If you’re a maker in the UK and don’t live in a cave you’ll know that Maplin is in the final throes of its closing down sale right now. The tech press have been quick to negatively compare the sale prices with online deals but there really have been some bargains in store for the price-conscious tinkerer.
One deal I took advantage of is heat shrink tubing, 70% off. It’s wonderful stuff, both for insulating soldered connections and keeping project wiring nice and tidy. The problem is storage – it can be an unruly beast and refuses to stay neatly coiled once it’s out of its bag.
Even worse if you store it too close to your soldering iron it can shrink away all by itself before you can use it!
A top way to keep it both tidy and handy is to let it dangle – I cable-tied mine together at the top, then looped the strands over a convenient light fitting. The tubes are held straight by clip-on tablecloth weights (from Tiger).
As well as keeping it within easy reach and looking cool the dangling strands give you a nice visual guide for how much you have left.