Introduction: How to Enter the Tool Tips Month

Picture of How to Enter the Tool Tips Month

The winners have been announced! You can see themhere.

February is Tool Tips month here at Instructables! It's important to know how to use the tools around us and we want you to post an Instructable on how to use your favorite tool. Authors of Tool Tips instructables will win t-shirts, patches, and stickers.

When it comes to what a tool is, we are not limiting to shop tools. Instructables for sewing machines, rotary tools, soldering irons, and many other tools will be gladly accepted. If you use it and you have some good advice for others, we want to see an Instructable for it.

These Tool Tips can be a full-on tutorial of how to use a tool, a specific use of the tool, or even a quick tip of how to use or take care of the tool. Of course, we want to see some good Instructables that offer good advice so we will have some requirements. The advice should be helpful and the pictures need to be good.

To reward the fine documenting efforts, we'll be giving away five t-shirts to authors of Tool Tips Instructables. Two will be selected by Instructables judges, two will be selected for high ratings, and one will be selected at random.

If you do a good job and don't win a t-shirt, we'll still be sending you a robot patch and some stickers. So what are you waiting for? Let us know about your favorite tools!

To get the ball rolling, noahw posted an Instructable about using fiberglass. Check it out and start thinking about what else in this world needs explaining.

Tips for Tool Tips

Go and document a tool or few and help build up a body of knowledge to help other makers. If you're unsure about how to improve your Instructables, here are a few Tool Tips of our own. Keep these in mind and you'll be on your way to making a great Instructable.

- Use original photos. Don't just show some product shots and call it a day. We want to see your own photos of the tool being used.

- Use descriptive photos. Tell the story with your pictures as much as possible. Instead of telling us where the thread in a sewing machine goes, show a picture of the thread going through the right place. This helps to reduce confusion.

- Use a descriptive title. A good and appropriate title means that more people will be able to find it while searching on the web. Some examples of this would be, "How to cut a hole with a router," "How to maintain a Singer sewing machine," or "How to care for your drill press." You get the idea.

We'll judge based on the standings at noon PST on Monday, March 3, 2008 so everyone will have time to check out and vote on even the latest entries. Results will be posted shortly thereafter.

How to Enter

- Make a Tool Tip Instructable.
- Add it to the Tool Tips group by 11:59pm PST, Friday February 29, 2008.


Rating Prizes:
The two Instructables with the highest rating will win anInstructables Robot t-shirt.

Judges Prize:
Two Instructables selected by Instructables staff will receive anInstructables Robot t-shirt.

Random Prize:
We'll conduct a random drawing from the remaining pool of entries, and one lucky winner will receive anInstructables Robot t-shirt.


Only projects posted during the contest period are eligible. If you've already submitted a suitable Instructable, make another iteration with improvements and submit it to the contest! Post an improved version of someone else's Instructable with a link back to your source of inspiration!

Project Submission Start: 12:01 am PST, Friday February 1, 2008.
Project Submission Deadline: 11:59 pm PST, Friday February 29, 2008.
Audience Judging Deadline: noon PST, Monday, March 3, 2008.


1up (author)2008-03-03

So... today is the 3rd. Isn't there supposed to be something saying the contest is over, we are counting the votes, etc?

fungus amungus (author)1up2008-03-03

Yes, we are counting the votes. We should have an announcement of the winners tomorrow.

Was going to ask that. Can't wait till tomorrow.

yhorton (author)2008-02-29

Would someone send me or tell me how to get the magic frozen beer video. It was on the site today but I can not find it now.

awoodcarver (author)2008-02-24

Would sharpening gouges for carving / wood turning be a tool tip? Maybe my mod to a lapidary wheel to do the sharpening as a tip you just use a tool ...hard to show someone how to carve online without stopping every 5 cuts and taking a pic ..will 300 fit on a page?

chabias (author)awoodcarver2008-02-29

I would love to see tips on sharpening gouges! As a novice woodworker (been making sawdust for 1 1/2 yrs.), I'd love to see any of your woodworking tool tips.

Ooh, that would be a couple hundred too many.

mverdo (author)2008-02-27

Is a sledge hammer considered as a tool?

Goodhart (author)mverdo2008-02-27

alas, that reminds me. I had a 28 lb sledge with a cross peen on the one got "lost" in a move *sigh*. What a beauty she was too, back when I was able to wield it.

Danielk (author)2008-02-23

Would Duct Tape be an eligable tooltip? i know many useful uses of duct tape, most of which, are not ghetto.

fungus amungus (author)Danielk2008-02-27

If you can create a cool list of uses, that would work.

