Tips of the Week: Wire Splicing, Table Saw Router, and Flea Market Brainstorming

Tips of the Week: Wire Splicing, Table Saw Router, and Flea Market Brainstorming

Another week of tips and techniques that Make: readers will hopefully find useful. Don’t forget to share in the comments below any tips that you’ve come across in your travels. And if you’re going to be at Maker Faire Bay Area on May 20th, come see my Amazing Tales from the Shop panel (see details below).

Basic Wire Soldering Connections

YouTube player
A YouTube channel called TSbrownie does a nice job of running through 5 common types of soldered wire connections: pigtail/rat tail splice, wrapped cable splice, lineman splice, butt splice, and 3-way splice. The video also ends with a few misc. soldering/splicing tips.

Make Your Joints Proud

On Jimmy DiResta’s most recent Rockler video, he mentions his penchant for leaving his joints “proud.” He’s often commented on this in his videos. Proud in woodworking means to let the workpiece protrude over the edge. This allows you to sand or cut the the piece down so that it is perfectly flush at your join.

Using a Cordless Circular Saw as a Router

On Izzy Swan’s Instagram feed, he posted a little video clip showing how he uses a circular saw to cut some decorative coves on a panel.

Taping Slotted Drivers for Delicate Screws

If you’ve ever worked with brass screws, especially antique screws, you know that their heads can be soft and have a tendency to strip. You can help minimize this, and keep your screws unmarred, by wrapping a slotted driver with masking tape before working the screws.

Flea Market Brainstorming

Anyone who’s watched a lot of DiResta project videos and vlogs knows that he’s a big fan of flea markets. He does buy a fair amount at these sales, but one of the main reasons he goes is to stimulate his imagination; to see all of the many ways that engineers have mechanically solved hardware design problems over the decades. “Shop with your eyes, not your wallet,” says DiResta. “When I walk through a flea market, I come up with my best ideas.” He says to always go to the market with a notebook and a pen (or write inspirations on your hand).

Angling Bins

Last week, Bob Clagett of I Like to Make Stuff posted a video for a sweet little spinning shop organizer. One of the things he did in this video that I think is worth pointing out here is that he angled his shelves downward toward the center. This prevents things from rolling out of the cart as it’s moved or spun.

Talking Tips, Tools, and Tall Tales at Maker Faire

Last year’s tips panel with Mark Frauenfelder and Jimmy DiResta. Sadly, Jimmy can’t make it this year.
If you’re going to be at Maker Faire Bay Area, come see my Amazing Tales from the Shop panel on Saturday, May 20th, 4:30pm. I’ll be talking tall tales from the shop and sharing beloved tips and tools with my pals Mark Frauenfelder (Boing Boing, Cool Tools), April Wilkerson (Wilderdos), John Edgar Park (Adafruit Industries), and Donald Bell (Maker Project Lab). Comes share your stories, too.

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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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