Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands-on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day.
When we think about tools that cut things in the workshop, we tend to focus on the big stuff: table saws, metal cut-off tools, or even a chainsaw. Or perhaps we think of tools designed for dedicated tasks: an angle grinder, or a jig saw. But, know what the two items I most regularly pull down off my pegboard, even more than a hammer? Whose little silhouettes remain most routinely bare and hooks unfilled?
Scissors are a simple tool. When the work, they work beautifully, doing exactly what you ask, as they've done since you learn how to work a pair in Kindergarten. Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield, England is one of the last remaining hand-manufacturer of scissors - high-quality shears crafted from the best materials and designed for a lifetime of use.
A wise word to crafters, artists, and makers of all kinds: I just learned about trauma scissors, which are inexpensive as can be, and will cut through all sorts of materials: fabric, metal, leather, balsa wood...and supposedly, pennies.
If you go to any craft store and head to the "notions" section and check out the sewing kits and boxes, you will notice they: 1) are made of wicker and look like a kitten should be poking its head out of the lid, or 2) they are covered in flowers. Big, ornate, fancy flowers. I've been looking for years, and I've had to settle for storing my sewing gear in an old tackle box.
Design student Sean Gardner noticed the same thing, and decided to do something about it.
He created Oxford.
A few years ago, the classic three-gesture selection game got a five-part update in the form of "Rock, Paper Scissors, Lizard, Spock." The geeks had a heyday (including this famous little tyke explaining the updated relationships), and then we went back to the regular old kind for all sorts of tasks: deciding who has to go pick up that one grocery store item you forgot, or winning national touraments.
Illustrator Christoph Niemann has decided to give the random-selection tradition a contemporary update, to reflect the current mire of political conversations in the US.
Whether they're your fancy German chef's knives, your perfectly honed chisels, that Xacto blade you wield so well, or your razor-sharp, never-touch-paper fabric scissors, the DIY lifestyle most always entails sharp cutting tools. And the best way to protect these tools, keep their edges straight and nick-free, and store them safely?
A magnetic block. Which are, thankfully, quite inexpensive at a spot such as IKEA, but they're looks are a bit cold, and the metal surface can actually scratch your tools.
So, we're gonna give one a quick faux bois makeover.