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MAKE Newsletter

March 28, 2012

Some of the tools we're most fond of are not necessarily the shiniest tool in the box, or even a tool we use every day. What are your beloved, maybe even unsung, tools? Next month we're back to tips. Share your favorite tips and tools by emailing us. And check out (and add to) our tips page on Make: Projects.

Also, a contest! Win $2,000 to get you and your project to Maker Faire Bay Area in the Road to Maker Faire Challenge. Step 1: Come up with an awesome project to present at Maker Faire, and fill out the contest submission form. Step 2: There is no Step 2! You're done.

-Gareth Branwyn

Syringe Applicators

One of our regular Toolbox contributors, Stuart Deutsch, highly recommends using syringes (disposable or reusable) to apply solvent-based adhesives.

El Cheapo Heat Gun

A cheap heat gun (~$20) can make quick work of desoldering a PCB, says MAKE author Steve Hobley. Place PCB upside down over a bucket, heat, and watch the parts drop off.

Brass Rod Hammer

When James Vreeland's grandfather was in a Siberian work camp, working as a lamp maker, he made a makeshift hammer from a brass rod. When he passed away, James inherited this one. Read the story here.

Parallel-Action Pliers

Reader Steve Crawford, of El Cerrito, Calif., swears by parallel-action pliers. Benefits: larger and more even gripping area, wire/rod passes through pliers which makes it easer to straighten sections of
wire, make bends regardless of position on the wire, grip nails/wire close to where they penetrate a surface.

Technician's Pocket Screwdriver

John Edgar Park never goes out without his technician's pocket screwdriver. It sports four tips (two flat, two Philips) in a pen-like “tool steel” housing.

Metal-Embossing Tapewriter

Makezine Senior Writer Sean Ragan has fallen in love with his antique Dymo Typewriter. Available via eBay for about $30.