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Author Topic: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......  (Read 6382 times)

Roger in France

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USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« on: November 01, 2007, 06:30:14 PM »

We all know that tools have varying uses, try these:

SCREW DRIVER: excellent for opening tins; mixing paint; prizing out staples and makes a fine substitute for a wood chisel. Only the unimaginative use them for driving screws!

FINE TOOTH SAW: super for finding hidden nails in timber.

BAS**RD FILE: useful for throwing at those you do not like. (Spell Check disallowed the use of TA in the middle of the name!)

CLAW HAMMER: effective in gouging two lines in wood.

SLEDGE HAMMER: makes a fine door stop.

PLUMBERS WRENCH: efficient in cracking wash-hand basins and toilet pans.

PAINT KETTLE: makes an excellent storage space for used nails etc. Also a fine decoration for the workshop if unused and hung on a nail. However, contemplation of this work of art is not guaranteed to calm you when you have just spilt a 5 litre can of paint you used instead.

METAL TAPE MEASURE: good for scratching inside the plaster cast on your broken leg.

STANLEY KNIFE: great for paring your finger nails and removing hardened glue from your fingers.

ENGINEERS HAMMER: has magical properties as it can turn your thumb nails blue, make grown men cry and turn the placid into foul mouthed blasphemers.

MARKER PENS: excellent at producing physcadelic patterns on clothing but useless for marking smooth surfaces as the marks are inadvertantly removed by sleeves of the aforementioned clothing.

FACE MASKS AND GOGGLES: another excellent ornament for the workshop wall; good at collecting a cover of dust and debris but  little appreciated after you have a lungful of sanding dust or a spark in your eye.

FIRST AID KIT: has a place in every workshop but that place can never be found after an accident or, if found, the box resists all attempts to open it with two bleeding thumbs and a severed index finger.

Roger in France.

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sheerline

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 08:02:30 PM »

Chisel: great for cleaning glue and gunge from bench surfaces.( I can feel my woodwork teachers hand around the back of my head as I write)

Torque wrench: very handy when the socket wrench goes A.W.O.L

Scalpel: great for de-burring the inside edge of K&S brass tube

Paint brushes: open packet, throw away immediately (saves doing it later) or use for everything except paint.

Blowtorch: perfect for fag or pipe lighting but requires high degree of skill.

Belt sander: excellent for spinning up tight wheels on models, also sharpens chisels after bench scraping excersise.

Drill bits: the cut off shanks are a great source of perfectly fitting shafts after drilling a hole with them. ( always leave a bit of shank on the bit so you can continue using it)

Cylinder vacuum cleaner: with pipe placed in the outlet hole, makes a great blower for blowing dust out of workshop door into the atmosphere. Also can't be beat as a blower for bonfires and barbecues. (avoid getting sparks down inlet hole, blazing dust bag turns cleaner into fighter engine on re-heat)!! Bin there! :P  see wife impression-- >>:-(




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Faraday's Cage

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 09:33:38 PM »

Here's one for the ladies.   ;)

INCOMING !!!
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Colin H

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2007, 10:32:02 PM »

With regard to cylinder vacuum cleaners.

Many years ago I was teaching a friend how to reload 12 bore shotgun cartridges on a Saturday morning. SWMBO was at work so I set up the cartridge press on the kitchen table. Having gone through all the safety aspects of working with `nitro powder` a fast propellent and reloaded  some 150 cartridge's. I decided to pack up and we would go pigeon shooting with the fruits of our labour.

I had spilt some of the powder on the carpet which had to be cleaned up. Brushing was not having the desired effect so I got the old cylinder vacuum out and proceeded to `hoover` up. 8) 8) 8)

You should have seen the look on both our face's as with an almighty bang both end caps of the hoover did a short circuit of the kitchen. :o :o :o

SWMBO to this day still does not know why I went soft and bought her a new `upright` that day. :angel: :angel:

Colin H.
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Ramsey 2

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2007, 10:03:34 PM »

All purpose tool kit
hammer, screw driver and a pair of vice grips
you can destoy any thing
Robert
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Bartapuss

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2007, 10:12:51 PM »

insulation tape makes a good standy elastoplast!
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Colin Bishop

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2007, 10:20:07 PM »

Or DUCK tape if it's a near amputation situation... ;)
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bigfella

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2007, 10:32:22 PM »

Being an ex musician, I have had a few experiences with Gaffa tape. Man the things you could do with that. I recall a show were the whole lighting rig was held up with the stuff. Also good for repairing holes in shoes. Immobilising limbs, repairs to that piece of your car that keeps on falling of.......


