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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #6

I continue to be thrilled by the response I'm getting to this newsletter. Cool Tools included it in t
Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #6
I continue to be thrilled by the response I’m getting to this newsletter. Cool Tools included it in their Recomendo newsletter last week and my subscriber base has shot up to over 1200. Please keep spreading the word and keep sharing your tips, tools, and shop tales with me.
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In the wake of this weekend’s sad news of the passing of my Alma Mater, Maker Media (at least this incarnation of it), I posted this piece on Boing Boing.

Understanding Screw Threads
In this episode of Shop Tips on Tested.com, Sean runs through screw basics, tapping and repairing screws, and thread gauges available for identifying nuts, bolts, and screws. I think I’m going to spring for this thread gauge that he recommends. And I didn’t even know that thread restoring files were a thing.
Advice for Young Makers
Sherry drops some wisdom on the kids.
Sherry drops some wisdom on the kids.
Maker movement mastermind, Sherry Huss, recently returned to her hometown of Elyria, OH to speak to the Elyria Robotics group and the Elyria City Schools system. For her talk, she put together a little “manifesto” of top-level tips for instilling the spirit of lifelong learning, adventure, and making among young people. You can download the PDF here.
Coffee Mug Barometer
A clear head AND clear skies!
A clear head AND clear skies!
A reader of my book, Tips and Tales from the Workshop, Joe Mayerik, was inspired to send me some tips. Here is one that he shared:
Instructables user stickmop shares a trick to tell basic barometric pressure using a hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa. When you pour the coffee into the cup, watch the bubbles. If they move to the edge of the cup quickly you can expect clear skies for the next 12 hours. If they hang out in the center, expect rain in the next 12 hours, and if the bubbles move slowly to the edge, you may get a bit of weather, but it will clear soon.
This trick came from a long-ago issue of Backpacker Magazine. If you’re out camping without an internet connection, it may come in handy.
Kitty Litter Rust Protection
Put a dessicant in your toolbox to keep your tools dry.
Put a dessicant in your toolbox to keep your tools dry.
Via Family Handyman comes this idea for helping to prevent the rusting of your tools. Put a scoop of crystal kitty litter into a square of cloth and tie it into a bundle. Place the bundle in your tool box and the litter will act as a desiccant to remove moisture and help prevent rust.
Making PVC Hinges
Heat-forming PVC is easier than you think.
Heat-forming PVC is easier than you think.
On Elisha’s Pneumatic Addict Instagram page, she put up a video showing how easy it is to create hinges in PVC using heat and a crimping tool to flatten the pipe. Cut, sand, and drill, and you have a serviceable hinge.
Life Hacks: Pool Noodle Bike Spacer
Back off my noodle, buster.
Back off my noodle, buster.
On his Twitter feed, Kevin Kelly shared this clever idea for cyclists. Strap a foam pool noodle on the back of your bike to create a bright visual alert for motorists and to indicate a safe passing distance.
Must-See Maker TV: The 8-Bit Guy
I’ve been a fan of The 8-Bit Guy (David Murray) for years. I’m a sucker for retro-computing and antique tool restoration and these come together in 8-Bit Guy projects. Watch and learn as David brings old PCs, Macs, Commodore 64s, Amigas, game systems, and electronic toys back from the dead.
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Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales

Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales

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