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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #7
Modeling with Trash
I am a modeler. I model figures and terrain for tabletop wargames (mainly sci-fi and high fantasy). My latest modeling obsession is a Facebook group called Trash Bash Bits. On it, members show off amazing models that they've created (and how they got there) using little more than kitchen trash. You will never look at plastic bottles, food containers, coffee stirrers, and toothpicks the same way again.
More on Rust Prevention
A reader of this newsletter, Rex Burkheimer, sent me this tip in response to my item in the last issue on rust prevention:
My hobby is restoring old machine tools - lathes, milling machines, drill presses, metal shapers, etc. I’m a big disciple of Evaporust for rescuing old iron, but how to keep my finished projects from returning whence they came?
My shop is an unheated metal building in humid North Texas, a perfect breeding ground for iron oxide. After opening the shop to discover a big ugly rust scab on my virgin mill table I decided to get serious.
After many trials and disappointments, I settled on ...lanolin - Fresh from the sheep!
The story is, Australian sheep farmers noticed that steel things that sheep often rubbed against did not rust. Sheep’s wool is thick with lanolin, which is removed in processing the wool. Soap makers use it, it is also used in cosmetics.
One pound of anhydrous lanolin from eBay costs about $16. I mix it about 10:1 with light oil and apply with a brush or cloth. I also mix it with WD40 in a trigger spray. A pound goes a long way.
Since starting this about 10 years ago, rust is a thing of the past - except where I failed to apply this mixture. It has been 100% effective.
Chuck Your Chuck Key
Spotted in a metalworking tips video, using the chuck itself to hold the chuck key when not in use.
EZ-Lock Cut-Off Wheels
By way of Donald Bell's tool tips videos for Cool Tools comes this tool that I was unaware of. It's a quick-change mandrel for a rotary tool and a set of more durable, fiberglass cut-off wheels. I hate changing wheels that come with a Dremel using that little slotted attachment screw. And the wheels are so fragile and shatter too easily. I bought a set of these immediately.
How to Spin Weld at Home
Earlier this year, my pal, Sean Ragan, published a piece on PopSci on how to do spin welding on a home drill press. In the how-to, Sean shows how you can set up a simple and inexpensive jig on your drill press to friction weld plastic components together. Nifty!
David Lynch on Idea Fishing
David Lynch: "Ideas are like fish. If you get an idea that’s thrilling to you, put your attention on it and these other fish will swim to it. It’s like a bait. They’ll hook on to it and you’ll get more ideas. And you just pull them in.”
Must-See Maker TV: CNC Kitchen
On CNC Kitchen, German 3D printing enthusiast Stefan explores the science and engineering behind 3D printing. He looks at things like filament strength, component wear, how object designs impact print quality and strength, the strength of different infill designs, and more. He also reviews printers. In the above video, he examines the impact of vapor smoothing on 3D printed parts.