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Posts by: Jordan Ross

When it comes to MacGyvering, the only thing better than duct tape — besides paper clips and gum — is superglue.  Working in special effects shops, I picked up a trick to make this miracle tool even more versatile. Its short name is zip-kick or zip-kicker;  in fancy terms it’s a cyanoacrylate accelerator, and it allows you to build up large quantities of glue and have them harden very fast, so you can make fillets.

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Here’s another solution for helter-skelter cables:  the Signum cable organizer from Ikea.  The idea is to “trunk” your cables — you screw the organizer to the bottom of your work area, throw a power strip in, and plug in the cables, then wrap the excess on the rack, letting the cables exit at the proper location.  This has helped me get my workbench super-clean-looking, without all those cables hanging all over the place and getting in my way, and I’m never searching for a place to plug things in.

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I came across Super Magnet Man by way of YouTube;  alongside some amazing videos of magnets smashing together in a bone-crushing manner, Super Magnet Man was hanging a wreath on his door with a magnetic hook and a rubber-coated disk magnet.  His store sells all sorts of amazing magnets, from a minuscule 1mm cube to mighty 2″ cubes.  Warning:  Some of his larger magnets may cause blood blisters or worse.

I use magnets in my shop to manage tools and also for odd things like remotes at my desk.  But Super Magnet Man has sparked my interest in these tools, and I want to start breaking ’em out more often.  How do you use magnets in your shop?  Let us know in comments.

Magnetic Hook [Super Magnet Man]


I use my Enderes XV-1 multi-bit screwdriver even more than my razor.  A very good family friend gave me the XV-1, saying it was his favorite tool, so naturally it became one of mine, and not just because of the sentimental value — this tool packs the punch of 15 screwdrivers in one.  It isn’t complicated or fancy;  it just gets the job done, whatever it may be.

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I almost jumped for joy when I saw this:  Pelican is making a toolbox now, the 0450!  Since the late ’70s they’ve been making some awesome waterproof, drop-proof, hardcore cases that can go where other boxes can’t, so this should be the Holy Grail if you’re looking to build a custom “go-to” toolbox.

You can carry almost any tool under the sun in this case, and did I mention it’s mobile?  With some of the solutions they demo on their site, this could be a great way to keep your tools organized and safe.

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I discovered the OttLite when I first took up the art/skill of tying flies for fly-fishing, and it’s become one of my most treasured and useful tools.  A bright and natural light at your workbench can make a world of difference, especially when you’re working on small, detailed projects. The OttLite’s natural light also helps on jobs that have to be color-accurate — I think the color temperature of their bulbs even surpasses that of daylight CFLs.  And they’re great reading lamps.

So when I saw this deal where you can get two great lamps for the price of one, $45, I had to share it.  If you’ve never owned one of these lamps, this is a great way to jump on board.



We all like to customize our cribs, but in some dorm rooms, apartments, and offices you’re not allowed to mar the walls, or maybe your significant other doesn’t like holes in the wall.  I just went through the hassle of patching all the nail holes in my bedroom, so I can kindof understand why some people get OCD about it.  3M comes to the rescue with a line of hangers that promise up to 7.5lbs of holding power — more importantly, they’re entirely removable and won’t mar your wall.

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I could hear the Jetsons theme playing in my head while I wrote this — the future is here.  In a video on his website, Jay Leno demos a consumer-level 3D scanner, showing how it can be used in real-world applications such as automotive restoration.  He scans a broken steam valve and sends the data to a 3D printer for mock-up and to his CNC machine to mill the final part.

I was amazed that the 3D printer can even make models with moving parts.  Jay shows a wrench that was printed with perfectly moving parts already in place, just like the original metal one!

3D Printing [Jay Leno’s Garage] via Fabbaloo


Here in sunny southern California, as in many other areas of the country, we’re experiencing a drought, and it seems like all we hear about is water conservation. We were forced to switch out our high-powered behemoth of a toilet for a more efficient low-flow model, but what if you’re not satisfied with that level of water conservation — what do you do?  You pick up a couple of oddly named Toilet Tummies.

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Ever since I began shaving I’ve used the big-brand cartridge razors, until recently I had a revelation:  I hate spending money on overpriced razor cartridges.  My local knife store turned me on to the old-school pleasure of wet-shaving with a double-edge safety razor.  Blades cost 25 cents apiece — and there’s something cool about shaving the way my grandfather used to shave.

There are many options in razors — I use a vintage 1950s Gillette — but one of the best razors that balances cost and quality is the Merkur 33C safety razor.  It runs about $26 without blades. If you’re interested, check out Badger and Blade where you can find anything and everything related to shaving.

Merkur 33C [West Coast Shaving]
Street Pricing [Google]