Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby JC Whitney » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:07 pm

Ten or twenty years ago my answer would have been very different. These days, my "cheater" magnification glasses are the one tool I can't live (or see fine detail) without.
JC Whitney
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:19 am

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Renee Degutis » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:01 am

Hey MIMFers,

I just wonder what's the coolest or most useful tool that you have?

For me, it's my NSK Ultimate XL dental micromotor--- a foredom on steroids!
If you can get one, they are the ne plus ultra of shaping and sanding swoops into wood.

Anyways, I'd love to hear/see your favorite tools!


My most useful tool is Arduino. Funny, but a couple of years ago I couldn't imagine I was able to make such things with it (like the sound and light for the synthesizer keyboard (which I sold, nearly crying, because it was a present from my late husband who actually inspired me to try myself in tech tools development and eventually I became a technologist thanks to his motivation) or the a fingerprint scanner on the door). I did discover that I can still rack by brains after I retired.
User avatar
Renee Degutis
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:25 am

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:15 pm

Renee - Arduino's are incredible, though I've only noodled with one for a few hours.

I have an Arduino and some stepper motors and assorted electronics in a tool box that I hope will eventually be a pickup winder. Another thing I'd like to build is a "range finder" for positioning a stop on my sliding miter saw. There are many commercial "laser tape measures", but they're all designed for huge distances (like 100 feet) but for my purposes, I need someting with an accuracy of no more than 0.030", over a range from 0 to maybe 36 or 48 inches.

I'm guessing I can find proximity sensors to meet those specs. Thar and a digital display, an Arduino and some circuitry should do the trick. Just need to get the decks cleared of projects to make time to dig into this.
==Steve==
User avatar
Steve Sawyer
 
Posts: 654
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Randy Roberts » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:59 pm

I've thought a while about this, and I'd have to say my most useful tool is my wife's good taste. There isn't anything I've made yet that her critiques and suggestions didn't markedly improve what I would otherwise have ended up with.

and, boy, I hate to expose my ignorance, but what is a Arduino??

I went to their website and looked around a little and still have absolutely no idea what that stuff is , or is used for.

Could you explain?
Randy Roberts
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:11 pm
Location: Omaha, NE (a suburb of Iowa)

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:05 pm

Randy - sure. The Arduino is what could be called (in more old-school terms) a very sophisticated programmable logic controller. Basically it's a small microprocessor that has the ability to read both analog and digital signals, and to output digital and analog signals. So...you can hook sensors, lights, digital displays, stepper motors, DC motor controllers etc. to it, and write code to read the inputs and send appropriate signals to the outputs.

As a concrete example, my plans for the one I have (and they're dirt cheap - about $30) is to hook it up to some switches and pots and some digital displays, using the switches and pots to set (via the digital display) the number of windings on a pickup. The Arduino will read this, and when it reads that a "go" switch has been flipped, it will start sending signals to a stepper motor to spin it the required number of turns, then stop. The Arduino will send the signals to the motor, keeping track of how many revolutions it has turned the motor. I'll likely have a forward-reverse switch that it will change the direction of rotation.

As you can imagine, hobbyists who build say robots, or CNC routers or any kind of complex rig have gone nuts with these things. You can hang all kinds of interesting input and output circuits to them, and there are companies that specialize in this stuff. A lot of it is really inexpensive so there's not much of a barrier to get started in this.
==Steve==
User avatar
Steve Sawyer
 
Posts: 654
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Previous

Return to Tools and Jigs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links •