My long-bladed screwdrivers that I told you about some time ago have proven very useful!
This report covers:
- High-rise in Seattle
- Small parts
- Not me
- Cheap BB
- Electronic digital calipers
- Magnifying hood
Today we will talk more about tools. I don’t care whether you are an apartment dweller on the 13th floor of a high-rise in Seattle or a machinist whose tools are worth more than a new car, if you’re an airgunner, tools are important!
High-rise in Seattle
In fact, it was an apartment dweller in a high-rise in Seattle who inspired today’s report. Marshall is his name and Wristwatch Revival is the name of his You Tube channel. Marshall is a watchmaker, which is the name given to those who disassemble, clean, assemble and lubricate mechanical wristwatches. And Marshall does it in his study with an occasional foray into his kitchen. That is to say he completely disassembles mechanical wristwatches, cleans all the parts, makes any repairs that are needed (that he is capable of repairing) and then assembles and lubricates them in front of his audience in 50-minute videos. His workspace occupies everything from 1/2-inch (12.7mm) wide to about 5-inches (127mm) wide. He does this in 4K video!
I admitted to you that I am a watch nerd about one month ago, and I am starting to disassemble watches!
I’m currently working on (studying) this Hamilton automatic watch movement. I’ve removed the automatic works revealing the movement. It’s smaller than an American quarter coin and about the size of a one-euro coin.
The automatic works assembly was held onto the watch movement by two screws. Let me show you one of them.
That’s one of the two screws that hold the automatic works on this watch movement.
That screw enlarged. Sorry for the blurriness. I didn’t have time to set up the shot for a perfect macro.
That tiny screw is one of the larger screws in a watch movement. There are some that are perhaps 1/5 that size.
Okay, here is where today’s report comes back to airguns. When I removed those two screws I grabbed each one individually with tweezers and placed it in a box for safekeeping. The first one went without a problem. The second one was a magic trick. One moment it was in my tweezers and the next moment it wasn’t. Oh, no!
Up to this point Marshal had been warning me that watch parts would do this. But I thought that he was unaware of my skill with chopsticks! Well, phooey on that!
Marshal says that these parts are so small and lightweight that they can even get in your hair and you’ll never feel them. But I thought — they’ll never get in MY hair!
So I got down on my hands and knees and started searching. I was working in my kitchen for the simple reason that my floor is tiled. I thought surely I could find that parts on the floor. Well, these parts are smaller than the dirt particles on my floor and don’t call … Nah — I’m not going there.
I have lost screws and small parts from airguns before and was usually able to find them by searching the floor with a flashlight. I lose scope mount screws that way all the time. But a scope mount screw is perhaps 25 times larger than one of these little guys.
Well, Marshall has a short video on some of the important watchmaking tools he has either bought or made. When I saw the first one I knew I had to make one for myself and tell all of you about it. But back to finish my story about the lost screw. After spending five minutes on the hard floor I stood up and saw a tiny piece of dirt on my kitchen table about 10 inches from where I was working. Yep, it was the lost screw. They say that God looks after drunks and little babies. He must include airgunners and watchmakers on that list as well.
A strip of rare earth magnets picks up any and every ferrous metal object it comes close to.
That strip has five rare earth magnets epoxied to a wooden paint stirrer. The magnets are about one inch (25.4mm) wide and I bought all five on eBay for about three dollars. Guess what you can do with this tool?
Why are the magnets spaced apart and not touching each other? Well, as it turns out when you make this thing and place each magnet on the stirrer, waiting for the 5-minute epoxy to cure, if you let go of the magnet it flips over and jumps on top of the magnet next to it. If you hold it down with your fingers while waiting out the epoxy, it slowly moves away from the magnet next to it in preparation for flipping. After the epoxy has set if you let go of the magnet, the other magnet slowly pushes it aside in preparation to flip it up and over. Only the glue holds it down.
But the spacing isn’t a problem. Those magnets are so powerful that they will attract a small part from inches away, so this spacing just makes the working part of the tool longer.
This is what the magnets want to do if they are allowed. If they are covered in quick-setting epoxy when this happens, you have a problem. Don’t ask!
