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GSKrasle
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
GSKrasle   4/25/2014 2:51:18 PM
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Yeah, screwdrivers: I just hate to see screws ruined by a ruined driver. Maybe grind them down unambiguously? The other use for them is in wire-twisting: run one of your wires in each flute/groove of the handle, and tape/rubber-band them securely. Then put the screwdriver into the drill and twist-away. This avoids pull-outs and squashed-ends, especially when you're twisting lots of wires into a bundle.

On a drill-press, clamp the workpiece, drill a hole, take-out the bit and reverse it in the chuck, and you have a handy punch/press.

Sewing needles won't solder, but "T-Pins" will, and can be used to make very sharp probe wires, just not as sharp, smooth and slender as needles.

And I will be using the "thread" idea: even if the part tries to fly-away, the friction of the trailing thread will drag it down.

perl_geek
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CEO
Doing the twist
perl_geek   4/25/2014 2:51:18 PM
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Aviation mechanics, among others, use special pliers to twist safety wires for lock-nuts.

They would probably be more convenient for short lengths of twist than a drill. (Prices range from $12 at Harbour Freight  to eye-watering at "proper" aircraft tool suppliers.)

While you're in the dollar store picking up the cable ties and reading glasses, you can also buy a magentic screw-dish so cheaply there's no need to make it yourself. They make an awesome fridge magnet; no faffing around with postcards, they'll hold a set of wrenches to the fridge.

 

antedeluvian
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
antedeluvian   4/25/2014 2:41:26 PM
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zeeglen

Another use for sewing needles when dis-assembling an electromechanical gadget with tiny coiled springs - pass a foot of sewing thread through the spring first before attempting to remove it, then pull the thread out after re-installing it.  This prevents the well-known fly-away-never-to-be-seen-again syndrome.

This is sheer genius

antedeluvian
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
antedeluvian   4/25/2014 2:40:02 PM
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GSKrasle

Great tips. Thanks.

I especially liked


Draw and label circles on the sticky-side of a post-it (TM) to hold your tiny SMT components. Much better than a cup.

and

Glue a magnet to the outside of a petrie-dish or cup (or use two magnets) to weight it and hold screws and such. A metal plate on the bench, or a metal bench, reduces spills.


I am not sure I entirely agree with this.

Throw-away worn-out screwdrivers.


We have ground the tips to make probes and activators


GSKrasle
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CEO
Re: I want a finger wrench!
GSKrasle   4/25/2014 2:33:57 PM
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SEach had a diffferent colour so you could tell whose board was whose, and which engineer had made a given re-work.

Oh, and let me add to the list that LED Christmas bulbs are dandy indicators (for high-voltage) and make your workspace festive.

zeeglen
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
zeeglen   4/25/2014 2:31:47 PM
@GSKrasle
Use sewing-needles to probe through wire insulation and backs of connectors.


Another use for sewing needles when dis-assembling an electromechanical gadget with tiny coiled springs - pass a foot of sewing thread through the spring first before attempting to remove it, then pull the thread out after re-installing it.  This prevents the well-known fly-away-never-to-be-seen-again syndrome.


Max The Magnificent
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
Max The Magnificent   4/25/2014 2:21:43 PM
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@GSKrasle: A visiting team of engineers from Korea each had a different-coloured transformer in their pocket.

Why?

GSKrasle
User Rank
CEO
Re: I want a finger wrench!
GSKrasle   4/25/2014 2:18:27 PM
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As much as I love these, it feels like giving-away secrets, hard-won secrets that give me an advantage. Oh well, you're none of my competitors, right?

The wire-twisting and (mentioned casually in the comments) using pliers like a vice with the aid of a rubber-band, are the most useful. Keep some rubber-bands handy/hidden.

Here are some more:

Draw and label circles on the sticky-side of a post-it (TM) to hold your tiny SMT components. Much better than a cup.

Glue a magnet to the outside of a petrie-dish or cup (or use two magnets) to weight it and hold screws and such. A metal plate on the bench, or a metal bench, reduces spills.

Cut the bristles short(er) on an acid-brush to get better board-cleaning action. Use lots of alcohol, and press a paper-towel onto the workpiece with the brush at clean-up time to blot/clean both the work and the brush. Don't "double-dip" the alcohol dispenser with a dirty brush or swab, or the dispenser will be contaminated.

When soldering test-wires onto a DUT, make a "strain-relief wiggle" and tape it down to reduce accidental pull-offs.

To repair boards (see "pull-offs"), very fine solderable wires can be individual strands from a stranded wire.

The enameled wire used in little transformers, motors and the like is useful, and you can get several colours. Most of this wire has enamel that "evaporates" at soldering temperatures, so no stripping is required. . The cores are handy "spools" and can be stored at the bench with magnets. A visiting team of engineers from Korea each had a different-coloured transformer in their pocket.

Throw-away worn-out screwdrivers. Break used swabs. Save the wire from broken test-probes; it's wonderful stuff, only worn-out/broken at the ends.

Use sewing-needles to probe through wire insulation and backs of connectors.

Buy spools of twist-ties at the dollar-store: cable-dressing makes a workspace better, and saving them is tedious.

Dollar stores have reading-glasses. Get embarassingly ugly ones. 'Just sayin'

Paper-clips are solderable and make great test-points that don't shed shreds with wear, but keep your stash hidden lest someone ruin your wire-cutters.

It's useful to have a scrap of cardboard at the soldering-station to avoid damaging more delicate surfaces. Label it "Don't discard this unless you know why it's here."

And many more....

 

 

 

 

TonyTib
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CEO
Hex screws
TonyTib   4/25/2014 11:33:03 AM
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At work, we almost always use hex screws.  Maybe they don't stay on the driver like Robertson screws, but if you're using Bondhus ball end hex drivers like you should, you can angle the driver quite a bit, instead of having to be vertical -- quite handly for tight spots.

Another tool for tight spots is compact ratching screwdriver, like this Chapman (I have a similar Craftsman model, but with only a couple bits).

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
Max The Magnificent   4/25/2014 9:44:32 AM
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@David: ...you are in charge of getting a few thousand of these for giveaways at EELive 2015.

I agree -- these would be a red-hot givaway -- no need to ask Karen -- I'll just put it on her credit card LOL

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