Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #2
Spring Clamp Work Holder
The amazing kinetic sculptor Tom Haney shared this tip on his Instagram. He writes: "This is my technique for keeping my fingers cut-free. As you can see, I hold the piece of wood with a spring clamp (it keeps my fingers farther away from the blade), and I try to keep my thumbs in contact. This does two things - it gives me more power when carving, but more importantly, it prevents my cutting hand from flying off into dangerous territory. My carving is always controlled, and my knife doesn't go far from what I'm cutting. If you can't tell, there's a lot of pressure going on between my two thumbs. Safety First, people!"
Elisha from Pneumatic Addict had some wooden pegs that didn't quite fit in their holes. Her Revlon make-up pencil sharpener to the rescue!
Silicone Make-Up Brushes
More make-up tools for makers! Amie DD shared this quick tip on Twitter: "I use these silicone makeup brushes when applying 3DGoop or resins from SmoothOn. When the material is dried on the brush, it peels right off and you can reuse them again! I bought them on Amazon for $7."
Tic Tac Solder Dispenser
Via Donald Bell's Maker Update show comes this wonderful re-use of a Tic Tac candy mint box. Thingiverse user, Haku3D, created a file for printing out a little spool that fits inside of an empty Tic Tac container. I have hand-spooled solder into one of these and that works OK, but if you have access to a 3D printer, this is a more reliable, kink- and tangle-free solution.
Saline in the Shop. Always!
My pal and yours, Andy Birkey, wants YOU to be safe in the shop! Especially those precious peepers. Andy reminds us to always keep a bottle of saline solution in the shop (and to know exactly where it is as you may be trying to retrieve it with a mote if your eye).
Knowing When You're on to Something
Many years ago, I took a weekend seminar on innovation and bringing your ideas to market. The teacher of the class shared something that I have never forgotten. He said that, when you think you've come up with a truly new and innovative idea, and you share it with your confidants, pay attention to how quickly and easily they embrace it. If they immediately get it, and get excited about it, you may obviously be on to something, but likely, so may a number of other people. Their immediate and enthusiastic reaction means that the cultural and market vectors may have already firmly converged on that very spot that you just identified. On the other hand, if you tell them and they don't get it right away--but after thinking about it, or you do more explaining -- they get it then (i.e. a slow uptake rather than an immediate eureka!), you may be ahead of the curve. When I first heard this, some 30 years ago, the tip itself worked in exactly the way that it describes. It didn't have tremendous resonance to me in the moment. But over the years, it has been borne out so many times, I now count it as true wisdom.
Must-See Maker TV
I love YouTube channels that are "little more" than clever DIYers letting us follow along as they explore, repair, hack, and improve their world. One of my favorite examples of this is Chris Notap. He perfectly summarizes his channel as "Inventive - Random - Creative." Chris covers everything from home improvements and repair to cooking and kitchen hacks to how to build a better mousetrap. And it's all delivered in a very clear, thoughtful, and patient production. Good stuff.
More Top Tips!
Do you have my book, Tips and Tales from the Shop, yet? If not, check it out. It’s gotten some very positive reviews and is an Amazon best-seller!