Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting the best tools money can buy


It took me a while before I was ready to give up on cheap tools. Maybe it is the wisdom that comes with age that helps you realise the pleasure of slowly acquiring tools that are an absolute pleasure to own and use. I think in every person there is a desire that goes way back to childhood to own certain things that perhaps were out of reach when we were younger. Be glad if for you that desire can be met by purchasing a large television or a set of chisels. Pity help your wallet if your heart won't be at peace until you are behind the wheel of your own fully customised German sportscar.

The problem is it is actually often quite difficult to go and spend a seemingly outrageous amount of cash on some obscure piece of equipment. The reason being that the kind of people who make such purchasing decisions without a moment of doubt are always broke.

Right now I have $4500 sitting in a savings account. Every penny of it has been generated from activities outside of my normal day job. This is to say, it's mine. It's not family money, rainy day money, or savings, it is there to spend. The things I did to get that cash (recycling unwanted items, trading on ebay, repairing things for friends and acquaintances, not to mention the odd bit of freelancing, was an exchange of my free time that otherwise could have been devoted to turning some timber or carving the next piece in my ever growing collection of replica truncheons. 

On a daily basis I am tempted. Currency fluctuations combined with the ever increasing advances of technology make the things I wanted as a kid seem cheaper every day. Yet in spite of this, I don't find it easy to go out and spend like there's no tomorrow. Always looming in the back of my mind is the thought of the next set of unexpected school fees, dentist bill or whatever the case may be.

At least on the plus side, this means the cash keeps piling up for that next big purchase.




Friday, March 11, 2011

Putting your blades under the USB microscope


Whilst researching low price USB digital microscopes, I found many forum posts asking about the suitability of these devices for assessing blade sharpness on knives and other cutting tools.

I ended up with the Digitech QC3247 1.3 Megapixel USB microscope which claims to go up to 400x zoom, purchased for $99 Australian over the counter.

For others interested in seeing how sharp their blades are at the microscopic level, the image above shows the somewhat shocking state of disrepair one of our Global knives is in, having been shoved in the drawer and dumped in the sink repeatedly. This was taken at the highest zoom I was able to get a focus with.