Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #42
LEGO Centering Jig
Arthur Tait writes on the FB Shop Hacks group: "Two tricks for the price of one photo. Center finder made of LEGO. Works well. Rare earth magnets taped to pencils. Stick the pencils everywhere around the shop. I have no hair left, so my pencil doesn’t stay behind my big ears anymore. I stuck a little bit of metal to my cap above my ear and now it’s like the good old hairy days of yore."
Getting a Handle on Your Files
In this recent Cool Tools video, Sean Ragan makes the case for why you need to get a handle on those nekkid file tangs. He even designs and 3D prints his own handle (and includes the STL file).
Making an Awl from an Old Drill Bit
I love projects like this for making simple, everyday tools. You need a lathe to make a handle like this, but if you don't have one, you could buy or reuse an existing handle. I've never thought of repurposing an old, dull bit like this.
For my tool recommendation this week, I wanted to think of a tool that's been a trusty companion for decades and my eyes immediately landed on my Swingline long reach heavy duty stapler. I've had this beast since the 1980s when I had a graphic design business. I've use it to saddle stitch countless booklets and newsletters and to bind my early 1990s zine, Going Gaga. Because of my heavy involvement in zine publishing in the 90s, people getting into zine-making today often ask me what tools they need. Besides a computer and a printer, you basically need a desktop guillotine paper cutter and one of these and you're well on your way to being your own press.
Padma Lakshmi demonstrates how to fold and close a bag of chips without the need of a bulldog clip or rubber band. This could obviously be used on any type of similar bag. Via Boing Boing.
Here are some of the print catalogs and DIY magazines that readers say they enjoy. More!
ARC Magazine - Free welding magazine from Lincoln Electric - excellent articles about interesting people, welding tips, and projects.
WAWAK - Monthly catalog of top-quality sewing supplies, thread, zippers, scissors, etc. at good prices. Excellent customer service. Well worth signing up for.
Springfield Leather - Industrial sewing machine catalog. Good suggestions and information on sewing machinery & supplies.
Home Shop Machinist and Machinist's Workshop from Village Press. High-quality magazines for the hobby machinist. Workshop is the more advanced of the two. Each is issued on alternate months, six issues per year each. Worth every penny to subscribe.
The Harken catalog. It’s sailing gear, mostly blocks and running gear, but there are a lot of interesting attachment devices and ways to increase purchase that are useful beyond sailing.