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Thread: Repurposing an old tool

  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Repurposing an old tool

    Before I obtained my more sophisticated measuring tools this single-use tool was made specifically to measure the width of a ridge machined deep inside a bore in a part I was repairing. Its use is straightforward. You open the two disks at the end of the tool by compressing the spring, allow the disks to close on the ridge to be measured, tighten the thumbscrew to retain the measurement then withdraw and measure with inside calipers.



    After its moment of stardom it went into a toolbox drawer where it lived, unloved, for many years. Then, one day, I needed to place a nut on a bolt deep inside my latest mad genius creation and it hit me, use that "thing" you made so long ago to hold the nut.



    As a nut holder, it could be improved. Slightly larger disks with some roughening to better grab the nut would be a boon.

    Probably most folks will have no use for such a tool. I offer it more as an idea that you might adopt to your particular needs, just as I did.
    Last edited by mklotz; 07-08-2017 at 04:23 PM.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  3. #2
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    Nice Idea Marv, looks like it could also be used to reach into places your hand would not fit and retrieve chips, parts or just about anything.

    Cheers, JR

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjr2001 View Post
    Nice Idea Marv, looks like it could also be used to reach into places your hand would not fit and retrieve chips, parts or just about anything.
    It could but my favorite tools for that are hemostats. I have them in sizes ranging from three to twelve inches long.

    The only problem with hemostats is that they're, of course, electrically conductive. Not what you want for retrieving stuff from spots near energized circuits. I keep a pair of chopsticks in each of my tool boxes and bags. The tips can be carved into any convenient shape on the job site and they're dead cheap to replace when mangled. If you're not comfortable using chopsticks get one of the plastic hinges used to make chopsticks easier to use for children...

    https://www.amazon.com/Inteliventor-...%2Bhinges&th=1
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  6. #4
    PJs
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    Good point about the chop sticks Marv and really enjoy the creativity of your inside bore slot mic. I keep a pair of the long Wok Chop sticks as well as standard ones around the shop too, but haven't needed a rubber band or kiddy hinge since the early 70's. Made a few for the grand kids though. Perhaps rubber coating hemostats completely might help with live situations? I have a set of plastic ones I got from somewhere medical that are longer than normal but haven't got much spizeringtom but for a light pick they'll do.

    Your Enginuitiveness is always real pleasure!

    Thanks, ~PJ
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
    Mark Twain

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    Marv,

    Very interesting original and re-purposed tool. Glad you remembered the tool. I joke with my wife about occasionally taking the time to look through all the drawers and tool boxes in the garage shop just to remember what I have. I call it "visiting with the tools" in the shop. Thanks to you and PJs about keeping several chopsticks in the shop.

    Thanks, Paul

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
    Marv,

    Very interesting original and re-purposed tool. Glad you remembered the tool. I joke with my wife about occasionally taking the time to look through all the drawers and tool boxes in the garage shop just to remember what I have. I call it "visiting with the tools" in the shop. Thanks to you and PJs about keeping several chopsticks in the shop.
    "Visiting with the tools". Love the expression and guilty of it too. I have antique and inherited tools that I seldom use so a visit can turn up old/new friends as well as promoting suggestions of new tools. Just the other day I "discovered" a broken tailpipe expander whose conical elements will form the basis of a washer chuck for machining the diameter - a design similar to one shown recently on this forum.

    Chopsticks have a myriad of uses in the shop. For instance, they can be used to clean small files. File cards tend to dull files. Take a chopstick, preferably bamboo, and use the end to "scrub" the teeth by moving it parallel to the teeth. The chopstick will quickly develop a pitch equal to the file teeth pitch and, as a result, sweep swarf out of the gullets. Sanding a rough dull chisel shape on the end of the stick helps. The better sushi bars have bamboo chopsticks with square ends opposite the food end; grab those when you run across them.

    Split lengthwise once or twice they provide nice slivers that are fairly tough. One in a flute of a tap can make it cut a bit deeper for a more relaxed fit. Good fix too for wood screw holes that are wallowed out.

    I make disposable paint stirrers for small bottles of model paints. Split the end partway twice and wedge in splinters to spread the resulting four "fingers" to make something that looks like the fishing spears made by New Guinea natives. Cut to a comfortable length and stick the cut end in the electric screwdriver and voila, a powered miniature disposable paint stirrer.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    All great stuff Marv, PJ and Paul. I too love that "visiting the tools"

    I have so many nooks and crannies in my main box along now added boxes and drawer units, it takes me a while to find stuff. And of course I always find stuff when I'm not looking for it. So many of my tools I bought from co-workers at different shops as they left the field and I didn't have a specific job in mind. The worst problem is only remembering I put something in a really good place. Those sometimes never show up again.

    The first time I ever heard of using chop sticks was from a sewing machine repairman. I was contemplating installing a new bobbin drive gear on my wife's Singer sewing machine. They put nylon gears on them for a while and after a while they would just fall apart. The guy hated to do them so much he described exactly how to do it with chop sticks. Worked great for that. Ever since I keep a set in my tool box. I've not heard the trick of using them to clean files though, I'll have to try that Marv.

    Thanks guys.

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    If, like me, you have a small shop, you'll quickly learn that stuff gets stored where there is room, as opposed to where it should logically go. We remember we have it, but inevitably, compounded by the natural CRS caused by age, we forget where stuff is located.

    When I put something in a logically un-natural location, I note its place in a file on my computer. It's far easier to have the computer search a file for something than digging through half the drawers and nooks in the shop. If you do this you'll need to be careful of naming and spelling; the computer thinks ball-peen and ball-pein are two different things.

    Any piece of soft metal - copper, brass, aluminum - can be used to clean files. I like to take spent rifle cartridges and pound the bullet end flat. This gives me a tool with a built-in handle. Push it across the file teeth (parallel to the teeth) and it will soon have teeth to match the file pitch.

    Some folks like to oil files to keep them from pinning, others rub railroad chalk into the gullets for the same reason. I find the oil approach messy so I use the chalk. Railroad chalk is harder than ordinary blackboard chalk and is preferred. I have sort of a lifetime supply but a quick search says, amazingly, that Amazon sells it in many variants, e.g...

    https://www.amazon.com/Railroad-Chal...railroad+chalk
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  16. #9
    PJs
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    Great thread guys! I too like that expression of visiting tools. Had the opportunity today to visit a friend who's offering me his 1958 King Seeley/Craftsman Bench Drill Press...cheap and cheerful of course. Thing is built like a tank and runs quiet, bearing tight, but needs a little cleanup.

    Thanks Marv for some more uses for chopsticks...the file cleaner info is great and will give it a try. Personally I love the bamboo ones too and they last for ever...much more robust, but difficult to find anymore. Been eating sushi since the early 70's and snag them when I can.

    CRS is a never ending rag anymore it seems. I found an old straight razor in my tool box (back of one of the "Odds and Sods" small drawers) a while back and turned out it would have been valuable if I hadn't let it go so long. It's a Spanish "Filarmonica" by Jose Monserratt Pou back in the mid to late 60's. I restored it best I could anyway for me but if I had the box and good shape...it was worth some duckets. Need t0 scrounge around back in those places some more....

    Repurposing an old tool-20160803_182145-web.jpg Repurposing an old tool-20160803_182240_web.jpg

    ~PJ
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
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    Thanks mklotz! We've added your Ridge Measuring Tool to our Measuring and Marking category,
    as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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