Regards David
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sheerline

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 01:08:09 PM »

Although not strictly a tool, the ubiquitous workshop radio is often used for target practice by irate engineers. This usually takes place when the set is at full volume and a commercial radio station is pumping out is mind numbing repetetive ads. :P You can surprise yourself at how accurately an engineers hammer can be thrown and the distance it can cover when launched by a deeply disstressed engineer. >:( The resulting crash followed by the soothing silence is most gratifying.
I don't think the H.S.E approve of the technique but I think the stress reduction is conducive to a safer working environment.
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bigH

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2007, 02:17:39 PM »

   >>:-(   A good range of Hammers in different sizes,,,,,,  so you can use the adage, " If it don't work go and get a bigger 'ammer ".

               Harry
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Guy Bagley

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2007, 02:55:38 PM »

i laughed after reading this thread......

 SWMBO is a  cabinet maker.... we have to share one of our workshops, and thats where i find  some of my tools take on new uses...

i have found metal rulers which have been used for opening paint tins/ varnish tins and worse still they have also been used to stir the contents,

vernier calipers used to scribe parallel lines in timber for a mortice and tennon joint

engineers scribe used in conjunction with a hammer because she could not find her bradawl

radius gauges used  to scrape off material from timber to acheive the correct profile....

and to top it all long nose pliers ( now bent long nose pliers) used to ' lever' out a screw with a damaged screw head....


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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2007, 03:04:18 PM »

  Yep ex time served Joiner done most of the above , but genitally  :D   but when teaching saw a lot worse ..

peter
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John W E

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2007, 03:25:18 PM »

Sheerline, your posting has brought back a few memories to me.   One of the memories, I would like to share with everyone;

It concerns a 'know-it-all" engineer, fresh out of University, with more letters after his name than there is in the alphabet, but no practical experience whatsoever; so then, let us set the scene, are we sitting comfotably?

Thursday morning, after a 12 hour nightshift; the shift group handing over to the dayshift group plus dayshift managers;   sitting around a table, talking over the busy night we had all had and how we had overcome some of the problems.   One of the problems was a persistent problem which only raised its head at the most inconvenient time.  It had to do with an 80,000 ton press, if you can imagine a press twice the height of an average 3-bedroomed semi detached house and it has 21 bedplates in it which are all lifted up by eight huge hydraulic rams, and when I say huge they are about 3 foot in diameter and about 20 foot long standing vertical.

These are all controlled by an electronic valve block.  What basically happens, there are 3 valves on the top.   First valve shuts the press, and takes it up to 7,000 psi.   The second valve takes her up to her operating pressure & the third valve kicks in and maintains this pressure by recycling and then boosting and every now and again this 3rd valve would stick.

So, you had two options, if the valve stuck when the press was first operated, you could gently crack the press open and send her back up quick and this sometimes cured it.  But, if the press had gone into its heat cycle - this is where they start heating the press up to 190 degrees C .   The option then was to go and collect the engineers number 2 precisioning instrument and give it 'WACK' on the top of the valve block and if you hit it in the right place, it did the trick.   If it did not work, panic stations, because you had to stay with the press and operate it manually all the time and its not very nice being near the press when it is on heat cycle.

