Bench Tips #1 – Using Tools and Equipment From Household Items

by laurie jane kern on June 17, 2009

Since there is a long discussion going on about bench tips, I thought I would add to the mix with what I have done, since I am a newbie.

I think the engineer in me is finding another outlet – converting household items for use as tools and equipment when I find I don’t have said item. In many of these instances I either need it NOW or I am uncertain about if I will need it long term and don’t want to spend that much money yet.

For example I needed a coil winding mandrel that was about 4.25 mm so the aspect ratio for a chain would be spot on. Some books suggest wrapping paper around a 4 mm mandrel until you get close. My husband suggested I use the end of a drill bit as this was closer to the correct diameter but the coils would be short and I would have to make quite a few of them. I then decided to raid my knitting needle stash!  In my prior post “Working on the Chain Gang” I mentioned this briefly.

Here is how I converted a knintting needle to a coil winding mandrel I took the bamboo double pointed needle, cut one point off and then used my saw to cut a groove in the flat end big enough to grab the wire so I could coil wind on it.  So far I have supplemented the mandrels that come with the Koil Cutter with about 4 different sizes and oh, by the way dpn’s (double pointed needles) usaully come 5 to the set.  You can usually pick these up at your local knitting store (support another small business) or at a large box craft store (these shall remain nameless).

What else I have found to be useful from household items?

Read my next post…soon

laurie jane kern

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