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Should we have a Tool Tips Thread?

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

  1. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Haha. My fav story like this is from a German colleague who was suggesting a particular make of thermal paste to a US colleague... "Just google Assmann and I'm sure you will find it" :eek:
    337alant and Arkless Electronics like this.
  2. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I nearly lost it when I rang a certain German company's UK headquarters many years ago to be greeted by the words of the receptionist "Hello, Siemens Staines"
  3. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Wiha and C.K. (cheaper) for electrical work. The snips with the holes for stripping the 2.5 and 1.5 mm2 insulation are really great. Try cutting guitar strings with knipex cutters and they're rendered useless in one go - maybe that's how they make the insulation strippers ;)

    337alant likes this.
  4. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    Any cutters will be damaged if you exceed their rating. These, for example, should handle guitar strings just fine:
  5. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    They're much too big for getting in at the tuners. Mine are 78 03 125 they should be good for 1mm hard wire which is much bigger than the unwound strings or even the core of the thickest strings. The thing is you only get one try
  6. mansr

    mansr Objectionist

    Those are only rated for "medium hard" wire. You need something with a piano wire rating for guitar strings. These might work:
    gavreid likes this.
  7. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    These are about the closest I can find to the two pairs of wire cutters I've used for about 20 years and never had to replace Mine actually look a bit cheaper than those and the handles are less padded. I have several others plus heavier duty ones but these get used 95% of the time.
    337alant likes this.
  8. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Related to this but not the OP topic I saw a crossword clue the other day: Wild Indian ass. Didn't google it OBVIOUSLY. (Answer - Onager)
  9. juz400

    juz400 pfm Member

    For crimping terminals, 2 things,
    1. A Ratched Crimp tool is essential, dont waste time with pliars or those cheeeep `automotive` crimp and 3 colour insulated terminal sets
    The yellow handeled with five block sets look identical to a set I bought many moons ago and does a great job. make sure you remove the correct amount of insulation and that a bit of the insulation is pushed in enough that the outer leaves of the terminal will pierce and grip that with the inner leaves gripping the copper.

    2. DONT buy cheap crimp connectors from ebay, they are made of the finest chineesium metal and will crumble and fall apart after crimping with the above tool or a little later when you push finish up and push them onto the receptor.
    RS Components do a line of thier own terminals I have found to crimp well, dont fall apart and have no problem recomending them.,4294431824

    I never use the plastic insulated ones, you cant get a good look at your end result to see if it passes inspection.
    Coloured heatshrink is perfect to finish off your cable and makes them look real neat.
    Garrard 401 and gavreid like this.
  10. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    Hi Arkless

    Just out of interest that one is 25watts, and most of the ones I see elsewhere are 40watts. Would the one you have linked to for instance solder naca5?

    Or put differently if I am soldering it seems to be lumpier things rather than delicate things.
  11. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    It would do it yes but if you are mainly doing heavy duty work a larger Wattage would be a good idea. In spite of soldering basically 365 days a year I probably only use anything bigger than that 25W Antex half a dozen times a year!
  12. Andrew L Weekes

    Andrew L Weekes Reverse Engineer

    One of my favourite tools is an Abeco solder sucker (

    Most hand held solder suckers have hard tips that don't seal to the PCB and get deformed / damaged over time. They frequently damage delicate PCB tracks with the kick and combination of hard tips if the user isn't careful.

    The ones with flexible silicone tips are the most effective hand solder suckers I've use, the silicone tips seem to last forever (I've never changed one yet) and seal well to the joint, making them very effective.

    They have some annoyances, the supplied tip unblocker has a habit of falling out it's holder, they're a bit 'plasticky' and they block regularly (but equally are easy to unclog), but the huge reduction in risk to PCB tracks and effective hole clearing power make their annoyances acceptable.

    I've just noticed RS are doing some own-brand flexible tip suckers that are cheaper, might be worth checking out:

    chiily and Svein like this.
  13. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Great tip Andy. You have just cost me £18:

    I have used hard tip solder suckers for years and find that they need "burning in" to get a better seal. This means that the plastic tip eventually develops a soldering iron bit shaped gap and this helps with the seal during the time when the tip is in situ. Anyway hopefully this will be all history if the flexy tip sucker does its job!
  14. demotivated

    demotivated pfm Member

    My most used tool generally [not specifically electronics] is a cheap bench grinder. To get the most out of it screw it firmly to the corner of a bench with the wheel hanging over. Remove other disk as it is in the way. Fit an inline footswitch for the power for more safety. Then I run it without guard which is no problem with only 1 disk to focus on. You then have enough space to shape metal/plastic/wood up to large pieces. Sure the wheel gets a bit coated from plastic/wood resin etc, but it clears itself. Yes its a bit fast for knife sharpening, but you can still do it with a light touch and a bit of practise. Perhaps not for best woodwork chisels. Only for 1 person workshops.
    gavreid likes this.
  15. 337alant

    337alant Negatively Biased

    Funny you should say that I have just bought some Te Faston insulated crimp connectors from RS
    The Revox R2Rs have many push on connectors and these female spade connectors fit them perfectly 2.79 x 0.79mm
  16. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    Not sure I go along with this approach to health and safety. My father built himself a vertical milling machine. He managed to take the point off one of his fingers with the unguarded belt drive. The irony being that there was a casting available for a full guard.

    My approach has always been "think what if" rather than "it'll never happen to me".
    Garrard 401 and gavreid like this.
  17. demotivated

    demotivated pfm Member

    I bought myself a cheap table saw a long time ago. It's only when you put it in a typical shed you realize there is no way to handle large pieces of lumber or board indoors. I gave it away to a mate and he had the same problem.
    Top tip - I find my foot makes an excellent clamp for angle grinding. I have my trainers on because you have to respect power tools.
  18. Andrew L Weekes

    Andrew L Weekes Reverse Engineer

    Oooh, that looks nice. Let me know how it works!
  19. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    This cheap tool has got me out of trouble many many times...

    Don't get a magnetic one - pointless - as you're usually trying to pick up metallic objects which have fallen onto onto other metallic objects !!

    The last rescue was a phone which I was using as a torch in my wife's engine bay and it fell down onto to top of the plastic aerodynamic underbody cover that has zero access unless you take off 30 screws!! Was down 3 ft with narrow access.. got it! Phew..
  20. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Arrived today so of course I had to have a go!
    It's quite small (and cute o_O) and needs a slightly different hand position to the ones with the plunger guard. It has quite a lot of recoil.

    BUT... wow does it suck!
    I removed the solder from the pins of a relay in a single sided pcb. I could just lift the relay out afterwards.

    It's trickier to clear the sucked solder out of the nozzle than with a hard nozzle one.

    Highly recommended! Although I suppose I should check it out with PTH boards.
    JimmyB likes this.

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