Let me introduce you to another great tool. Epoxy! Yes, I know that everybody knows what epoxy is and has probably used it at one time or another. But I want you to know about a special epoxy — an epoxy that cheap old BB would never have bought if his neighbor, Denny, didn’t tell him about it.
BB was complaining to Denny that his epoxy (actually JB Weld) was always hardening on him, or the thin metal tubes it comes it were breaking, making it no longer useable. He also has the problem that sometimes all he has is a tube of long-curing epoxy and another tube of 5-minute hardener.
JB Weld is wonderful stuff, but the metal tubes it comes in are garbage! Just to set up this photo I got epoxy all over my hands. After the photo they went in the garbage, as so many tubes before have.
Now BB is cheap. But you readers and Denny have taught him not to be. Buy once, cry once is his new slogan. However, on the way to this renewing he made one last mistake. He thought he could get away with spending just a little more by buying epoxy in a different dispenser.
Obviously this dispenser puts out both the resin and hardener at similar rates, and the cap seems to keep the contents fresh.
I won’t throw this dispenser away because it SEEMS to work as advertised. It was more expensive, but it did solve the problem of losing most of two tubes of product after a couple uses.
So I told Denny about my epoxy experiences and he goes out into his garage and returns with two bottles of epoxy. I was impressed when he said they were several years old because they didn’t look it. Then I went to the hardware store and discovered the SECRET. The epoxy in 2 metal tubes costs about $6. The epoxy in the better dispenser costs about $10. Denny’s two bottles cost $23!!!!! But Denny’s bottles stay clean all the time and the product never goes to waste. Buy once, cry once.
My two new epoxy bottles after 5 uses. Yes, I did cry on my way to pay for them, but I will have these bottles for the rest of my life!
These two drops of epoxy TOGETHER are approximately the width of the dime coin I use in the target pictures. The bottles are perfect dispensers that close tight after dispensing!
Electronic digital calipers
Some weeks ago I was whining about my electronic digital caliper. It was burning up batteries in just a couple weeks. I thought I would just use dial calipers, but that didn’t last. So I went online and looked for the best digital calipers on the market. Guess what? All the surveys said the one I threw away was the best by a long shot. The most recent one I had must have just been bad. So I bought another one and thus far (a month later) it’s still working fine.
I have used a magnifying hood for the past 20 years. In fact I use it so much it’s sitting right here on my desk. For example seeing the rifling grooves in a pellet is something that needs to be made larger for me. But with my new watchmaking venture the magnifying hood I have isn’t quite up to the task. So I went online to see what I could find. The range of possibilities is pretty large, but I have been down this road a couple times already. I knew what I wanted and it wasn’t a frame to hold two jeweler’s loupes. I have that and it doesn’t work for me. I also wasn’t looking for a $350 headset for a dental surgeon. I wanted something affordable, yet better (more powerful?) than the 1.5-3X hood I have now. And I found it. And it wasn’t expensive.
This Beileshi magnifying hood costs $14 and goes up to 10X. It also has an LED light that swivels from side to side. Find it on Amazon.
That’s it for today. The magnet stick was the real reason I wrote this report, though the epoxy bottles were a close second. As an airgunner who mounts scopes and disassembles some airguns, I have a huge need for that stick.
I don’t use epoxy that much but when I need it I need it right now. These bottles are convenient, precise and they seem to last a long time.
The magnifying hood was an unexpected bonus. As cheap as it was, it seems to do everything that was promised. And it’s so much better than the hood I’ve been using that I’m probably going to buy a second one in a few months.
Good tools are essential for the airgunner and today I have shared some of my favorites that I have recently discovered.
84 thoughts on “More on tools”
Denny steered you right! JB Weld in the larger bottles is something on which I, also, was “late to the party,” but now I keep a pair of those bottles at all times; they work great for use on airguns; and, once a year, I mix up a batch, thin it out with acetone, then apply a coat to my home-made kayak…just to keep her leak free…that stuff works like a charm. 🙂
Blessings to you,
Thanks for this comment. I was hoping to hear from some folks who had used this product in the bottles.
You are most welcome. 🙂
Nice boat! I assume you do not use it for white water though.
Nice little trick with the acetone also. I will have to remember that and do a little experimenting.
There are a couple of things that you can use for thinning epoxy resins, denatured alcohol (best) and acetone are the most common.
