I organise and map screws with a sheet of paper

Most have to do this sooner or later, where we take something apart and have to remember where the screws go.

While looking at a family members laptop I stumbled across a way of keeping my screws organised while mapping them to the device I’m dismantling.

Yes, I considered other methods like using pill boxes, but this method works best for me to keep them organised and gurantees I will always have an appropriate method at my disposal (e.g.: if I forget my pillbox/screw caddy).

The basic method to organising and mapping your screws

There are some variations to how this can be done depending on your environment and what tools are at your disposal.

My basic method was pushing screws into a sheet of scrap paper in the same order I extracted them, but scaled down so it fits onto the paper sheet.

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The screws hold themselves into place because they’re threaded, so you wont make a disorganised mess if they get knocked. Any blank areas (if say some screws have been lost) I draw a black dot to indicate a void hole.

It’s also possible to fold the paper over and use a paper clip to keep them secured when you need to put them aside.

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Additional tips

Be careful not to tear the sheet as you press the screws in. This is obvious but easily done if you’re not delicate and maybe in a hurry.

Also be careful not to knock your other screws out in the process.

Here are some suggestions on how to do it more easily and fast.

Cocktail stick method

With the sheet of paper on carpet, a towel or over a scrunched up piece of tissue,  pierce a hole to make inserting the screw more easy. This also helps you align your screws into grids to get a more accurate representation of where the screws go.

Pipe light method

I would like to announce an idea for a tool I have come up with that would allow you to easily punch a screw in fast, easily and accurately.

Most screws are less then 5MM in diameter (particularly those used for electrical devices) so I would use a 5MM pipe. A pen barrel could work well. I would also need to help guide myself where to punch the screw based on where the pipe is as fast and easily as possible, which could be done with a simple LED torch shining through from the bottom end to guide a punch point through the paper sheet.

I coin this tool the pipe light punch (trademark pending).

How to randomise the order of paragraphs with PHP

One part of launching new websites which offer pretty much the same products and services is rewriting content so that it doesn’t appear to be a direct copy of exiting websites.

To help me rewrite articles, I find it helps me to randomise the order of key selling points so I can focus on rewriting them rather then thinking about how they should be ordered.

To randomise the order of paragraphs I wrote a PHP script using the shuffle function to randomise the appearance of selling points in an array

<?php
$sellingpoints = array(
'Double sided printing.',
'Same day print & dispatch',
'Delivery before 12pm (Express) & 10am (Express Plus).',
'Round corner finish.',
'UV coating (extra rich colours and more durable finish).',
'Various quantities ranging from 100 - 5,000.', );
shuffle($sellingpoints);
foreach ($sellingpoints as $sellingpoints){
echo('<p>'.$sellingpoints.'</p>');
}
?>

Translucent tape tutorial with GIMP

A nice simple technique for making translucent tape.

This technique is probably easier then it looks, as most of it really just involves basic techniques.

For this tutorial I have made a couple of brushes you can download here.

Base image

First step is to create a new transparent image. It can be any size, though we want it to be larger then our peace of tape.

Apply a rectangular selection (press R your keyboard). Again it can be any size, though I have made mine roughly 30px*90px (give or take a few). Fill your selection with a grey colour (I used the HTML notation #dddddd).

GIMP translucent tape tutorial shows a rectangle filled with grey

Edges

Select the Eraser tool (hold Shift+E on your keyboard). Make sure in your Tool Options dialogue, you have the check box for Hard Edge selected. While erasing the left and right side of your rectangle, try to keep it fairly random to avoid making it symmetrical, as this will just make the torn edges more realistic in my opinion.

Translucent tape tutorial made in GIMP showing edges erased to be jagged

Hightlights

Time to add some highlights! Select the airbrush tool (press A on your keyboard), then using a soft brush create some white diagonal squiggly lines. You can also add some dots in places.

step4

Finishing

Now select none (hold Shift+Ctrl+A at the same time), then duplicate your layer (Layer -> Duplicate Layer). You need to select your bottom layer (Layers -> Stack -> Select Bottom Layer). Now Gaussian Blur this layer (Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur) and set the Blur Radius to 3*3 then click OK.

You should now merge your two layers (Ctrl+M then OK), then to make your tape translucent I would suggest changing the Layer Opacity to somewhere between 40 and 70 … and you are now done!

Possible outcome

A photo of Ayumi Hamasaki taped to some wood board, demonstrating a possible outcome in GIMP

Notes

The photo used as an example of a possible outcome of Ayumi Hamasaki is not my property and all rights are reserved for the respective owner.

You may post this tutorial elsewhere, but please don’t claim as your own work and ask permission first so I can keep track of this.

Tutorial written by Dene Gibson.

I hope you found this useful and thanks for reading!