So, in the log book, the normal comment was 8000 press cycle valve adjusted with engineers precision instrument and then everyone on the maintenance team would know what had been going on....

apart from this new 'highly qualified engineer' and, as I say, we were all sitting talking discussing another major breakdown we had had through the night, which we had all been called too electricians and fitters, and, as we were discussing this with the Managers - there was a voice piped up from the back 'CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN WHAT AN ENGINEERS PRECISION INSTRUMENT IS PLEASE, OR ARE YOU ALL JUST IGNORING ME' at this point the factory's head Manager, who, is in the charge of the factory now and was the Manager in the engineering department, before he was promoted.   He promptly walked over to the tool box, picked up a number 2 ball pane hammer and threw it at him.  Obviously it missed him, because he was like a scalded rat when he saw the hammer coming towards him - and to which the Manager turned round to the engineer and said 'FOR ALL YOUR QUALIFICATIONS - YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ENGINEERING - so I suggest you spend a month on shiftswith these lads, working alongside of them, and, you can forget your Manager status as well!!!'   and by hey, he did as well, he worked with us for a month.

Believe me, he had his eyes opened a few times.

aye
john e
bluebird
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Colin H

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2007, 04:41:38 PM »

Hi John,

That one had me in tears and reminded me of something similar some 40 years ago.

I was working as a plant engineer on a Derbyshire quarry that was converting from coal fired to gas fired kilns. Thats how I got the job, me gasman not engineer in anyway. The guys looked on me as `mate` status and as I tried my best we all got on very well.
Nearly every job involved moving a mountain of muck (usually lime stone or dust) before you could get to it.

One day new engineering type chappie starts having come from a factory back ground. His first job was on some rollers that supported a 400 ton horizontal kiln and there must have been 15 ton of muck to shift before he could properly get to it.

At snap break he popped his head into the cabin and asked if he could get any help shifting the stuff to which the foreman replied `heh lad get thee sen a cleaner shovel`. Come dinner time he turns up looking the worse for wear, filthy dirty and sweating for England. `Were ah they been lad its only a two hour job` came from the foreman. ` I will be all day with that bl--dy shovel he replied.

Only then did he find out that to us a `cleaner shovel` was in fact a small by our standards piece of earth moving kit, about 3 times the size of your average JCB. These were used for running about the quarry cleaning up the mess left by larger bits of kit.

I don't think he ever lived it down and he left a few weeks afterward.

Colin H.
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sheerline

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2007, 08:32:49 PM »

Excellent work related tales lads, bin chuck ing away here reading them. O0
The workplace can be a strange envirionment and sometimes brings out the worst in blokes. I have never ceased to be amazed how a bunch of intellegent, dilligent dedicated engineers can be reduced to a bloodthirsty marauding rabble, behaving in the most primitive and infantile manner at.......................the injection of a flying insect into the working environment!!
Be it a wasp or bluebottle, grown men will rise, en - mass,from their place of work to hunt down this vile fithy and deadly creature. The cry would go up "look, a fu-----g wasp... get the b----st  d"! The primitive human bloodlust instinct coupled with the thrill of the hunt would take over and as one, the workforce would be seen to rise up and employ everything from todays newspaper to a steel rule to bring down the enemy. I have seen large wing retaining type elastic bands, aerosols (WD40, trike', spray paint etc etc) steel rulers, electric fans, and just about anything which came to hand, either launched or flailed in an attempt to bring down the enemy ( my personal choice is the steel rule).
There is always some lefty who will stand back and bleat about how its 'one of Gods creatures' and keeps whining that it 'should be left in peace, it will go out of its own accord'! When this happens, someone will always close the windows to prevent it leaving so it can represent the real threat which justifies killing it.
When finally the foe is conquered, the striker of the death blow can be seen to fill his chest with pride whilst jealous others of the pack pour scorn upon him claiming "it was a lucky shot"!
This once proud 'pride' of dedicated techs and engineers, panting and sweating slightly, will calmly return to their individual tasks...........whilst someone slowly and quietly opens the window in the hope another will come along.
Lastly, just as everyone is settling down again someone will pipe up and use those immortal words which firstly brings the whole place to a standstill then causes mass panic............. "Do yo think that wasp was dead.... and where did it go when you hit it"?

   
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John W E

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2007, 09:34:33 PM »

 {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-)

really enjoyed these tales....we are on the track of reminiscing. Here is a good 'bedtime' story for one and all...and this story has lived with me

You know, you have finished serving your Apprenticeship time and in the shipyards you did your sea time as well and if you liked it, you stayed there, if you didnt, you either went back to the shipyards if you could or you found other employment.

