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Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/08/2008 2:53 PM

I just realized that I got through the weekend without asking a dumb question, so I'm stuck with 26 points to give away and only a sensible discussion to do it with. So bear with me.

Lots of times, students and young engineers aren't aware of some of the really handy tools out there, so they end up doing things the hard way for years. Then one day, some senile ole codger in the end cubicle says, "Wal, when I was at Biloxi Yard during the war, we used...." and it turns out there's a $10 tool (or gage) (or reference table) that is just the ticket.

So, what really handy tools do you own, have you seen, or used that not many people know about? Here's my start. It's a surface finish comparator. If you shop around, you can probably find one under $10 US. All you do is run your fingernail over the gage, then over the metal piece you're checking, back and forth till you find one that feels the same. I've had one for maybe twenty years, and can usually get it within one class. Lots of people make them. Here's one:

http://www.1gg.com/html/body_surfvisual.html

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#1

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 3:44 PM

for the longest of time, if I did'nt have my calculator, I felt that I was naked.

One time bout 20 years ago I was in a hurry to get to work, and instead of grabbing my calculator I grab the TV remote instead. thats when I realized I had a problem.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 4:08 PM

Yes, like soldering irons and rectal thermometers are both useful items. Hardly interchangeable though.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 4:26 PM

how do you know that,,.....i'm afraid to ask

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#81
In reply to #4

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/11/2008 7:36 PM

I'm afraid to ask why you DON'T know that.

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#86
In reply to #81

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 9:14 AM

ditto from post #82

also,

Nurse: "I'm sorry Doctor, I thought you said Soldering Iron, not Rectal Thermometer."

phoenix911

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#87
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 9:20 AM

The proctologist then pulled a thermometer out of his shirt pocket and said, "Damn! Some assh__e has my pencil!"

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#88
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 9:24 AM
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#102
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 3:52 PM

Hello europium:

Now that is discusting!.............Got any others like it?

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#104
In reply to #87

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 6:26 PM

This Pencil I'm using has a funny smell to it.

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#82
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/11/2008 7:39 PM

ouch!

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#3

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 4:17 PM

Slide rule?

When all the electronics turn against the human race, we will need good slide rule operators.

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#5

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 4:39 PM

Pitot tube. With one of them and a manometer you can measure air velocity, very inexpensively.

Die penetrant kit. With it you can check for cracks.

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#6

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 4:45 PM

abacus,

though well known, in the hands of a skilled handler, very quick and efficient. hard to beat

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#7

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 4:50 PM

Infrared temperature gun. This inexpensive tool allows you to check for elevated temperatures so you find (among other things) something that is overheating and ready to give out.

A caliper with a vernier scale. This non-dial type caliper can read down to .001 inch and has no moving part other than the slide itself.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 5:03 PM

Infrared temperature gun.

or laser temperature gun.

A caliper with a vernier scale.

thats a good answer

I like to add a non contact RPM gage.

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#117
In reply to #8

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/15/2008 2:13 PM

"I like to add a non contact RPM gage."

If you mean a stroboscope, you are correct; that is a cool tool.

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#118
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/15/2008 2:34 PM

And fun at parties!

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#123
In reply to #118

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/17/2008 8:32 AM

Oh man, I just flashbacked to the 60s and the walls started breathing.

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#36
In reply to #7

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 10:34 AM

I used a vernier caliper for years. Now I need a magnifying glass with it. I had to obtain a dial-type caliper at home and have a digital one at work.

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#37
In reply to #7

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 11:16 AM

Vernier Scale is fine until you reach certain age then you also need a magnifying glass to read it.

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 11:21 AM

... well, I carry a pocket lens anyway, so I'll hang in with my old vernier - not that it rates as "not well known".

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#9

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 5:12 PM

A nice set of brass trammel points for those Really Big circles:

And a German-made silver three-point compass when two points just won't do:

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#22
In reply to #9

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 1:01 AM

the three legged compass:

used to find the center of a circle or draw a line perpendicular to a chord. What else?

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#42
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 12:50 PM

Hello europium:,

Well it looks like I drew the short straw............Uummm, how do you use a three leg compass?

Never seen anything like it before.

Take care.........

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#48
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 2:48 PM

You sit on it. The two-legged kind are too unsteady.

