Tips of the Week is our weekly peek at some of the best making tips, tricks, and recommendations we’ve discovered in our travels. Check in every Friday to see what we’ve discovered. And we want to hear from you. Please share your tips, shortcuts, best practices, and tall shop tales in the comments below and we might use your tip in a future column.
Lego Mold Boxes
If you’ve done any molding and casting, you likely already know this trick, but it’s a good one worth sharing widely. Lego bricks make for a perfect, reusable/resizable mold box and nearly every hobbyist (and pro) who does casting uses them.
Washer on a Glue Bottle
Found this on the Fine Woodworking Magazine’s Instagram feed. Not really sure about this one, but I do know how annoying this type of glue bottle can be, so this may be worth a try.
A Better Bottle Cap⠀by Bob Hartig
Often, the sliding cap on my glue bottle gets stuck or is hard to open and there is very little gripping area on the cap to get it unstuck. I fix this problem by first pulling the cap completely off the bottle. I then drop an appropriately sized washer over the tip of the bottle. The large diameter of the washer makes opening the bottle cap easy even when it is stuck, yet still allows the cap to close air-tight. An unintended bonus is that the washer also catches a lot of dripping glue before it runs under the cap. Illustration by Jim Richey (http://bit.ly/2BkeBgc)
Capillary Gluing with a Brush
If you’ve been following this column, you know that I’ve recently taken to the capillary method of applying CA or plastic glue. This is where you apply thin glue (via a needle tip applicator, syringe, or flexi-tip) along the seam of your join and let capillary action draw the glue inside. Going through the Make: archives this week, I stumbled on a piece I posted several years ago of model-making tips from a master modeler. In it, he shows how he uses a brush and glue to achieve the same result.
Another way of setting things up, involving a different technique of gluing, is offered by the fact that thin liquids will be drawn into tight gaps (what’s known as capillary action). This means that difficult-to-glue pieces such as the curving sheet see here can be set up in the correct position and the glue introduced along the joint afterwards. Here, a thin plastic solvent is being used to glue styrene plastic, but thin superglue can also be used and this can also work with card.
Rotary Tool Bit Fan
Here’s an idea that I love. It’s a little 3D printed fan that friction-fits onto the bit of your rotary tool for cooling the bit and blowing away the drill-out.
Screws for Mere Mortals
In this episode of Woodworking for Mere Mortals, Steve Ramsey does a wonderful job of methodically running through all of the major screw types available for woodworking and the benefits (and liabilities) of using each kind of fastener. The video has an equally excellent companion article on Steve’s website.
Drilling Holes with Hot Glue?
This is, by far, my favorite tip this week. In this Cactus Workshop video, Carlos wants to drill some holes in glass bottles. To create a cooling reservoir for the drill, he creates a damn of hot glue around each desired drill site. After the hole is drilled, he simply knicks off the glue dam with a chisel tip. In the comments, someone also suggests using reusable clay, like Play-Doh or poster putty, for the same effect. I have used clay dams for holding etchant for etching copper plates.