Thinning the resin will affect its properties (strength, brittleness and flexibility) so moderation is important. Any more than 5% thinner is crossing into dangerous territory. I did a bunch of tests and the samples cured to a rubbery state but eventually (after several weeks) appear to have returned to their usual hardness.
I’ve found it better to thicken thin resin ( cabosil – glass beads, wood dust, flour) to the viscosity required than to thin thick resin.
Hank, thanks for the tips! 😉
I do not know if I will ever need to, but I will remember these tips if I should need to.
“Nice boat! I assume you do not use it for white water though.”
RidgeRunner, no, mostly flatwater ponds, although she has been out a couple of times in one-foot whitecaps…not on purpose; I was out, and then big winds came up, hahaha!
As I thought I’d once said, I made this pirogue-style boat on a lark because my wife was in the hospital; so, to calm my mind, late one night, I took two 12-foot cedar roofing shingles, cut and stitched them together with copper wire (all done in the living room, since my wife was not around); then I started to spread them; they made “cracking noises” about an inch and a half before my desired beam, so that became her width; hence, this boat has sketchy primary stability and NO secondary stability. I’m OK with her; but I’d never give her to anyone else; I let one friend borrow her; he went out on Lake Lanier and got so scared I never lent her out again.
Here she is on Lake Juliette, a nice calm lake that is usually where I go to photograph birds, yet they were not cooperating that day; there were none to be found, LOL! 🙂
Baruch haShem! 🙂
thedavemyster, I’m not sure what you mean about primary- and secondary stability. Do you mean, the further it leans sideways, the more the buoyancy is off-centre?
If you want to know: https://paddling.com/learn/primary-secondary-stability
All of our boats have round hulls. When someone asks to try one of our boats they usually go a few meters and turn around (or promptly capsize) to come back with these words: “WAY TOO Tippy for me!”
hihihi, I was going to reply, then I saw my friend, shootski, had already done so (thanks, shootski! =>). That’s what I love about this blog: everyone share’s knowledge and helps each other…way cool. 🙂
Lake Juliette looks like a fun place! If we do an Alabama or NW Florida run we may need to stop and dip our paddles for a bit.
shootski, we’re up in Georgia now, and Lake Juliette is about half an hour north of Macon; it has a power plant on one side, and that generates the warm water that seems to attract a lot of birds. 😉
shootski and thedavemyster, thanks.
I only ever had one kayak in my life and that was enough for me, you see, it was a fibreglass boat that was at it’s most stable…, erm, let me put it this way: I may understand my Australian girlfriend, her family and her Australian friends, heck I even understand Kiwis, but I could not understand my kayak wanting me down under!
Yes, it too, was a round bottomed kayak, that incidentally, was easy to turn, or in other words a nightmare to keep going in a straight line.. 🙂
hihihi, now you are bringing back some good memories!
I only ever built one boat from fiberglass; I used some 4-ounce cloth (only 6 mils thick) to skin a wooden frame to make a very light Cajun pirogue. The glass is so thin that you can see the water through the hull; notice that it’s only drafting a couple of inches of water; since it sits so high, there is very little drag with this boat, and she tracked very well in a straight line.
I sold her off to get some money to help some friends.
But I do miss her! 🙂
Wow thedavemyster! Thanks for the pictures.
Your boat looks much more fragile than the glass thickness suggests and it’s probably heavier than a traditional Japanese paper house too. 🙂
Do you remember how much it was apt to drift downwind?
My scarlet, round bottomed glass kayak had quite a rocker, almost like a Venetian gondola. Despite making and fitting a skeg, it just didn’t like going straight ahead, probably not helped by the inboard motor: ie my splashing about with my paddle… 🙂
But it was a cheap used deal and all I had to do, to get my big bum inside, was to cut out it’s seat. Despite this lowered centre of gravity, we still had quite the wobbles, especially during embarking. 🙂
I once tried to surf with it and remember how, if the wave was small enough that my spray deck held up, I could reach and lean into the white water and get pushed all the way into the beach, sideways… ! 🙂
One thing I tried to accomplish many, many times, yet could never master, was the so-called Eskimo Roll. So I never went further than easy swimming distance from the shore. 🙁
Maybe one day I’ll get myself a sea kayak for another round of humiliation… but that’s a big MAYBE because, being retired severely limits what one can fit into 24 hours, especially while remembering to ‘smell the roses’ ! 🙂
Once upon a time I bought an “old school” whitewater kayak. It had not so good primary, but somewhat decent secondary stability. Since I could never get the “Eskimo roll”, I sold it and stuck with canoes and rafts for whitewater. There are too many boats on the lakes around here for me to even dream of using something like that.
