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Should we have a Tool Tips Thread?

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by timH, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. timH

    timH pfm Member

  2. mega lord

    mega lord Centre tapped

    Excellent little tool. How would it compare to say a dremmel ?

    A lot of the dremmel bits I have not even worked out what they are for.
  3. timH

    timH pfm Member

    And when you do try them they shatter into a million bits :)

    By the way anyone have any recommendations for good quality wire cutters?
  4. timH

    timH pfm Member

    Dremel is heavier and mains powered. If you’ve got a usb power pack this can be completely portable Oh and its cheaper ( £7 or £8)
  5. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    Knipex is good. Bahco too. Both have a range of models for various needs.
    booja30 and martin clark like this.
  6. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    There are battery-powered Dremels too.
  7. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    Knipex are superb.
    booja30 likes this.
  8. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Simple soldering prep & eqpt suggestions for those new to DIY:

    1. Aspire to a proper temp-controlled soldering station, probably not up-front, they are not cheap: So then - a couple of soldering irons in different powers - one 15-17w say for fine stuff; and a 30w+ for reservoir caps and heavier joints/cables, with at least a couple of bit choices for each. (Disclosure: I've only used the cheaper latter option for >2 decades, and have yet to buy a temp controlled station...) Antex irons are great; others of good quality are available. And do replace bits if you go/scrape through the iron coating: the copper core will soon dissolve in the solder, and the thing will be a nightmare to keep clean/use almost immediately. Bits to suit the task you want to achieve are cheap - buy some.)
    2. Buy a solder-sucker. practice using it on dead pcbs from appliances in removing through-hole components, esp heavier things like cables and reservoir caps. Realise that using a lot of heat (biggest iron that is practicable) for a short time, is always less damaging than not enough heat, held in contact forever in vain with damage to the pcb (tracks lifting , parts damage). This applies whether removing or installing parts.
    3. Buy desoldering braid in a couple of small sizes, up to say 3mm wide, to clean-up after the solder-sicker or for use on v small parts; a flux pen - to ensure a new clean joint flows (or the old solder cleans up!) - this is essential for SMD work - but also a dab on small stuff when desoldering makes for a cleaner job); have to hand some isopropyl alcohol to clean parts and flux off pcbs with; some small-dia tin-lead solder (I like Ersin multicore, still available for DIY use)
    4. A jam-jar lid with a wet folded quarter of a paper towel in it is an excellent one-wipe tip cleaner prior to tinning the bit. Learn what 'tinning' is, and why you clean, then tin the bit, clean (and if necc, tin) the work, then assemble! (hint: the joint will happen magically-well and fast when all is clean) - tl;dr: prep and cleanliness is everything.
    5. Good illumination to work under: a task light, even if you are near a window.
    6. a 5-10x loupe, even a cheapo plastic one, to inspect, and ensure you don't leave /drag solder across pins on ICs. The only way to start to find a dry joint by visual inspection.
    7. Buy a cheap electronic inc pcb kit for something vaguely useful to practice on. I liked & used to recommend the simple maplin LED clock; it keeps excellent time, needs on 9-12v input from a wallwart etc. I've still a spare kit somewhere... these days have a a look at Velleman products; again, others are available.
    8. Don't play when tired (or impatient-to-try) this is a recreational activity here - and things will go better when you are in the right frame of mind to pay attention and enjoy the process. Things 'working right first-time without collateral damage' is the reward.
    Garrard 401, Svein, 337alant and 5 others like this.
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Twin standard Antex's of 15 and 25W in preference to temp controlled soldering station here as well!
    Mike P and martin clark like this.
  10. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    An unregulated iron may be sufficient, but a high-power temp controlled one is always preferable. Mine's a 90W Weller.
  11. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    What would be a reasonably priced for very occasional use soldering iron? I see like a metric tonne of them on the great river, but instinct tells me its not going to end well.

    I ask because the variable temp maplins one i have had for a long while quite literally fell to bits today, and even on full pelt was anaemic to say the least.

    That being said I probably need to follow martins advice above.
  12. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    about £1/ watt for an Antex or Weller...
  13. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    A few hundred Watts of pretty random RF power could make all the Antex temp controlled irons at the Musical Fidelity factory go completely haywire!... I know;):D
  14. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    Well, this is an audio forum. Some people consider £1000 per metre too cheap to consider in a speaker wire. That makes the concept of reasonable cost somewhat nebulous. With that in mind, the Weller WE1010 kit looks like a good deal. Impossibly good if you're the sort who buys aforementioned speaker wire.
  15. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    With silicone cable. A timeless design classic proven over decades.

    Over 25 years mine must have had a few new elements, loads of tips, even a handle or two.. but it's still my old faithful iron.. know what I mean? Dave?:D
  16. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Trigger's broom?
  17. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    We got a saying in the soldering trade...look after your iron.
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  18. suzywong

    suzywong Wot, no electrons?

    one of them there modern Antex 25W jobbies then.... :)

    mine dates from the early '70s. different body - but yellow ;), and has always been slightly bent - bit like a banana.

    also have a 12W TC Weller, a 40W "Amazon cheapo", and a 400W plumbers "soldering gun" that I inherited from my F-i-L.

    the other thing I would add to Martin C's list is one of those "third hand" things with croc clips and clamps for holding stuff. but not one with the built in magnifying glass - looks good in the catalogue, but i found the one i bought to be pretty useless. so i've got myself a headband with light and magnifying lenses - about a tenner from ebay - to supplement my 66 year old eyes!
  19. HarryCrumb

    HarryCrumb pfm Member

    I could do with some advice on buying a crimping tool and crimps. I’m re-wiring my amps and I specifically need the crimps that push on to blades on the pcb. I’m not sure what these are called, but looking at Farnell I think they’re quick disconnect terminals. They seem to be available in very close tolerances of each other so what do you measure when choosing them, the width of the blade? Is there any standard blade thickness?

    Lastly, which crimping tool is ideal for these terminals? The cheaper the better for me, so long as the crimps don’t fall off..
  20. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I never use them myself... a soldered connection is better and less hassle

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