Black & Decker Mini-battery-operated drill AS36LN (link)

I have always been a pretty big fan of Black and Decker tools. The company is now officially Stanley Black & Decker ( to reflect an entire merge between the two tool giants, but as self-starters and home repair husbands know, the name brands appear separate on different tools and accessories.

The AS36LN was a surprise. I had not been keeping track online of current tool developments and the other day when I walked into Home Pro at the Mall, Korat - on the third floor next to MCC Hall - I ambled back toward the tool section just inside and to the left behind the service counter. Usually I am back there to scan what's there to gig my memory whether I need anything or not. Usually I don't get out without at least one or two drill bits, some sand paper, maybe a saw blade, WD-40 or other tool, but that day my eyes caught a familiar black and red miniature drill, battery-operated. It was the AS36LN lithium ion battery drill. Priced at just under 1700 Baht (est. US$54), the tool is first small! Actually a bit too small on first glance. You wonder whether it can do anything - like produce torque. But B&D took good care of that with a torque collar that can be adjusted to match the power you need for the task at hand. When you use the drill beyond the torque set it produces that familiar ratcheting sound.

A major set of improvements - and not just for window dressing - on this drill was the combination of light (automatically on when drill is activated) and a magnetic screw holder with extension that takes care of finger problems. I actually had immediate use for both these the first day I brought the new baby home. We own a couple of small apartment buildings and I am always working on something. That day it was replacing a PVC door for one of the tenant's bathrooms. The drill came in super handy because it was a bit dark and cramped between the door frame and the back edge of the door where hinges were. The bright blue light illuminated the drill holes and hinge area, and the screw holder helped fit in narrow spaces.

My wife is due back from Vietnam at the time of this writing and hasn't seen my new toy yet, but she will like it. Lightweight, small, and simple to use, this drill doesn't require anything in the way of setup and won't wear down the wrist as some heavier models will. It's not just a lady's friend, though. I think guys also appreciate big things in small packages, and the AS36LN will only serve to remind that miracles do happen. See 12 Tools Every Man Should Have...

Storage & More...

A good online resource... has a limited but very useful links to free plans for various uses, including workshop storage or even office storage. the following photo is one taken today of a magazine storage container copied in part from the link shown, and from an older cardboard model I bought at a local department store. It took me about fifteen minutes to measure, cut, glue and nail this single unit, with more in the works as soon as the local weather cools a bit.