thedavemyster, I wonder how the flex of wood and epoxy compare? I assume, just one side gets epoxy coated so as not to trap in any moisture? 🙂
Epoxy and wood boats go well together. This link is to the method I use for making my kayaks.
hihihi, *me, paraphrasng Yoda*
“Yes, to Hank you listen.” LOL 🙂
Beautiful boat! I know from the look on your face how much joy she brings you; get out there often!
Thanks, man; I’m hoping to get out in the next week or so! 😉
I spent the greater part of my life racing sail boats. I am very familiar with Epoxy, maybe to familiar. I have just learned a new use for the stuff. About a month ago, I was coming down a short set of steps and my three year old great grand daughter was coming up. Trying to avoid her, I took a tumble and landed across the room on the edge of a brick fire place back first. It knocked the wind out of me but some how I popped up quickly as not to upset her. Man, did it hurt. I waited two or three days to see if it would get better. It didn’t. I called my primary care doc he sent me for x-rays, then a mri . I broke my back and three ribs. April 10th was my 73rd birthday. I celebrated in the operating room of Roper Hospital while they injected epoxy into the broken bone in my back. I am on the mend but that was a hell of a way to learn a new use for Epoxy.
Tat t boy,
That’s a new one on me! I’m sorry for your accident, but what a way to learn a new use for glue!
Na t boy, what an amazing tale – brick fireplaces eh! 🙁
I wish you a (10 days) belated Happy (as can be) Birthday ! 🙂
Ouch! Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery!
Regarding the epoxy, “Don’t try this at home, folks!!!”
Nat t boy, the guy with two rods and four screws in his spine (L4/L5 spinal fusion) says,
“I feel your pain!”
Or rather, I did; it’s been 9 years, so my pain is in the past.
And my prayer for you is that yours soon will be as well! 🙂
Praying for you,
You are most welcome. 🙂
I have had my electronic calipers for years and have never changed the batteries yet. I do not use them as often as you do though. I also have some mechanical calipers with no dial as an emergency backup.
Proper tools are very important. I have a special toolbox just for my airgun tools. I can see these two tubes showing up in there.
P.S. Cheap BB section. Sentence just below picture of epoxy double syringe.
…, but it did solve the problem of loosing (losing) most of two tubes…
Do not feel bad about this one. I see it all the time. Another one is your instead of you’re. Spell Check will not catch these grammatical errors and sometimes will change these words automatically. I am one of the world’s worst spellers and a perfectionist. What a combination. I am constantly trying to learn to communicate correctly. I usually do a pretty poor job of it.
RidgeRunner, and anyone else who may be interested in a vintage, CO2 bulkfill, 8mm (.315″) calibre, smooth bore, Giffard shotgun, that needs at least a new CO2 cylinder seal and a service, there is one currently for sale, here in France, for 700 Euros (about 770 U.S. dollars).
That one is so nice looking it is scary. That one has either been very well cared for or has been very carefully refinished. I do wish I had the money for it.
Update on that Giffard CO₂ shotgun: it sold.
Here’s what my fencing trainer told me when I lost one of those tiny little screws out of my foil tip. ‘Get your eye as low as possible, with the cheek touching the floor, look along it in all directions and you will find the screw if it’s there.’
We used to fence in a gymnasium the size of a basketball court with a very flat floor. I can’t find the exact size of those grub screws but guess them to be about 2mm (0.0787″).
I also remember that I easily spotted my screw and one more… 🙂
I understand that the small parts that dissappear actually end up in a different dimension than ours.
That also accounts for the unexplained items I find when looking for something I’ve dropped – they’ve come from another place!
I would say that they reappear as sox in the dryer, but my dryer seems to send sox into that other dimension, too.