Just kidding! Three-legged compasses, also called spherical compasses or globe compasses, served to transfer onto a map the positions of places taken on a globe, by measuring the distances between three points. Also used to reproduce drawings or maps to scale.

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#76
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/11/2008 12:44 PM

Hello europium:

Right!.............So it was kind of the original 'GPS'?

Take care and happy holiday................

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#136
In reply to #9

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 6:56 PM

" ... for those Really Big circles ... "

What's the scale of this torture device? Doesn't look that big.

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#10

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 5:17 PM

Useful, yet rarely used tool.

Unfortunately, more realistic uses today include:

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#11
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 6:15 PM

That lower diagram was obviously drawn by a female. One having no concept of scale. The diagram clearly needs to be about four times bigger.

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#12
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 6:17 PM

Yes, agreed, on both accounts.

(just something i grabbed from a google search, thought it might get a chuckle or two)

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 6:25 PM

I don't see a "Beer Appreciation Nodule."

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#15
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 6:36 PM

It appears many of the "more prevelant" aspects are missing.

I know my " Beer Appreciation Nodule " is far greater in magnitude than my "TV and remote control addiction center"

I believe this strengthens your first response, which suggests a woman not drawing things to the appropriate scale

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#16
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 7:26 PM

Definitely reckon swapping out the "TV ... " section for the "Beer ... " would get nearer.

Maybe one of these ...

... should be added to the "Useful, not well known, tools" list?

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#89
In reply to #16

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 10:55 AM

This is a neat looking gadget. What is it called? Please help me here so I can ask google to find it or maybe put it in an ebay search. I think I may still have room in my workshop for another tool bigger than a pencil.

Ed Weldon

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 11:11 AM

So you do a little surgery on the side, yes?

If so, I can think of a number of ppl who desperately need your services.

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#94
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 11:43 AM

Yeah, but I stick to my specialty, removing splinters, ticks, cactus spines and the occasional metal splinter (darn things...if I weren't so lazy about sharpening and setting my lathe tool bits the chips wouldn't be so tiny).

This is actually a segway to something on-topic that hadn't been mentioned before........

I often do the tiny splinter and cactus spine jobs using the low power binocular microscope I bought a few years ago from a used machinery dealer for my own workbench. For many years I insisted that the engineering groups I worked in have one of these (usually a B&L with a zoom range of 0.7 to 3 and 10x eyepieces) readily available for examining things like wear patterns, surface finishes, and other tiny features on parts and assemblies that were just below the range that human eyesight could reach. It's amazing what the engineer can discover in that world once the binocular microscope with good lighting can turn the 2d of a hand held magnifier or coddington lens into 3d.

The biggest problem would always be the theft problem with a $3000 piece of equipment sitting out where it was available for everyone to use. (which is the way you want it to be). Nowadays I would go for the more expensive version that has a third viewing point to mount a camera on.

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#103
In reply to #94

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 3:58 PM

Hello Ed Weldon:

Your posts on magnifying are interesting.

I use a large 3/5 x lens. And a 3 x and 5 x compound lens.

Can you let me have any names and such for the Binocular Magnifying scope please?

Take care, and have a happy holiday...............

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#110
In reply to #103

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/12/2008 10:45 PM

babybear--

Bausch and Lomb Stereozoom 3 and 4 are the most common types in the USA. The one I have is a Nikon. I got it for a good price because the standard size eyepieces with a 23.35mm (.918 in.) mounting diameter wouldn't fit. The Nikon diameter was 30mm and one eyepiece was missing. I picked up a couple of 10x eyepieces for it on ebay and machined a couple of aluminum adapter sleeves on my little craftsman lathe. The so called "boom stand" is what you want because it has plenty of room under the microscope pod to put large assemblies or hold an an object in your hands for low power (7x to 10x) examination of things or removing splinters or doing very fine assembly work. Lots of these scopes were used in Silicon Valley in the early days of the electronics industry for doing assembly work.

Lots of these show up on ebay although you may find shipping overseas from here to be a bit expensive especially for the heavy boom stand. It wouldn't be too hard to build a sort of boom stand in a home workshop, even without any serious machine tools.

I did on occasion have to take a B&L microscope on the road while working. Rather than haul the heavy boom stand I converted one of those cheap little aluminum drill press stands, the kind you strap a portable electric drill to, to a mount for the B&L pod. It actually worked pretty well at low magnifications where vibration isn't much of an issue.

