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What to get an engineer for his birthday tomorrow?

  1. Nov 4, 2006 #1
    My girlfriend's engineer cousin has his birthday tomorrow, her mother on the 13th, and her sister-in-law shortly thereafter. Do you have any suggestions for gifts in the $20-$40 range?
     
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  3. Nov 4, 2006 #2

    Danger

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    Hmmm... lessee now...
    A good porn video for the cousin, since engineers don't have girlfriends...:uhh:
     
  4. Nov 4, 2006 #3

    wolram

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    A set of whitworth spanners, a 1 to 2 inch mic (digital), a bead blaster, a second hand lathe, a milling machine, a parts washer, cad cam software.
    a second hand garage, beer, a book of engineering tables, beer, a slim line
    whitworth socket set 3/8 drive, beer, no socks, or mayhaps a nice dinner out.
     
  5. Nov 4, 2006 #4

    BobG

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    A slide rule.

    Of course, that's going to take some perusing of thrift stores and antique stores. A Post 1460 is a good general purpose slide rule that runs around $20-$50 on Ebay. At the upper end, it had better be in good condition with the leather case included. They're so common you can always find a reasonable price if you're willing to wait.

    Of course, you could always go up to the $150 to $275 range and get one of the special purpose Electrical Engineering or Chemical Engineering slide rules.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  6. Nov 4, 2006 #5

    Moonbear

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    Hee...I knew Bob would recommend a slide rule. :biggrin: Though, that is a nifty gift for an engineer. Any gadget...engineers love gadgets...if it's shiny, beeps, has lots of buttons or knobs, and has absolutely no useful function whatsoever, it will keep them entertained for hours on end. :biggrin:

    *ducks and runs from the engineers*
     
  7. Nov 4, 2006 #6
    The Sharper Image is good for gadgety things.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2006 #7

    wolram

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    I will have you know that my right angled obstruction ratchet ring spanner with 12 inch extension is invaluable, but knobs and buttons will keep most engineers happy for a while.
     
  9. Nov 4, 2006 #8
    Gadgets - where else in addition to The Sharper Image?
     
  10. Nov 4, 2006 #9

    wolram

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    Is this guy a down and dirty muck under the finger nails engineer, or a paper engineer? if he is a guy that likes to rebuild engines, do not buy him a gadget, it will end up with all the rest in a forgotten draw, may be you should think more on a non work related gift.
     
  11. Nov 4, 2006 #10
    Try Brookstone as well.
     
  12. Nov 4, 2006 #11
    What books would you recommend?
     
  13. Nov 4, 2006 #12

    brewnog

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    A Leatherman?

    As for books, I'd highly recommend "Flying Buttresses, Entropy and O-Rings", by James L. Adams, on Harvard Press.
     
  14. Nov 4, 2006 #13
    www.Thinkgeek.com

    all your geeky needs :P

    actually they have some pretty neat things. :D
     
  15. Nov 4, 2006 #14

    BobG

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    Hey! I'll have you know I can transform three dimensional Cartesian coordinates to spherical ADBARV coordinates on a slide rule, both for position and velocity, a lot faster than anyone I know can do it on a calculator. How could anyone consider that as "absolutely no useful function whatsoever".
     
  16. Nov 4, 2006 #15
    Umm why do you need to get an engineer something to do with his work for his birthday? I am sure his life doesn't evolve just around engineering and he has other interests. Why don't you ask peopl that know him for ideas?
     
  17. Nov 4, 2006 #16
    How about a nice Birthday Card...
     
  18. Nov 4, 2006 #17
    We ended up getting him two books about castles in Britain, where he had just vacationed. Holy crenelation, Alfred!
     
  19. Nov 4, 2006 #18

    turbo

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    If you felt compelled to get him a present but waited until D-day to think about giving him a present, perhaps you should have tried to get him relatives who give a damn. Just a suggestion.

    How about giving him some of your time, and a nice experience (maybe an appetizer and a drink or two at a nice place) or at least SOMETHING to show that you care?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  20. Nov 4, 2006 #19

    Moonbear

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    Sorry, I didn't actually even mean it that way. The bit about useless gadgets was a separate thought from slide rules, I just didn't put in a sufficiently large space between those thoughts to indicate they were separate. :redface: o:)
     
  21. Nov 4, 2006 #20
    Micrometer, Chalk, and an Axe. Trust me, he'll get it.
     
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