Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #8
Dado'd Rotary Bits Holders
This is one of the coolest quick-builds I've seen in a while. Keith of Keith's Test Garage created three bits organizers for his rotary tools and router bits using dado cuts to create inter-sectional slots to hold tools with 1/8', 1/4', and 1/2" shanks. He got up to 384 1/8" spaces (for rotary bits) after only minutes of cutting dados on a table saw. Genius!
Liquid Styrene and Styrene Carving
In response to my tutorial on working with styrene in HackSpace magazine Issue 19, my pal, the amazing toy designer and former Make: colleague, Bob Knetzger sent me a bunch of additional tips including these on working with liquid styrene and styrene carving. Bob writes:
Save your clean styrene shavings and swarf. Add some MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) to shavings in a small glass bottle to make a slurry of styrene (and cap it very tightly when you’re done to save for later!) You can use “liquid styrene" to build up radii, fill inside corners or mend gaps. Sometimes better than the very "hacky" super glue and baking soda trick.
You can build up a thicker, 3D shapes with layers and layers of styrene sheet, then scrape and Dremel to your final shape. If you’re only making one, it's much faster than sculpting and casting. Above is a jointed rider figure I made for a bicycling toy, all hand-carved styrene. Hips, knees, shoulders and arms move freely
The Private Group Memo
I love all of the diverse ways people use online collaboration and communication tools. On Twitter, maker extraordinaire Star Simpson talked about how she uses cloud docs to post her thoughts and then she invites people whose feedback she's looking for to read and chime in: "I’ve been doing... “lazy blogging” [for a while] where I just write a bunch of thoughts into a Dropbox Paper doc and text it to the friends whose thoughts I want on it. I can see who’s accessing, delete or edit, & no managing a CMS, or trying to structure/order ideas."
I hate the fact that small, cheap digital postal scales get completely covered up by most small boxes and mailing envelopes. How on earth are you supposed to see those tiny LCD displays on the front? I use a object of a known weight to raise the package up and then I subtract that weight. Usually, I use a 1-2-3 block which weights exactly 1 pound. (And yes, I realize in this example I could just turn the box on its side -- don't be a smart aleck!)
Simple Clamp Rack
Elisha of Pneumatic Addict recently moved and is setting up her new shop. She cleverly used some 2x4 Strong-Tie clamps as the basis for her clamp storage wall. For bar clamps, she attached a short length of 2x4 to the Strong-Tie horizontally, and for spring and bandy clamps, she attached a vertical length of 2x4 (as seen above).
Must-See Maker TV
One of my all-time favorite YouTube science and tech channel's is Ben Krasnow's Applied Science. In amazingly thorough and clear videos, Ben explores hands-on science. Videos have covered all manner of materials science experimentation, applied physics, proof of concept builds, how-tos, and much more. Half of this stuff goes over my head, but I always learn a lot and find Ben's presentation style engaging even when he's giving my noodle a serious workout. My fave Applied Science vid of all is the one where he turned a $150 pressure washer into a waterjet cutter!