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Tool Tales: The Pump Drill

Handle tie detail

A pump drill is an ancient tool traditionally been used to generate friction heat for starting fires, as well as for boring holes. The principle of a pump drill's operation is similar to the button spinner or whirligig, in which rotational momentum is built and maintained by repeated twisting and... Read more »

Pop-Pop Steamboat

When you picture a steam engine, you likely imagine a giant cast-iron contraption festooned with knobs, valves, gauges, linkages, and wheels. This steam-powered toy boat has no moving parts and needs only a flame and the surrounding water to zip around and make its distinctively happy sound. My interest in... Read more »

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