There's more to tell about these microscopes for anyone who is interested.

Ed Weldon

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#111
In reply to #110

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/13/2008 12:26 PM

Hello Ed,

Thank you the info' and I will be looking out over the next year. I moved into a place several months ago, and there is no room to swing a can! The 'shed' in the handkerchief of a garden is really a box with doors! Can't walk into it as it is 5' high. So any machining is out.

I am interested if you can give anymore details though. It all depends on the price as to whether it is worth getting from the states, you know? I don't have much so a new one is out of the question, though a second or 5th hand could be on.

I am going to do some searching, but, as I say, if you have any more info let me know.

Thank you so much for the reply..........

Take care, and happy holiday!.............

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#124
In reply to #110

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 12:05 PM

Babybear-

I cannot immagine a shop WITHOUT a sterozoom scope- mine being an old Nikkon three-tube type to which I have on various occasions attached different cameras- but they keep changing camera technology. I haven't needed it yet, but one project in my mind is a digital imager directly connected to the third tube, for more relaxed viewing (although without stereo). I also have a thread-on ancilliary lens that changes the zoom range, and multiple eyepieces for various magnifications, although most of what I do these days uses pretty low magnification. When I built my own boom, I made the mistake of not making the base heavy enough- now the sand bags limit the space under the scope!

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#125
In reply to #124

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 1:40 PM

Some years ago when I was working I had access to a B&L and was able to find an adapter to attach a T mount SLR Pentax to one of the eyepiece tubes (without the eyepiece) and take a lot of neat photos at low magnifications. The whole setup was a crude seismometer; so I had to bring it all to my rural home away from the "shaky" urban environment to get decent pictures with the necessary 1-2 second time exposures.

Experimenting with different illuminations I found that a sharp beam of light from one or another of the several illuminators I had (including the little Pelican Versalite) produced nice shadowing effects. The shadows in the photos compensated for the absence of the 3d of direct viewing through the microscope to a large extent. This was particularly useful when showing the images to others to illustrate my findings. One flat lighted photo next to one with the shadows was very effective.

Ed Weldon

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#130
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 4:27 PM

Hello cwarner7_11:

Sounds like a pretty good set-up with your microscope there?

It is something I want to try and do. Get a three tube and use one for an electronic/computer connection via wireless possibly.

Any advice will be gratefully received!

Take care and have a wonderful holiday!................

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#126
In reply to #110

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 3:49 PM

Hello Ed,

sorry for the typo in post 111. It should have been "no room to swing a CAT"

I have a 'Bausch and Lomb' headquarters somewhere near me so con get any info' direct from the 'horses mouth'?

Take care and have a wonderful holiday............

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#127
In reply to #126

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 3:57 PM

Del is gonna be so P*$$3d at that...

milo

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#129
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 4:20 PM

Hello Milo,

Del is gonna be so P*$$3d at that...

I only thought of Del after I had written it..........But sent him a holiday wish, so he should be cool..........???

Take care and have a wonderful hoilday!................

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#131
In reply to #129

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 6:03 PM

maybe Del will like that, last known location, I think he's behind the couch yet

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#132
In reply to #131

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 6:08 PM

Hello phoenix911:

Oh, I would not hurt a cat, even Del!........Unless I had the room to swing it that is!

I wonder how far a tail-less cat flies? All answers in a brown paper envelope with $10 for the correct reply..........Yes!!! I should make a bomb here!

Take care and have a wonderful holiday!............

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#133
In reply to #132

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 6:14 PM

wonder how far a tail-less cat flies?

don't know how far, but I can tell you that that probally would land on thier feet.

no brown paper envelopes

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#134
In reply to #133

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/18/2008 6:27 PM

Hello phoenix911:

I think you may be right in saying it would not land on its feet!

B/%$£$%"£$£"%$£-er, wheres my ten bucks? I thought I was going to gave a great Xmas with that scam! What about if I said I have 500,000.00 to invest and I live in Nigeria?

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 6:34 PM

females are poor at spatial relationships, But you can tell them that.

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#19
In reply to #14

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 10:44 PM

A woman told me that if women are poor at spatial relationships, it is because they are always being told that six inches is really eight inches.

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#28
In reply to #19

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 6:51 AM

And to compensate, some employ useful, not well known, tools.

