One super simple trick for keeping your hands clean in a filthy workshop

Andrew Reuter
Aug 31 · 2 min read

As you might have seen on my Patreon lately, I recently got a couple of new additions for the workshop: the Eastwood mini lathe and mini mill. (So far, so fun.)

I’m working on a couple of “newbie versus” videos for them, similar to my MIG welder series. Those videos aren’t ready yet, so instead I wanted to share a quick tip about machining, and really any kind of DIY project where your hands might get dirty.

This is something I learned back when i first started working at a machine shop about 15 years ago. I forgot all about this until i started using this lathe. That’s because it seems like just about everything on a machine like this is covered in oil or grease. So your fingertips are constantly getting dirty.

The solution? The pocket towel.

By simply shoving a couple of towels into your back pockets with the ends dangling out, now you’ve got a convenient cleaning station always effortlessly within arms reach. After you touch something oily, you just reach back and wipe off those fingertips. It’s that easy!

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This might seem absurdly simple, so how useful could it really be? Well, when you’re reaching for your shop rag about 4,500 times an hour, you’ll quickly save a ton of time versus hunting down your paper towel on the workbench somewhere, hidden just where you can’t see it the same number of times.

Like I said, this is also useful with other handiwork. Especially things like auto repair, where everything is just filthy, and painting, where being able to clean up a mistake can save you a ton of time later.

This his tip might seem almost too simple to share. But it saves so much time, and I don’t know if I ever would have thought this on my own, so I just had to show you here.

See the full trick in the video above. I hope it’s useful for you too! And watch out for the Eastwood mini-lathe first impressions video, coming soon. If you like, sign up for the Project Lab email list to get a heads up in your inbox as soon as the next video releases.

Thanks for watching!

Wisconsinite Andy Reuter writes and creates films about whatever DIY project is holding his attention at the time. For more, follow him on Instagram, find him on Twitter, or subscribe to his channel on YouTube. Find early access to videos and behind-the-scenes stories by becoming a member on Patreon.

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Project Lab

Demystifying DIY.

Andrew Reuter

Written by

DIYer, Project Lab. Web-editor-type, Lee Enterprises. Dad/husband. @djnf, @theexponentnews, @uwplatteville alum. Seeking best obtainable version of the truth.

Project Lab

Detailed, documentary-style DIY videos and blogs that demystify DIY.

Andrew Reuter

Written by

DIYer, Project Lab. Web-editor-type, Lee Enterprises. Dad/husband. @djnf, @theexponentnews, @uwplatteville alum. Seeking best obtainable version of the truth.

Project Lab

Detailed, documentary-style DIY videos and blogs that demystify DIY.

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