Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #123

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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #123
When I started working on the second volume of my tips book, I suspected the first volume might get a new spike in sales, too. I was right. Some days, Volume 1 even ranks higher on Amazon than Volume 2. And both of them are now in the top ten or 20 in many DIY categories. Do you have your copies yet? It’s a great way to support my work.

Building Vertical Tool Drawers
I love this vertical-drawer cabinet for storing drill, rotary tool, and end mill bits. The video is in Japanese but there are English subtitles. This design could be a space-saving solution for a lot of tools and accessories that can be organized and stored this way. I have always been fascinated by similar vertical storage solutions, like the “tool magazine.”
Making a Simple DIY Resin Curing Station Out of Foam Core
On Eric Strebel‘s YouTube channel, he shows how he made a cheap and simple UV curing cabinet for post-processing his 3D resin prints. He built the box out of foam board and outfitted the insides with LED light strips and a turntable made from microwave parts. He also outfitted it with a cheap countdown timer. Eric basically followed the instructions originally shown on Tested (with a few modifications). I get refrigerated meds in a styro box with rounded corners that’s almost exactly this size. I’m thinking about making one of these curing stations out of one.
A Crash Course in Sanding Tech
In this Tested video, Adam Savage spends nearly 30 minutes going through different types of sanding technologies, from papers to rasps to sanding machines. As always, there are great pearls of insight and wisdom here, like: “Sanding is about removing material. Going up the ladder of finer and finer grits is about removing evidence of removing material.”
The Ultimate SMD Marking Codes Database
On Adafruit, Anne Barela writes:
“Due to the small size of most SMD [surface mount device] components, manufacturers are not able to write the full part number on the case. They instead use a marking code typically composed of a combination of 2 or 3 letters or digits. When repairing an unknown electronic board, it becomes so difficult to know what is the exact type of a given component. The ultimate SMD marking codes database allows for quickly finding the part number of a SMD component when you have only the marking code. See the database online.
Using a Wire Wheel to Clean Mucky Brushes
Woodworking YouTuber, Colin Knecht posted on Instagram:
“Jim from Columbia suggests using a wire wheel on your grinder to help clean out the gluck that can collect on your paint brushes when they’re not cleaned properly. This is a tip I have used for years and it works well for keeping older paint brushes working for years!”
The Life- and Work-Wisdom of the Kevin Kelly Bot
Someone took the annual words of wisdom that Cool Tools’ Kevin Kelly posts each birthday and made it into a Twitter bot. It’s my new favorite thing.
“Train employees well enough they could get another job, but treat them well enough so they never want to.”
“The greatest teacher is called ‘doing’.”
“When a child asks an endless string of ‘why?’ questions, the smartest reply is, “I don’t know, what do you think?””
“Your group can achieve great things way beyond your means simply by showing people that they are appreciated.”
“Ignore what others may be thinking of you, because they aren’t.”
New Newsletter Feature: Unclassifieds
Do you have a product, service, tool, newsletter, app, book, or anything else you’d like to share with your fellow Gar’s Tips and Tools readers? Consider taking out an unclassified ad here, which will run at the bottom of each issue. Get the word out on what you’re doing and support this publication at the same time. Click here for more details.
Shop Talk
On Cool Tools, KokoTheTalkingApe comments on acid brushes:
Acid brushes are indeed handy to have around, mostly because they’re disposable small brushes. Other disposable brushes are usually larger or are otherwise not suitable (like used toothbrushes, which are angled, possibly too stiff, etc.) Also, with their horsehair bristles and aluminum shafts, they’re biodegradable and recyclable.
"But they’re designed for swabbing surfaces to be welded with acid or flux, and sometimes the bristles are too long for, say, actually painting small objects. So just trim the bristles with scissors if they’re too long. Or reshape it to suit you. To get a really clean, straight bristle edge, I might try a sharp chisel and a smooth cutting board (rough cutting boards will let the bristles bend and cut unevenly.”
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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales

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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales! is copyrighted by Gareth Branwyn, and published by Cool Tools Lab, LLC. Commissions may be earned from the links above.