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Vintage Test Gear and Workshop Equipment For discussions about vintage test gear and workshop equipment such as coil winders.

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Old 4th Dec 2023, 10:16 pm   #21
emeritus
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Disposable hypodermic syringes and needles (generally with the sharp tip ground off) for applying liquid flux and small amounts of lubricating oil.

Soft wax ( I use the stuff from Babybel cheeses) to attach screws to the end of screwdrivers when re-assembling stuff where screws are in deep recesses. (It's also an excellent woodscrew lubricant.)

A digital camera to photograph the equipment's wiring before you remove it, so you know where it needs to go when you put it back together again.

Last edited by emeritus; 4th Dec 2023 at 10:31 pm. Reason: Wax added, typos
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Old 4th Dec 2023, 10:22 pm   #22
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

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Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
Disposable hypodermic syringes and needles (generally with the sharp tip ground off) for applying liquid flux and small amounts of lubricating oil.
I use the same for cleaning though plated pcb holes, being stainless they do not tend to become soldered in themselves.

Ian
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Old 4th Dec 2023, 10:24 pm   #23
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Strangely, amongst the most oft used tools that I own are a set of pointed awls with various degrees of bend at the pointed ends. Very useful for a wide range of tasks.
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Old 4th Dec 2023, 10:58 pm   #24
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Filed down Plastic knitting needles are number one- used as trimming tools, especially on things like Pye PMR stuff, I have seen those inductor cores smashed to bits by using brass (or worse) " trimming tools".

I had one case where a guy came in and asked me to fix a base station, he had cracked every damn one of them when pretending to be a service/repair engineer.

I had to carefully drill out each and every one, replace them (It was damn lucky I had spare cores), and get it working. It took at least a whole days work.
I sealed all of them with red wax afterwards.
I guess looking back he was trying to save his neck, a sacking was on the cards for him.
He got charged accordingly.
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 2:29 pm   #25
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Just a thought on the subject of old dental drills being used to replace the bulkier Dremel handheld drill - it is possible to buy a flexible drive and bench-mounted pole stand to facilitate this lightweight mode of operation of your trusty Dremel.

Cheers
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 2:57 pm   #26
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

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Disposable hypodermic syringes and needles (generally with the sharp tip ground off) for applying liquid flux and small amounts of lubricating oil.
I get 'needles' that rather than the metal sharp needle have a thin blunt-ended flexible plastic one instead.

They're intended for aspiration/irrigation/cleansing of shallow puncture wounds/boils/abscesses etc. The 'needle' is about 1mm diameter and 1.5cm long.

Great for precision application of semi-fluid grease in between the balls on a freshly-cleaned variable-capacitor spindle, or oil in between the spring-loaded meshed gears of something like an AR88 tuning-drive.

My ones are distributed by "Henry Schein" and I get them via the local vet practice .
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 3:22 pm   #27
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrispy57 View Post
Just a thought on the subject of old dental drills being used to replace the bulkier Dremel handheld drill - it is possible to buy a flexible drive and bench-mounted pole stand to facilitate this lightweight mode of operation of your trusty Dremel.

Cheers
Chris

That's true - I have one of those flexible-drive sets for my Lidl equivalent to the Dremmel. But they are still pretty clunky compared to a dental drill - you need to wield them in your whole hand, rather than, like a pencil, just between your fingers. They also have a relatively inflexible flexible-drive shaft which you have to almost manhandle into position, whereas you can position a dental drill with the ease and flexibility that you can with a fine writing implement.

Mike
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 4:07 pm   #28
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Additional to the above:

Cotton buds (but I worry that they are about to be "improved" for some eco reason). Now deprecated for ear cleaning but still OK for bigger sockets etc.

A 5mm wide strip of FR4 PCB material with corners rounded off. Very good as an abresive.

A tool I bought at Proops in Tottenham Court Road, whicb they described as a "doofer". It's a stainless steel thing with a point at one end and a sharpened spade-like other end. I find it is stronger and less sharp than dental tools.
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 4:58 pm   #29
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

I remember some 'things' in the past that were essentially a metal ring about the size of a key-ring, but they had an extension about two inches long, with a hook on the end. Used in the invariably-chaotic wiring of PABX frames when threading-in new wires.

Another useful tool is a "Quickunpick" as used in needlework to cut seams. These are handy when you need to undo cable-lacing without damaging the cables' insulation.
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 7:19 pm   #30
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Years ago I had a lovely fine dental drill, it was pneumatic, so only a light flexible hose connected to it.

I wish I knew where it was now!

Cheers, Scott
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 7:21 pm   #31
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Kitchen scissors for cutting off mains flexes.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=206088
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 7:26 pm   #32
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

A jam jar, for soaking old greasy/waxy parts in Plus-Gas to dissolve the grease and free off dirt... Then followed by using the same jar to soak the parts in IPA to remove the traces of Plus-Gas!

The jar is good for giving it all a swoosh and shake around with the lid on.

A good bristle brush helps to loosen stuff off too.
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 7:30 pm   #33
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Normal domestic 'Sticky Stuff Remover' from Lakeland.. This stuff is brilliant for removing old traces of sticky tape and glues, whether still tacky or old, hard and crispy.

Based on a chemical found in oranges, it has an orangey smell.

Its great as it does not damage paints like solvents can do.
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 9:53 pm   #34
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

I always have a spray can of "Brake Cleaner" at hand, it's a great solvent for almost anything but alcohol-soluables. Though no easy stuff, highly inflammable.
And I've got some very small brass wire brushes in my tool box. Made for cleaning ancient ignition points but handy anyway.
My lady missed one of her fine nail files as I found out these were useful to clean contacts.

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Old 5th Dec 2023, 10:45 pm   #35
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

This comes in handy for soldering those fiddly smd parts.
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Old 5th Dec 2023, 11:55 pm   #36
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

That reminds me of the time I was visiting a relative whose tv remote control didn't work. On prising its glued case apart with his pen-knife, the UV emitter diode was found to have a dry solder joint. He had no soldering iron or solder so I filed a narrow chisel point on a six inch nail, heated it on a gas ring while holding it in a pair of pliers, and using some lemon juice as flux, reflowed the dry joint. So a modified 6 inch nail would be my oddest tool.

I had read about using lemon juice as flux in an article that featured a US company's efforts to find greener alternatives to the chemicals they were using.

Last edited by emeritus; 6th Dec 2023 at 12:01 am. Reason: typos
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 1:57 am   #37
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Be careful about garage brake cleaner on anything which may get welded. You are supposed to wipe down parent metal and rods with acetone or equivalent. Brake cleaner degrades at high temperature into nerve gas. If you're fixing or making some serious chassis-work for your electronics, this error can be life changing, or ending.

David
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Old 6th Dec 2023, 5:05 pm   #38
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

I look on tools needed build a 1930s radio after buying the basic parts.
You become a cabinet maker and sometimes a metal worker.
I have made a lot of replacement coils too.

Dave
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 8:06 pm   #39
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

When you need a speaker from 1920s.
Odd tool

Dave
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Old 10th Dec 2023, 6:58 pm   #40
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Default Re: Odd tools used in electronics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm G6ANZ View Post
Then there is my 1940's dental drill
Much more versatile and lighter than a Dremel. It even has a footswitch for speed and direction.
I'm so envious. I would never have thought of using a dental drill, now I want one......

Peter
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