A.87 - Tricks for your Maker Shop Article End
I advise you not to have open coffee cups in the lab. Metal parts, solder or disconnected cables in the stomach are rather unpleasant. Coffee to go cups with small caps are better.
Sometimes you have to do several tasks in the shop at once, but you only have two hands. Here a clamp helps me to transfer the last rest of wood glue from a bottle into a can. I simply attached the clamp to a lamp. In the meantime I could continue working on a model and did not have to wait until the bottle was empty. Be creative when you have to solve tasks.
When you build a model that should look as good as possible authentic, collect as many references as possible. Do not rely on cliches and your memory. It may sound incredible, but Mars is not as red as I imagined it to be.
If you have read most of my project articles you will have noticed that I use different materials. When I cut something, I use a rubber pad. When I paint models, I use an imitation leather pad. For my electrical engineering projects I use a rough towel. But it must not be too rough. Some makers also use real leather, but I don't want that. The coarse towel prevents small screws or components from slipping off the table. With a lacquered table this can happen very quickly. With a coarse towel it does not happen because the frictional resistance is greater. Do not solder on the towel and do not use hot glue, because then the risk of fire is too high.
Sometimes the most simple idea is the most difficult one. It's difficult to be creative, but you can learn to be. Stop always doing what others do. Find simple and creative solutions. If you need to hold a board and you don't have a helping hand in your shop, just use something else. If it works just as well, it doesn't matter what it looks like.
Collect plastic cups. Well, not really collecting, but picking them up. I like to eat sweets from Korea and keep these plastic cups on. They are much more stable than the ones from Europe and therefore last much longer. I can use them as a small trash can for the table or to store components or tools. You should always have a small stock of plastic cups in your store. But you should not use them if you want to dilute paint, for example, because the solvents break down the plastic of the cup into its components.
Copy good ideas. When you copy a good idea, you show respect for the idea. I have clamped this small strong magnet to my screwdriver. With it I can lift the screws out of the holes without fiddling around with my thick fingers. I got the idea from a 15 year old video creator from India. This one probably copied the idea somewhere. Copy good and free ideas, ignore the patents and costs. If you want to run a good Maker Schop, learn everything from your mentor. Your mentor can also be the Infonet or Medianet. And it is even best if you copy good ideas and improve them. Then, in my personal opinion, you have earned my respect.
I had disassembled my Cyberdeck a few days ago because I was working on the case. Afterwards I had to make a statement unfortunately. I did not remember how the cables were connected. I then spent two hours trying to reconnect the cables correctly. Something that costs far too much unnecessary time. If you have a project with many cables, mark the cables with colored pins. You can also use colored cable ties or tape in different colors. It will save you a lot of time and trouble when assembling the cables. Since this is still a prototype, I used waterproof marker. For the next versions I will have to find another solution.
Learn to wait. That sounds easier than it is, because I have already broken some projects because I was too impatient. But you must not wait too long. When Will you have the experience to be able to assess the right time when you can continue working on your project. You also have to wait when implementing Hardware projects. The boards need time until they are produced and you have to wait patiently. It is best to train your patience and continue working on another project in the meantime.
At the beginning of your modelling career you will buy the cheapest tools that you can order online. This is not a problem and everyone should do it. There are sometimes tools that work just as well as a cheap model as an expensive brand model. But certain tools are like shoes. You use them on almost every project. My model making knife (below) worked well for two years. But at some point I noticed that the more professional I became, the more I was bothered by the slippery blue rubber. Whenever I wanted to cut something really straight, the rubber would slip to the side at an inopportune moment and I would cut myself. That's bad. The modelling knife is great for simple jobs or when you have to open a package. I won't throw it away, but will continue to use it. I still ordered a new knife and don't regret my decision. Sometimes you have to work with a tool for a while before you realise that it's not so good after all. Then you shouldn't be afraid to invest in a new and unknown tool. Sometimes a brand model is the best solution.
Sometimes you really have to think small to come up with a solution. It's good to look outside your own box. I used old paper or postcards as bookmarks. But they always broke after a while and I couldn't use them to mark the line where I stopped reading. In my toolbox I found old paper clips my from school days that a classmate had given me. I had never used them because I never worked in an office. Anyway, it's great to use these clips when you want to mark a line in a book. You just bend the paper clip a little longer on one side and then you have a good bookmark. It's not pretty but it's practical. You don't have to buy one and you save money. Sometimes you have to think small and observe your surroundings. If you then combine 1 + 1, you get a 2. Sometimes it can be as simple as that.
If you work a lot with modelling knives, soldering irons and saws, you should have a small first aid package in a visible place. I have a high consumption of plasters because I accidentally cut myself with the knife all the time and I don't notice it. Of course I take care as much as possible, but small accidents happen from time to time. A first aid package like this doesn't cost more than five monetary units and can be ordered online.