Yerboogieman (author)2008-02-19

is how to use a shot glass eligible?

If you need an instructable for that, you shouldn't be drinking.

surprisingly, yes but like types of different ones and how to use the tall ones, and stuff

eichermacher (author)2008-02-24

What about sharing substitutes for a tool?

SteamKit (author)2008-02-20

Would it count if I submitted an instructable that relied on proper use of a tool, like how good use of a razor relates to shaving? (It's something I submitted recently, and could easily bulk up the talk of the tool)

fungus amungus (author)SteamKit2008-02-20

that could work

summit (author)2008-02-19

does an imaging program count as a tool?

fungus amungus (author)summit2008-02-19

which one?

summit (author)fungus amungus2008-02-20


fungus amungus (author)summit2008-02-20

That could work.

summit (author)2008-02-19

can a video be subbmitted or does it have to be in pictures

fungus amungus (author)summit2008-02-19

A video can be submitted. Ideally you'd have both so that's more easily skimmable. Some people have done a good job with using screen grabs.

zoo keeper (author)2008-02-16

Unsewing tool and scissors cover (seam ripper): I use the rubber knitting needle tips (that keep the stitches from falling off ) to put on the unsewing tool(which I lost the cover too)and small scissors to keep from poking myself when they are in my bag I carry my hand sewing projects. Nancy Crofoot

Gunk on Floor (author)2008-02-08

Would my instructable on organizing allen wrinches work in this contest? I figure it prolly won't but it never hurts to ask. : )

That's definitely a short and sweet tip and it works.

Mintyhippo (author)2008-02-10

Let me clear this up. Is this a contest for instructables that give advice for using a tool, or how to make one.

If you're going to have an instructable about making the tool, I would recommend also giving tips on how to use it. That would be great.

djmachet (author)2008-02-07

Can you get users to add content to your posting... not necessarily for the contest but just to give the subject more body i.e. I wanna do a basic instructable on clamping jobs for machining which won't be too exciting but I'd like to make it an archive of all the ingenious clamping arrangements users have come up with or seen - could be helpful

fungus amungus (author)djmachet2008-02-11

You can either incorporate their comments by editing your instructable later or you can add them as a collaborator and they can add their own steps.

An archive of creative clampings would be cool, though.

ledzep567 (author)2008-02-10

whata bout using a photo enlarger to make contact prints and prints of 35mm film?

alvincredible (author)2008-02-07

can my guitar capo instructable be considered a tool? i figured it was a tool for the guitar and i was just giving tips on how to make it :-) man i love this website, i got 3 featured instructables in a row! i know many of you have probably gotten more, but i think they were all in the last two months!

darth2o (author)2008-02-01

Could we also do Tool Tips for Photoshop tools?

fungus amungus (author)darth2o2008-02-07

Sure. Especially if you provide a good explanation for how the tool works and what its strengths and limitations are versus other PS tools.

Bran (author)2008-02-02

So, would an Instructable on making a tool be qualified?

fungus amungus (author)Bran2008-02-05

Depends on what tool you use to make the tool.

Say, making a hand scraper for scraping metal, out of a file, using a bench grinder and/or Dremel. Then, I'd show how to use it. Is that ok? BTW, a hand scraper looks kinda like a long chisel, and you use it to take of little bits of metal at a time, to get a surface perfectly flat.

That would be perfect. Using the tool and making it even raises the bar a bit.

afro.jr (author)2008-02-06

I'm from a place pretty far away. Singapore. Can I still enter this competition? IF i win, how would the prize be delivered to me? And I'm asking this also for future use. Thanks.

fungus amungus (author)afro.jr2008-02-06

Yes, we would ship it by mail.

Mintyhippo (author)2008-02-04

Is a camera a tool?

Bran (author)Mintyhippo2008-02-05

Yes, I would imagine it is! I'd love to see another iBle on cameras!

Gjdj3 (author)2008-02-03

Could we submit two entries?

fungus amungus (author)Gjdj32008-02-04

Definitely! There's no limit.

Gjdj3 (author)fungus amungus2008-02-04

Cool. Thanks.

comodore (author)2008-02-04

Can it be a digital measuring device, like a multimeter?

fungus amungus (author)comodore2008-02-04

Certainly. A multimeter is a great tool.

Gjdj3 (author)2008-02-02

Wow. My luck keeps piling on. First there is a contest that applies to one of my instructables, and now there is a month that applies to one of the tools/processes I used in there. Hooray!

Bran (author)2008-02-01

Awesome, I'll see if I can help!

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