bodger: xkcd android girlfriend arc weld cherry stem (Default)
My dad had a nice set of hollow shaft nutdrivers that he and I both used. When he passed away, I ended up inheriting them, and I have used them ever since. I don't know when he bought them originally, but they've been getting used for decades, and are still in good shape, although one of the handles is a little melted looking from the time it got accidentally soaked in gasoline.

So why are they so useful? It's the "hollow shaft" part that does the trick. Rather like deep sockets can do some things that ordinary sockets can't, they'll let you loosen/tighten a nut that's threaded way down on a long bolt. And the hollow shafts on these extend the entire length of the shaft.

view up the shaft

If you look up the shaft, you can see all the way up to the handle. It's not just a 2cm recess, the entire shaft is hollow, accomodating anything up to that length. For example, using these tools, it's easy to install long-shaft controls in panels and neatly tighten the nut without fighting with pliers, trying to keep a box-end wrench in position on a thin part, or running the risk of marring the panel.

nutdriver in position on long-shaft control

That's one, on the right, in position to tighten the retaining nut, quickly and easily.

Recently, I realized that a metric set of these would be a very useful thing to have as well, so I went out to see what the offerings were. I was pleased to find out that the original Xcelite HS618 set is still available, as well as the individual drivers. It's nice when useful things are still in production, after all these years. Unfortunately, they don't seem to offer a metric version.

bodger: xkcd android girlfriend arc weld cherry stem (arc weld)
I decided to buy SparkFun's $10 Heaterizer XL 3000 Heat Gun to try for heat stink and desoldering duties. I'm getting more and more opportunities to remove surface mount parts from boards, and this looks like a more cost-effective approach than a surface mount rework station with a bunch of nozzles for different size and shape parts. Hey, it's only $10 and the instruction manual is a hoot! Seriously, give it a read.

I gave it a try today )

I am quite satisfied with this little beast. It does a lovely job at melting whatever I point it at.

bodger: (What terrible problems you have)
When I got home Friday night, there was a medium-sized box waiting for me on the porch. It was very heavy for its size. have a look ) Yup, a Sherline 5410 vertical mill with all the trimmings! w00t! This is nicely made in the USA, and not a piece of crap like the cheap Chinese drill press I got from Electronics Goldmine.

January 2014

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