hardware, I saw Off! brand’s Backyard Pretreat that was supposed to kill mosquitoes and leave a residue to repel them.  I thought they would know what to do given their experience – as it turns out, this product is a rip off.

I’m sad to report that after three jugs of this stuff and my getting bit over and over while applying it, I can’t say it did anything at all even several days later.  I really had high hopes – I dragged a long hose all over the place spring stuff down over and over with no noticeable improvement.

On Facebook, I posted my woes with Mosquito control and a friend, Allan, suggested Talstar P Pro and a Ryobi cordless electric sprayer to help with evenly spraying a ton of solution.  I had never heard of Talstar so I did a search and it is very well regarded.  Allan told me they live on a wooded ravine and he’s been using it for 10 years to control mosquitoes and it worked exceptionally well for him.

Talstar P Professional

Every once in a while on Amazon, you see a review score that is mind blowing.  FMC’s Talstart P Professional 96 oz has 2,263 customer reviews and a combined score of 4.6 out of 5 stars.  That is one heck of a score and is only possible if something works really, really well.

So, based on what I read and Allan’s recommendation, I ordered the 96oz bottle.   I then read up on the Ryobi sprayer.  It gets good reviews, uses the 18volt Ryobi batteries (it comes with one battery and a charger) and it has a three year warranty.  I ordered it off the Home Depot website [Click here]  as they had free next day home delivery and since I had to wait for the Talstar, I figured it would save me a trip.

Note:  You can use any pressurized sprayer you want – I have 1.5 acres and knew I would be applying gallons and gallons of it.  My shoulders and elbows hurt enough as it is and I didn’t want to incur the repetitive stress.

The sprayer arrived the next day and the Talstar the day after.  While I was waiting, I went to the FMC website to read up on Talstar to make sure I understood how to apply it plus I peppered Allan with his experience.

I would recommend you go to the website [click here] as they have recommendations on best practices for mosquito management and Talstar P Pro is actually interesting from a chemical perspective.

The active ingredient is Bifenthrin, which is similar to the chemical extracted from Chrysanthemums to kill insects.  Here are two links so you can read more at the National Pesticide Information Center.the user guide for the Talstar P.

Ryobi Model P2830A One+ 18-Volt Lithiu-Ion Cordless 2 Gallon Chemical Sprayer

Here are photos of the sprayer.   I charged the battery and screwed in all the fittings.  They are all lose so be sure to do that.  I didn’t have any loose plastic in the tank but I did rinse it out just to be safe.

Application

After reading the user guide, I planned to use one ounce of Talstar to one gallon of water to ensure I had residue to continue killing mosquitoes.  Since it was a two gallon tank, I increased it just a bit to 2.5 ounces per two gallon tank.  Note, a real nice perk is that the tank lid is a measuring cup!  I would use it, rinse it out and pour the mix into the tank before filling it with water.

While doing the work, I wore Nitrile gloves just to avoid contact plus I was constantly adjusting the sprayer tip from coarse mist to a stream to try and reach back over brush, through leaves, etc.

FMC recommends spraying at night or in the evening when mosquitoes are active.  I was busy the first night so I did it the following morning at 7am.   I mixed up two gallons and started spraying around the house, pool, garden and so forth.  I hosed down the bushes, the walls of the house and under the eaves.  I also sprayed the hedge – first using a coarse spray on all the brush, leaves and ground.  I found adjusting the tip to a stream was handy to penetrate the brush and also reach further back.  I’d just come back to the hose and what not and mix another two gallons of spray (2 gallons water and 2.5oz of Talstar) and kept spraying.

It took me aboput 30-45 minutes and 8 gallons, or four complete tanks, to do most of our yard.  I skipped probably a half acre of grass starting about 100-150 feet from our house but I did all of the hedge row, bushes, etc.  I was pleasantly surprised that the 2.0Ah battery was able to do the whole yard.  When I finished the first batch, I did plug the battery in and let it charge.

That night I still saw mosquitoes, but fewer of them, and applied a second dose around 7:30-8pm.  Same procedure – 8 gallons focusing around the house, all the bushes, etc.

Results

The next morning – no mosquitoes.  Whoa!!!  I did not see one single mosquito all day.  That night I worked on cars without being attacked!  I did so again yesterday and just had breakfast with my wife in her garden — something that would have been next to impossible.

I’d say the spray got a good number of them but when they landed in the residue, that got rid of a ton as well.  In other words, you might see a bit of a delay from dose to noticeable reduction.

In four weeks, I am going to do it again.  Even my wife, who always groans at me and my tinkering, was impressed and told me to make sure I apply another dose before the first one wears off!

It’s really not that expensive in the long run.  The bottle holds 96oz.  I use 10oz per 8 gallons (4 batches x 2.5oz/batch).  If I apply it twice per application, that means I’ll use 20oz per time, which means I’ll get just over 4 complete applications (so about four months of protection).  At $35/bottle, that’s about $9/time plus however you want to account for the sprayer.  For me, it’s worth it.  My wife really reacts to mosquito bites plus we can enjoy being outside again and I can go back to working outside without getting attacked.

I’d highly, highly recommend you skip the ripoff gimmicks and temporary fixes.  Spend the money and get Talstar Pro and a spray bottle (if you don’t have one).  It made a world of difference for us and wanted to spread the word that this stuff really works.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.

 

 

Very Compact Astro 1828 ONYX 3/8″ Nano Impact Wrench Is Great For Tight Quarters

This past winter I had the fun of changing the starter motor twice in 15 degree weather in my Landcruiser.  It was a bear getting to the starter bolts with my full size Ingersoll Rand 1/2 Thunder Gun.  It’s an awesome impact wrench and I had trashed a few cheap Harbor Freight ones before taking the advice of my friends and buying it.  To make a long story short, with a long extension and a universal joint, I was able to get the two bolts out.

While working on the truck, it struck me that I really needed a compact impact wrench to get into tight spaces.  I did some digging and found the Astro 1828 Onyx for 3/8″ impact sockets.  I figured I wanted small and probably would not need 1/2″ most of the time.

These next photos show how much more compact the Onyx is compared to the big Thunder Gun:

The little Onyx gets great reviews – currently 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 148 reviews.  I bought it and a Hot Max 28083 Swivel adapter at the same time.   It arrived in a nice little cardboard box from Amazon and I promptly put good Teflon tape on the swivel’s fittings, installed it and then a Milton M-style plug.

So far, both are holding up great in my home garage use (I’m not a pro mechanic – more like a shade tree one with ADD and sleep deprivation).

What I find interesting is that it is a torquy little beast.  They claim 450 ft/lbs.  I have not bothered checking using a calibrated torque wrench but I can tell you it’s done a great job so far.  For big stuff / tight stuff, I still go to the Thundergun with its 625 ft/lbs of torque.  The Onyx is more of a special purpose tool for me.  By the way, if you notice it is shiny above, I had just used it to remove the drain plug off a 2002 Camry’s transmission.  They are about 18mm and use a 10mm Allen bit to come off.  My 10mm Allen bit is for a 3/8″ drive so I just stuck it on the Onyx and it whipped it right off.  Reinstalling, I set torque at 1 out of 3 and then checked it with a 3/8″ drive ratchet wrench after — it was in there solid.

