Gar's Tips & Tools - Issue #162
– Send me a tip or tool recommendation.
–Tell me a shop tale.
–Advertise your product, service, newsletter, app, book, tool, or anything you’d like to share with GT&T readers.
And you thought there were a dizzying number of ways of building a better mousetrap. Check out all of these early designs for pencil sharpeners.
Looking at Old School Drawing/ Cartooning Tools
I have never been a cartoonist, but I was a graphic artist and offset printer for many years in my youth. So, I could totally relate to all of the tools that Jim and Ed of Cartoonist Kayfabe cover in this video. They nerd out over all of the old-school analog tools used in comic book creation before the digital age. While something in the realm of antiques to many, some cartoonists (and other graphic artists) still rely on and cherish these tools today. The guys look at ink brushes, dip pens, lead holders, T-squares, the Ames lettering guide, drawing templates, a proportional wheel, and more. There are some great tips here too, as Jim and Ed discuss their drawing process and some of the tricks they employ.
Making Your Own Custom Springs
In this BlondiHacks video, Quinn makes her own custom springs. She shows how she made the tools to fabricate the springs, the process of winding them, and cleaning the resulting springs up for use.
Five Great Tools from Maker Businesses
On Stumpy Nubs, James reviews five tools he loves that are produced by maker businesses. As always, being a woodworker, these are related to that domain of making, but since most of us own planes, chisels, do home repairs and projects...
James looks at a star knob for planes, a table leg mortising jig, a diamond sharpening system for chisels, a router table, a carpenter's square, and the reader-recommended Zebra F-701 pen. I like buying tools from makers not only because I'm supporting them and small businesses, but I'm also fascinated (and usually impressed) by tools that are designed by people who use them every day. Real solutions to real problems.
Product-Tested Magnetic Pick-Up Tools and Floor Sweepers
Magnetic telescoping pick-up tools: I have several, you probably do, too. In this Project Farm video, Todd tests 14 different brands of magnetic reachers/pick-up tools and six brands of magnetic floor sweepers. The pick-up tools he tested were from GearWrench, Matco, MacTools, Enbar, KapOD, NoCry, Craftsman, Ullman, Blue Point, MAG-MATE, Klein Tools, E-Z Red, Proto, and Pittsburgh. For floor sweepers, he looked at models from Master Magnetics, Central Machinery, Grip, Neiko, Tuffiom, and Toolwiz. Todd tested the pick-up tools for vertical pull strength, horizontal lift capacity, shaft strength, and magnetic shielding. At $34, the MacTools performed the best, but the $16 Ullman brand also did very well.
The Master Magnetics floor sweeper ($189 at time of testing) came out on top, lighting 8lbs of metal from the floor, but the Central Machinery brand lifted 7lbs at a much lower cost of $50.
Weighted Glue Bottles
Here’s a tip from Jimmy DiResta which I also included in Volume 2 of my tips books. To prevent glue (and other tippy) bottles from falling over on your workbench, glue a piece of scrap wood, chunk of metal plate stock, or something else heavy to the bottom of them. “THANK YOU!”
I got an enthusiastic response to the How to Safely Climb a Ladder post in Issue #161. Newsletter reader SocratesCat wrote:
Re: Ladder Safety. My former neighbor was a retired fireman from a large metro area. In his 50s, I watched him scale a ladder one day. Amazing grace, agility, and confidence were an understatement concerning his abilities. Of course, he wasn't wearing the full regalia of that profession and just made it look so easy. I learned a few things from him about such activity. Good video.
In response to Patrice N’s hack for heating a rusted screw, Owen S responded:
Patrice N’s tip re: removing a corroded screw from oak by heating with a soldering iron also works well for removing screws that have been used in an epoxied joint.
I have also had some success using a little butane torch to heat small rusty bolts and nuts; heating one component, then waiting for it to cool a bit.
The crude way to heat these items where possible, physically and aesthetically, is to touch an angle grinder to the bolt or screw. Brutal, but fast!
Keep up the great work with the newsletter!