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Thread: Low profile manual counter

  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Low profile manual counter

    When I finally, after 50 years, decided to quit smoking, I did it by cutting down over a very long period, about eighteen months. I couldn't count on my memory to tally how many cigarettes I had smoked that day - too many interruptions could cloud the total. I needed a counter.

    OK, at this point I should freely admit that I've got a good case of OCD. Trouble is I don't consider it a disability. Keeping things well organized is a real necessity in the sciences and damned helpful in the home and hobby shop environments.

    The conventional hand counter, shown in the background in the photograph, is just too bulky to carry in one's pants pocket. What I really needed was something

    with a slim profile
    operable in pocket (so I don't have to answer a lot of stupid questions about what I'm counting)
    provides tactile feedback when counting so I know the count has been registered







    A flat aluminum plate was drilled with two circles of 24 depressions. The aluminum pointer is fitted with a spring-loaded ball bearing that indexes in the smaller circle of holes. Its clicking action provides nice tactile feedback. With a square profile the plate can always be locked between fingers and palm such that the thumb can push the pointer to count. Very light and flat, it's very pocketable.

    I can't think of many metal shop uses for this tool. Perhaps counting full rotations of a mill handle when moving a long distance is possible. Regardless, people with many different hobbies frequent this forum so someone may suggest another use beyond smoking abatement.

    Just in case anyone is wondering, I quit completely in 2010 and haven't smoked anything since then.
    Last edited by mklotz; 07-09-2017 at 10:59 AM.
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  3. #2

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    I don't understand how it's a "counter" that retains information, and not just a "clicker" - and what's the outer circle of holes for?

  4. #3
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McDesign View Post
    I don't understand how it's a "counter" that retains information, and not just a "clicker" - and what's the outer circle of holes for?
    Well, it's a counter in the sense that everytime an event occurs you click it one space. The number of holes from your starting point at any time constitutes the count.

    I had originally planned only the inner row of holes; they would be both detent and counter holes. However, I discovered it was a bit difficult to read the count that way so added the outer row of holes.

    I should have turned the device for the photo. The other end of the arm has an arrow shape that points to a hole.

    Since writing the above I've added a photo showing the pointer end of the arm. See the original post.
    Last edited by mklotz; 07-09-2017 at 11:01 AM.
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    Ah - I thought the outer row had some marker I couldn't see, that incremented one every complete circle around the inner row.

    Like, "well, today I got two outer clicks + the counter's on 6, so i avoided 54 cigarettes today!"

    I figured all smokers smoked several packs a day - never really knew any!

  6. #5
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    I used to smoke about a pack a day but by the time I built the counter I was down to about 15 cigarettes/day so a counter that could only count to 24 was more than adequate.

    If you wanted to count beyond 24 just slip a coin into the pocket where the counter resides every time it "turns over".
    Last edited by mklotz; 06-27-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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  7. #6
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Thanks mklotz! We've added your Low Profile Counter to our Measuring and Marking category,
    as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:





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