I went to sea for 8 months - enjoyed it but did not stay - I did not enjoy the Persian Gulf, too much heat & etc., so, I decided I wanted to try other fields of engineering.

I took a job with a Company called 'Blackwood Hodge' and I went for a 6 weeks training course in Twickenham, which is another story - with 12 Australians (not Aborigines either).   Anyway, I ended up working in Cerrigydrudion in North Wales - on heavy earth moving equipment bl**dy big tipper trucks and huge lorries.

We had trucks which we called 45 ton 'Yukes'.

The story goes, they were loading a truck full of earth from the side, with a Volvo Shovel 992, huge thing.  It literally turned the 45 ton Yuke over on its side.  You guessed it, the driver was still inside! Now, in these lorries, a bank of batteries in a steel box forms part of the driver's seat.   Although the batteries are all secured in they still could be broken free.   Obviously, the acid in them is a potential hazard.

So that is the scene;

We all piled down, emergency crews, there were two other lads and myself, we managed to get on top of the side of the truck to open the door.   We opened the door to hear the driver shouting and screaming, thinking the worst that he had been burnt with battery acid etc., because he was shouting 'IVE LOST MY EYE' he was rolling around the side of the cab, looked like he was trying to find his way out.

Then, one of the lads who was with me started laughing and shouting & calling at him TO GET HIS AR*E OUT OF THE CAB AND STOP MUCKING ON.   At this point I screamed obscenities at the lad who was laughing saying YOU STUPID SO AND SO HE HAS LOST HIS EYE WE HAVE TO GET HIM TO HOSPITAL AND GET FIRST AID FOR HIM at which point we literally dragged him out of the cab.

We will now jump forward to the next day.    Sitting having our breakfast and in walked the lorry driver who had had the accident, I myself am sitting with a bacon sandwich and there was promptly a GLASS EYE placed in the middle of my plate  :o :o  .   The lorry driver then said, I FOUND MY EYE LAD  :D {-)   EYE/I never lived that down.  aye aye......  8)

aye
John e
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sheerline

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2007, 09:56:44 PM »

Love it John! I do however have to ask, did you finish that bacon butty??
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Colin H

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2007, 10:03:26 PM »

Where John comes from the man was lucky to keep his eye never mind not eating his butty.

Still laughing your on 6 turbos now John.

Colin H.
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John W E

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2007, 10:10:39 AM »

hi ya all

No, you know what, I did not finish me bacon butties and everytime I went into the canteen they would should AYE AYE let us see what John wants today for his breakfast, eye and bacon  {-) {-) :D

There is another part to the story you know, where four of the Lorries were moved up to Forth in Scotland, up to an open-cast coal mine and two of us were transferred up there.    We there met a driver called 'Vince' how he ever got a job only God knows.  Whisky for breakfast, whisky for dinner, whisky for tea and then he would have a good-night wee dram.

Just quickly, these lorries obviously were not allowed on the road and can you imagine our surprise when a Police car arrives on site and the Policeman was asking HAVE WE LOST ONE OF OUR LORRIES and if so, IT WAS IN THE VILLAGE PUBLIC HOUSE CAR PARK, hey, it had demolished one telegraph pole, two farmers walls' were demolished.  But, somehow, he had managed to get it through the gates of the pub without damaging the gates and parked it perfectly over four car-parking spaces  :o :o .   Needless to say, Vince he did not have a job with the Company for very long.   The other funny thing was, the Police would not allow us to drive the lorry back up the road, they had to take it back to the site on the low loader.

There was even a management team up and they wanted to know how he had taken the lorry off-site.


One of Vince's other tricks was - being in Scotland in November/December time, you can imagine it was rather cold up there in Forth in Scotland.  So, what we all used to do (the maintenance staff) was get an old 45 gallon drum, fill it full of old rags and diesel and set fire to it, to get warm.   Also we used to stand around the drum to get warm, plus, the drum was normally beside the air receivers that we used for the pneumatic tools to stop them freezing up.   Vince's party trick was to bring his lorry alongside the drum of burning diesel, open the cab door and either throw water into it or even p**s into it, he only did that the once, because the drum spat out and everybody ran like hell.  :D  Aye, good memories, glad Im not there in the cold now.

