Gareth's Tips

Pry Bar Tips and Tricks

Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #127

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Pry Bar Tips and Tricks
Image from Family HandymanImage from Family Handyman
Through an article in Family Handyman on pry bar tricks, I learned of something called an inflatable pry bar. Maybe this is a tool common to others, but I’d never heard of it, and now I think I need one in my life.
Beginner’s Tips for Using an Oscillating Multi-Tool
I recently broke down and bought my first oscillating multi-tool. If you’re also new to this strange-looking type of tool, here are 20 basic tips for getting more out of it. I especially agree with the tip about buying cheap accessories first, finding out which ones you use most often, and then investing in better quality versions. That’s what I did. Here’s a follow-up video on sharpening multi-tool blades. And the Project Farm video he refers to on the best multi-tool blades (TL;DR: Get the EZARC blades, $7.60 each in pack of 3).
Great Collection of Sewing Tips
I am working on a special project that has me going through the archives of In doing so, I’m unearthing some gems, like all of the sewing tips that were posted over the years by Haley Pierson-Cox and others. Sewing is one of those foundational DIY skills that everyone should at least know the basics of (both hand and machine sewing).
Using a Hobby Polishing/Sanding Tool to Smooth 3D Prints
I have long been a huge fan of the Mr. Hobby Polisher Pro sanding tool. This is a simple (and a bit overpriced) battery-operated disc polisher/sander sold to the hobby market for sanding off sprue material and finishing models. It’s basically an electric toothbrush with a sanding disc head. The Polisher Pro comes with 3 sheets of sanding pads in 600, 800, and 1000-grit. There are 45 pads in all. I’ve had my tool for several years now, use it often in game modeling, and still have plenty of pads left. There are also replacement sanding pads available on Amazon (and there are pads available in other grits). This video introduces a use I hadn’t thought of: sanding layer lines and joins in resin and FDM 3D prints. The video doesn’t have a lot of content beyond that basic idea, but I was happy to discover another use for a tool I already own. I know many will say: Just use a Dremel tool! You can if you have a mini Dremel, but for modeling, this tool is better sized and not as aggressive as a Dremel. And, don’t be like the guy in the video. Always wear a mask when sanding resin and plastic.
The Creative Process in a Nutshell
1. This is awesome
2. This is tricky
3. This is shit
4. I am shit
5. This might be OK
6. This is awesome

This was posted on film/theater director Marcus Romer’s Twitter feed. This is a riff (to put it kindly) of an original list by Kazu Kibuishi. I like the above saltier expression of the idea, but your mileage may vary.
TOYS! Carhartt Work Shirts
For years, I’ve seen other people wearing Carhartt work shirts and for some reason never thought of buying one myself. I recently bought two, one in charcoal and one in denim blue. Man, do I like these shirts! Super well-made, comfortable, nice fabric, rugged, and good looking. And I love the pencil/pen slit in the right pocket. I think these shirt will be my go-to garment forever more. Carhartt work shirts are also available in women’s sizes.
Shop Talk
I got the following message from reader John Baglio. I don’t recall such a playlist crossing my transom, but it sounds great. If this rings anyone else’s bells, please message me.

“I was just thinking back over some of the better engineering videos I’ve seen in the past, and I was thinking of a playlist that I thought I saw in one of your newsletters. It was done by an engineer who I think was either Russian or Israeli and it was a whole series of pieces of wisdom for people fabricating parts. One of the things that I remember him saying was design captive hardware whenever possible. I was wondering if you might remember what that playlist was. If so, is there a way you could either send it to me or posted in one of your upcoming newsletters? I remember it being chock-full of amazing advice for fabricating parts.”

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