Talking Tips and Tools on the Cool Tools Podcast

Talking Tips and Tools on the Cool Tools Podcast

I had the pleasure of being on Kelly Kelly and Mark Frauenfelder’s Cool Tools podcast last Friday. You can listen to the full episode here.

In the episode, we talk about portable storage solutions, shop reorganization, the stories that often come with tools, and the joys of fountain pens and capillary action.

20 Bin Medium Portable Parts Storage Case ($9)
“I just reorganized my office/workshop/studio and created a multi-functional workstation that has mostly a clear desktop and all of the the tools, materials, and supplies in labeled bins above the desk (general electronics, robotics, mail art, crafting, rubber stamps, etc.) in these cheap Harbor Freight storage cases. To work in an activity, I just take down the bins I need, place them on the rolly tool cart that sits beside the desk (which houses additional tools and equipment), and off I go. These cases are somewhat cheaply made, but since this is occasional, light-duty use, I traded durability for features. This system has all removable trays and the bins stack and lock together. For the money (as low as $5-7 with coupons), these cases are exactly what I needed.”

Calligraphy Art Fountain Pen ($8)
“For years I have exclusively used Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens. I was talking about these on Facebook and a kind and generous friend (thanks, Michael Pechner!) sent me a Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen and a bottle of ink. I really liked it, but I still prefered the Varsity’s flow rate and smooth travel (the Pilot’s nib is a little scratchy). Then, another lovely friend sent me one of the bamboo fountain pens that can be found for around ten bucks on Amazon. I like the flow of this one better than the Pilot and have now adopted it as my regular pocket pen. I find that I really love the ritual of filling it and I really love the cool packaging and cut-glass designs of the ink bottles.”

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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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