Author Topic: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked  (Read 3060 times)

Offline strik9

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old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« on: October 08, 2018, 03:06:45 PM »
Ok, they don't all have to be grandpa's tricks but modern stuff too.

   I just helped the shop neighbor beat shop prices on a fiberglass repair.

His old water tank has sun damage.  He needs it now and just patched to go.
    The shops quoted high and he was not pleased.
So I suggested a quicky repair using 5 minute expoxy in the double syringe thing and some fiber.    He used fiberglass matting and in less than two hours and 20 bucks was happy with his work. 

  I repaired an old canoe with dry grass as fiber and epoxy while others were busy finishing the pre launch refreshments.   

   No pipe dope and a leaky threaded pipe joint of dissimilar materials?
   Indian Head gasket sealer.  Still holding five years on.  It can be disassembled from even PVC stuff.

Offline bonneyman

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 04:44:43 PM »
Oooh, I love MacGyver tricks!

Here's some of mine.

Vaseline on battery terminals to reduce corrosion. Can also be used as a water-proofer, balm, skin protectant, wound dressing, etc. And I'm a cheap jerk, so, I buy the stuff at the $1 store.

Need a tiny spring? Save the springs out of ball point pens after they run dry.

Allen wrench substitute: Get a grade 8 bolt with a head the size of allen wrench you need. Lock two nuts together on that bolt, and use the head as the end that goes into the set screw. (This idea usually works best on larger size allen openings like 5/8" and above).

Tired of caulk drying up in a half used tube? Fashion a tip "plug" out of a rubber wine cork. They're cheap, readily available, and work well. Or you can buy these caulk saver thingys. They're not bad.
https://www.amazon.com/Caulk-Saver-Color-Coded-Pack/dp/B002ZJJXO8

Need to clamp together an oddly shaped object while glue sets? Use an old bicycle inner tube as a tourniquet. (This works great on wood furniture!)

Cleaning tool for tiny jobs? Use plastic toothpicks - called dental stimulators. Big enough to hold, small enough to clean out cracks and crevices, plastic so it won't hurt chrome or paint finishes. 
https://www.armonds.com
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 09:58:51 PM by bonneyman »

Offline hickory n Steel

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 05:30:02 PM »
Need a really tiny spring ?
Save them from disposable lighters.

Need some strong rubber bands ?
Cut up an old bycicle inner tube, they're commonly known as " ranger bands ".
One day I'll have more tools than i'd ever need and still not have every tool I need.

Online slip knot

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 06:01:06 PM »
The little thin piece of stainless steel in a the old time windshield wipers make good lock picks.... or so I'm told :-X

I've also used them to hold the little ball when putting a ratchet back together.

Offline bonneyman

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 06:25:44 PM »
First aid tips.

Carry a Maxipad in your first aid kit. (Got his from a occupational safety briefing). Great for really bad gashes.

Antacid: potassium bicarbonate. Get it at the home brewing stores. Can neutralize battery acid spills as well. Also good when greatly diluted as an eyewash, and is a great kitchen fire extinguisher, too!

Frostbite/freon burns: use Preparation H.

Hand cleaning stubborn grime: use a copper wool scouring pad. Copper, not steel! Tough enough to get just about anything off, soft enough that you can prevent most chafing. Plus it doesn't rust!

Homemade ice pack: a bag of frozen peas. The individual frozen pies help the bag conform to an uneven surface, and the veggie is cheap. Be careful to write "Do Not Eat" all over the bag, as the repeated thawing and refreezing makes them unsafe to eat.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 09:56:51 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 06:28:12 PM »
The little thin piece of stainless steel in a the old time windshield wipers make good lock picks.... or so I'm told :-X

I've also used them to hold the little ball when putting a ratchet back together.

Yep and yep!

Offline john k

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 09:41:11 PM »
Save broken auto antennae masts, make great heavy duty hook tools.   Also the solid, not telescoping ones make good car door openers,  hold a bend nicely.  Also the long heavy wire that suspended ceiling tiles hang on,  easy to slide over the rubber gasket on car doors to unlock the lock outs.  When I first started the old guys in the shop didn't have store bought hook tools,  had old dental picks, and they had saved  Choke and Throttle cables.    Leave the plastic handle attached,  with six inches of that very hard wire, heated and bent to shape, good as any modern hook tool.  Hand cleaner?    New motor oil thoroughly rubbed in,  wipe off with shop towel, then wash.  Motor oil also removes the glue residue  left from the old 3-M yellow adhesive, where gas won't even touch it.  Attach an oil pan gasket to the oil pan for an easy in chassis install by using those tiny soft wires that come on some parts tags.   One wire every 3-4 holes keep the gasket from moving.   Twist them a few times with the twist and tails on the outside of course.   Once it is up in place with some bolts just started,  yank the wire out with pliers.   Got a little paint over spray?   Rub with brake fluid,  wash the area immediately afterward.   Also great paint remover on Chrome items.  These are the first to mind things. 

Offline bonneyman

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 09:52:27 PM »
So-called womans stuff that can be used in the shop.

Both Rubbermaid and Tupperware containers are the best for holding small parts and supplies.

Pampered Chef makes plastic kitchen utensils such as brushes and scrappers that help with cleaning but don't damage appliance finishes.

Emery boards that are no longer good enough for the ladies nails are still gritty enough to sand and shape small items.

Cuticle shapers are another make-up accessory I find useful for scraping and cleaning.
https://www.amazon.com/Premium-Stainless-Cuticle-Pusher-Trimmer/dp/B0069SC0OQ

Old nail polish is still usable for securing tiny screws in a device that vibrates things loose.

