Anne Briggs, Anne of All Trades


Cool Tools Show 151: Anne Briggs

Our guest this week is Anne Briggs. Anne grew up on Montana and spent a lot of her young life abroad because her parents are missionaries. She majored in Chinese and Business hoping to become an international business mogul, but quickly realized that working in the tech industry wasn’t a life she wanted to live. So she started a garden and built a workshop in her spare time. One thing led to another and now she’s a farmer, woodworker, blacksmith, musician, and full-time content creator.

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Show notes:

Knipex Cobra Pliers ($28)
“[This] has been the single most awesome tool I’ve come across in the last like year and a half. One of my buddies is a contractor, and he always had them in his pocket when he was helping me build my shop out back. And I found myself borrowing those things so often that I ended up just picking up a pair myself, because for some reason, I’m not quite sure why, but the person who owned the property before we did here on the farm had insisted on using different sized nuts and bolts to fasten literally everything, like to a ridiculous degree. Everything is nutted and bolted together, but with never a consistent size, no differentiation between metric or imperial. And so having those little pliers in my pocket has been pretty much the best thing since sliced bread, because previously I would have to walk all the way up to the shop, rummage around, find something that I thought might work and then walk all the way back down into the field or whatever. … I absolutely love those things. They come in super handy. If I’m driving a tractor and I have to just twist something really quick, it’s really fantastic to have that.”

Amazon Alexa ($25) with Smart Plugs ($20)
“My husband was nice enough to set up Amazon Alex in every room of our house, in the barn, in my shop, … And then everything is actually connected to smart plugs. And so those use a wifi signal. I just have to tell Alexa to turn on this or to turn on that. And the one thing that has been super indispensable for me is that he wired it up so that the well on our farm is connected to Alexa. So I just have to tell Alexa to turn on the well or turn off the well. And that allows me to automate different areas of the irrigation in my garden but also fill up the watering things for my kitchens and for my livestock. … it’s a wireless plug. So you just plug it into your plug. And then you plug whatever you want into that plug.”

Quickloader Straps ($39)
“Recently someone turned me onto Quickloader straps, which is an automatic self-reeling ratchet strap, which is just a huge game-changer. I mean, when it comes to pulling fences or strapping stuff onto my tractor or putting stuff in the back of my truck, they are so fantastic, because you never have to tie down the extra strap that’s hanging off. But then also, your straps are never tangled, because they self-reel. They reel themselves up. I don’t know how to say that in a better way, but they are amazing.”

My Safety Glasses ($12)
“My safety glasses are just cheapo safety glasses except because I do so much random stuff like with metal work and just in the wood shop in general, I really love having those vintage shades on the side, which keep my eyes so much safer than if they were just not there. And it is one of the most asked questions I get on my feed besides what sweatshirt I wear is where to get my safety glasses. The reason that I like these is because I feel like they cover more real estate. And so you just have more real estate protected.”

Maldon Flake Salt ($5)
“If you want your entire cooking game to be changed, you should get some Maldon flake salt. It’s not cooking salt. You put it on your food after it’s cooked, and it’s these delightful little sea salt flakes that will change your life. And that’s all I have to say about it, because it’s only $5, so just give it a shot. It gives it a very nice salty crunch, plus you can look super, super fancy when you pull out the salt. And bonus, if you have a lathe or a chisel, you can make yourself a little salt bowl and then toss that on the table and, again, salt shakers are for peasants.”

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