Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Topic started by: Jurek on 12 June, 2021, 01:49:50 pm

Title: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Jurek on 12 June, 2021, 01:49:50 pm
I'll start this, let's see where it goes.

In mine:

A plastic mirror 60mm x 170mm about the same size as the rear-view mirror from an  1972 Austin Allegro, no frame, no backing, nothing - very useful for looking into places where you cannot otherwise see. I also have a dentist's magnifying mirror on the end of a stick - but that is less useful as it distorts.
One thing I did when I was at The Science Museum building stuff, was that any cabinets that were built to house AV/IT/ Other tech which had sockets at the back, the back wall of said cabinets would be lined with plastic mirror. It made connecting/disconnecting stuff a whole lot easier, when you aren't driving blind.

1m of clear silicone tubing with an I.D. of ~4mm. Very useful (utilising lung suction power) for retrieving dropped small components from places where the flexi-claw-grab cannot be operated. It tends to rely on the component having a reasonably flat surface for it to seal against - although the flexibility/capacity-to-conform-to-shape of the silicone helps. It'll happily retrieve an M8 washer.

Bits of old credit cards, bent into a 'U' shape, for inserting between brake shoes and rim when applying or adjusting the toe-in of the shoes.

Waiter's friend corkscrew. For those moments when things have gone really badly awry. But, I suppose, that's a proper tool. Like the one which caused it to be deployed.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: robgul on 12 June, 2021, 03:05:41 pm
A thick elastic band resides on a hook on my toolboard for the same purpose as your credit card - hook the elastic band on the rear end of one shoe, through the wheel and hook onto the other shoe.  [That was a tip from the Cytech course]

I mentioned in another thread a length of brake cable outer with the plastic stripped off one end and the exposed wound metal stretched to form a fishing hook for internal cables and other tasks.

About half of an old spoke bent to form a Vee with loops at each end - used to hold the two ends of a chain together when fitting a magic link (or removing said link to stop the chain flying across the workshop) - there is a pukka tool for this so not sure mine complies as "not a tool"

A length of wood (longer than a stretched out chain) and about 10cm wide with two nails in the face at one end - hook the old chain on one nail, new chain on the other and you can see the length to cut it to (the board I have has a couple of mouldings along each long edge to improve use - I must get round to painting it Park Tool blue  :thumbsup: )

Old-style toe-clip strap to hold a tyre in position when refitting a tight one - acts as a 3rd hand and makes sure the "other side" doesn't run away. [Cable tie serves the same purpose but less environmentally friendly with single use]

Various home-made tools, but I guess as they are really alternatives to actual tools they don't comply with the spirit of this thread.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Jurek on 12 June, 2021, 03:10:20 pm
I can live with home-made tools.
It gives us another opportunity to have yet another look at Rogerzilla's chain whip.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: drossall on 12 June, 2021, 03:51:55 pm
My first real holiday job as a teenager was in an engineering works (they converted cars). I hit an issue with a drill chuck that had been done up seriously tightly. Someone there picked up an end of small sawn-off tubing from who-knows-what that was lying around, and told me to slip it over the chuck bar for a bit more leverage. Which worked, obviously. The bar is still in my drill box, 45 years later.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: TheLurker on 12 June, 2021, 04:25:01 pm
A small number of bits of brass tube in various diameters with sharpened edges, holes in balsa, cutting of, for the use of.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: hubner on 12 June, 2021, 05:05:32 pm
I suppose everything you use could called a tool, even if they're user made.

Bent spoke for lifting the chain when removing and refitting the rear wheel.

At work, we use baby bottle warmers for heating hide glue.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Aidan on 12 June, 2021, 05:11:03 pm
A magnetic dish, great for not losing small bolts and nuts
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: robgul on 12 June, 2021, 05:31:55 pm
I suppose everything you use could called a tool, even if they're user made.

Bent spoke for lifting the chain when removing the rear wheel.

At work, we use baby bottle warmers for heating hide glue.

Ah - forgot that one - I have one in the bag on each bike too.

Again not sure if it's a tool or not but I have an old jockey wheel and piece of tubing as a spacer on a rear skewer to act as chain support/retainer when the wheel is out of the frame.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Kim on 12 June, 2021, 06:20:55 pm
A plastic mirror 60mm x 170mm about the same size as the rear-view mirror from an Austin 1100, no frame, no backing, nothing - very useful for looking into places where you cannot otherwise see. I also have a dentist's magnifying mirror on the end of a stick - but that is less useful as it distorts.

I once had a little make-up mirror that was handy for that sort of thing, with a protective flap that could usefully be used as a stand.