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#32
In reply to #28

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 9:08 AM

Good answer.

Witty, insightful, and integrative of the thread's original theme.

Why the off topic?

milo

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#35
In reply to #32

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 9:15 AM

I couldn't find a single pic?

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#44
In reply to #28

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 1:53 PM

good answer, I agree with milo. why off topic.

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#46
In reply to #44

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 2:16 PM

My post inherited its status from the previous post and I didn't catch it prior to submission. After you submit the damn thing you're committed (I should be but the institutions are full this time of year and I didn't make my reservations in time). You can't change the status even during the 15-minute grace period. C'est la vie!

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 2:29 PM

that happens to me, gonna have to complain to the management.

Management are you listening?

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#49
In reply to #47

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 6:51 PM

In a discussion a good while ago, before the Edit facility was instituted, I was soundly ticked off by someone who took the view that if you don't check everything before you submit, "ya gotta be a Man, & stand by it. Only namby-pamby wimps try to wriggle out once they've hit the button" (I paraphrase - can't find the original).

Seem to remember this person got quite heated about the subject.

Pusnully, I'd appreciate being able to undo the 5 bads I sometimes accidentally (OK, I'm stoopid) award myself.

BTW I'm intentionally marking my post OT, because it is, in this thread.

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#50
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 7:05 PM
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#18
In reply to #10

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 9:19 PM

Alright, who the @#$%&!!!! x-rayed my head and posted it on the Internet????!!!! If I ever get hold of him/her, he/she is gonna find out the hard way that my lightsaber can be used for more than just killing Jedi!!!!

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#25
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Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 2:50 AM

I wonder where the BBQ, Beer, and Fishing Gland is ?

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#17

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 9:11 PM

Rope?

milo

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#20

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 11:14 PM

Of course the is not limited to those of the male gender.

So in the spirit of "equal exposure" the diagram at left is shown.

Kind Regards....

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#29
In reply to #20

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 6:57 AM

Speaking of which...

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#21

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/08/2008 11:32 PM

The Internet? Unlimited information or maybe Humanity's pandora box.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 1:02 AM

Another useful tool:

A 10x pocket comparator from SPI with a reticle having nothing on it but a .005" graduated linear scale (a metric reticle is available). Very handy gadget for quantifying tiny things that are hard to see. I usually have to illuminate the area being examined. I use a Pelican Products VersaBrite 2200 for that because I can set it on a surface near the place I'm examining, point and focus the beam and not have to hold it with my hand. Today's cost for these items is a bit under $100 total.

Ed Weldon

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 1:36 AM

Grip Wrench...

...a combination of many tools.

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#26

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 3:08 AM

Duck Tape. I magine all the problems Duck Tape could have solved and how much money or other things Duck Tape could have saved.

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#31
In reply to #26

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 9:00 AM

The usefulness of duct tape cannot be overstated. Especially in the areas of foreign policy, state-of-the-union addresses, political campaigns (especially when they promise to reduce taxes); the list goes on. For such applications duct tape has no equal.

But is duct tape 'not well known?' Yes, but only in political circles. It depends on whom you talk to.

Of course, those guys shouldn't talk at all. They're Public Servants and shouldn't speak unless spoken to.

On the flip side, if Dubya had been duct-taped all this time, we wouldn't have those marvelous Bush-isms for my talking Drink'n With Dubya bottle opener:

Every time you open a bottle, this nifty little tool plays back one those incredibly inane, Gawd-What-Was-He-Thinking (I use the term loosely) little gems George always manages to utter when he can't see the teleprompter or when he is otherwise forced to think for himself. It is during these times we should apply the duct tape, but then my bottle opener wouldn't have material to draw from.

Such as:

"My relationship with this good man (Tony Blair) is where I've been focused, and that's where my concentration is. And I don't regret any other aspect of it. And so I...we filled a lot of space together."

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet."

"It's evolutionary, going from governor to president, and this is a significant step, to be able to vote for yourself on the ballot, and I'll be able to do so next fall, I hope."

"I heard somebody say, "Now, where's Mandela?" Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas."

Now, a bottle opener that opens bottles and quotes George at the same time is a pretty useful gadget, even if it is not well known.

