Tool Tales: Story Tape

Story Tape started out as an April Fool’s joke. The folks at Lee Valley Tools assumed people would enjoy reading about the fictional product (a spool of retractable blank measuring tape that you can write notes on with a Sharpie pen), but their R&D team liked the idea so much that they decided to put them into production. I can imagine a couple of different uses for them — measuring your child’s growth, and marking the width and depth of your car’s trunk. What else?

-- Mark Frauenfelder  

[Thanks to Doug French for sending us this.]

Story Tape, 12′
$6

Sample Excerpts:

afd2010i01

Story Tape — the only measurement system that’s exactly as accurate as you are! Not only is it compact (and affordable to ship), when the tape is not in use, the recorded measurements are cleverly retracted into the integral case, where they are protected from damage, wear, or fading. The luxurious yellow composite case has a sprung lower lip that cushions the datum surface hook from any possibility of impact distortion due to over-exuberant measurement stowage. The recording surface has been carefully designed to reflect the widest spectrum possible in the visible light frequency range, ensuring that it’s usable everywhere your eyes are. Custom precision measurements can be permanently recorded with fine-tip alcohol-based permanent markers. This tape can truly tell a tale.




Tool Tales: 3 Mystery Tools

The “what is this tool” item in your latest email reminded me of tools I have that I invited visitors to guess the purpose of. Enclosed is a photo of three of them. (In case the scale is not obvious, the whale-bone thing is eight inches long.)

Large image.

-- Stephen Malinowski  

[Do you have a Tool Tale to share? E-mail us! Also, if you are new to Cool Tools, please subscribe to the weekly newsletter that has 5 tool reviews in each issue. -- Mark Frauenfelder]



Tool Tales: Contraption in My Dad’s Tool Collection

I came across this contraption in my dad’s tool collection after he passed away. He was an electrical engineer/computer science guy, so I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with his work. Any ideas?

Large image 1

Large image 2

It has a variety of adjustments and appears to clamp on to a shaft or housing around 3″ in diameter and is approximately 14″ x 9″ overall. It’s made of cast aluminum with a few steel shafts and plastic handles. The back has some numbers cast in to it, (shown in second image), but no manufacturer or other identifying marks.

The “Bonus” label is for when I use it as an extra credit for my technical theatre stagecraft class tool quiz. So far no one has any idea. (Although I give extra credit for creative or entertaining answers.)

-- Bill Potter  

[Do you have a Tool Tale to share? E-mail us! Also, if you are new to Cool Tools, please subscribe to the weekly newsletter that has 5 tool reviews in each issue.]