Tips on the Snips
Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #77
Greetings, Tipsters! I want to start a new series here. Called “Tips Testers,” I want to deputize you, my readers, to pick a tip (from this newsletter or anywhere), give it a good test, and send me the results (extra credit for a video tips-test). In the spring, I will do a random drawing from those who’ve submitted tips tests, and 3 people will receive signed copies of both Volume 1 and the forthcoming Volume 2 of my Tips and Tales from the Workshop. Let me know if you have any questions, but that’s about it: Pick a tip, subject it to honest, real-world testing, report back.
Tips on the Snips
Stop Motion Animation Tricks
In this Edu Puertas video, he shows eight simple and effective stop motion animation tips and effects tricks. The light effects were the big eye openers for me.
Anyone who’s done any scale modeling, game modeling, dungeon crafting, or other plastic modeling is no doubt familiar with sprues, those ubiquitous frames that hold plastic model parts and are part of the injection molding process. In this four-part video, game modeler Jon of Miniature Hobbyist, shows close to 40 different things you can make from this plastic waste material, from doors, walls, and cobblestone streets to piles of treasure, tents, barricades, cages, and even tools for your workbench, such as painting sticks and paint-pot holders. In part 4, he shows how you can turn sprue material, broken down in acetone, into a goopy plastic material (that he’s dubbed “Ooey Gooey Spruey”) for casting, gap-filling, turning into pipes and thick cables, miniature bases, and more. Fascinating stuff.
Take Multiple Passes When Razor-Cutting
Vacuum Pump from a Jar and Plastic Syringe
I’ve been completely enchanted by a YouTube channel I just discovered. Xiao Qianfeng is a young Chinese maker. Her videos are like DIY ASMR. In a video on making a “thermal katana” sword from the new video game, Cyberpunk 2077, she creates a simple vacuum chamber (3:26) for getting the bubbles out of her casting resin. Ingeniously, she makes it from a large glass jar and a plastic syringe for sucking the air out. I also like the way she makes a handle out of shipping tape to lower the resin container into the chamber.
Delivering a Spray Liquid to a Set Spot
On Jimmy DiResta’s Instagram stories, he shared this tip (taken from Derek Forestier). If you need to deliver a spray liquid to a set spot (and avoid a lot of overspray), use a wooden skewer or similar. Spray the liquid onto the stick and let it drip down to the desired spot.
TOYS! Recomendo: The Expanded Edition
My colleagues at Cool Tools, Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, and Claudia Dawson, do a weekly newsletter called Recomendo. In it, they recommend “cool stuff” that they’ve encounter in their life-travels. In 2018, they gathered 500 of these recommendations of tools, books, apps, websites, YouTube channels, tips, and more into an on-demand book. This past holiday, they released Recomendo: The Expanded Edition, which has 1000 recommendations. I cannot tell you how much I love this book. It’s done in the same basic style as the old Whole Earth Catalogs (where Kevin was an editor). It’s so rewarding to just open it at random and browse. It has everything from work and domestic tools to recommendations for leisure and travel. Every time I poke my head into it, I find something new and interesting.
Leave a Toolkit Behind in Your House
Speaking of Cool Tools. Years ago, I was on the Cool Tools Podcast, talking to Kevin and Mark about tools around the house. I was telling them about how, when I bought my house, the former owners left behind a drawer of tools, including a Gilhoolie (lid wrench) which has become one of my favorite kitchen devices. Kevin thought that would be a great tradition to adopt. Whenever you sell a house, you leave behind a box of tools for the new owners, especially things that you’ve used to maintain the home. Let’s all d0 this!01/28/21
(Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales is published by Cool Tools Lab. To receive the newsletter a week early, sign up here. — editors)