In short, I am happy with the little Nano and Hot Max swivel combination.  I definitely still use my Thunder Gun for wheel lugs and big fasteners but the Nano is now my go to for tight spaces.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



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Astro 1828 ONYX 3/8″ Nano Impact Wrench 450ft/lb (Automotive)

The Astro Pneumatic Tool 1828 ONYX 3/8″ Nano Impact Wrench – 450ft/lb allows for the shortest profile possible when paired with 3/8″ impact sockets. This makes it ideal for use in restricted spaces such as engine, transmission, and suspension work. It is constructed with 3 forward and 3 reverse settings, a full length of less than 3-7/8″, and is incredibly light weight at 3lbs Specifications: Free Speed: 10,500 R.P.M, Hammer Design: Twin Hammer, Max torque: 450 ft-lb, Working torque: 400 ft-lb, Drive Size: 3/8″, Avg. Air Consumption: 5.6 CFM, Noise Level: 85 dB, Overall Length: 3.85″, Net Weight: 2.98 lbs, Air Inlet: 1/4″, Sug. Air Pressure: 90 Psi, Exhaust System: Handle Exhaust.

Features: 

  • Ideal for use in restricted spaces such as engine, transmission, and suspension work
  • 3/8″ model allows for the shortest profile possible when paired with 3/8″ impact sockets
  • 3 forward and 3 reverse settings
  • Full length of less than 3-7/8″ and incredibly light weight at 3lbs
  • Compact yet powerful design at 450ft/lbs

List Price: $95.02 USD
New From: $95.00 USD In Stock
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How to Clean Up Oil On A Cement Driveway

I’m a gear head and am always working on a car or tractor it would seem.  Like many, I have a concrete drive way and it seems like no matter how hard I try, I get engine oil, grease, gas or whatever other crud on the cement.

I’ve seen guys post asking about how to get oil and what not out of a cement drive way and I have a simple answer – I use a degreaser called “Purple Power”.  I know it is a crazy name but it works.  I’ve been using it for probably 10 or more years and buy it by the gallon jug at Autozone.  I can’t recall who recommended to me or just when – but I’ve used it for a long time and vouch for it.

My approach is simple:

  1. If you have standing oil, pour clay cat litter or oil absorbing pellets and let it sit for a few hours to a day and then brush it up and save it to be used again.  We don’t have cats so I usually just keep a big bag of the oil absorbent stuff from Autozone and use it over and over until it gets real oily.  I just keep it in an old pail.
  2. Pour on the Purple Power full strength and let it sit 15-30 minutes.  I would recommend doing it in the morning or evening because you do not want it to dry out.
  3. Use a hose with a pressure nozzle (just something to focus the spray coming out of the hose) and rinse the stuff off.
  4. Let it dry and see how it looks.  If there is still some dark spots in the cement, you may need to do it a couple more times.  For me, it usually does the job in two passes but sometimes I need a third.

Okay, here’s a photo of my drive way after working on a car and a tractor.  The big “blotch” is a combination of gas and oil.  I changed the fuel pump on my tractor and then cleaned the engine up with brake cleaner and it went on the drive way.  The four smaller blotches to the right of the Purple Power jug are soaked in oil from working on the car.

This photo is after three passes with Purple Power and letting it sit 15-30 minutes each time.  If I had done it a fourth time it would be even brighter but I literally ran out of cleaner.  You can see the big blotch is entirely gone.  Really, just a bit is left.  At some point this weekend, I’ll run up to Autozone and get another gallon and finish the job.

If I didn’t use Purple Power, my driveway would be an absolute mess.  I go through about a gallon per year sometimes two – it just depends on what all I am working on and how often I clean up my driveway.

I hope this helps you out!


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

 

 

Lincoln 1162 Air Operated Grease Gun (Automotive)

Lincoln’s lubrication industrial fully automatic pneumatic grease gun is designed with a variable speed trigger that provides excellent grease flow control and the advanced pump design eliminates priming issues. It features pump ratio of 150 pounds per square inch and maximum grease pressure of 6,000 pounds per square inch. The gun’s air pressure range is 40- 150 pounds per square inch. It includes 30 inches high-pressure hose with coupler and attachment clip. This gun also features a fully automatic, variable-speed trigger with a continuous operation. It comprises of an accessible check valve assembly and the gun is designed with a superior flow performance. This gun is backed by one year warranty on material and workmanship.

Features: 

  • Designed with a variable speed trigger that provides excellent grease flow control
  • Fully automatic, variable-speed trigger with continuous operation
  • Backed by one year warranty on material and workmanship

List Price: $110.05 USD
New From: $69.31 USD In Stock
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The Vortex Torque Wrench Optics Mounting Kit is Wicked!!

I’m to the point with rifles that when I want to maintain accuracy, I know I need an accurate torquing driver.  For years I have used the Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque (FAT) Wrench and it was good enough.  For about $40 I got the base unit that included a few bits and a case.  The FAT wrench had a range from 10-65 in/lbs and good enough accuracy (+/- 2 in/lbs up to 40 pounds and +/- 5% over 40 in/lbs).  My only beef with it was that the mechanical scale that shows you the torque settings was in 5 pound increments.  To get close to 18 in/lbs, for example, required going close to the middle between 15 and 20 in/lbs and calling it even.

I used the FAT wrench pretty much exclusively from October 2014 to May 2018.  It was good enough at the time – way better than going for ballpark feel “farmer tight” settings but in the back of my head though, I wanted better.

By the way, in case you are wondering why a person would get one of these torque wrenches or drivers, it’s because many torque wrenches aren’t calibrated in inch/pounds (they are often foot pounds in the US) and they may not go down as low as 10 inch/pounds (in/lbs).

My interests span many types of firearms from AKs to precision rifles.  With the latter, I own a number of sub-MOA rifles and they demand precision tools if you want repeatability and reliability.  These rifles also have very good Vortex scopes and rings as well.  If you want consistency and the rings to not shoot loose, the value of a torque wrench becomes apparent fast.

I’m a Vortex fan – there’s no two ways about.  Their optics are superb and they have an absolute “we will stand behind it no matter what with no nonsense” warranty.  Once in a while I will see guys troll the brand on Facebook but I honestly question whether they have ever actually even owned one.

Folks, I’ve owned probably 7-8 superb Vortex scopes and a ton of red dots.  I really don’t know how many red dots of various types – probably approaching a dozen.  The glass is good, the scopes are durable and do you know how many times I have used the warranty? — None.  In talking with guys that have, Vortex took care of them.

So, let me get to the point.  Vortex came out with a torque driver called the “Vortex Optics Torque Wrench Mounting Kit” that goes from 10-50 in pounds in calibrated 1 in/lbs increments that you set like a micrometer.

When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the heft.  This is a solidly built metal tool that screams quality.  It comes with a few bits.  You pull the copper colored locking ring down and turn the handle to get the torque you want.  I did find that you have to push the bits in very firmly.  There is a detent ball that holds the driver bits in and it is surprisingly stout.

