Maker Update

Maker Update #42: Poster Putty


Why you need some in your toolkit

This week on Maker Update: Pterodactyl automata, a tachometer for your tools, poster tack for your tech, Hackaday Superconference, understanding screws, and making better projects.

Show notes here.

This time around for my Cool Tools review, I’m going super cheap. How cheap, Donald? How about $3. That’s what I paid for this block of poster tack as an Amazon add-on. I’m going to show you why you should keep some in your toolkit. And if I do a convincing job, be sure to use the link in the video description, which supports my videos and the Cool Tools blog.

If you do any soldering you probably have a pair of helping hands, or some bulky heavy thing like this that can hold your project or components steady while you wire them. They’re useful, but a little clunky to travel with, and often overkill if you’re just splicing a wire or two.

In terms of price and portability, poster tack is a great alternative. The first problem it solves is what I call the wandering board problem, where you’re pushing your project around the table as you’re trying to soldering it up. Using a glob of tack to temporarily fix your board in place makes the job a lot easier.

The second problem solved by tack is component to component soldering. You need to put a resistor on a leg of an LED, or splice two wires together. Everyone has their way of doing things, but in terms of convenience, few ways are faster than just sticking the pieces down with tack, and hitting it with some solder.

I know I’m not the first to think of it — you’ve probably heard this advice before — but if you’re like me you always forget to grab this stuff when you’re at the store. So do us both a favor, use the Amazon link here, throw $3 at it, and see if it helps you out. And remember, you can see thousands of reader recommended tools, and hacks, at

Also checkout: 5 Fantastic Uses for Poster Putty article by Gareth Branwyn on Make

-- Donald Bell 07/13/17