Gareth's Tips

Bike Chain Hinges?

Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #64

Bike Chain Hinges?

Bike chain hinge.

Bike chain hinge.

On a recent Laura Kampf video, where she’s cutting down an old bike to make it foldable, she shows a little hack I’ve never thought of. She uses links from an old bike chain to create a hinge for the bike’s folding mechanism..

Improve Your Layer Strength by Annealing 3D Prints in Plaster

Is plastering your prints a good idea?

Is plastering your prints a good idea?

In this videoStefan of CNC Kitchen makes an amazing discovery. By annealing 3D prints in plaster, you can significantly improve their strength and heat tolerance. He did have some issues with “demolding” the parts from the plaster and plans to do additional testing. It will be interesting to see where this leads. As someone adds in the comments: “Before putting in plaster, coat with a sealer and then a mold release. Avoids moisture absorption and reduces cleanup.”

Finding the Center of a Cylinder with a Ruler and a Drill Press

When the ruler is eye-ball level, you've found your center line.

When the ruler is eye-ball level, you’ve found your center line.

We’ve run this tip in the newsletter before, first shared by reader Emory Kimbrough, but I thought I’d share it again via this video. On Arnold’s Design, he too shares this old machinist’s trick for finding the center line of a piece of round stock by leveling a ruler on the vised stock using a drill press and a pointy bit in the chuck. When the ruler is eyeballed as level, you’re at least close to the center point. It’s not precision measuring by any stretch, but good enough for many applications.

Using Rubber Bands to Create Temporary Clamps

Image via FamilyHandyman.com

Image via FamilyHandyman.com

Don’t forget the power of the rubber band to do simple things like creating a temporary small-parts clamp.

Old Art Brushes Just Become Another Type of Brush

Once it was a basecoat brush. Then it became a drybrush. Stippling brush here we come!

Once it was a basecoat brush. Then it became a drybrush. Stippling brush here we come!

In this video on reviving old acrylic brushes on Midwinter Minis, they share several good tips. One of them is to use a matt clay hair product as a brush conditioner. Another is to always see an old brush as a new brush waiting to happen. An old basecoat brush can be repurposed as a drybrush, and a drybrush can then be given a severe haircut to become a stippling brush. And you can always re-purpose old brushes to use as glue applicators. THEN you get to throw them away.

Shop Tales

I choose my choice.

I choose my choice.

Treasure.

Treasure.

Tell me a story, a shop tale. Tell me about a tool you own and the story behind how it came into your life. Tell me about a project you have fond memories of or are haunted by. Tell me about a tip shared by a parent or mentor that you’ve never forgotten. I’m in search of stories for the 2nd volume of my book, Tips and Tales from the Workshop.

I’ll start.

I began my professional life as an offset lithographer (printer) and graphic artist. I loved that work and it still lives large as part of my self-image. I will always be a printer in my soul.

This old Austrian Meine Sorte cigarette box houses the first set of Speedball nibs I ever owned. I got them for Christmas when I was a teen first learning calligraphy and Celtic knot work. Also in the box are parts from my first Rapidograph pen set, also given to me by my parents at Christmas, when I became a printer.

The Speedball handle and the rest of the Rapidograph pens are long gone, but I’ve kept this wooden box and its precious contents in my work area ever since to always remind me of my roots and some of the first work tools I ever fell in love with.

Tell me a story, a shop tale.

10/8/20