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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #28

We're almost at the deadline for my Tips Book giveaway. Send me your best tip ideas by midnight Easte
Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #28
We’re almost at the deadline for my Tips Book giveaway. Send me your best tip ideas by midnight Eastern time, Dec 13th, for a chance to win an inscribed copy of my book. Winners will be chosen on the 14th.

Using a Washer as a Depth Gauge
Washer your step with that reamer!
Washer your step with that reamer!
My pal Andrew Lewis writes on Twitter: “If you are reaming out a panel hole for a switch or indicator light, use the washer from the switch as a stop on the reamer, so you don’t open the hole too far.”
It's Positive Because There's More to It.
The longer leg means "add" (+).
The longer leg means "add" (+).
This might be a huge “duh” to some readers, but for those who still have a hard time remembering which leg (the longer or the shorter) on a polarized component is positive and which is negative, the Raspberry Pi Foundation tweeted this reminder: “The longer leg is + because plus means more.” I always had a hard time remembering which was which until I encountered this memory device many years ago.
Sealing Knots with Nail Polish
Your knot holes look FABULOUS!
Your knot holes look FABULOUS!
Hey look, kids! You can seal up your knot holes using top coat clear nail polish. Elisha of Pneumatic Addict shared this on Instagram. You can also use CA glue to achieve the same result.
Inspiring Shop Tour
Mini Mill on a swing arm.
Mini Mill on a swing arm.
On the Shop Hacks group on Facebook, member Ian Green posted eighteen photos of his new shop layout. Ian says he collected organization ideas from far and wide and built the best ideas into his shop. Lots of amazing space-saving and organizing ideas here.
Testing Squares for Accuracy
An easy test for square.
An easy test for square.
On the Stumpy Nubs channel, James shares his 11 all-time fave woodworking tools. There are some great one here, like the beloved 1-2-3 Blocks, plastic vise covers, and the iGaging combination square. There are useful tips in here, too, like how to tell if your combination square is true or not: Using a marking knife (or other marking tool), scribe a line from one edge of the board and then flip the square to scribe over the same line from the other edge of board. You should end up with a single scribe-line of a consistent width. See his demo at 14:50.
Life Hacks: Gift Wrapping Tricks
Why have I never thought of this?
Why have I never thought of this?
Some great ideas here on wrapping odd-shaped presents, making quick small gift boxes, and more, but the price of admission is the idea of using a piece of paper that’s too small for conventional wrapping by turning it on the diagonal. I can’t believe this has never occurred to me.
The Maker's Muse
A tweet from the poet John McCullough reminded me of a tool that I frequently use for inspiration. He suggests that budding poets create a private anthology of work that really moves them, that embodies some of what they aspire to. I got a similar idea from Francis and Roman Coppola. While working on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, they put together a sort of inspiration bible (I call mine muse books) of art and photographs that represented the mood they were going for in the film. Whenever they got creatively stuck or needed some inspiration, they’d poke their head in their muse book and take a big whiff. I start many of my projects, from book writing to painting gaming miniatures, by putting together a collection of images and ideas that fire my imagination.
Because We All Need Artistic License
Don't leave home without it!
Don't leave home without it!
If you’re looking for some gift ideas for the artists and makers on your holiday list, consider supporting my work here by buying some of my merch. I sell these Artistic License cards. They come in a wax sealed envelope and are made of thick card stock with a durable finish. They are $5 each or 5 for $20 (postpaid in the US, foreign orders pay the extra postage). I have them ready to ship. Email me if interested. Also consider buying my book, Tips and Tales from the Workshop.
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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales

Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales

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