Quote
One thing I did when I was at The Science Museum building stuff, was that any cabinets that were built to house AV/IT/ Other tech which had sockets at the back, the back wall of said cabinets would be lined with plastic mirror. It made connecting/disconnecting stuff a whole lot easier, when you aren't driving blind.

I learned this one from the TV repair shop - each bench had a mirror at the back, so you could see what was happening on the screen while jibbling the innards or see what you were plugging while jibbling the front.

I reckon A/V equipment in particular would benefit from Braille dots to identify connectors.  You don't need much in the way of Braille skills to tell 'L' from 'R' on 'IN' from 'OUT'.  Also, USB/HDMI/Displayport are all far too similar to identify properly by touch.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Kim on 12 June, 2021, 06:22:32 pm
MTB brake inner for tying tampons to for cleaning chain tubes.

Little hairdressers' hook thing for pulling tufts of hair through a wossname when applying highlights, for re-bending the pins of connectors that have become bent out of shape.

Heamostat forceps, for all sorts of thing, but particularly holding medium-sized objects when soldering.

Blutac, obviously.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Mr Larrington on 12 June, 2021, 06:28:26 pm
My first real holiday job as a teenager was in an engineering works (they converted cars). I hit an issue with a drill chuck that had been done up seriously tightly. Someone there picked up an end of small sawn-off tubing from who-knows-what that was lying around, and told me to slip it over the chuck bar for a bit more leverage. Which worked, obviously. The bar is still in my drill box, 45 years later.

I have a whang bar, a length of tube artfully flattened at one end to slip over the end of a hefty adjustable spanner for removing recalcitrant screw-on freewheels.  In a previous life it was the seat tube from an original Bickerton.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Jurek on 12 June, 2021, 06:36:33 pm
MTB brake inner for tying tampons to for cleaning chain tubes.

Little hairdressers' hook thing for pulling tufts of hair through a wossname when applying highlights, for re-bending the pins of connectors that have become bent out of shape.

Heamostat forceps, for all sorts of thing, but particularly holding medium-sized objects when soldering.

Blutac, obviously.
All of the above + Blutac scores bigly.
ETA - I've used a tampon before for removing moisture, but I honestly cannot remember where or why.

Memory revamp:
It was to replace the absorbent material in a Ronson petril ciggy lighter for the absorbtion of lighter fuel.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Jurek on 12 June, 2021, 06:45:10 pm
A small number of bits of brass tube in various diameters with sharpened edges, holes in balsa, cutting of, for the use of.
I've a number of these in various diameters for putting holes in Plastazote.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: hatler on 12 June, 2021, 06:46:45 pm
A lighter, just because.
Marker pen.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Tim Hall on 12 June, 2021, 07:34:09 pm
An offcut of scaffold pole,torque applying for the use of.

My kitchen drawer has a spoke bent into a useful hook shape laying within. I use it to pull the plinth under a particular cupboard straight again after it gets knocked by Exuberant Mopping.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on 13 June, 2021, 01:01:38 pm
A plastic mirror 60mm x 170mm about the same size as the rear-view mirror from an  1972 Austin Allegro, no frame, no backing, nothing - very useful for looking into places where you cannot otherwise see.
If something useful has come from an Austin Allegro, this is living proof that every cloud has a silver lining, it's an ill wind etc.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on 13 June, 2021, 01:02:44 pm
It doesn't live in a toolbox, but an offcut of mudguard stay for clearing matted hair and gunk from the drain holes of bath and basin.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: rogerzilla on 13 June, 2021, 09:06:21 pm
A couple of inches of thread cut from a Raleigh fork, to positively test if that mystery headset nut is 26tpi.

A brass toilet inlet adaptor (1/2" UK to 3/8" continental, I think) which is just right as a spacer for bolting a FAG BB removal tool in place.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: archy on 13 June, 2021, 09:27:10 pm
An old rasp/file with the tang heated, bent into a hook and sharpened.  This was not a weapon, it was a device to remove the caulking from the seams, deck or hull, of leaky wooden boats before they could be recaulked. 

We did an entire boat once, and it spent a year on dry land after while other work was done.  When it was craned back into the sea, despite our lovely caulking, it leaked like a sieve.  The planking had dried out during the summer.  So I spent the night aboard pumping the thing out by hand and hoping the larch timbers would swell enough to stop the leaking. Thankfully, around about dawn the water stopped coming in and eventually the hull was beautifully tight.

What we should have done was put soap in all the seams before launching, this would have kept out the water and then been squeezed out as the wood took up.

