Steve Lodefink, User Experience Designer


Cool Tools Show 138: Steve Lodefink

Our guest this week is Steve Lodefink. Steve is a software User Experience designer by day, and a tinker and maker of things by night. As a contributing author Make and Craft magazines, and blogger, Steve has written and shared numerous how-to and articles. He enjoys exploring new tools and methods as well as learning the old ones.

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Show notes:

Everlast TIG welder ($1,575)
“TIG stands for tungsten inert gas. And what that means is, these are both arc. MIG and TIG are both forms of arc welding. In a TIG you’re holding a tungsten electrode, and your power supply is creating an arc between that tungsten electrode and your workpiece. And it’s being shielded by typically argon gas. So that keeps it from oxidizing. So you’re holding a torch that’s just an electrode …It’s a cleaner process, and it’s just a lot nicer for a bunch of reasons… I tell people to start with TIG welding if they’re not going to be needing to go outside and weld.”

Grizzly Dial Indicator ($26)
“This is a tool that typically machinists use. … It’s a precision measuring tool. …It looks like a stopwatch, kind of. It’s got a dial and a little probe sticking out of it, and that probe is sensitive to measurements of a one thousandth of an inch. So the dial’s calibrated or it’s notched off in thousandths of an inch is the resolution of this hand as it sweeps around. … You can measure just minute tolerances and take minute measurements of motion, essentially. So … if you’re truing a wheel. You could put this on, and usually you can true a wheel just by probably sticking a nail next to it in a piece of pair of vice grips and seeing if it wobbles too much. This lets you really get down to take fine measurements.”

Zenith 591 Stapler Plier with Non-Adjustable Anvil ($59)
“Everybody’s probably got both a regular desktop type stapler where you slide some paper under it and then wack it or press it hard. And then the other common one everyone’s probably got is like a T51 stapler type of tacker, for tacking your fliers on the telephone pole. This one is, they refer to it as a plier staple, because you kind of hold it in your hand like a pair of pliers, and it squeezes the base of the stapler, the anvil of the stapler into the business end. … You typically have something in one hand and then you’ve got this grip in the other hand and you can sort of articulate both hands to position the thing where you want it rather than just a one-hander. It just feels good to use it. And the main thing I always find myself using this for, I just have it hanging on my workbench, the back pegboard of my workbench where I do most of my stuff, is sort of reclosing packages.”

Eyeglasses Lens Cutter ($181)
“Well, this is definitely one of the more esoteric ones. This allows you to cut new lenses for your eyeglasses. It’s essentially a flat parts duplicator where you have a pattern or an existing eyeglass lens, and you put that in one side, and it rotates using that as a cam. And on the other side there’s a little spindle that’s got essentially a rotating drill bit, and it’ll duplicate the shape of that lens on to another lens.”

Also mentioned:

Good YouTube channel for tig welding lessons

Useful YouTube videos from Ian Squire