Author Topic: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...  (Read 2387 times)

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Online GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2018, 11:33:36 pm »
Often enough, I've used a flat blade screwdriver to drill holes in plastic enclosures.

The tip of the iron is good for that too :-)
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2018, 12:26:09 am »
I quite regularly use Torx bits for imperial size Allan key screws -  works reasonably.


I never tries this:
https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General-Read-Only/I-need-help-with-my-cupholder/td-p/784435
 
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Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2018, 12:37:48 am »
Toothpick instead of a desoldering pump (TH only), pencil eraser instead of a contact cleaning can, bath silicon caps instead of led diffusers, double row 0.1 inch pins instead of a CR2032 battery holder, keep the car key to my had to increase the range, touch the door handle with the key first in order to avoid the electrostatic shock, hand drill and sandpaper instead of pencil sharpener, iPhone headset and boombox instead of line in or other dedicated amplifier, LXI controlled power source and oscilloscope as temperature regulator for a soldering iron, magnet as a SMD stickvise or picker,  a four quadrant digitally controlled analog multiplier made out of 2 ops and an I2C pot, use a spoon as a jar lid opener, stick wet rubber gloves (Van der Waals force) to the sink's mirror (or to the wall tiles) in order to dry them, etc., etc. ^-^

A few of them:


https://hackaday.io/project/7574-the-devil-is-in-the-details
https://hackaday.io/project/6356-delta-sigma-versus-pwm
https://hackaday.io/project/6289-smd-stickvise
https://hackaday.io/project/6577-dune-pain-box-a-hackers-replica

I'll say my worst I can remember right now is:
https://hackaday.io/project/14969-zero-parts-thermostated-soldering-station

and the best:
https://hackaday.io/project/7542-rogeorge-cell


 
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Offline Rerouter

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2018, 12:44:51 am »
I make spring hooks by snapping metal tweezers apart at the spot weld and bending the ends, (little hook to get tiny springs over there resting notches.)

The amount of things I have made out of coat hanger wire.. to the point I have had multiple people ask me to recreate some (Specialized radio removal tools, even keys)

Flat head screwdrivers, some filed a tiny bit to perfectly fit common security screws (the weird ones that don't come in the kits)

Using Razor Blade knives to deburr aluminium hole edges

Using straight hacksaw blades in hand to cut holes in metal and plastic starting with a blind hole (jigsaw has been broken for a while, and its remarkable hard to cut yourself)

Using a razor knife as a scribe on metal (yeah my blades go blunt quickly)

Spinning a drill bit on a drill press, then encouraging sandpaper to wrap around it to lightly clean the inside of a metal shaft

Putting a cylindrical metal object in the chuck of a drill press to sandpaper polish the outside....
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2018, 01:42:48 am »
So... I just used my hot air rework gun to help defrost my freezer.
I've used mine to make crème brulée. You have to turn the air down a bit or it blows sugar all over the place.
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2018, 01:47:24 am »
Actually the best thing I have defrosted this freezer with was the mobile air con unit.  Physics baby!

I parked it in front of the freezer with the exhaust pointed into the freezer.  Defrosted it, removing all ice, in about an hour.  Added bonus of dehumidifying the room and warming it up generally.

This is a bloody good idea!  :-+ I've used a paint stripper in the past but it is still a lot of effort, sat in a deck chair blasting away for an hour and trying not to melt the plastics.

My freezer really needs a defrost. I also need to move my portable AC from the bedroom into storage. I guess I am one of a handful of people like yourself in the UK that actually own one, and it was a lifesaver during this summers heatwave!

But yeah, lugging it up and down stairs is a pain.

I've just done this... what a brilliant idea, thank you!  :-+

One frosted-up freezer vs a bucket, sponge and a 14000 BTU portable a/c unit was a remarkably one-sided battle. I had to stop half way because the ice was melting faster than I could get the water out! (No drain attachment on this particular unit, sadly).

Previously I've used a heat gun, but I've never been keen on the idea of holding something mains powered quite so close to that much dripping water. Not a problem with a flexible plastic hose, though  :phew:
 

Offline xani

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2018, 04:01:45 am »
AWG to test a neopixel array

A bit of Perl code to generate function generator's wave files
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2018, 04:18:09 am »
This isn't mine, but I spotted it in the building my office is in the other day.
 

Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2018, 05:00:53 am »
LOL, that door stopper is on par with the gold hemisphere door stopper tale, from Richard Feynman in "Los Alamos From Below" (minute 1h5m52s)


Offline IDEngineer

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2018, 01:00:21 pm »
So... I just used my hot air rework gun to help defrost my freezer. Unsurprisingly ice won.  It doesn't matter if you hit that stuff with a hot air rework at 450*C or a full on flame thrower ice is self insulating. All I could do was speed things up slightly, enough to get the top drawer out.  Now I have to wait while my food defrosts slowly in the other fridge on full.
An ordinary heat gun does a good job of defrosting a freezer.  You have to take care to not overheat the Freon tubing or any plastic in the freezer, though. The heat gun probably delivers a LOT more Watts than the rework tool.
Even simpler (and far safer): A standard box fan (really, any normal air circulating fan). Room ambient air is many tens of degrees warmer than the ice, and the constant circulation is more than the ice can endure. We used to have one of those small refrigerators at our office which would ice up a couple of times a year, and by propping open the door and directing a fan into it the entire thing would be completely ice-free AND dry in an hour. Zero risk of excessive temperatures to any components, zero risk of physical damage from tools, etc. And you don't have to monitor it, just turn it on and go do something else while a simple fan takes care of the problem safely and swiftly.

Another favorite of mine is using a very normal C-clamp to install PEM nuts and other press-in fittings. I don't have a hydraulic press but you can impart a LOT of force with a C-clamp, and using sockets or other devices (even custom-shaped ones if necessary) you can focus that force down to very small, or even custom-shaped, areas.

This one's not too surprising, but: You can use a soldering iron, particularly with a flat tip, to do in-the-field repairs of 3D printed objects. This works really well with TPU and other flexible filaments that can "tear" between layers. I learned this when my FPV pilot son was at a distant competition and tore the antenna mount on the flexible 3D canopy that he designed to cover the electronics on his quads. No access to a 3D printer, no spares, what to do? Well, it was already useless and I couldn't make it worse, so I tried field-welding it and it worked great. Probably stronger than before, in fact. I haven't tried using a soldering iron to repair inflexible filament objects but I bet that would work too.

I once rekeyed a lock - at the locksmith's! - by using the lock's own parts. The locksmith could not figure out how to hold all the parts in place while reinserting the cylinder, it kept knocking the little pieces out as he slid it in. Over the course of 30+ minutes he got more and more frustrated, while I sat wondering why in the world he was making this so difficult. Finally he let me try. I partially inserted the cylinder to the first little piece's location, inserted that piece, and slid the cylinder in just enough more to hold that piece. Lather, rinse, repeat until all 6-8 pieces were in place. Took about 60 seconds. The locksmith was absolutely amazed, which frankly was a little scary for a guy supposely in that profession.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2018, 02:36:08 pm »
I have several candidates:-
(1)Using a sheet metal screw (the ones you use for metal roofs) mounted in the chuck of a drill press, to fit an IDC connector to a ribbon cable.
The connector was in the small acessory vice belonging to the drill press, the screw head placed on top.
Pulled the lever down--- worked better than the proper tools do!

(2)My Shift boss & I arrived at work to find the big papier mâché  air duct connecting the socket  of a 6166 PA tube to the air blower had broken--- no air, no HT, no RF!
Off to the hardware store, dug through their assortment of plastic drainage pipes, selected some likely bits.
Back at work, a little work with duct tape, a metal brace bent up to hold the whole thing steady, & back on the air.

(3)Many years ago, I spent a year in England.
One Sunday, I grabbed the little Ford Popular, and headed off some 70 miles to London, to buy some "Colonel Sander's Kentucky Fried Chicken"(KFC to you youngsters).
Part way back home, the "Pop" coughed, died.

I had a look in the car for tools, found a small, sloppy, adjustable spanner, &  a screwdriver.
The latter did the job to open the fuel pump--- no blockage there.

After checking spark, etc, it was back to the fuel system.
The fuel pipe was connected to the carby by a "banjo" connector, held in place by a hollow screw incorporating a filter.

This was much larger than the little spanner could fit, so I trudged up the hill to an open Service Station (not always a sure bet in 1970s Britain)
The owner heard my sad tale, ordered a tow truck to get the car to the garage, & we sat down to wait,having a "cuppa tea & a yarn" while we waited. (I did say it was Sunday).
After some time, I decided to walk back to the car & wait there, whilst he rang the tow people again.

Stood around, got a bit weary, so decide to unlock the car & sit.
To this end, I took out the keys, & noticed the crown seal bottle opener attached.
Just maybe?
Yep the bottle opener fitted the "hollow bolt" perfectly, I removed & cleaned the filter, & a few minutes later,
pulled into the service station.

The owner was on the phone again to the tow truck people.
He said,with icy sarcasm "Don't worry about it, the customer just drove in!"
I tried to insist that I pay him,  but he wouldn't take my money, saying "I didn't do anything!"
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2018, 03:04:42 pm »
scratch back with iron :-\
 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2018, 03:07:52 pm »
For defrosting a freezer I've always found that my grandma's method of putting an electric kettle boiling some water in there for a few minutes works wonders.  In a chest-type deep freezer all the ice chunks will just fall off the walls after a few minutes.  In a fridge with exposed fins that have frozen over it takes a bit longer but is less work than going after it with a hair drier or heat gun, though that can help to get the last bits with minimal effort.

