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Thread: Soft touch finger

  1. #1
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    Soft touch finger

    My welder's Grasshopper (TM) third hand tool works well for silver soldering (I'm not a weldor)...

    Soft touch finger-finger-1.jpg

    but is way too heavy for more delicate work, especially thin wood used in modelmaking. What I needed was a really lightweight finger that was adjustable in both attitude and pressure applied.

    So I dug around in my scraps of brown stuff and came up with this monstrosity...

    Soft touch finger-finger-2.jpg

    The body is a 2 x 4 cutoff and the "finger" is made of popsicle sticks with spacers cut from the length of 3/8 x 3/8" that forms the "forearm" and the "outrigger" that prevents tipovers. The body...

    Soft touch finger-finger-3.jpg

    has a 1" blind hole that can be filled with washers to provide more finger pressure. The hole can also hold a small plastic bottle partially filled with bird shot (see second picture) for more precise pressure control than I'll ever need.

    This photo...

    Soft touch finger-finger-4.jpg

    shows the finger. Three adjustable height positions (more are easily obtainable with a 3 mm drill) and an axial hole through the "fingertip" that has a 4-40 bolt to allow various future attachments. (A spreader bar and a V-block for cylinders will probably be the first to be made.)


    This build was a real vacation from more serious shop work. No plans were drawn, just a vision of what it should resemble in my head. No detailed dimensioning or measuring, sizes were determined by the stock found in the brown stuff bin. Design was changed during construction (guided by TLAR logic) and errors (like screw holes drilled in the wrong orientation) were allowed to remain without agonizing over it. While I don't recommend that you do all your work this way, an occasional excursion into slapstick construction can be fun and a great stress reliever; it can even produce a useful tool.

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    Regards, Marv


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  2. The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to mklotz For This Useful Post:

    billster (May 24, 2021), Christophe Mineau (May 20, 2021), Home-PC (May 19, 2021), Jon (May 20, 2021), Manitoba Man (May 19, 2021), old_toolmaker (May 20, 2021), Paul Jones (May 23, 2021), ranald (May 24, 2021), rendoman (May 19, 2021), rlm98253 (May 23, 2021), Sleykin (May 23, 2021), Tonyg (May 24, 2021), Toolmaker51 (May 20, 2021)

  3. #2
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    Manitoba Man's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    My welder's Grasshopper (TM)

    third hand tool works well for silver soldering (I'm not a weldor)...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FINGER-1.jpg 
Views:	196 
Size:	195.2 KB 
ID:	39589

    but is way too heavy for more delicate work, especially thin wood used in modelmaking. What I needed was a really lightweight finger that was adjustable in both attitude and pressure applied.

    So I dug around in my scraps of brown stuff and came up with this monstrosity...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FINGER-2.jpg 
Views:	173 
Size:	184.3 KB 
ID:	39590

    The body is a 2 x 4 cutoff and the "finger" is made of popsicle sticks with spacers cut from the length of 3/8 x 3/8" that forms the "forearm" and the "outrigger" that prevents tipovers. The body...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FINGER-3.jpg 
Views:	134 
Size:	178.4 KB 
ID:	39591

    has a 1" blind hole that can be filled with washers to provide more finger pressure. The hole can also hold a small plastic bottle partially filled with bird shot (see second picture) for more precise pressure control than I'll ever need.

    This photo...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FINGER-4.jpg 
Views:	170 
Size:	188.2 KB 
ID:	39592

    shows the finger. Three adjustable height positions (more are easily obtainable with a 3 mm drill) and an axial hole through the "fingertip" that has a 4-40 bolt to allow various future attachments. (A spreader bar and a V-block for cylinders will probably be the first to be made.)


    This build was a real vacation from more serious shop work. No plans were drawn, just a vision of what it should resemble in my head. No detailed dimensioning or measuring, sizes were determined by the stock found in the brown stuff bin. Design was changed during construction (guided by TLAR logic) and errors (like screw holes drilled in the wrong orientation) were allowed to remain without agonizing over it. While I don't recommend that you do all your work this way, an occasional excursion into slapstick construction can be fun and a great stress reliever; it can even produce a useful tool.
    I love the philosophical shift. Unfortunately I tend to go overboard in the free form method.

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  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Manitoba Man For This Useful Post:

    Home-PC (May 19, 2021)

  5. #3
    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    It's good to cultivate both. Being able to plan ahead is important, like integrating other components. Working on the fly still requires a mental diagram. Probably more actual mental exercise than working off a drawing, especially getting it done in the right order.
    Best of all? Nobody will know how many times you erased a thing.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  6. #4
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    Thanks mklotz! We've added your Soft Touch Finger to our Model Making category,
    as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  7. #5
    Supporting Member old_toolmaker's Avatar
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    Necessity is the mother of invention! I often find a need to cobble something together at the last minute to get a job done.

  8. #6
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    Great work, as usual Marv.

    Another nice thing about a cobbled-together Mk1 is that if it lives up to expectations, your Mk2 with all the refinements is easier to visualize, design, and build.

    Bob

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to rebuilder1954 For This Useful Post:

    old_toolmaker (May 20, 2021)

  10. #7
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    Most of my projects begin by brainstorming and day dreaming. Then its off to the CAD system.



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