Discover more from Gar's Tips & Tools
Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #4
Testing Wire Strippers
On Andreas Spiess' recommended YouTube channel, he looks at 6 models of automatic and one pair of manual wires strippers. The tools range in price from US$3 to $63 ($78, actually). His conclusions? For $5 (actually, they're $10 on Amazon), the FS-D3 work perfectly fine on a wide range of wire gauges. As you might imagine, the German-engineered, high-priced Knipex Multi-Strip 10 (he says $63, they're $78 on Amazon) handled the widest range of gauges and performed the best over all.
In a Tested.com Q&A video, Adam Savage answers the question: "What is your favorite tool that you rarely use?" The answer? Alligator forceps. If he needs a specialty tool more than 3-times in a year, he buys it. In terms of storing low-frequency tools, he has a great approach. He asks himself: "If I didn't have it right now, where would I look for it?" And that's where he stashes it. He tries to not get clever, not overthink it, but rather, he goes with the first place that pops to mind.
Blackboard Your Cabinets
Spray the cabinet doors in your workshop with chalkboard paint. You can use the chalkboard to keep track of what's in the cupboard, or use it instead of scraps of paper to make notes about your projects, measurements, resistor values, etc... [Via Andrew Lewis]
CNC Reference Chart
Bantam Tools has put together a nice chart that should be of interest to those working with CNC machines. The chart includes such useful info as graphs showing metal machinability vs hardness, plastic hardness vs. melting points, common calculations, a G-Code reference, nut sizes, a glossary of CNC terms, and more. It's free (PDF).
Life Hacks: Folding Clothes
I am not proud to admit it, but I'm a sucker for those countless, viral "life hacks" videos found on YT and Instagram. A lot of what's in them is often stunt-y, superficial, and aspirational, things you would never actually do or not do again after bothering to try it once. They just have to look good, the "hacks" don't necessarily have to be good. But the slight-of-hand magic and naivety of them are part of what attracts me. This Igram video is a perfect example of the genre. I hate folding laundry more than just about anything. Fitted sheets? Fuggetaboutit! But I'm going to try and learn this technique and use it. We'll see if it sticks.
Must-See Maker TV
Eric of Hand Tool Rescue makes magic happen on his channel as he turns filthy, rusted old antique tools and machines into something as close to showroom-new as he can possibly get. And he does it with moments of laugh-out-loud foolishness and fun.