Dawn Blue dishwashing liquid is a powerful degreaser, yet safe on the hands. If it's gentle enough for little duckies, it's safe enough for me!   :)    And can be used in a bunch of ways. Check out You Tube for ideas.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 09:56:38 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 09:54:12 PM »
I like the paint clean-up using brake fluid, John k.  8)

Offline john k

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 10:42:55 PM »
Thanks Bonneyman, learned that in a Ford shop, long ago.  Anyone have a gasket that wanted to slip out when tightened?   Learned to stipple,  with light hammer and center punch, dozens of tiny punches, keep the gasket in place.   Am sure  many here have made a new gasket with nothing but a light weight,  6oz. ball peen hammer?    Draw file,  new clean hand file, fine tooth,  great for cleaning cylinder heads and cylinder blocks, also finds high spots.   Also great for cleaning and leveling things like aluminum thermostat housings.   How about holding your pocket magnet along side an extension when trying to put nut or bolt down in a tight spot?   Holds the light weight stuff in the socket just like an expensive magnetized socket.     Drop a screw or small fastener somewhere on the chassis or front sheet metal?   Try blowing it out with your shop air hose.  How about looking on the floor for a dropped fastener?    The floor is clean, right?   Right?    Take a flashlight with a strong beam,  get on the floor,  shine it in the general area, a screw will stick out real plain.    Drop a pile of small bolts, and in a hurry,  grab a squeegee and push them into a pile for easy pickup. 

Offline J.A.F.E.

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2018, 10:49:31 PM »
Lipstick makes a great marking compound for things like adjusting a door strike or marking where clearance needs to be made for a lock bolt or hidden hinge. My wife generates far more colors she no longer uses than I have need for.

I second Bonneys suggestion of nail polish to use as a screw locker and it also shows if the screw has been moved.

If you need to remove a bearing or bushing in a blind hole jam as much grease in as possible and with a bolt or drift that will fit the bore strike it hard with a hammer and it will pop out. Might take more than one strike but it will move.
People who confuse etymology and entomology bug me in ways I canít put into words.

Offline bonneyman

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 05:03:56 AM »
I've heard of JAFE's "hydraulic" bearing removal idea before. While it might not appear so, hydraulic pressure methods create alot of force and work on alot of things. How modern car brakes work is a common example.

I've heard that - for those of you who reload ammunition - tight primers can easily be removed by filling the empty case with water, and inserting a rod or plug as tight as will fit (but still slide) in the open end. When smacked with a hammer the internal hydraulic pressure will pop out the primer.

I use hypodermic needles from the medical supply store to inject oil or break-free precisely into bearings and bushings.

I have several homemade "grabber" tools that I've made to retrieve bolts or small tools that have fallen into ducts or tight engine spots. (One can buy those spring-loaded retrieval tools, but they're never long enough). Wooden dowels with tape on the end, small lamp shade pull chains with magnets, aluminum rods with a bend piece of wire, etc.
My latest and best one utilizes two partial gun cleaning kit tools. Found 7 or 8 loose sections of the threaded rods they use at a pawn shop, and one had a foldable T-handle on the end. Put a little hook on the other end. All together I can reach 42 inches with this contraption - and it cost me all of $2!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 06:57:46 PM by bonneyman »

Offline bonneyman

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 07:03:43 PM »
Those new screwdrivers with the diamond-coated tips are all the rage for superior grip on screws and preventing round out. Problem is, they are expensive, and the diamond grit doesn't last long.
Try the old timers fix - dip the driver tip in valve lapping compound. Gives you the grip you need, and you can reapply as often as necessary. And you can get a small can of the stuff at the auto parts store for a couple of bucks.

Need a superfine grit for polishing or cleaning headlight lenses? Try toothpaste. Cheaper than the lense clearing kits, safe to use, everyone has some (I hope!). Worst comes to worst, it doesn't work well enough - nothing lost!

How many times have you taken your car through its emissions check, and you fail because the venting gas cap is "bad". They most often will sell you one (to save you getting one at the parts store and then waiting in line again!)
The day before you're going to take the car through, remove the cap and pour some Marvel Mystery Oil in the mechanism. Work the mechanism with the key several times, then let it soak upside down for an hour or so. Lightly tap it with a screwdriver handle a couple of times, and reinstall. Usually that will free up the gummed vent so you can pass the test, and any MMO dripping down into the tank won't hurt anything.

Have an evap cooler or other blower operating in a moist environment? Over time all steel blower wheel shafts will rust up, and when the bearings fail requiring the shaft being removed it'll be next to impossible. When first installing it - or even if its got only a little rust - rub the shaft down with a coating of blue marine-duty grease. Years later you'll thank me!
I do the same with garden tools and hand saw blades to keep rust at bay.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 07:15:33 PM by bonneyman »

Offline strik9

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2018, 04:15:52 PM »
For those that pre-arc and heat up the welding rod tip to prevent sticking my boss has a simple trick.

    Use an ols semi metallic brake pad and hit it on the pad surface.  Instant arc and it never sticks leaving a clean hot tip for the first arc on the work.

   Use a well ventilated area of course.  I am sure some gasses are produced.

Offline stokester

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Re: old timer's tricks, hacks and cobbles that worked
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2018, 07:06:11 PM »
I second Bonneys suggestion of nail polish to use as a screw locker and it also shows if the screw has been moved.
Old nail polish also works well to reseal wire insulation if you had to use a probe to go through it to check for a signal or voltage.
Nick
Yorktown, VA