1. When you shake a can aerosol paint it eventually makes a rattling noise, this is a cunning device to ensure all the pigment gets mixed up. Use the same idea with all paint tins, simply put a couple of nuts (engineering not plant life) or metal off-cuts into the tin, the size depending on the size of the tin (don’t put sharp things in as some of the tins are not made like they used to be, you will get a puncture & paint everywhere). Shake until the metal bits start rattling, then you know they are not still stuck in the pigment at the bottom of the tin.

2. If you use a magnet in the workshop eg. for finding that 16BA nut you just dropped behind the lathe, put it (the magnet) in a poly bag, wave it about in the general area of where you think the lost item is, turn the bag inside out to remove the magnet leaving the swarf & hopefully the bit that was lost in the bag. (of course this only works on steel, if you’ve lost a brass one it is probably quicker to make another). This method also turns up things you never even knew you had lost !

3. When hacksawing just about any material, a bit of candle wax rubbed on the blade from time to time will make sawing a lot easier and extend the life of the blade.

4. When tapping holes in plate, after the tap has cut through, clean the swarf off the flutes before unscrewing, if tapping a blind hole, give the item a tap on the bench to clear the swarf in the flutes down to the bottom of the hole. This will ease unscrewing the tap, give a cleaner thread & save on breakages with the attendant problems of removing the broken tap.

5. When turning small diameter mild steel, for the final cut, drop down a speed & use spit (saliva if you were brung up proper) as a lubricant (it works, I kid you not) also works when drilling very small holes.