Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #117
Making a Waxed Canvas Tool Roll
In this Becky Stern video, Becky shows how you can plan out, sew, and wax-treat a tool roll. She used cotton canvas for the project and includes a free pattern on her website so you can more easily make your own tool roll-ups. You don't have to wax the roll-up, but it adds water resistance and more durability. Becky used impregnation wax that comes in a bar and is made of paraffin and beeswax. You can also make your own wax mixture and brush it on.
Bending G-Code to Make Nonplanar 3D Prints
The ever-clever Stefan of CNC Kitchen is at it again. He wanted to made a suction-cup, window-mounted ball run for his young daughter. But, how to 3D print the curved tubing needed for the run? In this video, he shows how he tweaked G-Code (the common CNC programming language) to create these curved pieces. To accomplish this, he wrote a small script using the Python programming language.
PrusaPrinters.org Becomes Printables
Most people who have even a passing knowledge of 3D printing are likely familiar with Thingiverse, the 3D design files repository that grew up alongside the consumer 3D printer marketplace. After the site's parent company, MakerBot, was bought by industrial 3D printer juggernaut, Stratasys, Thingiverse began losing some of its community spirit and pioneering charm. Ads started showing up, along with a lot of bad prints, and it has a long-in-the-tooth interface. Then, there was a massive user data breach. If only there was an alternative. There has been, for the past three years, PrusaPrinters.org, another file repository run by printer maker Prusa. But the name PrusaPrinters was confusing to consumers, many thinking that you had to own a Prusa printer to access and use the files stored there (you didn't). So, PrusaPrinters.org has now relaunched under the clearer, more inclusive name, Printables. This video runs through the features on the site and they look pretty sweet.
10 Inexpensive Harbor Freight Tools You Need in Your Workshop
On these Reformation Woodshop videos (Part 1, Part 2), Marcus runs through ten tools and shop consumables that he recommends from Harbor Freight. The key to getting real value from the Freight is knowing what products to pay attention to and which to avoid, so videos like these are always welcome. While Marcus is a woodworker, almost all of these suggestions apply to any workshop. He covers consumables, like paint brushes, shop rags, and gloves, casters and rubber tires, tarps (recommended for light-duty work only), toggle clamps, storage hooks, their surprisingly-decent and cheap ($59) tabletop belt sander, and outfeed stands.
Adam Savage on Post-Project Depression
In this "Ask Adam" segment on Tested, Adam answers a fascinating question about getting post-project depression. I've never heard this discussed before, but it's a thing I've certainly experienced. Adam says he can get it, especially after big, all-consuming projects that have taxed a lot of mental and physical resources. I usually experience this kind of post-project flatness after finishing writing and editing a book. Such a project tends to take everything you've got. I find that having a new and exciting project already on deck can be a big help. Have you also experienced this? What do you do?
Must-Follow Makers on Instagram: Infinite Craftsman
I recently started following Thomas Baisch and his Infinite Craftsman account on Instagram. He regularly posted really clever shop hacks that he comes up with, often using 3D printed solutions. He makes a number of these inventions into small-run products that he sells on his website. Above is his glue donut, a ring that goes on your glue bottle, beneath the spout, allowing you to open it with one hand. Below is his solution for holding battery power packs on the wall. Many of his designs are super simple but oh-so-clever.
Ross Hershberger: "Thanks for reminding me about fender washers. My suitcase usually holds 50-60 lbs of stuff because I carry extra tools in it. It’s difficult to find a reasonably priced bag that will withstand 80-90 flights a year, so I repair them when I can. This Samsonite has a good padded fabric handle that’s well designed to spread the load where it’s stitched into the body fabric. There’s no attachment to the thick plastic body underneath though. Repeated yanking by baggage handlers eventually caused the stitching to fail. Before it completely came apart, I decided to see if I could extend its life. Repaired with fender washers, this suitcase now has a few more flights left in it."
Reid Fisher: "One recurring favorite tool of mine is a pair of locking forceps. They're often good steel with sharp teeth on the tiny jaws, and they lock! Great for getting a tiny part into place where your fingers won't fit, and you'd drop the part using regular rat nose pliers."