Another boat I did the deck seams on had one seam that was wider than the rest and was very hard to get tight.  She was used to ferry troops off the beaches at Dunkirk and had been near a mine that exploded.  It's said the blast blew her clean out of the water so daylight could be seen below.  The sheer of the hull was fine on the port side but had a hump near the stern on the starboard side. In the 1990s she was rebuilt and they fixed both the deck seam and the sheerline.   

Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: hatler on 13 June, 2021, 09:35:48 pm
I love that soap trick. Inspired.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Pingu on 13 June, 2021, 11:23:11 pm
A lump of wood as the interface between hammer and component.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: T42 on 14 June, 2021, 07:44:11 am
Curiously-bent wire coat-hanger for suspending chains in the wax bath.  Not in my toolbox, though: the only box I have for tools is in my office, for computer fettling.  Or in my sundry-stationery drawer: paperclips.

Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: robgul on 14 June, 2021, 07:49:23 am
A metal mesh tea-strainer for very small parts that are cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaning bath (its basket has a 1.5cm hence the tea strainer)
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: MattH on 14 June, 2021, 08:59:36 am
It doesn't live in a toolbox, but an offcut of mudguard stay for clearing matted hair and gunk from the drain holes of bath and basin.

I use an unmodified spoke for that. the end that goes through the hub flange with its right angle bend and flared tip is perfect for grabbing hair to be pulled back out.

Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: nuttycyclist on 14 June, 2021, 10:21:49 am
Offcut of mains power cable.  Curved back on itself at each end.

Holds the two ends of a chain lovely while I can use the chain tool to put the pin back in to mend the chain.  This fits in the multi-tool pouch on the bike.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Kim on 14 June, 2021, 10:25:34 am
Variaton on that theme: A couple of R-clips for stopping the chain pulling all the way through a chain tube when re-threading.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Paul on 14 June, 2021, 12:01:36 pm
My first real holiday job as a teenager was in an engineering works (they converted cars). I hit an issue with a drill chuck that had been done up seriously tightly. Someone there picked up an end of small sawn-off tubing from who-knows-what that was lying around, and told me to slip it over the chuck bar for a bit more leverage. Which worked, obviously. The bar is still in my drill box, 45 years later.
An old seat pin, for the same use.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: robgul on 14 June, 2021, 01:04:17 pm
Mention of a seatpin reminds me ..... I have a short piece that I use to push the base cap to get the pressure after filling my Park Tool grease gun.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: rogerzilla on 30 June, 2021, 08:35:05 pm
An old crank for torturing spokes.  I mean stress-relieving.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: ian on 30 June, 2021, 09:02:50 pm
I have a toolbox. My wife has hidden it. Seriously, if I want a screwdriver, I have to make a formal request, and if she approves, she appears a while later with the selected tool. Then I have to give it back. There's apparently no exigency in which the use of a hammer will be approved.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: TheLurker on 30 June, 2021, 09:15:34 pm
Quote from: ian
...if I want a screwdriver, I have to make a formal request...
You aren't really Ian, Tidy Haired Thought Leader working for Galacto-Corp are you?  You are Crusher Harris and you're doing a 10 stretch for Aggravated GBH on D WIng at the Scrubs, aren't you?
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: ian on 30 June, 2021, 09:18:48 pm
I learned everything I needed to know about both lesbianism and shanking from Prisoner Cell Block H.
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: FifeingEejit on 30 June, 2021, 09:30:08 pm
I'm not sure a bit of threaded road with 4 nuts and 2 very large washers counts as mot a tool, but handy when fitting headset cups.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on 30 June, 2021, 09:33:57 pm
Sounds like a headset press to me (counts as a tool).
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: FifeingEejit on 30 June, 2021, 09:41:05 pm
Sounds like a headset press to me (counts as a tool).
No, it wasn't put together as a headset press, motor car wheel bearings I think.

If a home molished tool doesn't count, where is the boundary?

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: nuttycyclist on 30 June, 2021, 09:51:20 pm
...
If a home molished tool doesn't count, where is the boundary?
...

I have no idea.    I have a video somewhere from when I needed to lift a drain cover to unblock a drain.  This involved a broken work-bench, an off cut of angle iron, and a ratchet strap.

The whole rig worked, and the drain cover lifted with no issue, whereas the crowbar had failed.    But does this rig count as a home molished tool or as you say where is the boundary?
Title: Re: Useful things in your toolbox that aren't actual 'tools'
Post by: Mrs Pingu on 30 June, 2021, 10:33:01 pm
Yesterday we rode past a side road that was closed for works. Firstly we passed by a girt big construction machine. A few meters later there was a lone toolbox sitting in the middle of the road. No bodies were about.
If that toolbox made it to the end of the day without being utterly crushed to deth by the big machine I'll be very surprised.