Of course, you need to find an older kettle that doesn't have an auto-shutoff.  Today's plastic crap would probably just melt if you bypass the thermal shutoff switch, even if you didn't accidentally boil it to dryness.

Does anyone else remember a time when appliances were made out of a thing called metal?  :)

Room temperature air will melt ice pretty fast. You just have to keep getting new air in there, not let it sit and get cold i.e. use a fan. Or fan heater is better, but not as much better as you'd think.

Room temperature water is even faster if you can just point a hose in there while the freezer is somewhere that you can't care about the water that spills out again.

It's all about energy transfer rather then extreme temperatures.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2018, 03:08:46 pm »
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2018, 03:13:09 pm »
yea , just one of those insane itches
 

Online tautech

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2018, 03:31:16 pm »
scratch back with iron :-\
Off I hope? :-DD
yea , just one of those insane itches
You can't beat a long handled 22, 24 or 28oz Estwing hammer for a back scratcher especially if it's of the straight claw demolition model.  :D

Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2018, 04:22:51 pm »
Room temperature water is even faster if you can just point a hose in there while the freezer is somewhere that you can't care about the water that spills out again.

It's all about energy transfer rather then extreme temperatures.

I'm glad someone put this in.

So long as you can suitably control the flow of the waste water, this is really fast and minimal risk to the equipment.
 

Offline carlsfootprints

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2018, 05:05:18 pm »
When I was still in college, I used nail cutter as my side cutter and wire stripper. Very handy and portable  ;)
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2018, 06:19:48 pm »
I've used my Tek RSA3408A 8GHz real time spectrum analyser as a battery charger via the USB port a few times.

http://www.testequipmenthq.com/datasheets/TEKTRONIX-RSA3408A-Datasheet.pdf

I think you can buy cheaper and smaller battery chargers than the Tek but it does seem to work very well :)

That's wonderfully inappropriate.  :-DD A prize should go to the person who does that with an Infiniium UXR 110 GHz oscilloscope. ;D
You don't acquire TEA. It acquires you.
 

Offline TERRA Operative

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2018, 08:12:16 pm »
I like to peel the wires with my teeth.

I used to do that as a child. Stripped some of the enamel off the top of my bottom front teeth.
Now I got a sensitive spot right there.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2018, 08:39:22 pm »
120mm mains power fan works for me to defrost. Just use a wire to hold it in place ( it has guards front and rear) and it melts the ice quite fast, but not so fast that I cannot keep up with a old bath towel and a bucket.

Another is I needed a small anvil, so use the 14lb sledge hammer as one, with the tiny little ball peen hammer to work the solid rivet I was making to the right shape. Made some rivet setting tools out of steel rod (old dot matrix printer parts)and made them so I could hold the flat end on the rivet and have the crown on the other side formed neatly, just used lighter force on a large hammer to get the right shape without deforming the base material too much. Solid rivets beat pop rivets when you can get to both sides for strength any day.
 

Offline station240

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2018, 09:34:16 pm »
Using side cutters to grip the head of a completely stripped screws, from the side.
Works as not only are you gripping the head, but slightly underneath it at well.

Downside is not only due to damage/chip the cutting surface, but on one cheap set of side cutters, I managed to break one cutting part off entirely.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2018, 09:58:16 pm »
Using side cutters to grip the head of a completely stripped screws, from the side.
Works as not only are you gripping the head, but slightly underneath it at well.

Downside is not only due to damage/chip the cutting surface, but on one cheap set of side cutters, I managed to break one cutting part off entirely.


Dentists forceps can also be useful for a number of such jobs.

Another trick I discovered was in a non-electronic situation, where I had to tighten a "cup head" bolt where the square part had turned around in the chipboard it was securing, chewing the hole round.

As luck would have it, I had a worn out car universal joint.
Taking a couple of the rollers from the "needle roller bearing", I drilled two holes through the mushroom like head of the bolt, into the chipboard.

Tapping the rollers into the two holes secured the bolt, and enabled me to tighten it.
In case I ever wanted  to unscrew the bolt, I covered the head with epoxy to stop the rollers ever coming out.
 

Offline IDEngineer

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #48 on: October 15, 2018, 02:19:59 am »
scratch back with iron :-\
Off I hope? :-DD
I bet it was off for sure the SECOND time. Question is, what about the first time?
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Your best/worst innovative but completely incorrect usage of tools...
« Reply #49 on: October 15, 2018, 03:04:57 am »
Also something inappropriate is using solder to tie things down as strain relief. I like using very thin solder and it is actually kinda decent when a few loop are made..

this forum is amateur hour though, check this out
https://failblog.cheezburger.com/thereifixedit
 


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