Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #29
Sean Ragan Takes a CLOSE Look at Precision Rulers
In this Cool Tools video, Sean Ragan puts four 6" precision steel rulers under a microscope (literally) to see which is better engineered, more precise, and most readable. His bottom line: the best he tested was the Starrett, at the premium price of $26.50. The sweet spot of price and performance was this General Tools model for under $7.
Safety: Your Tools Are Trying to Murder You!
Quinn Dunki, aka BlondiHacks, has a series on vertical milling basics up on YouTube. In the first segment she reminds us: Your tools are trying to murder you! OK, maybe that's a tad harsh, but the point should be well-taken. You don't really want to fear your tools, but you want to be mindful of the dangers they pose and know that they are ready to harm you if you don't maintain a healthy respect for the dangers they pose. [See also: A good knife wants to cut you.]
DIY Oscillating Saw Blades
Blades for oscillating saws can be expensive. In this video, Chris Notap shows how you can use much cheaper utility knife hook blades in your tool instead.
Simple Cyclone Dust Collector
Chris Notap also posted this video on how to create an effective cyclonic dust collector using little more than two Home Depot buckets and some plastic piping and fittings. I love the way he created a friction fit with the two buckets mouth-to-mouth by simply beveling the edge of one bucket.
Fancy Tool Bloat Among YouTube Makers
On the Stumpy Nubs channel, James discusses something that I have also talked about in articles and at Maker Faire talks: the issue of YouTube makers alienating their audiences with all of the fancy free tools they get from sponsors. I have always recommended that, at the very least, YouTube makers should think about the tools the average DIYer owns and try to offer a way of doing the project with these more common tools. James has another unique approach. Within the new, high-end shop that he is building, he is including a more typical home shop with more common equipment. He will be making content using only these tools (along with content featuring his more high-end, production shop tools). Great idea!
Christmas Tree Remotes in the Shop
Jerry Morrison posted this in the Shop Hacks group on Facebook: "Not sure if this is a hack or a cheat. Christmas light remotes from the Blue box store. I’ve been using these for over a year to control my shop vac and my Jet dust collector. I was using the heck out of them over the weekend working on Christmas gifts." [H/t Caleb Kraft]
Life Hack: Another Wrapping Tip
If you have little children that bring home art from school or that they make at home, roll it up and keep it with your Christmas wrapping paper. My son was always making art when he was little and I saved most of it. I made wrapping paper (and gift cards) out of it for years.