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Best of Make: Volume 2 by The Editors of Make:

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Stock Your Shop

Be ready with a basic inventory of the stuff dreams are made of.

By William Gurstelle

In my Barrage Garage workshop, I keep frequently used materials on hand at all times. Stocking a well-considered selection of materials is important when I need to make a simple model or a fast prototype to bring an idea to life, or at least prove to myself that it’s worth further exploration.

Choosing materials is an important part of any project. But tradeoffs abound and it can be tricky to decide which raw material is right for the job. One material may be strong, but difficult to machine. Another may be great for use indoors but lose its integrity when placed in the elements.

Over time, I’ve developed an inventory of basic raw materials that ...

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