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Favorite tools

  1. May 14, 2003 #1
    [SOLVED] Favorite tools

    Many people like to do things with their hands. Call it a hobby (that could make a good topic itself) or a craft of some kind. You might even like working on old junk automobiles, it probably doesn't matter. Those who like to do things often need implements (defined here as tools). Do you have any favorites, and if so what are they, and why do you like them?

    I'll go first, in no particular order;

    Exacto knife
    You can carve, scrape, drill, clean your nails with one. I keep one in an aluminum pen-like container with a screw-on lid. Very useful.

    Key Chain multipurpose tool
    It is very small but has 4 screwdrivers, pliers, wire stripper, and shears. Never leave home without it.

    Cross over serial and parallel, anc a usb file sharing type. Enables me to transfer data between two computers with ease (I-must-link-up).

    Bamboo backscratcher
    Scratch your back or swat a fly (if you’re good). Also good for flinging spit-wads at the television monitor from time to time.

    Desoldering station
    My inhalation of solder fumes went WAY down after I bought one of these babies (so THAT’S what’s wrong with Boulder, haha)

    Turns Ratio Detector
    I haven’t used this one for some time, but it is still one of my favorites. It is a simple device I made myself for producing a low voltage to force a very low AC current through the windings of a transformer. Measure the voltage on primary and secondary sides, do a quick division problem, and *bingo* you’ve got the ratio ! (great for the electronics hobbiest)

    Miller Inverter welder
    The size of a lunch box, cost a small fortune, weighs ten pounds, automatic switching between 110vac and 220vac, variable speed cooling fan, very steady arc, fully adjustable from 5 to 140 amps, can burn a 5/16 rod (6011 or 6013) with ease. If you’re a welder you probably have already lusted after one of these. They are ‘WAY COOL’ !!!

    I have more, but now I’d rather turn it over to you.

    I meant a 5/32 rod, btw, not a 5/16. That would have made it more like 'Magic' than 'Way Cool', haha
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2003
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  3. May 14, 2003 #2


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    I can't exist with out my multimeter.

    Recently while replacing the heater fan resistor module on a Pontic
    Grand Prix I rolled over on my 25yr old Radio Shack Analog meter and broke the mounting for the common lead. While I suppose I could have epoxied it back into place, since, in addition, the face plate with all the swith markings was falling off, I simply replaced it with a new Radio Shack Digital meter. The new one even has a RS232 interface for data loging on a PC. I am now looking for a oportunity to monitor the voltages on start up of one of my PCs.
  4. May 14, 2003 #3


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    Heaps and hash tables are the greatest things since sliced bread, though I suppose you didn't have hand crafting computer algorithms in mind when you made this thread. :smile:
  5. May 14, 2003 #4


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    99 cent calculator
  6. May 15, 2003 #5
    PDG particle physics booklet.

    Yeah, I know.
  7. May 15, 2003 #6


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    i like planting lands "i like all farmers craft tools"
    and electronic tools
  8. May 15, 2003 #7
    Hurkyl, if that’s your ‘main thing’ then I wouldn’t argue the point. I have a small reference book containing useful data and formulas. I consider it my ‘left arm’.

    I can't believe I forgot to mention my cheapy $12 Micronta multimeter which suffered from the leads breaking (where they are soldered to the plugs that push into the meter. This angle allowed for too much movement and the wires would twist off near the soldering point). The solution for me was to drill two holes in one of the sides of the case and run the leads directly into the meter, where they were soldered to the circuit board. Of course, with a fancier model this isn’t going to work because the leads have to be moved around to various sockets. Now, if I could just make the leads stop breaking off at the hand-held ends!!
    I’ve been lusting after a more expensive multimeter like the one you bought too, though I have one with a ‘mini scope’ feature already. I’d really like a top-notch model of something like this;
    http://www.marvac.com/tpi/460/460.html [Broken]

    Probably my single pick for a survival tool in the tropics. Most urban dwellers probably will never realize what an important tool this is.

    5-gallon plastic bucket
    Another multipurpose device with 101 uses;
    Water/food storage, stool for sitting or standing on, Commode :wink:, much, much, more.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  9. May 15, 2003 #8
    In order of my preference for them, not necessarily their usefulness.

    1. Computer

    2. Artist Paint Brush

    3. Battery powered screwdriver

    4. Duct tape (not exactly a tool, but it still makes my list. It is afterall "The Handyman's Secret Weapon")

    5. Pencil

    6. Riding Lawn Mower (with 3 acres of cut-able grass, this would be on your lists too!)
  10. May 15, 2003 #9
    HP 48GX
    with 256K RAM card and 1M Port Memory

    most important wood tool

    Electrical Tape

    Finish Nailer
    works great on all woods projects

    a new appreciation for its uses [thanks in large part to BoulderHead]


    lots of information:smile:

    binocular astronomy is more enjoyable for me than telescope
  11. May 15, 2003 #10
    Thanks for mentioning it, and I'm glad that it worked for you. :smile: I've got an HP 48G+ (no expansion capability, 128k built in) that is soooo sweet!
  12. May 15, 2003 #11


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    I do a little bit of mechanic work on cars and now a dirt bike.

    Especially on older vehicles I'd have to say my favorite tool is a pair of visgrips.

    Electric tape is my personal favorite, can be used to bond almost anything. Also good for wrapping around handles (like on a socket) to provide some extra grip.

    A 6 ft pipe for breaking loose bolts and such.

    And then the general tools.

    Air tools rock too.

    A few things you might find in my trunk from time to time is:

    socket set
    various colors of electrc tape
    small motors
    sub-woofers (also good for back massage)
  13. May 15, 2003 #12
    I have been taking in these sweet smelling fumes a lot also...any tips on how to avoid these fumes, without shelling out hundreds for this station, or without purchasing a solder vacuum?

    I don't mind the fumes, but they don't seem to be healthy
  14. May 15, 2003 #13


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    My brain is an excellent tool.

    Even though it is telling me to write that. Hmm....
  15. May 16, 2003 #14
    oh you beat me

    My favourite tools :

    my brain/hands/fingers/....

    Casio FX-50 scientific caculator (I need it even when I'm having my languages exam:smile:)

    A pair of forcepts, needles and syringes
    -to catch insects and make specimen

    -to do my favourite things.
  16. May 16, 2003 #15
    Remember that we are talking about 'Hands on' type tools. If your brain is removable for handling, and driving roofing nails with, then I suppose that would qualify it...
  17. May 16, 2003 #16


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    I haven't tried, but hey, as LG said: " Everything is the mind!"
  18. May 16, 2003 #17
    Yes, and now that I think about it, he also once told Ahrkron; Language is a tool.

    That tears it then, anything goes!
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