Gareth's Tips

Using Power Tool Batteries in Mobile Projects

Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales - Issue #111

I have two readers who’ve volunteered to be tips busters. They are currently looking for some good tips to try and verify or bust. If you want to to be a tips buster, message me. If you’ve seen a tip that you’d like us to put to the test, let me know.

Using Power Tool Batteries in Mobile Projects
In this Andreas Spiess video, he shows how you can 3D print adapters for power tool batteries that will turn them into a power supply for mobile applications.

Improving Your Car with 3D Printing
In this I Like to Make Stuff video, Bob challenges all of us with 3D printers to think about what fixes and improvements we could make to the interior of our cars. It’s a fun thing to think about. In Bob’s case, he had a seat adjustment handle that was missing and an out-of-date cup holder. He recreated the handle in Fusion360 and designed and printed a new cup holder that adjusts to the size of the cup. What things would you like to fix or customized inside of your vehicle?

The Shelf Lives of PVA, Epoxy, and CA Glue
In this Stumpy Nubs video, James goes over various common shop glues and how long you can expect them to work reliably. He discusses how to store them, how to extend their life, and how to tell if an old glue is still viable. There are lots of good tips here, like dating your glue bottles, so you’ll know how long you’ve had them. And, checking CA (superglue) when you buy it to see if you can determine when it was manufactured. CA glue is rated to only last for a year, even if the bottle is not opened. He also recommends storing CA glue in the freezer (it won’t freeze). You can also store it in an airtight glass jar and even including a desiccant pack.

Creating Your Own Pigment Powders
If you do any kind of terrain building, for tabletop gaming, model trains, diorama-making, or scale modeling, you’re likely familiar with pigment powers. These are colored, powdered chalks that are sold by major hobby supply companies to be used in weathering terrain and models. They’re great, but also expensive at as much as $10/ounce. But you don’t have to spend that at all. Using a mortar and pestle (or a hobby knife), you can grind up a set of cheap art chalks. They work exactly like the commercial chalks and you have a much wider range of colors available. In this Black Magic Craft video, Jeremy shows just how easy this is.

Shop Talk

The Wiha Ultra Driver

The Wiha Ultra Driver

There was quite a large response to my screwdriver design question. There were so many comments, in email and on the Cool Tools site, that I can’t possibly include them all here. You can read the Cool Tool comments here and here.

Lots of people wrote in to recommend the Snap-On ratchet screwdriver (and Snap-On drivers in general). On Cool Tools, user KokoTheTalkingApe, who always posts long thoughtful, and well-informed comments, takes exception to the handle-storage of bits with this driver (something I also very much dislike):

“There are many other great choices from Megapro, Wiha, Wera, and other premium toolmakers. My favorite is the Wiha Ultra Driver. It stores 13 double-ended bits in the handle, so it has 26 tips. The bits are stored in two rotating carousels that fan open when you pull them out, which is super handy. I don’t usually like proprietary bits, but these have held up well and replacements are readily available. The bitholder locks onto the bit. Made in Germany. But not ratcheting.”


The Klein Tools 24" Tool Bag

The Klein Tools 24″ Tool Bag

I also got a huge response to the query about a reader replacing a leather tool bag that he inherited from his dad. Lots of people said something similar to this response from reader Jonathon Cassel:

“Why? That bag appears to still be very functional and it is impossible to replace the sentimental value with anything new. Why not just have the leather reworked, oiled, and stained (if inclined).”

Jonathon also added something that several other readers suggested:

“Or, you could just commission a leather craftsperson to copy it.”

Reader cccrews recommended the Klein Tools 24″ leather tool bag (see above). They also point out that there are much cheaper canvas versions of these bags.

I personally have been looking for a tool bag and think I’m going to get the Klein canvas bag.


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