A nice touch is that the end of the handle has a 1/4″ socket if you want to use a ratchet wrench for higher torque applications.  For example, Vortex precision rings can go up to 50 in/lbs.  I can do that by hand most of the time but a ratchet makes it much easier.

On the topic of bits, it is a standard 1/4″ drive so you can get a large collection of bits and pair it up with this unit.  For example, I had a Home Depot Husky brand driver with a ton of bits that I picked up on sale at some point and just had sitting on the shelf.  I put it with the Vortex and its few included driver bits.  Additionally, when I am working on a firearm, I typically have my Weaver deluxe toolkit open as well.  It contains a great selection of bits that you tend to find on firearms.

There is one thing I changed though – the Vortex unit comes in a round plastic case that is nice and strong but I don’t have the patience to try and put it all back together for storage.  So, I hopped down to Ace hardware and bought a case to hold the Vortex torque driver, the Husky driver and all the bits plus I have room for more storage.  I also used some of my spare pluckable foam left over from cases to pad the bottom of the case.

In case you are wondering, here are photos of my FAT and Vortex torque drivers side by side:

In this next photo, you can see what I mean about precisely setting the torque on the wrenches.  My Vortex Precision Scope Rings specify a torque of 18 in/lbs.  With the Vortex wrench, you can precisely set it for 18 pounds.  With the FAT, it’s somewhere around 17-19 pounds plus we already know the wrench’s accuracy is limited to +/- 2 in/lbs as well.

On the topic of accuracy, the Vortex driver comes with a certificate of calibration to testing standard DIN-ISO-6789 by a gentleman named Tom on Feb 27, 2018.  You can see my specific wrench nails the accuracy – no more guesswork and no more ballpark torque setting.

In summary, I am very happy with my Vortex wrench and would recommend it to anyone doing precision firearms work, notably optics.  You can pick one up at a very reasonable price from Amazon and you ought to do it.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



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Vortex Optics Torque Wrench Mounting Kit (Sports)

Tighten to the specified torque and not a smidgen more. This tool is easy to operate, simple to set, and offers fast, accurate tension wherever and whenever you need it. The easy to read inch-pound increments ensure you tighten in 1 in/lb increments.

Features: 

  • This tool is easy to operate, simple to set, and offers fast, accurate tension wherever and whenever you need it.
  • The easy to read inch-pound increments ensure you tighten in 1in/lb increments to the specified torque, and not a bit more, ranging from 10 in/lbs to 50 in/lbs.
  • Bits included in kit: 3/16″ Hex bit – fits Vortex Bobro mounts, 2.5mm Hex bit – Fits Razor Red Dot, 3mm HEx bit – Fits Hunter rings, CM-202 and CM-203, T15 Torx bit – Fits Viper rings and Tactical rings
  • Bits included in kit: T25 Torx bit – Fits PMR rings, 1/2″ Socket – Fits Tactical rings, 10mm Wide Screwdriver bit – Fits Hunter and Viper clamp bolt, 1/4″ Socket adaptor

List Price: $69.00 USD
New From: $69.00 USD In Stock
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Why I Stopped Using Harbor Freight Air Fittings

In short, Harbor Freight quick couplers look like a cheap way to go.  The problem is that they are really soft.  I can’t even guess how many female fittings I have thrown away as they deformed and started to leak air.

The same goes for the soft male fittings.  You will find they abrade easily and leak air plus they bend and break easily.  The latest example is this male plug on my IR 117 air hammer where the smaller nipple is tearing away from the relatively thicker base:

My solution is simple – I only use Milton air fittings now and you can get them from Amazon at an affordable price.  Every time one of my many Harbor Freight units fails, I replace it.  By the way, I’m to the point that I don’t recommend any of the cheap import fittings regardless of maker.  Milton isn’t much more and they will last.

By the way, when you look purely at the purchase cost that doesn’t tell the whole story.  This fitting failed right at the start of the job and set me back about 10-15 minutes while I was rummaging around for my Milton spares, my teflon tape, the wrench, setting the tool in the vise to do the work, etc.   All of a sudden the supposed purchase savings doesn’t seem like a big deal.  By the way, I was swearing the whole time too 🙂

Here are the 1/4″ Milton M-type fittings that I use and recommend:


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


S690 MILTON DUAL HEAD AIR CHUCK 1/4” NPT

$9.24
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S691 Milton USA Heavy Duty 1/4" FNPT Female Straight Head Air Chuck

$10.99
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Milton s690 Dual Head Air Chuck Sealing type for end of airline 1/4" NPT Female

$9.25
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Milton S213 A-Style Air Coupler and Plug Set - 1/4in. NPT, 5-Pcs

$12.34
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Milton S684-4 Air Tank Valve 1/4Npt Male 2Pk

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Milton S1818 G-Style Air Fitting Female Plug 1/2" NPT

$6.34
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Milton 699 (MIL S699) 1/4" Female Air Chuck

$5.60
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Milton S682 Air Tank Conversion Kit

$27.75
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Milton S1816 G Style 1/2" NPT Male Air Coupler

$14.21
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Milton S1815 G Style 1/2" FPT Air Coupler Body

$14.21
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Milton USA S1807 Heavy Duty 3/8" MNPT P Style Air Plug

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Red Coupler Plug Kit M Style Fitting Compressor Air Tool Hose Connector 14 Piece

$15.88
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Milton USA S928 Air Water Tractor Tire Pressure Pencil Gauge

$10.25
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Milton USA S150 Heavy Duty 1/4" NPT Safety Lever Style Air Blow Gun

$14.25
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Milton S776 1/4-in NPT Male A-Style Air Coupler

$8.82
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MALE M STYLE AIR LINE COUPLER PLUG 731 MILTON TIRE INFLATOR FEMALE RE-CAP.305-32

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Milton USA S1807 Heavy Duty 3/8" MNPT P Style Air Plug

$7.25
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Milton S699 1/4 IN. Female Single Head Air Chuck

$4.83
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Milton Dual Head Locking Truck Tire Inflator Air Chuck, 1/4" NPT #S693 MIL693!

