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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #27

The latest issue of HackSpace magazine, issue #25, is out (Free PDF). My column this month (page 96)
Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #27
The latest issue of HackSpace magazine, issue #25, is out (Free PDF). My column this month (page 96) is on marking and measuring tips.
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I’m in the new Cool Tools book, Four Favorite Tools. It is a collection of four tools recommended by “150 Notable Creators.” A diverse collection of makers and their beloved tools (taken from 150 episodes of the Cool Tools Podcast).
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Don’t forget to send me your favorite tips to be eligible for this year’s give away. I’ll choose 3 and mail you signed copies of my book, Tips and Tales from the Workshop (and a few other goodies). I will also publish your tips in the newsletter. I’ll pick the winners on Dec 13 and send out the books on the 14th. International entries will have to pay balance of postage costs.

Using an Airbrush for... Well... Air!
Making waves.
Making waves.
This diorama-maker uses an empty airbrush to make waves in a water effects medium (which dried clear). I have never thought of using my airbrush as an air tool like this. But I will now.
How to Use a "Tick Stick"
Copying usual shapes with a "tick stick."
Copying usual shapes with a "tick stick."
Leah from See Jane Drill often shares eye-opening and extremely useful ideas. In this video, she shows how to use something called a “tick stick” to copy and transfer an unusual shape. Watching the video, at first, I had no idea where she was going with this, but I had a real “ah-ha” when she started reproducing the shape. (I also loved the fact that three readers of the newsletter tipped me off to this video with 24 hours. You guys are looking out for me. Thanks!)
Best Multi-Bit Driver
The fancy one isn't always the winner.
The fancy one isn't always the winner.
In this recent Cool Tools video, Sean Ragan looks at five different multi-bit drivers to determine which is best. He really does a great job of exploring the strengths and weaknesses of each tool. In the end, he recommends the Picquic 48103 full-size SIXPAC Plus.
Sharpening a Shovel
Prepping for the zombie apocalypse.
Prepping for the zombie apocalypse.
Recently, I broke down and sharpened my angle cutters and it made a huge difference. I rarely sharpen scissors and cutters and I always wonder why I don’t whenever I do. This got me wondering about sharpening my garden tools and I bumped into this video on cleaning and sharpening a shovel. A sharpened shovel edge really does make a difference.
Adding a Razor Knife to a Leatherman
Frankenknife. It's ALIVE!
Frankenknife. It's ALIVE!
A few newsletters back, I talked about the concept of “Frankenstein prototyping” (hacking existing objects to recombine them for quick n’ dirty prototyping). In that piece, I made the point that you can also apply this concept beyond prototyping. Frankenmaking? Here is a great example. Laura Kampf took apart a Leatherman multi-tool and added a scalpel blade to the tool set. Don’t settle for the tools you have; make the tools you need!
Converting a Cheap Pressure Pot
Converting a pressure pot for resin casting.
Converting a pressure pot for resin casting.
I have been gearing up to do a deep dive into mold making and resin casting. One tool often found in resin casting is a pressure pot, used during the curing process to remove bubbles from the cast. These pots can cost upwards of $300-400, but with a few tweaks, you can turn a cheap ($99) Harbor Freight paint sprayer pressure tank (used in things like auto body painting) into a casting pot. This video shows you how.
The Maker's Muse
Outside the box? What box?
Outside the box? What box?
Being a creative, inventive person requires that you keep your imagination active and supple. One way of doing that is giving yourself a little conceptual whack on the side of head from time to time. I have followed and written about the work of conceptual art humorist Steven M. Johnson for decades. I was honored to be asked to write a cover blurb for his most recent book, Vehicles of the Imagination. That title pretty much summarizes all of his work. Give your brain an inspirational goosing on a regular basis by following Steven’s work.
Gift Idea
Hundreds of tips, tools, and tall tales from the shop.
Hundreds of tips, tools, and tall tales from the shop.
Looking for a great gift for the do-it-yourselfers on your list? Consider my book, Tips and Tales from the Workshop. It’s now only $13.99 on Amazon.
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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales

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.