Tips of the Week: Big Wrench/Small Bolt, Organizing Screws, Mailbox Garden Tool Stash

Tips of the Week: Big Wrench/Small Bolt, Organizing Screws, Mailbox Garden Tool Stash

As always, we want to see some of your favorite shop tips, tricks, hacks, shortcuts, whatever you care to call them. Please share below in the comments and we might include them in a future column.

Making a Big Wrench Fit a Small Bolt


There are tons of tips round-up videos on YouTube. Some of them contain sincere collections of useful tips that come from the daily practice of a hobby or trade, others are simply collections of tips that look useful, but actually aren’t. The video was basically created as click-bait. It just had to look useful to go in the video. And then there are some that include both. A lot of the click-baity videos include tips that do work, but you might never have a call to actually use them. They’re basically tips and time-savers as entertainment. This might be one of those tips. You might never have the need to use a larger-size wrench on a small bolt, but if you do, whoever would have thought of using coins? And that’s another benefit of these aspirational tips videos, some of these hacks are clever enough to make you think and approach problems in a new way.

Eyeglass Driver from Paper Clip

organizingAlso from the above 5-Minute Crafts tips video comes this idea which I know I’ll be trying soon. The screws on my old eyeglasses constantly need tightening and I can never find my set of tiny drivers when I need them. I have never thought to hammer the end of a paper clip to create an impromptu tiny slotted driver, but I suspect I will be trying this sooner than later.

Poking Removed Screws Through Cardboard to Keep Track of Them

organizingFormer Make: contributor Michael Colombo shared this with us from a Reddit motorcycle maintenance thread. When disassembling something that has a lot of hardware, poke it all through a piece of cardboard and label what it is and where it goes. This will make reassembly so much easier.

Using Dry Erase Marker to Remove Old, Stubborn Markings

This one comes from my son, Blake Maloof, who’s a game designer and has white boards throughout his apartment. To remove old, stubborn markings on your board, scribble over them with new dry-erase markings and then erase. The solvent in the marker will remove both the new markings and the old markings underneath.

Old Mailbox as Garden Tool Stash

organizingMake: contributor Kent Barnes sends us this one: “I reused our old mailbox as a garden tool holder. It’s pretty waterproof, and if you remove a tool, you can put the flag up to remind you to put it back.” I love this!

Recycled Wrench Handles

organizingFrom the DIY for Knuckleheads Facebook group comes this idea for turning box wrenches into shop door handles.

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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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