Oh — I know! They become BBs on the floors of my office and garage!
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier) never underestimate the power of the Pixies! 🙂
Vana2 I am always amazed at people’s mental gymnastics to misdirect. You know, like trying to lead the line of thought away from their suspected disability to remember!
I mean, come on! “in a different dimension” or “from another place”, really!
It’s the Pixies. 🙂
Pixies? You got PIXIES??
We have gremlins here… don’t know what is better or worse 😉
Hehe Vana2, that’s super easy: both. 🙂
Pixies, eh? Our brownies keep them at bay.
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), I’m not sure how…
…, regardless of whether you let them gorge themselves to the point of food coma, or you use brownies like garlic against vampires, what a sacrifice! 🙂
I mean, you’ll be left with nothing but a little jug of cream and coffee…
I thought the faeries protected them.
I’m confused I love to eat brownies; a baked good.
But, some of The Brownies i knew as a kid were Hop, Skip, and Jump!
You need to watch the movie, “Willow.”
If you mea the 1988 film we saw that while stationed in Stuttgart at Patch.
I mean this:
Ah Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), gotcha!
Brownies = hobgoblins, protected by fairies, etc…
I know, “aim small miss small”, but this is ridiculous!
PS how do you relieve your static charge?
That is an issue that has never arisen. I suppose it doesn’t matter, most of the time, but I really don’t know.
I use an electronics assembly anti-stac mat (connected to the wall ground circuit) on my fly tying bench.
It grounds me, my vise and tools and stops bits of fur and feather from flying around and sticking to things.
UV-cure resin is popular for fly tying, as a protective coating on fishing lures and also for ladies fingernail polish. In recent times the resin and the curing lights have become less expensive and more readily available. I use the stuff all the time and have several different brands.
It’s more a coating than an adhesive as it has to be exposed to uv light to cure. Still its great for sticking things together and filling voids. The resin has an infinite (theoretically) working time, sets within seconds when exposed to uv light and comes to full cure very quickly.
I’ll look into it.
I think my dentist uses something similar?
I have also seen if for plastic car bumper repair.
When plastic parts break I usually “fix” them with fiberglass mat embedded in two part plastic epoxy.
Yes, the dentist uses something similar, it has different properties than the stuff I use and cures with a different wavelength of light.
Those screwdrivers look perfect for slipping into the holes of trigger guards to turn trigger adjustment screws.
Never met Denny but have a lot of respect for him. JB Weld makes some good products. I like their 2 part cold-weld steel reinforced epoxy and use it often.
For multi purpose 2 part epoxy I prefer SuperMend. The most important part of using any 2 part epoxy is mixing. Mixing on a flat surface for a short period is common but has been proven to inhibit maximum holding strength. A paper cup (small dixie cup for small jobs) allows for total mixing and mixing should be done for 2 minutes with most 2 part epoxies (you will feel the mixture heat up in the cup and that indicates it’s ready for use).
A 5 minute epoxy sounds great but limits working time especially if it’s mixed properly. My 2 cents.
If you had vinyl disks and a Reel to Reel you probably got rid of the paper sleeves right after album purchase to be replaced with archival sleeves and then before placing (by hand) on your turntable you used one of these: https://www.fishersci.com/shop/products/anti-static-gun-2/NC9663078
They were a godsend to eliminate static pops especially when doing WET recordings to the RtoR.
They were used in Laboratories and other static sensitive environments long before audiophiles discovered there value.
Don’t know what kinda tools you’d need to fix this watch, but they would be likely expensive ones.
FawltyManuel, what a hideous idea, that huge touch screen dash! Technological progress has been amazing during my lifetime B U T . . .
For example, I recently bought myself one of the highest rated, satellite navigation devices for my motorcycle.
Apart from promising to constantly harvest as much information as is possible – they describe this in different words that make it sound like it’s a good thing, for me (!) – a selling point was, that, I would be able to use it without taking my gloves off because…
…are you sitting down?
holding on tight?
well, take a deep breath, and I’ll tell you what they’ve done:
the ugly little plastic box has, on the front, been fitted with a super sensitive touchscreen!!!
Sadly I am too old to witness the reinvention of push buttons, turn dials and other find by feel controllers… 🙁
You have hit on one of the biggest issues facing human pilots in modern “engineered” cockpits.
