Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #32
Weaving Springs Together
On Quinn Dunki's BlondiHacks channel, in a video about making a tap follower tool, she shares this little hack I've never thought of. If you don't have a spring with the degree of tension you're looking for, you can create a stronger spring by simply pressing two weaker springs together.
Splitting a Carpenter's Pencil
Newsletter reader Emory Kimbrough: "You can gently push the graphite lead of a carpenter’s pencil a few millimeters into your running band saw blade to create a split lead with two points that will draw two closely-spaced parallel lines. Use this to draw that freehand curve you plan to cut out with the band saw. The gap between the lines is exactly equal to the width of your saw blade, so guiding your band saw right between these double cut lines makes for an easier job as you twist your workpiece back and forth to follow that fancy curve."
Turning Plastic Bottle Caps into Knurled Nobs
Emory Kimbrough: "Do you need to make an easy-to-turn set screw with a nice big knurled knob (perhaps for a jig you’re building), but all you have on hand is a bolt with a tiny little head? Chug a bottle of your favorite soda and place the bottle cap mouth-up on a tabletop. Now place the screw or bolt in the middle of the soda cap. (That’s correct, the head of the screw goes against the inside of the cap.) Fill the cap with epoxy. When the epoxy sets, there’s your set screw with a knurled knob."
Poster of CAD Design Tips for 3D Printing
Billie Ruben, "maker of many kinds, serial skill-collector, and STEM-student," has created this great poster of do's, don'ts, and other design considerations for creating CAD files for 3D printing. You can download a large version of the poster, along with two other 3DP tips posters she's created here.
Protecting Hand Addresses
For years now, especially during winters and rainy seasons, I always make sure to cover my hand-addressed letters and package labels with clear shipping tape. That way, if the address gets wet, the ink won't run and obscure the address.
From the Back to Nature Facebook page:
"Chipped teapot...don’t landfill it...donate to a bird .... It even has its own drainage system."
Mistakes Were Made
In the last issue, in a tip about reaming holes in metal to bring them out to a precise diameter, I included an image of a reamer, but the wrong kind. The T-handled type I used as an illustration is mainly used for deburring or manually enlarging a hole in a thin material. The above image is the type of reamer used in machining work.
Also, in that issue, I used the term bolt (which was also used by Izzy Swan, the tipster I was quoting). As my friend Richard Gould pointed out, since the fasteners in question do not require a nut, that are actually screws. Bolts require nuts.