What's New at 120studio.com

2018 December 12

Wednesday Evening


New Gallery:  The Return of Ektachrome

For something this big, I should have gone on a two-month-long photo expedition with 30 rolls of it or something;  nevertheless, here ya go.  Why is this the best photographic thing to happen yet in the 21st Century?  Short answer:  Elite Chrome!!!!!!

2018 December 10



A reader emailed me about a Speed Graphic hack that he's working on.  Actually the hack also involves another camera that does some of what he's trying to do.  That's all I'm going to say for now, but if it works, it's going to be awesome and maybe he'll let me post more details of it.


New:  The Story of a Wooden Countertop

2018 December 7


Radio Electronics

A reader was thinking about buying a certain isolation transformer.  He wanted to know if it would be any good for working on a hot chassis radio.

If you look on the schematic, and there's any continuity between GROUND on the secondary and GROUND on the primary, it wouldn't be a good one.  (I should add that you must assume there is continuity, since they both say "GROUND".)

That schematic shows them as both connecting to chassis ground.  And that connects to the third wire on the mains.  So that means the secondary is not isolated from ground. 

My advice would be:  don't even buy anything, or work on anything, until you're thoroughly familiar with these concepts.  (This leads to an important concept, which it's possible could show up as an article on here.  That is, if you get scolded off the radio electronics forums for not knowing enough, but you want to learn electronics, how do you "bootstrap" your way up to a safe level of knowledge?  I think this deserves its own article.)

Be sure to read this.

2018 December 5


DEAL:  Yost 865-D2 Industrial Grade 6.5" Bench Vise.  30% Off.  As usual, no idea how long this deal will last, but this price looks quite a bit lower than I saw last time. 

This is the vise that replaced the 865-DI (see my review of that here.)  Made of ductile iron, which is a lot stronger than gray cast iron.

DEAL:  Yost 206 6" Machinist Vise with Swivel Base.  Retails for about $1,100;  usually this is at least an $800 vise.  At the moment I post this, the price is discounted heavily off of that.  Also one of the heaviest, stoutest bench vises you can buy.  No idea how long the sale price is going to last, so get one now if you're looking for something like this.  I've seen these things where the price went back up literally 5 minutes after I first noticed it.

DEAL:  Yost 460 6" Heavy Duty Utility Combination Pipe and Bench Vise.  This is by far the better vise than the Yost 465.  Cast iron, but very stout (ratio = 11; one of the highest for an affordable import.)  The weight is around 66 lbs (the Amazon listing had a typo, but it looks like they fixed it.)  At the moment it's 40% off;  for that price, I can't think of a better deal on a bench vise. 

DEAL:  Yost 480 8" Heavy Duty Utility Combination Pipe and Bench Vise.  Probably the stoutest of the low-cost 8" vises, this could be the one to get if you want a semi-serious 8" vise.  (The really serious 8" ones, add a "1" or "2" in front of the price....)  China made, cast iron, steel channel.  Right now it's 41% off.  Detailed review here

DEAL:  Reed Tool 704 Mid-Line 4" Bench Vise.  Made in China, designed by Reed Tool, this 4" vise ranked well according to the ratio that I figured in this article.  At the moment, it looks like it's 25% off the usual price. 

DEAL:  Reed Tool 3CA Combination Bench and Pipe Vise.  This is usually about an $1,100 vise.  At the moment, that link has it for less than half that (could change without notice!)  Unless they offshored these and I didn't know about it, these top-end Reeds are US-made.  This is one of the stoutest 5" vises you can get (the massive 3CA has a ratio of 19).  The pipe jaws can handle up to 4 1/2" diameter pipe.  So this would be a pretty excellent deal.  And it looks like they have only 1 left, at the moment.

New:  Five More Great Tools & Workshop Items.  Gift ideas for the DIY enthusiast. 

(Here's the first article too.)

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