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#27

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 6:51 AM

People are always asking about the resistance of various steels to chemicals. Here's a link I've found really useful. I have the little cardboard slider version of this; it's a lot handier, but I think you actually have to buy Hoke fittings to get one (if they still make it?). Of course, if you use fittings, Hoke makes good ones.

http://www.hoke.com/resources/Hoke%20Corrosion%20Guide.pdf

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#30

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 8:06 AM

Optical Comparator (Shadow Box) http://www.stindustries.com/products.html

Still one of the best tools for measuring soft or flexible items such as small springs. Also ideal for small intricate profiles. There is a wide array of films that can be placed on the screen for a quick check of angles. Custom films can be made for a specific part to speed up the QC inspections. With surface illumination you can also measure scratches and other defects. The newer versions use a video camera. You can email what you see to your customer for approval when there are any questions.

Granted this is not a $10.00 item. It just seems so many people think that they "must" have a CMM to do any inspection work. I tried to buy a used CNC CMM for the surface plate. I was out bid by someone else that just wanted it on his shop floor so he could say he had one to help drum up business. He said many companies he tried to do business with asked if he had one. When he said no they would pass him over. He had no intentions of setting it up and having it calibrated. But he could say he had one.

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#33

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 9:09 AM

I start amlost every project with one of these options:

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#71
In reply to #33

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/11/2008 8:21 AM

To expand on this, I count this as a little known tool becaused it is very under-used today. Everything goes right to CAD. I think my generation was the last to even see a drawing board and understand the value of a sketch that didn't include a mouse or spaceball.

I still enjoy creating the occasional drawing for my home projects. A good drawing done "old school" is like a work of art these days. It's too bad that being able to draw is becoming a lost art in engineering and design. Especially when you're in a meeting and someone is trying to explain something with a sketch on the white board and they couldn't sketch a basic box if their life depended on it.

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#34

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 9:11 AM

I have found a set of thread gauges handy:

Note to you QA people, they are marked "for reference only"

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#40
In reply to #34

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 11:30 AM

gdevine -- your last comment is great:

"Note to you QA people, they are marked 'for reference only' ".

Those little stickers are priceless. They speak volumes about how our society is losing its grip on manufacturing technology. I'm guessing the shop they came from was a victim of ISO 9001. The fact that you have them now suggests that they didn't recover.

OK, I'm probably being a little harsh on the ISO certification thing. It often forces companies to get their act together. But it does tend to put a glossy coat over cracks and corrosion.

I'd classify it in the "well known but not useful tools" category.

Ed Weldon

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#43
In reply to #40

Re: Useful, not well known, tools

12/09/2008 1:06 PM

I battle ISO companies over their quality all of the time. Just today I Filled out a survey for one. Out of 5 they averaged a 2. My final comment was "reaction to quality issues should not be a substitute for quality assurance."

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#39

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/09/2008 11:22 AM

Tap Alignment tool.

It can be made in just a few minutes on a lathe. Turn a round shank to fit your drill press and a 60 degree taper on the other end. Chuck it up in the drill press. Use it to align the hole to be tapped. Place tap (mounted in wrench) into the hole. Lower the alignment tool into the top of the tap or wrench depending on type used. Keep gentle pressure on the drill press quill as you turn the tap. The one shown above is spring loaded but rigid works fine.

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#41

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/09/2008 12:46 PM

if you can use chopsticks they are quite handy in the workshop

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#51
In reply to #41

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/09/2008 7:09 PM

Worked in Japan for a while - the (Japanese) guy I was working with showed me how to use meter prods with one hand à la chopsticks. It's a very useful thing to be able to do.

An ability I don't have, but wish I had, is to be able to move & focus my eyes independently.

Given these techniques, one could check the volts across a component on a PCB (left hand meter prods, left eye meter), while adjusting a trimpot (right hand & eye - having lost the trimpot tool and being constrained to use a watchmakers screwdriver in amongst some live stuff).

Can an ability be counted as a tool?

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#52
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Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/09/2008 8:03 PM

That is why they use those long prods here now i understand

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#45

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/09/2008 1:56 PM

We have often used a 3 channel olefactory spectrometer to identify various chemical compounds (particularly organics). Take 3 engineers and use a sniff test.

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#53

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/09/2008 9:18 PM

I have no pictures:think english name must be curve-meter:very small wheel,gears an multiple scale clock(¿?) useful to meseaure length of curves in maps for diferents scales.

Other one:in the past some people didn't like use logarithm tables or needed more exact values so no slide rule:they used 1000x1000 table.

