Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

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rkcarguy
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by rkcarguy » Wed May 13, 2020 12:27 am

My favorites: A "TICN" coated step drill bit, whirly-gig de-burring tool, and a $28 set of 8" calipers that I scribe with all the time.

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Bill Shields
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by Bill Shields » Wed May 13, 2020 7:57 am

6" belt sander...which I purchased for $30....

but my tapping stand (similar to GWR's) is right up in there.

Jim Stuart put a Jacobs chuck on the stand 50+ years ago and willed it to me in his estate...so that is very low cost...

I am with the guys regarding lathe chucks...especially one on a 5C mount...don't know how I got along for 50 years without it.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

thunderskunk
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by thunderskunk » Wed May 13, 2020 8:14 am

Greg_Lewis wrote:
Gra2472 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:55 pm
First aid kit.

See my avitar :lol:

Also, the three-cornered scraper is great for taking the sharp edges off most anything, even when spinning in the lathe. The tweezers retrieve any small screws from the parts department that are smaller than about #6, and the 4-inch Starrett rule is much handier than the more common 6-inch one as I can get it into small places if needed. Also it has graduations across the ends. I've had all of these for so long I don't remember where they came from.

And although not really low investment at about $100, my 6-inch disc, 1-inch wide band sander is perhaps my most used tool. Almost every part I make pays a visit to this little machine for deburring. And many parts that don't need to be to .001 can be profiled or whatever there; some parts are made entirely by sanding to size.
IMG_3092.JPG
Y’know, I got one of them sanders from harbor freight when I was still in grade school and beat the crud out of it “making knives” cause that was the cool thing to do. Many many many hours, and it put up with me. Somebody tactically acquired it from me, so I bought another one; same model same color and everything. I think the motor had 30% of the power. I use it for grinding parting tools and that’s about it. If I had room and money I’d get a bigger one; usually good prices at auction.

I definitely prefer the scraper/burr knife over the whirligig. It takes a lot of practice, but you can do a heck of a lot more with it.
"We'll cross that bridge once we realize nobody ever built one."

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Bill Shields
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by Bill Shields » Wed May 13, 2020 10:03 am

my belt sander is not a HF.....$30 was from an uncle looking to clean out basement 25 years ago.

i have one of the 1" wide belt sanders and it gets very little use but was free....

not to ignore the other end of the shop...but the oxy acetylene torch that was donated by a previous employer is very handy...
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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tornitore45
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by tornitore45 » Wed May 13, 2020 1:08 pm

A $2.99 small Golf Club bought at Good Will.
Wife ask: what you gonna do, take up golfing?
I ground it flat on two perpendicular faces and stuck several super-strong magnets from a e-bike motor.
No more bending to pick up parts that fall on the floor. Too painful to bend my back.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

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tornitore45
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by tornitore45 » Wed May 13, 2020 1:20 pm

The other tool I’ll include is a couple of good files. It might take a bit of time but it is pretty amazing what you can make with just a drill press and some files.
Middle school shop we cut curved profiles in to 1/2" plate for various hand tools by drilling small holes next to each other. Separate by chiseling. Smoothed with files. Files, hack saw and a drill press was all we were allowed to use.
Teacher could trust me and let me use the shaper and the lathe to make all the little parts for compasses.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

thunderskunk
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by thunderskunk » Wed May 13, 2020 2:11 pm

tornitore45 wrote:A $2.99 small Golf Club bought at Good Will.
Wife ask: what you gonna do, take up golfing?
I ground it flat on two perpendicular faces and stuck several super-strong magnets from a e-bike motor.
No more bending to pick up parts that fall on the floor. Too painful to bend my back.
Each mechanic always had a few various bent pieces of metal for oddball jobs. Everybody had a piece of 3/4” round bar that was beaten on one end to have a slight prying curve for brake shoes and arm adjustments. Then a few different rods with bolts welded to the end for pulling bushings on certain oddball armatures.

I still have a piece of sheet metal in the box perfectly bent so it fits over the sand pipe before it gets to the valve; the sand might get clogged, wet, frozen, you name it. Unbolt the valve and stick your favorite coat hanger up there until it starts flowing. Once it starts going, there’s no stopping it. It only took one time of fighting the valve in place to inspire making that plate.

And finally, to your point, I lent somebody my dad-gone wrench, told him NOT to drop it in the oil sump or he’ll be fishing it out. The only access to it is a 1” gap between the floorboards and the air box. He spent an hour fishing around the tank with a store bought magnet rod. He gave up, so I would go up there a few minutes a day with a mighty mag taped to a hockey stick; found a set of vernier calipers and some screw drivers before I got my wrench back.
"We'll cross that bridge once we realize nobody ever built one."

10 Wheeler Rob
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by 10 Wheeler Rob » Wed May 13, 2020 3:52 pm

A used one inch wide x 42 inch belt sander, invaluable for deburing, chamfering and rounding edges on parts.

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Peter Crisler
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by Peter Crisler » Wed May 13, 2020 4:04 pm

Vise Grips. At least one pair of every available configuration.

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NP317
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by NP317 » Thu May 14, 2020 9:44 am

Further time in my shop clarified the one tool that I use on nearly every machined part: A deburring wheel.

At least 30 years ago I used an old surplus electric motor, machined a useful spindle for it and mounted a 3M deburring wheel, 1" x 6" dia.
Made a wood shelf wall mount for it and wired a light switch next to it.
That device easily move to my new shop where it gets used every day I work in there. I've consumed several wheels over its lifetime.
It is the best, fastest way to deburr fresh cuts, and gently contour metal pieces of all alloys.
RussN

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tornitore45
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by tornitore45 » Thu May 14, 2020 1:34 pm

How does a de-burr wheel works? How is not so aggressive to remove metal that should not be removed?
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

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gwrdriver
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Re: Your favorite low investment/high payoff tools and gadgets

Post by gwrdriver » Thu May 14, 2020 3:29 pm

NP317 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 9:44 am
[snip]the one tool that I use on nearly every machined part: A deburring wheel. - RussN
I can't say I use it on every part, but some years ago I began finishing certain parts with a 5"diam 3M Scotch-Brite product called "Paint & Varnish Remover" (Part #051144094134.) I used to be able to buy them pretty cheaply at BigBoxes but by the time they appeared in paint and automotive shops they got real expensive. It's a step above kitchen grade Scotch-Brite in aggressiveness and puts a nice brushed finish to metal.
GWRdriver
Nashville TN

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