Many of the things you buy arrive in those stiff clear window boxes, which the council won’t recycle. Cut into squares they make disposable surfaces for mixing two part adhesives, such as Araldite and Devcon. You can couple them with some plastic coffee stirrers for mixing and set them aside after use so as to monitor the setting time. By the way, I was taught to apply my adhesive with the end of a saw blade. If you cut the plastic sheet carefully, with a ruler and a craft knife It will also make a flexible straight edge for drawing or scribing on curved surfaces.
When trying gemstones into rub down bezels you are in danger of having one stuck before you are ready to set it. The traditional advice is to lay down some dental floss first so that you can lift the stone by pulling on the ends. Failing this there is a German brand of fiercely adhesive strip, ’Tesa’, which can be found on line or at DIY stores and independent stationers. A small piece of this stuck onto your stone and left for thirty seconds or so will generally allow you to lift it out. It is made for sticking things to walls, but peels away cleanly.
If, like me you like to browse the tool sections of pound shops and discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl, you might come across the Sharpening Set. This consists of three perforated plates, colour coded for different grits. They are brilliant for creating a straight edge on sheet metal and trueing the sides of rings.
Surgical forceps or haemostats, are for clamping blood vessels and retracting tissue. Someone must have manufactured a huge surplus, because they are sold cheaply in markets, discount stores, Maplins, Proops, you name it… The scissor like ends are broad and stable, The ratchet keeps them closed and the beaks can be ground smooth of serrations. Once annealed the tips can be adjusted to exert minimum pressure and support various objects vertically on a block for soldering . To support short lengths of vertical tubing without squashing them, you grip a few millimetres of binding wire and insert that into the top of the tube, but it must not touch bottom.
If you are about to recycle a jar with a large deep lid, like the one from silver dip, then the lid drilled and fitted between the body and the screw handle of your tube cutter will collect all your cuttings before they roll onto the floor. A slot at one end will accommodate the stem of the length gauge.
Below: Gear for glueing session.
Tesa products and dental floss.
Supporting a vertical tube for soldering.
Tube cutter with fitted lid. Dennis