We spent hours in Procedures Trainers learning by feel all the mechanical controls toggle switches/covers and circuit breakers until we could reflexively reach for them even when rolling and pulling 7+ G! Comes now some bright engineer and says, “How old fashioned! We will replace these with lighted identical square push buttons!” Only a few years later the upgrade is the Glass Cockpit with “touch” screen such progress is going to be useful in losing our next unfortunate conflict.
shootski, I wonder whether those control units are easier and cheaper to produce by fewer robots?
On the up side, maybe soon the software engineers will incorporate ‘spawn points’ too ! 🙂
Anyway, I thought the days of the airborne pilot are coming to an end?
I have no idea what a Spawn Point is!
I believe you may be correct about the end of Aviators being on the horizon. Where will humanity find the few with The Right Stuff?
shootski, I thought that when a computer-game polygon has all of it’s ‘lives killed’ and it doesn’t say, “Game Over”, then the program makes that thing reappear, which is called “spawning”. 🙂
My sarcasm was something like, software engineers and computer whizz kids are so removed from real life, they might try to include a resurrection option in their programming. 🙂
Thank you for the detailed explanation; obviously i don’t do video games. The last game i played was DOS PC Continuum.
I don’t even like to spend (waste) time in very advanced Full Motion Flight Simulators.
Would not try it except on a motorcycle-sidecar combo or something very hard to flip, such as a Kettenkrad. FM is anal, and analog-leaning.
FawltyManuel, recently I very nearly became the pilot the motorcycle-sidecar combination, pictured below, however, I decided to settle for just two wheels this time. 🙂
If I were to enjoy the reshaping of metal hexagons that, may or may not, fall off just as they become perfectly round, then I might consider a Kettenkrad, which I most definitely would not visibly fit with a plastic computer! 🙂
I like that motorcycle-sidecar
I would need a streetable kayak trailer to tow our EPIC 18X Double.
shootski, that’s actually the French ‘Mash Six Hundred’ (650 cc) bike with sidecar, and had a price tag of, I think it was 10k €.
Anyway, as soon as I read kayak, I envisioned it as the sidecar body. I just returned from an image search for “sidecar kayak” and yep, it’s been done many more ways than I expected. 🙂
Pictured below is just one example…
hihihi, I like that! My wife doesn’t like to ride on the back of my motorcycle anymore.
But I’ll have to ask her if she’d consider riding if I got a sidecar. 😉
shootski, what a great idea, however, I imagine it would be somewhat harder for your wife to steer such a combination than just two wheels! 🙂
Earlier (in response to shootski above), I searched for ‘sidecar kayak’ and saw some image results that made me think of you and your coach building experience – mind you, no t-shirts (!)… 🙂
I notice, in your picture, that he looks much happier with the situation than she does.
Ah edlee, I wonder if she lost the coin toss to determine who will paddle… 🙂
And finally, from the FM Backwards Backyard and Shade Tree Garage, how to get Mazda MPV sun visors to fold and stick after they get saggy and supposedly hard to fix, or expensive to replace, according to the repair shop – a combination of standard and rare earth magnets glued in where required.
Not pretty but has worked for 10+ years and you can’t see the magnets when the visors are up.
FawltyManuel, what a brilliantly simple, but effective, idea! I like it. 🙂
I salvaged some large disk magnets from a magnetron tube I got out of an old microwave oven. I dropped it into an old compression sock and I now use it to find tiny ferrous parts when I drop them. I just drag it around on the floor and check the bottom after each sweep. The sock keeps me from having to bend over any more than necessary and, when sweeping up BBs, I can just pull the magnet out of the sock and the BBs just drop off. Racking them from the face of a magnet is a real pain.
I wonder if they could be mounted to the underside of a workbench so that metal parts would not bounce, they’d just fall to the table and stop.
As. thought about BB’s magnet tool. Much like Halfstep’s sock idea, perhaps wrapping the tool with a bit of plastic wrap. The kind used for wrapping sandwiches or covering containers for refrigeration of leftovers.
It would seem to me that a single layer of it wouldn’t interfere with it’s ability to attract small parts, and would make cleaning any other small ferris particles off of the magnets, easier.