$13.95
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Milton S99705 Heavy Duty 1/4" NPT M Push Button Style Safety Air Coupler

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Milton (S-210) 1/4″ NPT M-Style Coupler and Plug Kit, (12-Piece) (Tools & Hardware)

Milton (S-210) M-Style Coupler and Plug Kit, (12-Piece)
This pneumatic 12-pc. Milton (S-210) M-Style KWIK-CHANGE coupler/plug air accessory kit includes a variety of couplers, plugs and fittings with a 1/4″ basic flow size (air handling capacity). Milton M-Style Kwik Change couplers are made of brass, while M-Style Kwik Change plugs are made of case-hardened steel and are plated to resist rust. This collection of couplers and plugs:

– Will interchange with all manufacturers who comply with the dimensional requirements of military specification MIL-C-4109.
– Offer a maximum airflow of 40 standard cubic feet per minute.
– Offer a maximum of 300 pounds per square inch.
– Can withstand a max temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

KIT INCLUDES:

(2) 1/4″ FNPT couplers
(8) 1/4″ MNPT plugs
(2) 1/4″ FNPT plugs

Singular Milton Item Part #’s:

#715 coupler (1/4″ FNPT)
#727 plug (1/4″ MNPT)
#728 plug (1/4″ FNPT)

 


Features: 

  • BASIC FLOW SIZE: All 1/4″ body size air fittings. 1/4″ NPT. Buna-N seals.
  • KWIK-CHANGE: Interchangeable/compatible with most manufacturers. Easy push to connect.
  • MAXIMUM: 40 SCFM. 300 PSI. Temperatures up to 250 degrees F.
  • QUALITY: Durable brass couplers. Case-hardened steel plugs, plated to resist rust and corrosion.
  • M-STYLE KIT INCLUDES: (2) Female Couplers, (8) Male Plugs, and (2) Female Plugs. (Milton #715, #727, #728)

List Price: $22.73 USD
New From: $18.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock
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Resurrecting a Gummed Up Air Tool Without Disassembly

Recently I got out my Ingersoll Rand model 117 air hammer to use and found out its action had gotten all gummed up.  It’s been probably a year since I last used it even then probably didn’t use it a ton.  I always drip air tool oil into a tool before use because my air lines run driers and particulate filters for my plastics work.  Thus, I have to manually apply the oil before I use a tool.

When I went to use 117 the piston would not actuate and when I shook the tool, it didn’t sound like it normally did.  My first thought was to check the air pressure and it was at 90 PSI and the regulator was wide open so my next guess was lubrication.  Adding more air tool oil didn’t make any difference.  I then remembered a tip a guy told me years ago with gummy air tools – spray a ton of PB Blaster down the quick connect fitting and let it sit with the quick connect fitting up in the air trapping the penetrating oil in the tool for 5 minutes and try again.

So, I did that, reconnected the air line and it worked!  The tool worked like a champ and it blew PB Blaster everywhere!  I did it one more time just to make sure stuff was clear and ran the tool for a maybe 30 seconds to blow the PB Blaster out, wiped it down with a rag and then put in four drops of air tool oil.  Problem solved.

This was a huge win because I was in the middle of working on AK and wanted to use this tool plus I didn’t have time to take it all apart,  I’m writing this post a few weeks later after completing the AK build and the IR 117 is still working like a champ.

By the way, PB Blaster can be found at tons of automotive stores.  The packing looks gimmicky but it is actually one of the best penetraing oils that is out there along with Kroil.  If I didn’t have access to either of those, I would have made up some Ed’s Red or at least used some form of transmission fluid.  Tranny fluid works great but take a while to penetrate gunk.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.

Ingersoll-Rand 117K 2,000 Blows-Per-Minute Standard Duty Pnuematic Hammer with 5 Chisel Set (Tools & Home Improvement)

An economical air hammer with a longerpiston stroke, this tool is designed forexhaust work, bolt cutting, and front-endwork. The trigger control and a built-in powerregulator give you full control of the speed and power. Longer stroke piston. Alloyed steel barrel and heat-treated piston for longer life. Up to 2, 000 blows per minute.

Features: 

  • Longer Stroke Piston
  • Alloy steel barrel and heat-treated piston for longer life
  • Up to 2,000 blows per minute
  • 5 piece chisel kit

List Price: $74.80 USD
New From: $74.80 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock
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Use an Air Riveter to Install or Remove AK Barrels

For years I used my 20 ton press to remove and install barrels on AK rifles and then somone, Gunplumber maybe, told me to try using an air riveter instead.  You know what, it surprisingly works well and now I only use my press on the removal of really stubborn barrels.

I am going to throw two terms around in this post that I need to explain.  Air hammers and air riveters are remarkably similar – a pneumatic (air powered) pistol is going down a bore and slamming into the end of the unit where a tool is attached.  Thus they are delivered from the hundreds to almost three thousand blows per minute (BPM).  What usually, but not always, differentiates the two is the degree of control you have with the trigger and an integral air regulator to adjust the BPM and how hard the blows are.   If you see a tool with virtually no controls, it is likely an air hammer.  However, as you will read here, there are air hammers that do overlap with air riveters.

With air riveters, the main thing you get is a variable flow trigger, sometimes called a “tickle trigger” and usually a built in air regulator.  This allows you to really dial in the speed and strength of the blows.    When guys gush about how well they can control a big riveter, pay close attention because they aren’t kidding.  When you are building an airplane you need precision and you sure don’t want the riveter to slip and mar the aluminum.  Traditionally with air hammers we think about driving apart exhaust pipes, cutting open barrels and what not.  With air riveters, think of airplanes,

Okay – enough background – let’s talk about how to size these things – riveters are are sized based on the stroke length of the piston and an arcane naming scheme like “2X”, “3X” and “4X”.   Each has a piston about one inch longer than the previous model and the longer the piston, the harder it hits and the bigger rivet you can drive.  Think of the piston in a car – diameter and stroke set the stage for more power.

For example Aircraft Tool Supply sells all kinds of tools for folks who build airplanes and have decent riveters – I have one of their ATS-3X units and it has held up great.  At any rate, here are their tool ratings for example:

Note how the stroke is increasing from their base 200B unit through the 4x.  When you get to the 5x and 7x, both the stroke and bore size increase.  The capacity stated is for aluminum rivets so for steel rivets go two sizes up was a rule I was once told.

Most rivets you encounter around firearms will be steel and between 5/32″ to 3/16″.  I was told not to go smaller than 3X and have no regret with doing AK trigger guards but I did wind up with two units because I wanted to more powerful unit for barrels and barrel pins.   By the way, I was told not to go too small or all the hammer blows would risk work hardening the rivets.

Historically, I have mainly used this riveter for the trigger guard and an occasional barrel pin.  For most of my heavy work such as barrel pins and  barrels, I use an Ingersoll-Rand (IR) model 117 air hammer.  Now here’s the interesting thing – most air hammers, especially cheap imports, do not have variable triggers – they tend to be on or off.  Like riveters, the IR 117 has a variable trigger and a built in regulator.  With piston stroke of 3.5″, and an 22/26″ bore it makes the 117 a tad bigger than the 4X riveter from ATS so all things being equal, the IR 117 will hit harder.

I know Harbor Freight has an air riveter now (they didn’t when I bought mine) but have zero experience with it and also not so good experiences with their air hammers not lasting.

A big requirement for this work is control – you need a variable trigger so you can get just a few blows all the way up to continuous.  A regulatory allows you to adjust how hard the unit hits.  Some past import air hammers I have used seemed to have triggers that were either wide open, or completely unpredictable.  If you have one that is this way, don’t try working on a firearm that you care about.

Both the ATS and IR units were recommended to me and I both do a great job.  Note, there are bigger riveters and air hammers out there but you will notice that the tool shank goes from the very common 0.401″ to a larger diameter such as 0.498.

At any rate, let’s get back to barrels.  Modern AK barrels are what is known as an interference fit with the barrel being pressed into the front trunnion and locked in place by a cross pin.  In general a 12 ton press will do the job reliably but it takes a while to get the jigs set up and parts ready to go.  A 4X riveter will usually do the job also but with way less set up time.   I say usually because once in a while you run into pins or barrels that just do not want to come out and that’s when a big press is the way to go.

