Tools you can't live without. - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Oct 25, 2001, 10:12 AM
Registered User
Larry @ SR's Avatar
Any of the "gun" type soldering irons that hum and have two stiff wires going out to where the tip actually is, is heating by inductance.

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Oct 25, 2001, 10:24 AM
Registered User
#0-60 drill bit set

Oct 25, 2001, 11:30 AM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
Whoa! Don't pay $50.00 for a dial caliper. Pay $15.00 (plus shipping).

I've got Starrett and Mitutoyo. The above is fine and is well made, though probably by Chinese slave labor.

There are never enough tools!

I can add:

1. Enough dental picks and scrapers to run a dental practice.
2. Enough hemostats to supply an operatring room.
3. A Unimat metal lathe with all attachments
4. An old (1958) Sears vibrating jigsaw - great for balsa!
5. Single edge razor blades by the box
6. Jeweler's needle files of every shape and size
7. etc., etc., etc.
Oct 25, 2001, 02:18 PM
high-speed freak
opualuan's Avatar
um... that's how i cut balsa... i give, what's a ZONA saw?
Oct 25, 2001, 03:57 PM
Registered User
Originally posted by mtayl
Any suggestions on what to watch out for in digital calipers? I found a mitutoyo which is accurate to +-.008mm which should be good enough.
0.008mm?! Wow! I should think that it is 'good enough'!

My 'top two':

1) Motocalc (my trial period ran out and I really ought to get around to registering - I cannot live without it any longer!)
2) Astro Whattmeter

At the moment I borrow my friends tach (hehehe) and I am hoping to buy some digi scales soon.

Ben C
Oct 25, 2001, 04:02 PM
Registered User
A jeweller's eye-loupe to inspect your work closely - for instance gear mesh, solder joint quality, burrs on motor shafts, etc., No matter how excellent your vision, the loupe will make it better, if you limit the magnification to about 2.5X.

P.S. Also to find the end of the packing tape when it sticks invisibly on the roll!
Oct 25, 2001, 04:26 PM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
To opualuan,

A ZONA saw is a small hand saw with a reinforcement on the top of the blade like the one X-acto makes. Zona saws are made a little bit better and offer a selection of blades with different blade depths and number of teeth. One blade they offer has the teeth so fine that it'll trim zits off a flea.
Oct 25, 2001, 04:34 PM
registered user
DNA's Avatar
Now where'd that flea go? Heck with that, where'd my Dog go?

Also a set of jeweler's screwdrivers comes in very handy.
Oct 26, 2001, 01:07 AM
Almost a Pilot
Mauilvr's Avatar
All of the above, PLUS
Personally, I couldn't live without my set of Wiha Precision Screwdrivers. Made in W. Germany of "CV.-Molybdan" - the absolute BEST precision screwdrivers I've ever owned.
The ONLY screwdriver that my local hardware store carried that fit the screws in my micro servos.
Also, a piece of 6"X12" plexiglass for cutting wood on. Much lighter & safer than a piece of glass - cost me 75 cents in the scrap bin at a local plastic supply house. The best cutting surface I've ever had.
Lot's of pins, bean bags, small clamps.
5 minute and 1 hour epoxy. 24 hour optional. Small plastic cups and box of popcicle sticks or wood coffee stirrers.
Thin, Medium and Thick CA, CA accelerator, CA application tips and a box of baking soda.
Alphatic Resin, Probond, gorilla glue, etc.
Crane type Magnifying Light (I'm old)
A good steel rule - SAE and Metric
A VERY Patient, Understanding Wife
Oct 26, 2001, 02:00 AM
Registered User
BEC's Avatar
Originally posted by planeman

4. An old (1958) Sears vibrating jigsaw - great for balsa!
OK Planeman, where do YOU find 4 inch pin-end blades? I have one of these saws that my father gave me about 30 years ago and it hasn't had a new blade in a VERY long time.....

I just can't stomach the idea of retiring it when it still runs just fine, thank you.

Oh, and I enthusiastically second the Wiha precision screwdrivers!
Last edited by BEC; Oct 26, 2001 at 02:02 AM.
Oct 26, 2001, 02:14 AM
An Original!
I'd be lost without my Mitutoyo Digimatic calipers. I can switch back and forth from inches to milimeters without thinking. Makes for real easy conversions. Got it on sale for only $130.00.
My watchmakers lathe comes in handy a lot.
Love my Hakko soldering station.
And what would I do without my Master Airscrew razor plane.
And my Grizzly flex shaft grinder.
And my Ohaus triple beam balance.
And my Dumont tweezers.
And my..... Man, I sure have collected a lot of stuff around here.
Oct 26, 2001, 06:38 AM
high-speed freak
opualuan's Avatar
just flipping through a catalog, think I found the digital caliper I have... I've been very satisfied, inches, mm, sub .01mm accuracy...

$65 NEW at herbach and Rademan ( 1-800-848-1001) part T6-128

oh, and I highly recommend a digital .1 or .01 g resolution digital scale like my ohaus.
Last edited by opualuan; Oct 26, 2001 at 06:49 AM.
Oct 26, 2001, 06:59 AM
Registered User
two tools required for electric flight over and above anything the average hobbyist would have are.
1. quality soldering equipment.
2. amp meter- minimum of 40 amp capacity.
I have lots of other tools and would not be without any of them. The right tool can make people believe you are an expert !
Oct 26, 2001, 09:23 AM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
To BEC...

My old Sears jigsaw is one that sits on a table rather than the hand-held one I believe you are referring to (sounds like we must be a couple of old farts to have this stuff). It uses 6" pin-type blades that I can find at any hardware store.

HOWEVER...I have converted non-pin type jeweler's saw blades to pin-type by cutting the pin ends off of a pin-type blade and soldering them onto a non-pin blade by overlapping the joint about 1/4" and binding it with fine brass wire before soldering. I suggest you buy a 6" pin-type blade and cut one end off of it, shorten the blade, then bind and solder the pin end back on.
Oct 26, 2001, 09:33 AM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
While we are on the subject, I'll bet some of us have some kind of wierd and marginally useful - but indespensable in some cases - tools. Something we bought for a particular purpose and rarely use, but when we are doing that particular job there is nothing else like it.

The most outrageous one wins.

I'll start.

An industrial resistance soldering station - the only way to assemble and solder sheet brass parts together without having the rest of the assembly come unsoldered when putting on the next piece. Bought it on eBay.