Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #5
Quick, Easy, Cheap Electroplating
In this YouTube video, Geoffrey Croker shows you how easy it actually is to do electroplating at home, using the most basic of tools and materials. In the video, he plates nickel, copper, and zinc. The results may surprise you.
Pencils, Pencils Everywhere
LA maker Federico Tobon read about David Picciuto's idea of keeping pencils everywhere in the shop in my book, Tips and Tales from the Workshop. So, he made a set of chipboard pencil holders to place at workstations throughout his school's makerspace. They were laser cut and designed using boxes.py. So great to see tips being put to use and inspiring people like this.
Paint Dries Half a Shade Darker
Adam Savage: “You have to remember that colors often dry half a shade darker than they are when they’re wet.” Making this mental calculation while choosing, mixing, and applying paint is very important in getting the final colors you desire. Another paint tip: Don’t try and lighten a dark color by adding white or a lighter color to it. Add the darker color to the lighter color and bring that up to the shade you desire.
Fixing Corroded Battery Bays
This clear, well-done Instructable shows, step-by-step, what to do when you open that battery bay on an old toy or electronics device only to discover a set of ancient batteries that look like they horrifyingly succumbed to mange. [By way of Donald Bell's Maker Update]
Search Tips from Adam Savage and Kevin Kelly
I recently wrote on Boing Boing about this chat between Kevin Kelly, Adam Savage, and Norm Chan. There are many useful ideas here. The whole video is worth your time. One top tip: When you want to learn about something, do an Internet search on the subject and add “Forum” (or “Solution”). This will scoop up all of the online communities where that subject is being discussed, worked on, and troubleshot by a passionate group of explorers.
Free Mag of Game Crafting (and Playing)
The latest issue of the most-excellent gaming and game crafting zine, Bexim's Bazaar, is out. I do a regular column of hobby tips and bench top explorations, called "Gareth's Table of Tinkering." Issue No. 6 is being offered for free to introduce newcomers to the publication. Download your PDF copy here.
Life Hacks: DIY Faux Radar Gun
This piece from the Daily Mail is a hoot. This Nottingham woman slows the roll of speeders through her neighborhood by tracking after them with what looks like a radar gun. It's a hairdryer. "I have never seen so many brake lights go on," she says.
Must-See Maker TV
Is it just me, or do preppers and doomsdayers seem more reasonable in their obsessions these days? I'm certainly starting to pay more attention to fundamental survival, maintenance and repair, and tradition shop craft content. Ya know, just in case. One YouTube channel I've recently been binging on is The Post-Apocalyptic Inventor. German maker Gerolf scrounges through high tech (and low tech) junk and does wonders with diagnosing, fixing, and bringing machinery back to life. I've learned (and already applied) countless machine repair tips in the short time I've been watching.