Practice First

Let me give you one piece of honest advice – if you go this route, practice before you beat the snot out of your parts.  Air riveters and hammers want to move around on you and you need to know how to control them.

Removing the Barrel Pin

Now you may wonder why I went the pneumatic route vs. sticking with my press.  The answer is real simple –  when I am taking stuff apart, I don’t want to take a ton of time.  I can use the 117 to pop out the barrel pin with either a drift pin or a tapered pin in seconds with very little set up.   I usually just put the trunnion and barrel assembly on  bench block with a hole for the pin to enter as I drive it out from the other side – I drive from the operating side (right when viewed from the top) towards the non-operating side (the left side).

If you are using a tapered pin driver, get the pin started and stop before the tool will hurt the trunnion.  You can drive it out the rest of the way fairly easily with a drift punch and a big hammer.  If you have drift punches for your air tool, just pick one slightly smaller than the hole and drive the pin out.

These days I keep parts in a magnetic tray to avoid losing them and that’s where I stick the barrel pin.  If you ever lose or damage the pin, get a 7mm drill bit and cut off the shank to create the length you need.  I used to keep 7mm drill rod somewhere – I’m not really sure where it is now.

Backing Out the Barrel

Driving the barrel off the trunnion is pretty easy but you do need to make a tool that fits in the trunnion and has a brass “head” to drive the barrel out without damaging the chamber end – DO NOT USE STEEL – it needs to be a softer metal and brass does a good job.

My backout tool is a  6″ long 1/2″ bolt with a brass nut on the end with a ground down steel backing nut behind it:

Why 6″ long?  Because that is what I had in my box.  Shorter would be more controllable. I actually have a long 12″ unit I use if I need to back a barrel out of a trunnion that is in the receiver.

Here’s a photo of the ground down steel backing nut and the brass nut that sits on the chamber end and applies the actual blows to drive it out.

You definitely need the steel backing but or the brass will deform and come off the threads.  You can also see how the brass extends in front of the bolt – I always check to make sure I have about an 1/8th inch or so of brass before I use it.  This is basically a shorter version of my barrel back out tool (click here for the post about that from way back when).

Now to deliver the blows on the business end of my IR 117 is a 7″ brass peening  tool that ATS sells directly.  I bought a 3″ unit but it will not fit in the wire retainer of my 117.  They also have a 5″ model that I bet would work fine.

So, I mount the trunnion in my wood jawed vise to not tear it up, insert the backout tool and then use the 117 to apply the blows.   I will hold the bolt with one hand and use the 117 with the other.  Do NOT put your hand where the bolt and peening hammer come together or you will pinch the hell out of it.  I did that once years ago and it taught me a lesson complete with a blood blister as a reminder.

So I do a bit and check – I do not try to do it all at once.  By looking int he barrel pin hole, you should see it slowly backing out.  In general, the last bit of removing the barrel I do with a  big ball pein hammer to make sure the barrel assembly either is pulled out the last bit by me or land in some form of box or cushion vs. the hard floor.

That’s it!   The barrel is out.

Installing the Barrel

To install a barrel, I first install an old slant brake that I ground flat to protect the threads.  I have not used a muzzle nut because they do not seem to offer much protection to the front of the muzzle – they are mainly designed to protect the threads.  With the ground down slant brake, there is a plenty of material in front of the muzzle to protect it.  

You can see how it has mushroomed over time but that’s fine.  I’ve used it a ton and if I ever have a problem, I’ll chuck it and make another.

My best guess is that it came out of a Romanian G kit years ago.  I have a bunch of oddball parts like this that got replaced by US parts for the sake of 922r compliance.

I thread the converted brake / muzzle protector all the way back on the barrel to engage all the threads possible and back it right against the front sight block (FSB).  The idea is that you want the threads to take the impact and not the muzzle.

To start the installation, I push the barrel assembly into the trunnion and tap it with a big ball pein hammer.  I keep sighting down the rear sight block (RSB) making sure it is true.  At the point, you can use a rubber mallet or other non-marring mallet to tap the RSB and angle the barrel slightly one way or the other to course correct.  It is really, really important to get the alignment right at the start.  You will not be able to adjust it once you get very far in.  If it turns out you have alignment problem later, I would recommend driving the barrel assembly out and starting over.

To do the actual driving, I use the IR 117 with the brass peening hammer attachment.  I put the brass hammer face right on the converted slant brake and drive it in.  I keep checking the barrel pin hole to make sure I stop just short of the final location and that it is aligned.  If the surfaces are not aligned, I would drive the barrel back out and start over.  In this next photo, you can see I stopped just short of where I need to be.

Now this particular kit was a headspaced Polish WBP kit and I had checked headspace before I removed the barrel.  If I needed to set the headspace, I would start checking it somewhere around here.

At this point, I drive the barrel in the rest of the way by tapping the end with a big ballpein hammer – or any BFH will do 🙂  It really doesn’t take a ton of energy.  You want to tap and test over and over.  Don’t get impatient and try and drive it in all at once or you risk overshooting where you want to be.  If you do overshoot, it’s going to take some time and you need to make that longer barrel backout tool and either use your press or your air tool (I’d use my IR 117) and push it back out just enough to then fine tune the location.

Do not use headspace gauges as barrel stops.  You may know this but just in case you don’t – gauges are precision instruments and you only install them to test the headspace and *not* as a way to stop travel.  I’ve heard of guys doing that and, for a change, I wasn’t one of them 🙂

Once the channel is clear and you have one nice continous path from one side of the trunnion to the other it is time to reinstall the pin.

Installing the barrel pin

With I do is start the pin with a big ball pein hammer and then drive it in the rest of the way with an old rivet set that I use just for this purpose.  Years ago I bought a ton of used 0.401 shank rivet sets and rivet tools off eBay for a very reasonable price.  I use one that covers the pin nicely and drive it right in and let me tell you, it goes in fast.  You can stop short and drive it in the test of the way by hand if you want.  I tend to just drive it right into place with the air tool.

By the way, I’ve accumulated a number of rivet tools and bucking bars over the years.  Here’s a quicksnap shot of my toolbox:

That’s it – done.  I hope this helps you out!

By the way, here are used rivet tools currently on eBay.  Be sure the shank size matches your air hammer or air riveter (all of mine are 0.401″ for example)

***NICE*** Ingersoll Rand AVC12 Rivet Gun W/ 10 .401 Rivet Sets

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Rivet Flush Set, 1" Square Offset Head , .401 Std Shank, Appx OAL 7-5/8", Used.

