Tips of the Week: Stainless vs. Steel, Epoxy Shootout, Etching with a Rotary Tool, Halloween Hacks

Costumes, Cosplay, and Props Craft & Design Workshop
Tips of the Week: Stainless vs. Steel, Epoxy Shootout, Etching with a Rotary Tool, Halloween Hacks

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.


Stainless Steel vs. Steel Bolts

Many people are under the impression that stainless steel bolts are superior to steel bolts. But in this Ultimate Handyman video, Tom argues that this is not the case. Stainless steel is subject to something called “galling.” This is where, after a few trips up and down the threads of a bolt, for instance, as friction is generated between the threading, a nut can seize in place. Trying to remove the nut can damage the threads. Tom does tests to show how easy it is for this galling to occur with stainless and how it doesn’t happen with steel. You also can’t “cook off” seized stainless steel hardware with a torch like you can with steel. Definitely something to keep in mind when choosing hardware for a project.

Which Epoxy is Best

After last week’s sharing of Project Farm’s superglue testing shootout, I have been binge watching the channel. So much amazing, informative content here. In this video, he tests various brands of epoxy and finds a clear winner in JB Weld Original (and Devcon Plastic Steel).

Etching Glass with a Rotary Tool

Last year, Ellen of Crafts with Ellen got a Dremel tool. She decided to see how hard it would be to try and etch glass with it. She discovered it was easier than she thought. In this video, she shares what she learned.

A few Halloween-related Tips of the Week:

Making Milk Jug Skulls

One of our most popular recent posts was on making plastic skulls out of milk jugs. In this Pennywise video, he runs through the process of exactly how you make them using nothing but a skull form and a heat gun.

Keeping Track of Paper Mâché Layers

In this video on making paper mâché skulls, this maker shares a useful tip for any paper mâché work. He suggests using different colored paper for each layer (e.g. switching back and forth between the white and yellow pages of a phone book) so that you can make sure you’ve completely covered the last layer with a new one.

Halloween Costume Accessories from Hot Glue

I keep on seeing cool projects and hacks that remind me of the tremendous versatility of hot-melt glue. It can be used for all sorts of casting, modeling, and other uses far beyond quick-gluing. In this video, YouTuber Jahtna shows off a number of very clever Halloween costume accessories she made using hot glue. My favorite is this skeleton “bracelet” made of nothing but hot glue (and paint).

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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