Discover more from Gar's Tips & Tools
Gar's Tips & Tools - Issue #153
Weekly access to tools, techniques, and shop tales from the worlds of DIY
- Send me a tip or tool recommendation.
-Tell me a shop tale.
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Making a Silicone Brush Applicator for a Glue Bottle
Via Colin Knecht’s Instagram feed:
This tip comes from Walter ... I love how he thinks! ... he took one of the silicone glue spreading brushes and pulled the bristle part off, which comes off quite easily, drilled a couple of holes in the base and now he can attach it directly to his glue bottle for an instant and perfect dispenser.
Choosing Your First Machining Lathe
Chris of Clickspring continues his video series on setting up a home machine shop. In this video, he looks at the very intimidating subject of choosing a metal lathe. Chris starts off by applying three basic purchasing criteria: cost, space, and what are you planning to make with the machine. Answering these questions will instantly help narrow down the dizzying field of choices. He cautions you to remember to include all of the tooling and accessories you'll need to operate your lathe and to consider an ample amount of space to move freely around the machine. From there, he runs through what specifications to pay attention to and what features to look for. He also discusses the drawbacks of cheaper import lathes and what can be done to overcome them. And through it all, you get to hear the awesome way he pronounces "lathe" in his Aussie accent.
A Guide to Better Understanding Common Dremel Bits
In this video on Rotary Crafts, they run through all of the common (and some not-so-common) Dremel bits and accessories. Even if you're a seasoned rotary tool user, there are still likely to be a few bits here that you didn't know about or bit applications you may have not thought of (like using the 562 Tile Cutting Bit (which sucks on tile) for general cutting like on wood).
Can a $100 Knockoff Chainsaw Perform as Well as a $500 Stihl?
Todd at Project Farm was curious to know how a cheap knockoff of a $500 Stihl chainsaw would perform against the real deal. As you might imagine, the real Stihl outperformed both of the cheap saws Todd tested. But what was surprising is that the Topteng saw ($100 on Amazon on time of testing) performed amazingly well and looks like a decent purchase if you're in the market for a chainsaw, but don't want/need a top-of-line tool.
Three Methods for Making Charcoal
In this latest Primitive Technology video, John Plant shows three methods you can use for creating charcoal.
With more iron smelting experiments coming up, I demonstrate 3 different methods to make charcoal, ranked easiest to hardest.
The first method was in a simple clay lined pit where a pile of wood was neatly stacked over and lit from the top down…
The second method is the mound which involves making a conical pile of wood and coating it in mud leaving openings around the base and one on the top...
The final method was the charcoal kiln. This was a cylindrical furnace with holes in the base that was filled with wood and only the top was covered with mud…
In Issue # 151, I posted a bunch of things you can do with sawdust. As I suspected, I got a lot of responses to this:
Dr Nurse Dux PSYCH! wrote:
"Mix it with birdseed: Sawdust can be mixed with birdseed to make it go further and provide a more natural habitat for birds."
You must be kidding. How does putting an inedible filler into birdseed "make it go further"? All you are doing is putting out less food for the birds and making them work harder for it.
In doing research for this list, I saw two different sources make this recommendation. It didn’t make sense to me and I thought I should delete it from the list. In fact, I thought I had. I did end up deleting it from the web version.
SocratesCat wrote in the comments:
One caveat with the sawdust. Laminated wood has adhesives in them, hence their sawdust it is not appropriate for composting in ones garden.
And Greg Hooper added:
Are those adhesives inherently toxic, or unable to be broken down by soil organisms?
Formaldehyde is a major component of adhesives for laminated wood. I believe it is also a known carcinogen. Perhaps bioremediation with fungi might break it down. Better not to use it at all.
In response to the conversation about turning a drill press into a sanding disc, reader M.A. wrote:
Drill press sander: I haven't used it as a sander, but my 8" Craftsman benchtop drill press can handle light duty with a Wagner Saf-T-Planer which I'm sure puts more side load on the quill than a sanding disc. I have had the chuck come loose in use, so be aware of that possibility. I second the recommendation for locking the vertical adjustment if possible.
And Mike Ziegler:
The drill press sanding disc question: The mandrel is running a 1/8" shaft on a (Roughly) 3/4" JT-3 Chuck body. If the 1/8" or even 1/4" shaft fails before the Jacob's Chuck, then Houston, we have a problem. Most of the time if too much laterally force is applied, the shaft of the mandrel bends causing a bigger problem. I have used a drill press with several lateral force attachments, especially sanding, and run-out is not an issue. I also try to make sure the sanding apparatus doesn't require the quill to be lowered, keeping it seated more securely. Hope that helps.