Tips of the Week: Magnet Clips, Hobby Knife Compass, and the Squiggly Line of Untrue

Tips of the Week: Magnet Clips, Hobby Knife Compass, and the Squiggly Line of Untrue

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.


Using Magnets on Alligator Clips

The ever-industrious Kent Barnes sent us these pics of the rare earth magnets he added to the ends of his tester wires. They can be used for quick hookups or hookups that would otherwise be impossible with alligator clips.

Old Motor Video Turntable

Make: contributor John Park shared this wonderful little hack on Instagram. He turned an old motor into a rotating display for filming his Clockwork Goggles project. You can see the results below.

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Hobby Knife Compass Cutter

On the “DM Scotty” crafting group on Facebook, Phillip Stokes‎ shared this tip for adding a hobby knife to a compass designed to accept different markers and pens. Phillip advises that, if you decide to try this, you probably don’t want to use a cheap compass as seen here.

The Squiggly Line of Untrue

In one of Andy Birkey’s early “Gimme a Minute” tips series, he shared this gem. Anytime you have material stock that has an edge that you know is not true, mark it with a squiggly line, on both sides of the stock. And only use that marking convention (or another, if you prefer) to indicate an untrue edge. That way, you’ll know which edges of your material you can trust and which you can’t.

Drill Press Drum Sander

Via Donald Bell’s Maker Update comes this Instructable for how to turn your drill press into a makeshift drum sander.

A Light You Need on Every Workbench

In one of Ben Krasnow’s excellent tips videos, he shared his loved for a ten dollar Ikea flexi-neck LED lamp that he recommends having on every desk. He convinced me. I never feel like I have enough directed work light. I’m ordering a couple. Here’s a piece Ben did for Make: on workbench lighting where he also talks about this lamp.

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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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