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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #13
Working with Gum Kraft Paper Tape
Federico Tobon on Twitter: "Kind of an obvious discovery but gummed kraft tape is a joy to work with for assembling things out of cardboard. I'm free-forming this cat bed and all I'm using to join the triangles is gummed tape and a wet sponge. It dries fast, creates a nice edge and you can tear it by hand."
Understanding "Topological Optimization"
Have you heard of something called "topological optimization?" It is basically a method of allowing a computer design program, like Fusion 360, to create an optimal design geometry for an object you wish to create. You tell the program what the use requirements of your object are (e.g. loads) and the computer figures out the optimal design for that object. In this video by Thomas Sanladerer, he explains the concept and shows you a set of shelf brackets he designed and 3D printed using this method. BTW, topological optimization is available in the free version of Fusion 360.
Glue-on Cardboard Backing for CNC
Via a Jimmy DiResta Instagram Story comes this handy idea for setting up a CNC workpiece so that you don't have to tab the internal waste pieces before cutting. Jimmy spray-glues a piece of corrugated cardboard to the back of the workpiece. This holds everything in place during cutting and then it can all be easily peeled away when finished.
Via Donald Bell and the Cool Tools YT channel is this suggestion from Jordan Bunker on using Zap Flexi-Tips on your CA glue bottles. I've used these for years and love them. They afford much more precise control and allow for that capillary action voodoo that CA glue does so well. And as Donald points out, using them helps keep the tip of the bottle from getting all gummed up.
Two More CA Glue Suggestions
Anyone who's dealt with CA glue in small applicator bottles knows how easily the tips on those bottles can become clogged. You can help prevent this by smearing some Vaseline all over the tip. Also, when you are finished apply your glue, tap the bottom of the bottle on the table to knock any glue around the opening back into the bottle. This will help keep the applicator tip clear f0r the next use.
My Kingdom for a Wrench
If you don't have a wrench the size that you need, but you have a threaded rod and a couple of nuts, you can create a funky little makeshift wrench by screwing two nuts onto the rod the width of the bolt that you need to work on. Via the whattoolsinside Instagram feed.
More About How "Details Layer"
Last week, I quoted something that Scott from Essential Craftsman had said about getting the details right in your work because "Details layer." I've been thinking a lot about this because I'm the king of cutting corners, lazy work habits, and fudging the details. So, I know exactly what he means. I think understanding and applying this concept is the difference between a master craftsperson and an amateur. As I work, I don't put tools back, I don't stop and sharpen or change blades when I should, I don't read instructions, I try and rush things, and I try and skip doing things the way I know they should be done. Details layer, and before you know it, I am frustrated and the project is way off square (whether literally and figuratively). This weekend, I tried to be ever-mindful of this truth and I could see a difference in my work. I think I am going to make a "Details Layer" sign and hang it in my shop.