Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #46
A Place to Hang Your Sled
Tyler Winegarner writes on Facebook: "I saw Adam Savage's video on making his tiny hammer and thought 'Why isn't my crosscut sled living on my table saw?,' so now I have this in my life.
Turning Old Gloves into Rubber Bands
This one is from the "I never thought of that" file. Family Handyman has this tip on cutting up old and worn heavy-duty rubber gloves to create rubber bands of various lengths and thicknesses.
Bolt and Fastener Info
When I was working on the Maker's Notebook, I discovered the Bolt Depot's bold and fastener charts. I thought they were so fabulous and would make a stellar addition to the reference section in the back of the notebook. I reached out to them countless times and never got a response, so I gave up. I just ran into this page again and thought I'd share it. The PDF set includes bolt anatomy and composition, sizing charts, size/type markings, and more.
Shut-In Artbot Fun
My friend Steve Davee posted this wonderful Instructable on creating watercolor "vibrobots" out of old keycaps, Q-tips, and pager motors. This would be a great project to do with your kids.
Making Your Own Bandy-Clamps
Here's a video on how easy it is to make your own band clamps using basic spring clamps and a bike inner tube.
The Maker's Muse
On the subject of "homely tools," reader Smudgy writes:
"I love these cheap-ass 4-in-1 screwdrivers, a la this Habror Freight special. $2, or $1 if they're on sale, or free if you've got a coupon, it gets about 98% of what I need done, done. It says it's a 4-in-1 screwdriver but it's actually a 6-in-1: the sockets for the two dual screwdriver tips happen to be sized exactly for the two most common hex-head machine bolts in your average household appliance. Whether I'm fixing up my washing machine or my furnace, I can get most of the job done with just this one gimmicky tool. And they're pretty sturdy. I've had my current one for maybe 5 years. Sometimes, they wear out when the spring loaded bearing in the driver tips wears out, but that can be mitigated with a bit of tape for a snugger fit. Or sometimes, the rubber grippies on the handle wear off. The biggest risk is really just misplacing it. But for the price , it's cheap enough to replace, and I'm not sure there's a tool made that gives as much all-around household utility per dollar."
On the subject of "maker sartorial," I got a message from David Gordon. He's a shepherds crook maker! How cool is that?
"I'm a stick-maker. I make shepherds crooks and all kinds of walking sticks, including with carved heads. Wherever I go, I wear a military style waistcoat designed for attachment of assorted pouches and other carrying pockets, originally intended for ammunition, a side-arm, and medical packs. Instead, I carry a Japanese pruning saw, for cutting shanks, a larger folding saw for cutting thinner tree-trunks into small logs to season, and assorted woodcarving knives, chisels, and rasps (especially acid-etched-tooth Japanese woodcarvers rasps). Effectively what most people would carry in a toolbox, I carry about on my person. The carrier vest is designed to be stab-proof, very important when cutting blackthorn or hawthorn, and the pouches can be attached as convenient for working."
Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales is published by Cool Tools Lab. Check out the Cool Tools website, the Cool Tools podcast, YouTube channel, and their other two newsletters, What’s in my bag? and Recomendo.