Gar's Tips & Tools - Issue #146
Weekly access to tools, time-saving techniques, and shop tales from the worlds of DIY
The masses have spoken (OK, I got a couple o’ emails). I will be embedding video content in the newsletter from now on.
6 Types of Screws Every Maker Should Know About
The Honest Carpenter offers his recommendations for 6 different screws every maker should have on hand (and a few to avoid). He discusses 2″ and 3″ deck screws, trim screws, the easy-to-drive drywall screw, the 1/2″ gutter screw for sheet metal work, and self-drilling metal screws.
The Ingenious Design of Airplane Tires
If you’ve ever wondered about what’s up with airplane tires — how they can be so small and handle all of that weight; how they can go through such temperature extremes and friction stress and still function reliably — flight after flight — check out this awesome Jeremy Fielding video.
Is the GOAT Modular Multi-Tool the Future of This Tool Category?
I love my multi-tools. I’ve had and used several over the decades. But, spend any time with them and you start to have little annoyances with each tool, which draws you to a different tool that solves those issues (while introducing others). Rinse, repeat. The GOAT is an attempt at creating the greatest of all time (GOAT) multi-tool, with among other awesome features, tools you can swap out and tools you can remove to use away from the tool body itself. Dominic of Maxlvledc backed the GOAT on Indiegogo and in this video he shares his thoughts and reactions to the final tool. I want one!
Which gas-powered chainsaw is best?
In Project Farm's latest product testing video, Todd looks at gas-powered chainsaws. He tested models from Stihl, ECHO, Husqvarna, Poulan Pro, Craftsman, Ryobi, and Salem Master. Saws were compared for weight, pulling force to start the saw, cold temperature starting performance, torque, no load sprocket speed, cutting speed on manufactured log, cutting speed with 5 pounds of weight on the bar, and cutting speed through hardwood. In the end, Todd invokes the old saying "Buy once, cry once" and says he would recommend going for the $400 Stihl saw if you can afford it. But, if you're looking for a budget chainsaw, the $140 Salem Master (I've never even heard of that brand) performed surprisingly well.
Digi-Key and Make:’s Latest Guide to Microcontrollers
Electronics supplier Digi-Key and Make: magazine have just released their 2022(?) guide to microcontrollers, SBCs (single-board computers), and FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) ICs. The ten-page PDF booklet is free to download. It includes augmented reality (AR) content with videos, 360 views of the boards, and pop-up info boxes. Honestly, I found the AR elements gimmicky and more distracting than anything, but the guide overall is invaluable for getting an overview of what MCUs, SBCs, or FPGAs are currently available and which board might best serve your project.
Reader Pretty Periwinkle writes:
”My tip is simple, but I use it every day. If you take a Retractable Badge Holder 10 Pack, and clip the top to the wall or bench, and the bottom to a wire(soldering iron, glue gun, power supply, .etc), it keeps the cable out of the way while keeping it accessible. I use them every day and the tension is just enough so the wire rises without being too uncomfortable.”
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The Makers Muse image reminds of a book I had back in the 80’s - “Rules of Thumb”. One of their rules was “wait one year before pouring sidewalks on a campus, then pour the sidewalks where people actually walk”