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Lot of (2) ATI Cupped Straight Rivet Set AT100A-5-3/16 AN470

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Chicago Pneumatic Desoutter Recoilless 4X Rivet Gun with Rivet Sets CP4450-4

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9 Pc Assorted Flush Rivet Set Lot Aircraft Tools

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US Industrial 200B Stubby Rivet Gun with Sets Aircraft Tool

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2 Rivet Sets .401 Shank 7/32" AN470 X 5 1/2"L USA Made D6963

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If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Romanian Type 1 Rifle Bayonet With Scabbard 7.62x39 BFPU SURPLUS

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Soviet, Russian bayonet scabbard with carrying strap Izhevsk Logo

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Russian M1940 (SVT-40) Bayonet & Scabbard, Outstanding Example (R512)

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Vintage East German Bayonet & Scabbard Knife

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Russian bayonet with wire cutting metal scabbard

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RARE WW2 POLISH BAYONET - F.B. RADOM

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EAST GERMAN BAYONET-- USED--METAL CASE--WIRE CUTTER

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GHK AK Magazine

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Pouch/Bag for AK Magazine. Military Mag pouch.

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CAA AK Magazine Mag Loader Unloader Fast 2 Lever Polymer 7.62 x 39

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Original Russian 4-Pocket AK Pouch

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!!! Russian AK Cleaning Rod original old 7.62 40cm=16''

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Original Russian AK Cleaning Kit

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Pouch/Bag for AK Magazine. Military Mag pouch.

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AK Magazine Pouch Genuine Leather ,Hold 4 Magazines 7.62x39 , 30 Rounds .

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Original Russian army ak pouch NAVY Black/dark grey for 3 mags RARE

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Bulgarian AK Magazine Pouch, Military Surplus, 7.62x39 5.45x39 5.56x45

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Century Arms Red Army Standard CL067 AK Cleaning System 7.62 NATO/308 Win Cleani

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Pouch/Bag for AK Magazine. Soviet/USSR Military Mag pouch.

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An AK cleaning kit.

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Pouch/Bag for AK Magazine. Soviet/USSR Military Mag pouch.

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SSO SPOSN Sbrya partizan russian FSB vest AK pouch set of 2

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Pouch/Bag for AK Magazine. Soviet/USSR Military Mag pouch.

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Pouch/Bag for AK Magazine. Soviet/USSR Military Mag pouch.

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600D Lightweight Tactical AK Magazine Carrier Chest Rig in Modern Land Camo

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!!! Russian AK Cleaning Rod original old type 5.45 40cm=16''

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Original Soviet SKS/AK Magazine 7.62x39 stripper clip 10 pack

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Ingersoll-Rand 117K 2,000 Blows-Per-Minute Standard Duty Pnuematic Hammer with 5 Chisel Set (Tools & Home Improvement)

An economical air hammer with a longerpiston stroke, this tool is designed forexhaust work, bolt cutting, and front-endwork. The trigger control and a built-in powerregulator give you full control of the speed and power. Longer stroke piston. Alloyed steel barrel and heat-treated piston for longer life. Up to 2, 000 blows per minute.

Features: 

  • Longer Stroke Piston
  • Alloy steel barrel and heat-treated piston for longer life
  • Up to 2,000 blows per minute
  • 5 piece chisel kit

List Price: $74.80 USD
New From: $74.80 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock
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Firearms Lube Tip – Use Mobil 1 Synthetic 5W-30 Oil and The Right Dispenser

I’ve been experimenting with different lubricants for a year now because a lot of the firearm “oils” are 99% marketing and 1% oil at a premium price.  You’ll notice that how to lube a firearm is a religious argument for many and I’m not going to get into that.

After doing a lot of digging, I bought two different types of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) (Dexron III and ATF+4) and Mobile 1 Full Synthetic 5W-30 engine oil.  I then loaded up a bunch of squeeze bottles that have needle dispensers on them, labeled each and proceeded to try them out.

Here’s the big secret – they all work.  Of the three, I like the Mobil 1 mainly because it doesn’t have a red color or the smell of transmission fluid.

I’ve now used it to lubricate my AKs, RPK, Uzi, POF-5/MP5 and PTR PDW and am very happy with the results.  It works just fine and a quart will last you forever.

I still prefer Tetra Grease where sliding parts are involved.  As the old saying goes, “if it rotates then oil it.  If it slides, then grease it” has always worked for me though I do admit to reading armorer manuals to see their recommended lube points.

The Right Dispensers Make a Huge Difference!

Regardless of the oil you use, having the right dispenser really helps.  Growing up, we used engine oil out of the tried and true cans with the finger squeeze pumps.  I really don’t use that type of dispenser on firearms but do when I work on cars and what not where a large volume is needed.

With firearms, you’ll notice that you often need to get the right lube to the right place.  In the shop, I use the squeeze bottles.  The dispenser pens are something I take in the field as they don’t leak and will not make a huge mess if crushed — let me assure you the bottles will do just that so that is why they stay in the shop.

You can get both of these dispensers very easily off Amazon.  Be sure to read reviews as some brands leak and others don’t.  The ones I am listing next are what I currently use.  I use the 25 gauge needle especially for reaching down into fire control groups and lubricating pins and their attached parts such as triggers, hammers, selectors, etc.

The 18 gauge is good for general use when I want to apply oil in larger quantities:

I have give of the Titan precision oiler pens and all work great:

Now there are still times where I want to spray on thin oil.  While I have used a ton of CLP over the years I find myself using Rem Oil quite a bit.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ AirStrike 18-Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer

Well folks, I recently needed to install some molding at my mother in law’s and realized I no longer have a small compressor to run my air nailers at a remote site.  So, I recalled an article I had read that spoke well of the Ryobi Airstrike 18ga brad nailer.

The interesting twist on this nailer is that it uses an 18 volt One+ battery to operate and you don’t need a compressor or air lines.  I have a ton of Ryobi tools and decided to pick up just the tool for $129.99.

I read the manual and the tool has both an air pressure adjustment and a depth adjustment.  In the next photo, the silver dial on the top adjusts the air pressure and depth is down towards the nose.   You’ll notice I have one of the slim low-profile lithium batteries on it.

It came with 200 1-1/4″ brads and they look just like the ones I use in my air brad nailer so I have plenty for the future.  They load in the magazine just like other nailers.

Now, I definitely would recommend practicing some with this.  The balance is fairly good but what is really different is the way it cycles when you pull the trigger.  There is a split second delay as it builds up pressure and then it fires the hammer driving the brad forward.  For me, the delay took some getting used to.  We’re not talking very long at all but I’m used to bang-bang-bang-bang with an air nailer as fast as you can pull the trigger.  Here there is just enough pause to throw you off.  I found myself pulling the trigger and lifting to fast so I needed to make my self slow down, pull the trigger, let it cycle and then pull.

What I was installing was some of that cheap paper/fiber molding so it was very easy for the nailer to drive the brads in.  I really should have dialed the pressure back a bit and/or reduced the depth.  That will take further experimenting for me to learn the right combo.

All in all after driving about 30 brads, I am happy and would recommend the unit to someone who is interested in going cordless.

Note, I would consider a bigger nailer if I needed it down the road but most of the time I am close enough to my shop that I can run an airline to my big compressor.  The reviews are mixed on the big nailer as it uses a relatively oddball sized nail and I’m hoping they change that.

If you are thinking of buying one of the brad nailers, they are on Amazon but you will pay a premium.  Either get them at your local Home Depot store or buy them online:

Just the tool – click here.

The tool, battery and charger – click here.

