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MAKE Newsletter

February 26, 2013

Tips: You got 'em? We want 'em! Email your favorite tips to editor@makezine.com and you may see it in the next tips-themed newsletter. We're also looking for tool stories — send us a photo and story of why you love the tool (especially handmade tools, and tools with a lovely patina!).

Milk Jug Lamp

Perfect for camping, or when the power goes out: Fill a plastic milk jug with water, strap a headlamp facing inward around the jug, and you've got a nice glowing lamp. –Listorama

Lockout Device

If you're in the middle of repairing a tool or appliance, you want to make sure no one else plugs it in, because it could damage the equipment or cause injury or even death. So make this simple plug lockout to avoid any unpleasantness. –Gus Dassios

Raspberry Pi: Command Line Completion

You don’t have to laboriously type out long paths, filenames, and commands. Just type the first few letters and hit tab. If bash (the command interpreter, or shell) can determine what file you’re referring to, it will fill in the rest for you. If not, hit tab again it will give you a list of possibilities if there are more than one. Click for more Raspberry Pi tips.

3D Printing: A Level Platform

An unleveled build platform will cause many headaches during a print. So you’ll want to monitor this situation closely. You can quickly check the platform by doing the paper test: Use a single sheet of paper to judge the height of your extruder nozzle over the build platform. Set the extruder height at first layer height, then move it to all four corners and the center with the paper between the platform and the extruder. You want to be able to move the paper at all five positions but you also want the tip of the extruder to touch the paper at all five positions. Click for more 3D printing tips.

Metal Drilling

When drilling metal, make sure your drill is set to a slow speed, and use oil as you go. The oil acts as a lubricant and regulates the temperature of the bit and material. There are special types of cutting oil meant to be used for different processes, but usually any household oil with a decent viscosity will do for small projects. Click for more drilling tips.

Dessicant Packets Prevent Rust

Those innocuous little packets of desiccant that we are not supposed to eat. You find them in packaging, especially with electronic devices. You will find large ones in things like monitors and big screen TVs. Their purpose is to soak up the ambient moisture in the air so that the device wont be affected. Don't throw them away! Gather them up and place them in your tool boxes and drawers to keep your tools from rusting! –Marc Barbani