All automotive wiring outside of the passenger compartment should be environmentally sealed. Heating and cooling cycles, as well as capillary action, can draw moisture, salt, and road grime deep into the wire. Someone had repaired this section of wire with an insulated butt splice terminal. It was also wrapped with electrical tape. I stripped about 8 inches of insulation from the wire and found it black and corroded.
I like to seal my wiring repairs with adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing.
I spliced this wire with an un-insulated butt splice terminal. I used a heat gun to seal the repair with heat shrink tubing. Note how the adhesive lining has melted and oozed out of the end of the tubing.
Older power tools were single insulated. The wiring, motor, and switch were insulated from the case, but the case was made of metal. It was able to conduct an electric current. If an energized component within the tool shorted to the case, the case could become energized. A third wire was added to the plug. This third ground wire was connected to the case of the tool. If an energized component shorted to the case, a large current would flow through the low resistance ground wire and clear the fault (trip the circuit breaker).
Newer power tools are double insulated. The wiring, motor, and switch are insulated. The case is also made of a non-conductive material such as plastic. Many of these newer tools do not need a three conductor plug. They are much safer to use, especially in damp conditions.
Do not use an older metal case tool if the plug only has two prongs. A three conductor plug can be added as a replacement. The third conductor (green) is attached to the case of the tool with a screw. The ground screw is usually colored green. The ground conductor can be tested without disassembling the tool. A multimeter, set to measure resistance, can be connected between the ground prong of the plug and the case of the tool. The resistance should be very low. It is a good idea to use a ground fault protected receptacle with a single insulated tool. A GFCI should be used when any tool is used in a damp location.
Read about GFCI receptacles in my article here…
GFCI and Portable GFCI Receptacles
A flexible tape measure is a great tool to add to your kit. Use them to measure around curves and odd shapes. They will also fit into tight locations. Cut them into shorter lengths when needed. Find them in the sewing supplies.
A welding helmet lens has a clear outer cover to help protect it from damage. This cover can become dirty from smoke and spatter, making it difficult to see the weld. They are available from a welding supplier as replacement parts, but cleaning them can extend their life.
Toothpaste is a mild abrasive that works great for cleaning this outer cover. Remove the cover from the helmet. Wet a soft cloth, apply a little toothpaste, and rub it in a circular motion. Rinse with clean water.
My wife wants to learn how to weld and I needed a second helmet so I could teach her. I purchased a Speedglas 100V from amazon.com…
3M Speedglas 100V with Variable Shade Filter
The headband assembly is comfortable,and I like the sliding adjustment mechanism.
The auto-darkening lens is a shade 3 in clear mode. It is adjustable from shade 8 through 12, with three sensitivity settings. Two sensors on the front of the lens are used to detect the arc. 1,500 hours of power is provided by two CR-2032 batteries. The visual clarity through this lens is amazing compared to my old Hobart helmet. A magnifying lens is also available as an option. Made in Sweden.
Traveling can be a great adventure, but it’s nice to be home again. I took extra precautions to keep my garage secure while I was away.
My garage doors are held closed by the door openers. There are no other latching mechanisms. I unplugged the openers and installed a bolt through the track above a wheel on each side. A long shank padlock would also be a good choice.