Update 10/4/2018:  I used this while remodeling my mother-in-law’s house and did not have one problem.  I was driving between 1″ to 1-1/4″ 18ga nails through paneling, baseboards and door moldings.  Not one jam, misfire, light strike, etc.  I’m very pleased with the tool.  Like many things, I just had to get used to it.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


*NEW GENUINE* P108 Ryobi 18V One Plus Lithium Ion High Capacity Battery 4.0AH

$52.00
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 18:21:15 PST
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2XFor Ryobi P108 18V 4.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery Pack Replaces P107 P105 P103 P102

$56.95
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NEW Ryobi 18V Cordless 1/4" Impact Driver Model# P235

$44.99
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BRAND NEW RYOBI 18V Cordless Drill Driver Model# P271

$29.99
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*NEW* Ryobi P238 18V 18-Volt ONE+ 1/4 in. 3-SPEED Brushless Impact Driver

$80.00
End Date: Friday Feb-8-2019 17:00:47 PST
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New RYOBI P191 18-Volt 18V Lithium ONE+ 3.0Ah Battery, Upgrade from P102, P107

$39.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 12:18:26 PST
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*NEW* RYOBI P191 18-Volt 18V Lithium ONE+ 3.0Ah Battery, Upgrade from P102, P107

$40.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-31-2019 20:42:09 PST
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*NEW & SEALED* Ryobi 40V Lithium-Ion Battery with On-Board Fuel Gauge OP40261

$68.00
End Date: Tuesday Feb-12-2019 16:37:21 PST
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Ryobi P122 ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium Plus High Capacity 4-Ah Batteries (2-Pack)

$54.52
End Date: Tuesday Jan-29-2019 6:25:06 PST
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Ryobi 18V Lithium 1 Battery P108 & Charger P118 Combo BRAND NEW!

$59.95
End Date: Tuesday Jan-15-2019 20:38:28 PST
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Ryobi P117 ONE+ 18-Volt Dual Chemistry IntelliPort Charger (Li-Ion

$24.90
End Date: Sunday Feb-3-2019 10:06:18 PST
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Brand NEW RYOBI ONE+ 18V 18-Volt BRUSHLESS Drill/Driver P252 BARE TOOL

$39.59
End Date: Saturday Jan-19-2019 6:45:35 PST
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NEW OEM RYOBI P108 18V ONE+ LITHIUM-ION HIGH CAPACITY 4.0Ah BATTERY PACK W/ LEDS

$41.97
End Date: Wednesday Jan-23-2019 12:30:34 PST
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RYOBI P320 18-Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer (Tool-Only) 18-Volt ONE+ AirStrike

$94.67
End Date: Wednesday Feb-13-2019 12:45:21 PST
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Ryobi P122 One+ Lithium-ion 18 Volt 4.0ah Battery 2-Pack NEW SEALED!!!

$83.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-26-2019 17:14:02 PST
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RYOBI 40v 3.0aH Battery & Charger Set Model# OP40301

$69.99
End Date: Thursday Feb-14-2019 16:02:06 PST
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Ryobi P239 18V ONE+ Cordless Brushless Impact Driver , bare tool , NEW

$44.90
End Date: Saturday Feb-9-2019 10:10:00 PST
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RYOBI P251 18V CORDLESS BRUSHLESS HAMMER DRILL DRIVER - TOOL ONLY

$51.97
End Date: Sunday Feb-3-2019 11:29:13 PST
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(1) Ryobi OP4030 40Volt 3.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery with Fuel Gauge Dated 2018

$49.99
End Date: Sunday Jan-20-2019 8:25:19 PST
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Ryobi ONE Plus 18V Li-Ion 2-Tool Starter Combo Kit P825 Reconditioned

$74.99
End Date: Tuesday Feb-12-2019 1:38:57 PST
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18v Ryobi Li-Ion NiCD Duel Chem Battery Charger 18 volt P119 New!!!

$18.04
End Date: Thursday Jan-24-2019 3:44:29 PST
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RYOBI 18v Cordless Drill Driver Model# P277

$27.99
End Date: Thursday Feb-14-2019 16:09:37 PST
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18v Ryobi Li-Ion Battery 18 volt Genuine OEM Model P102 New!

$21.84
End Date: Wednesday Jan-23-2019 19:11:27 PST
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New Ryobi P189 18-Volt ONE+ 1.5Ah Compact Lithium-Ion Battery

$20.98
End Date: Tuesday Jan-22-2019 15:17:40 PST
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Ryobi P192 Li-Ion+ HP EXTENDED CAPACITY 4.0Ah Battery NEW SEALED

$44.99
End Date: Thursday Feb-14-2019 16:29:08 PST
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New Ryobi P239 18V Brushless Impact Driver BARE TOOL !!! upgrade from p238 p236

$46.49
End Date: Monday Feb-4-2019 10:11:02 PST
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18v Ryobi 4.0Ah Li-Ion Battery 18 volt Genuine OEM Model P108 New!

$40.84
End Date: Monday Jan-21-2019 3:27:57 PST
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Ryobi P1810 ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Starter Drill Kit

$34.63
End Date: Wednesday Feb-13-2019 12:47:06 PST
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RYOBI P234G 18V Li-Ion ONE+ Impact Drill-Driver (Tool-Only see pictures)

$34.99
End Date: Friday Feb-1-2019 10:28:40 PST
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NEW Ryobi 18V 3 Speed Cordless 1/4" Impact Driver Model# P237

$49.99
End Date: Thursday Feb-14-2019 14:49:33 PST
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18v Ryobi 1/4" Hex Impact Drill Driver 18 volt Model P234G New!!

$37.04
End Date: Sunday Jan-27-2019 6:38:13 PST
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NEW RYOBI 18v Cordless Drill Driver Model# P277

$34.99
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Ryobi P1832 18-Volt ONE+ Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Kit

$94.27
End Date: Wednesday Feb-13-2019 12:48:38 PST
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Ryobi HJP004L, Lithium-Ion 3/8 in. Cordless Drill

$23.51
End Date: Thursday Jan-17-2019 17:57:18 PST
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NEW RYOBI P117 BATTERY CHARGER DUAL-CHEMISTRY INTELLIPORT 18V LITHIUM-ION NI-CD

$32.97
End Date: Saturday Jan-26-2019 19:24:26 PST
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(1) GENUINE Ryobi OP40501 40V 5.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery -- Dated 2017

$74.99
End Date: Tuesday Feb-5-2019 8:34:20 PST
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Ryobi 10 in. Compound Miter Saw w/ Laser Line TS1345L Recon

$89.99
End Date: Tuesday Jan-29-2019 1:45:30 PST
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Black & Decker The Book of Home How-To: Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair & Improvement (Paperback)

BLACK+DECKER The Book of Home How-To is a comprehensive home reference book with all of the information you need to perform just about any home repair or improvement project you can dream of. And even though it boasts 600 densely packed pages of reliable DIY instructions, this brick of a book will still fit into your toolbox. This book is an A-to-Z encyclopedia with precise how-to instructions and clear photos on every page. With an expanded index of keywords that is intuitive and a simple, alphabetical strategy for organizing the information, you won’t spend precious time wading through stuff you don’t need to know. And all the most common tasks around your home are covered, including electrical, plumbing, flooring, walls, windows and doors, cabinetry, insulating, heating and cooling, roofing and siding, and much more. BLACK+DECKER The Book of Home How-To: it’s incredibly easy to use because it thinks like you do. Plus, it is portable so you can take it with you wherever the work is being done.