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#54

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/09/2008 9:37 PM
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#55

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/10/2008 9:07 AM

I DO A LOT OF WOOD WORKING AND AM CONSTANTLY GETTING SLIVERS. I'VE HAD A TWEEZER WITH A MAGNIFING GLASS ATTACHED FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS NOW AND ITS BEEN INVALUABLE FOR REMOVING SLIVERS. THINK I PAID $2.00 AT THE LOCAL HARDWARE STORE.

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/10/2008 9:13 AM

(Pssst: oilcan, on the Internet ALL CAPS is considered shouting. You may wish to disengage your Caps Lock key next time you post.)

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#59
In reply to #56

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/10/2008 12:29 PM

When working in Autocad (or any other CAD for that matter) I use ONLY caps when writing notes, or BOM entries. I find myself forgetting I have the caps on when writing E-mails. I never was able to master typing without looking down at the keyboard so sometimes i'll get through a sizeable amount of writing before realizing.

But in CR4 land, you have to look at your post before submiting it, so the excuse dosen't work here.

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#64
In reply to #59

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Engineering Tools

12/10/2008 7:01 PM

I do the same (using Orcad or Autocad), and several times a day I mutter some unmentionable words while erasing the capslocked stuff after a line or two, turning capslock off, & re-typing.

Then I do it all over again in reverse, after the 3rd annotation in lower case which has to be redone.

I've considered trying to write some kind of add-on or whatever, which could be used to swap caps & non-caps for a highlighted chunk of text.

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#57

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Engineering Tools

12/10/2008 10:03 AM

Plastigage.

Machinists putty.

In a pinch I have used silly putty when I could not get machinists putty.

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Engineering Tools

12/10/2008 10:07 AM

I believe the Apollo astronauts, used silly putty.

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#60

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/10/2008 1:10 PM

I am quite surprised that the virtues of a spreadsheet are not extolled to young engineers as a general-purpose "tool" that more readily allows the making of additional "tools" of more specific analysis, productivity, presentation, etc., on an as-needed basis...

In effect, a tool that can (make) other tools seems like a rather valuable one to me...

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/10/2008 1:29 PM

maybe using a spread sheet is so common, that no one thought about it.

The best way to hide something is out in the open.

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#65
In reply to #61

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Engineering Tools

12/10/2008 7:17 PM

Spreadsheets:

Useful? yes. Not well known? (I assume) no. While agreeing with Guest about the usefulness, I'd say they are excluded by the second criterion.

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#68
In reply to #65

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Engineering Tools

12/10/2008 10:14 PM

agreed, some some of the things mention arre known to the few who use it.

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#73
In reply to #65

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Engineering Tools

12/11/2008 8:45 AM

I agree with the spreadsheet. It is a commonly know application but I don't believe that it's usefulness in design and engineering is understood. I know from my experience that it isn't used very much.

And I know when I use it most are lost when I forward them one.

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#62

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/10/2008 1:39 PM

A small knife in my keys chain. It serves as a hardness tester, because I know it's hardness is around 50 HRC. Easy to check if there's a chrome plate, if the steel is hardened, etc. May also be used as a scribe tool to detect surface flaws if used with parcimony.

And also serves to peel off oranges after lunch...

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#63

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/10/2008 3:05 PM

A planimeter. It is used to measure area under a curve. Useful on maps and ship design.

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#67
In reply to #63

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/10/2008 8:20 PM

Used to use my planimeter to measure the area under the curve produced by this -

and yes I am old enough to have used it on triple expansion steam engines. I have another one for low speed diesel engine diagrams. This is not a picture of my own, but it is by the same maker.

The diagram is also from the site http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel/Indicator/Indicator1.htm

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#79
In reply to #67

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/11/2008 7:17 PM

I wonder if those engines you worked,(looking the diesel cycle in the picture),was a blower type (i don't know the english name) without pump,with compressed air big bottles.Was it?

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#80
In reply to #79

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/11/2008 7:34 PM

As noted in the post, the indicator diagram is taken from the quoted site as an example. It is in fact of a steam engine, the details of which are on the right hand side of the diagram.

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#83
In reply to #80

Re: Useful and Not Well Known Enginering Tools

12/11/2008 8:28 PM

Is your sig a quote by A.E. or Richard Feynman?

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