Aye, I wonder where they all are now.    {-) {-)

aye
john e.
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sheerline

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2007, 01:26:47 PM »

Could'nt help laughing John but the thought of Vince pi....ng in the drum gave me visions of a massive' flare up' caused by all that alchohol coarsing through his system. :o
Aye (no pun intended here)
Chris
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RipSlider

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2007, 06:18:14 PM »

Not an engineering story but along a similar vein.

When I was at University I dated an older girl who was doing a PhD in chemistry. the grads had an office that was shared about 1 between ten people. Each office had a lab next to it. I made friends with the group of grads in that lab, and did a lot of my work in there, as it was far warmer than my room. In the course of a few months, I saw a number of interesting events:

My friend Stuart was working with Hydrofluric acid, which is by far the most dangerous acid you can get. If some lands on you, it will immediately eat through your skin and destroy the nerve endings, so it is painless. It will then proceed to eat the calcium in any bones it can get to. There are horror stories of people waking in the morning to find no bones left in their hand or arm, and sadly these are true. Anyway, stuart managed to drop some on himself in a fairly spectacular way, getting spatters of it all over his body. At the time he was wearing a fairly brightly coloured track suit. The acid immediately ate through this, hit his skin, eat through that and then proceeded to attack the bone.

Stuart starts shouting, tearing off his clothes. We all come running into the lab to find a long haired loon with neat holes all over his naked body. We managed to get him to A+E, where he was shot full of HF antidote, as it's very poisonous, and was given treatment to stop the acid attacking his bones.

When all the holes had healed, it turned out that HF did not destroy the dye in his track suit. He therefore has bright red and green "tattoo's" over his entire body, and will do forever more...

Second "interesting" event happened when a crazy hungarian girl was working in the lab trying to remove all the water content from petrol as part of an experiment. To do this, you add powdered sodium to the petrol, and then boil it. So, away Marta is going, but she left the top off the bottle of powdered sodium, and was working right next to a pool of water. Some how, she managed to give the sodium a damn good whack, which knocked it into the pool of water. This then detonated, causing the boiling petrol to detonate immediately afterward.

So, she is now covered in burning, boiling petrol. The lab is decked out with fire extinguishers, so me and my friend Chris immediately grab them and run towards her. However, in her panic, she runs away from us, out into a corridor, setting fire in the process to a number of notices on the wall, and then outside.

So we have myself and my friend chris running after a screaming, burning lunatic hungarian who won't let us her her to put her out. After probably a minute or so, chris was forced to drop his extinuisher and rugby tackle her to the floor, so that I could put her out.

Somehow, she managed to get away with only very mild burns.

Last incident involved Victor, the proffesor of my girlfriend. Some how, victor managed to get hold of a 3kg solid block of pure magnesiun. Victor was a pretty odd person. He was a chemsitry genius, but a russian loon as well, and did all sorts of strange experiemts, including such oddities as having some of his students buy what ever erm... chemical stimulants.. they could, using lab funds, at the student bar, so that he could analyise the content of the drugs during lunch times.

Anywho, victor decided it would be fun to light the magnisium block, as magnusium burns very fiercely. He tried lighting it in a fume cupboard with a bunsen burner, and then using various chemical reactions that generated a lot of heat. This didn't work, so he picked up the block and carried it to the tea room, where upon he put it on the stove and lit all the hobs.

It was only when another professor came into the room saw what he was doing and started shouting that he stopped. The worst thing was that Victors enthusiasm was so infectious that a big group of us were clustered around the stove waiting to see what would happen, and up to that point it had seemed a perfectly sensible thing to do!

Steve
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Colin Bishop

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2007, 06:35:24 PM »

When I was a kid a friend of mine had a chemistry set (not the sort you could ever buy these days). You could also buy magnesium powder quite easiliy as it was still sometimes used for flash photography. He had his own shed (lucky lad) with a substantial timber worktop. As an experiment we put some magnesium powder into a metal bowl together with something else, (can't remember what) and lit it. The magnesium rapidly went through the bowl, through the worktop and through the base of the shed before it was all consumed. Just why the whole shed didn't go up as well I'll never know!