By (author):  Editors of Cool Springs Press

List Price: $24.99
New From: $18.97 USD In Stock
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Getting Unstuck With Traction Mats

Well, I parked our full size Ford Transit van at the end of the driveway on the grass to get it out of the way.  Of course, given the recent snow melt the ground turned out to be too muddy and soft to support the van’s weight – but I didn’t notice that because it took a while to slowly sink.  Yeah, I didn’t notice anything – my wife did we she went to use it!  Oh crud.  So she called my cell phone and was none too happy.  I didn’t really worry about it because my truck could pull it out – or so I thought.

I drove to the house, cockily pulled my trusty old 96 Landcruiser up in front of the van and got out one of my big tow straps and walked up to the van.   Should have been easy, right?  Wrong.  Nothing, nada to hook on to.  Ford, in their infinite wisdom does not put a tow hook, eye or anything up near the bumper!  Crap, crap, crap.  [Note, near the bottom of this blog post I added in what I found after researching how to recover a full size Transit.  I’m still irked at Ford.]

Did I mention my wife was standing their fuming?  Yeah, she was.  I should have known better than to park the heavy full size van on soft ground.  Point taken – I didn’t realize it was that soft.

At any rate, I went back and looked at the 5″ deep rut the driver’s side rear tire had dug for itself.  By the way, these photos are after removal.

I needed something long to fill the ruts and give traction.  Luckily, back in 2010 and then in 2014 I bought these things called “traction mats” from a company called OTW Enterprises who touted them as portable tow trucks.  In 2010 I bought the black ones after getting my truck stuck on ice with the plow blade buried in a snow mound.  In 2014. I bought an orange set to put in my wife’s car in case she got stuck.  Here they are after I hosed all the mud off.

Well, they bounced around in the trunks for a while and did bail me out a couple of times over the years but were actually leaning on the outside wall of my shop.  They don’t fold and while they fit in the trunk you have the little plastic spikes catching stuff so I tool them out at some point and leaned them against the wall of the shop.  At any rate,  I walked over and they were exactly what I needed.  Each mat measures 36″ long and 8″ wide.  Since I had four, I butted on up against the front of each tire and placed a second one in front of it to help the tire get up and out of the rut.  The sides are labeled by the way – the relative few long spikes go down and the side with many spikes goes up.

I got in and rolled the the van back a bit and then forward to get up on the mats.  I then slowly gave it more gas (not much) and the van up and forward onto the mat and got out of ditch and I kept moving forward onto the pavement.  I don’t have any action photos – things were stressful at the time and I really wasn’t thinking about a blog post 🙂

Well, I was pretty pleased with the outcome.  Wreckers charge at least $65 to come out to our house so avoiding that charge is always a good thing.  My wife was relatively happy but gave me a hard time for causing the problem in the first place.

Are these mats perfect?  No.  They will fly out from under your car if you don’t go slow and make sure you have the correct side down.  Even then they sometimes do so I would never have someone stand behind the car.  My recommendation is to go slow – avoid your spinning tires and rock the vehicle onto the mat if need be – don’t spin your tires onto them.

My wife is so impressed she wants them back in the cars.  I just wish they had a carry case but I do recommend them as another tool to keep in your bag of tricks.

I hope this helps you out.


Comment about Ford and Their Oversight on Towing

By the way, I looked up the tow/winch location up for future reference  so if you are surfing the web trying to figure out how to tow a full size 2016 Ford Transit, here is the reference link at Ford – click here.

Look just behind the tires at the frame and you’ll see the eye rings that are part of the frame.  You can’t make this stuff up — Thanks Ford.  It drives me nuts when you look at decisions made in ivory engineering towers vs. real world needs.  Sure, let’s bury it under the van, make it hard to get to and pretty much ensure damage will occur if you actually use this to pull the van for whatever reason.

Now look how their factory winch attachment point lines right up with hitting the front radiator.  If you pull this at just about any angle where the recovery vehicle is higher than the van then the cable/strap is going to cut right into the aluminum radiator at the front.   In the next photo, you can see the silver aluminum radiator just above the lip of the bumper molding.

If you wanted to protect that radiator, you’d actually need a harness with something to push the attached cable lower to the ground – or fabricate another attachment method.   Maybe my 4″ drop hitch in my rear class IV receiver would be low enough to tie onto vs. my truck’s winch or front recovery hooks.  … Something for another day.  I didn’t buy a new van to have to worry about something people in rural areas need regularly in the winter.   They should have been in the front.


2/11/2018 Update:  The traction mats bailed me out again when I got the van stuck on ice in our yard while turning around.  I’ve come to realize the van does a fair job on the road but the tires are damn near useless on uneven icy surface,  With this van, it’s really handy to have four.  With only two handy, I could move the van forward and then get stuck, move the mats, move forward again, get stuck, etc.  I had to do the cycle about three times.  I think if I had all four handy it would have done the trick in one shot because I could have built up some forward momentum.  I now have all four stored together,  We’re nearing the end of Winter finally and I think I will keep all four in the van next year and need to find some kind of carrier bag to store them in.


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Portable Tire Traction Mats – Two Emergency Tire Grip Aids Used To Get Your Car, Truck, Van or Fleet Vehicle Unstuck In Snow, Ice, Mud, And Sand – Orange, 2 Pack

“Portable Tow Truck’s emergency traction pad provides you with the way out of messy situations. Getting stuck in mud or snow on the side of the road is a common roadside emergency. You could could call for a tow truck to pull your vehicle out, which can be expensive, or install tire chains when you’re stuck, which is messy and dangerous.

There is an alternative. The Portable Tow Truck tire traction aid provides emergency traction to your drive wheels and allows you to get back on the road. The innovative cleat design bites into your tire and allows your drive wheels to climb the mat instead of spinning in snow. No more digging and pushing and rocking back and forth. Simply wedge the Portable Tow Truck under the pulling wheel and slowly drive the vehicle to a more suitable surface . At only 2.5 pounds and 36 inches long, the Portable Tow Truck is easy to handle and consumes very little trunk space. Buy this Portable Tow Truck and a future version of yourself, stuck in the snow or mud, will be thankful you did.”


Features: 

  • Provides emergency traction for your tires in snow, ice, mud and sand. Works on all vehicles with summer, winter, or all-season tires.
  • Comes with 2 reusable polypropylene solid and virtually indestructible traction mats.
  • No installation required, making it hassle free, easier and safer to use than tire chains and snow chains.
  • Each only 2.5 pounds and 36 inches long, allowing easy storage in your trunk or under your seat.
  • Avoid the stress of shoveling, slipping and sliding, being stranded, or calling for a tow truck in emergency situations.

List Price: $59.95 USD
New From: $54.95 USD In Stock
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