It was around that time that we rigged up an intercom between our houses (about 200 yards) using two valve radios and some army surplus signal wire run along the chainlink fence of an adjacent field. It actually worked, but the rig involved connecting the chassis' of the radios which were live! While it lasted we had a 250v electric fence on the garden boundary but nobody died!
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malcolmfrary

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2007, 08:32:12 PM »

I collected the temporary nickname of Humpty when as a Post Office Engineering "yoof" I did a bit of time learning about the workings of the overhead gangs.  1960/61 was not a good winter to do this.  The gang was a select group who wandered about in a Commer travelling speakeasy, van at the back, half a bus at the front.  The mornings work having been completed, we were heading to the north of the land for the afternoons job, which was the removal of a kiosk.  We stopped at a builders merchant to get the sant and cement and aggregate to lose the hole we were to leave, and probably do the foremans back path, and I as yoof, got shoved into the back to brew up on the move.  Me, big kettle, gas ring, huge jug H&S about twenty years off.  The motor stopped by some shops so the lads could get their chips and stuff, and I was officer I/C kettle.  As I was adding hot water, they came back.  "OK?" said foreman.  "Coming" said I, moved the filled jug of tea to the rear and leapt in an athletic manner over the tailgate.  Then, reaching over the tailgate, lifted the jug clear, the van went "VROOM" and shot off, leaving yours truly stood in the road luckily holding the gangs brew. 
Eventually they returned.  I was spotted sat on the pub car park wall, clutching the brew can for warmth.  Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
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catengineman

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2007, 09:08:23 PM »

I'm not sure if this will count but many moons ago I was serving my time as a vehicle technician (OK OK) car mechanic :embarrassed:
at the grand old age of 19 I had the fortune to assist in the repair of a damaged car (it was by todays standards a rite off) but the power arm to straighten chassis was being used on another, so the charge hand (my tutor) sent me round the stores for two sets of 3 tonne chain pulls where we then connected these between two lamp posts with the car in between and duly straightened the chassis, may I add that this idea was far easier to control than the correct equipment. but if the local council and elec board had know what we were up to all hell could have broke loose (I have used this idea myself, please don't tell anyone as the 'bollard I used came out the ground)
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sheerline

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Re: USAGE AND ABUSAGE OF TOOLS......
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2007, 09:09:36 PM »

When we were tv engineers back in the 70s we got up to all sorts of tricks in the workshop. We used to use those old Solon soldering irons with a coper tip which simply pushed into atubular socket on the end of the iron. I discovered you could scrape the red heads off matches, ram them down the hole, shove the bit in the end , plug in the iron and wait. If memory serves me correctly, the time period for detonation was around 40 secs. The first time we tried this, the iron was just hanging on the tube base wiring on the set I was working on. The thing went off like a gun, the recoiling iron ripped the wiring off the tube and the copper bit went through the workshop roof! The genie was now out of the bottle and everyone was at it, you dare'nt enter that workshop without shouting "is it safe"?
This skylarking and experimentation progressed to a MK2 version..... BIGGER. We had this whopping great electric iron with a huge bit in the end so out it came, in went half a box of match heads followed by the bit. At this point, we were all a bit twitchy and shell shocked and we knew this would be a big bang so we anchored the iron in a vice and pointed it out of the window at a wall about 50 feet away. We plugged it in and hid behind the tv racks on the other side of the workshop. After a couple of minutes, it still had'nt gone off but no one dared go check on it to see if it was warming up. Three minutes later there was a tremendous bang which not only hurt our ears but brought dust down from the roof.
When we re- emerged, the iron was like one of those old blunderbuss guns you see on Tom and Jerry cartoons, with its end all splayed out and completely wrecked. The vice had also been shunted along the bench and the Bit had vanished.. obviously ejected at high speed.
We never found the bit and there were no marks on that wall outside so God alone knows where it went! After that last incident, we closed it down as a prank because it was so so dangerous.
Lucky to be here really as there were many other tales to tell.
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