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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think that it is always helpful when forum members post up tools that they have used, sharing their experiences and possibly educating the rest of us to something that we are unfamiliar with. This also includes rigs like Lee's brake bleeder, and things of that nature. Solutions, basically.

I think this thread should be somewhat wide open, in that tools that don't have anything to do with UNIMOGs or auto mechanics should be included, since sharing knowledge is the goal here.

I think that when you use a tool and have that feeling - 'Man, the guy that came up with this thing had it figured out', well, that is the sort of tool that can benefit others, if they happen to have a use for it.

We all use tools of some sort or another, but things that have proven themselves over time for you might be an unknown for somebody else. Quality, durability and long term reliability are qualities that come to mind.

I'd suggest keeping the tools posted here to things that you work in the physical world - no software bundles and so on. They are different types of tools. 3D printers make a little more sense in this category, but I think they could live in their own thread quite handily.

If you happen to have a huge stamping machine or 5, something about the size of 'a small Berlin Apartment' or so -
I could see them being posted up, even though they might be of limited use to most (or All) of us. The entertainment factor might outweigh their narrow application.

The internet is often the scene of blind brand loyalty wars - the Ford-Dodge-Chevy pick-ups and their various Diesels
is one example. That sort of stuff does not go on here, fortunately, and I don't think offering up useful tool choices will
change the behavior at all.

That said, if you have used Dewalt stuff, as well as Milwaukee stuff, and have insights that you want to offer up, regarding their pros and cons, then that makes sense to me.

The Corollary to 'Tools that work' of course, is 'Tools that Don't work', or tools that don't measure up.
The point here is to put stuff on the table that you have personal experience with, that might educate some of us that have not run across the device or the technique for using it. If you bought something with high hopes, only to have it fall apart in your hands, then that information can help us all out.

That is the basic motive - what can be shared here that might help us all out ?

OK, I'll start off with a few items that are not UNIMOG specific.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Forstner Bit.

Invented by a blacksmith, these things are unique. Mainly used in woodworking, they can also cut nice round holes in plastic, fiberglass and so on.
Can you use them on Aluminum ? Well, yes. I'll post some photos of the results that I had. They worked beautifully, but I would only use them on 1/4" or less stock, with relatively soft aluminum alloy (6061- T6), and I would not subject my expensive bits to the abuse. Lots of cutting oil...
They are not recommended for sheet metal - there are other bits great for that.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The UNIBIT, or step-bit. Thes things are another genius move, and are perfect for putting holes in sheetmetal.

If you are installing Nut-serts in sheetmetal, these are the bits to use. They leave a clean hole, and don't warp the metal or leave a burr like twist bits are prone to do.

When installing Nut-serts, I pay attention to the prescribed hole size for the Nut-sert, but by using a drill index, if I can drill a slightly smaller hole to get a tighter fit, say by a 1/32nd, then I'll try that size first. I can always open it up if I need to.

You can do it without using measuring tools beyond a drill index. Grab the nutsert, find the smallest hole on the drill index that will take it, and glance at what 'the book' says for that size of insert. Ponder... Next, find your Unibits of choice and plug them into the drill index until you find the right fit.

Next, a trick I use is to grab a Sharpie and draw on the step of the bit at the dimension that I want to stop at - sometimes I mark the next step up in size, it becomes the 'No Go' step. That way, I don't have to peer into the drill press to see where I am at, and I don't worry about over-drilling and going too big. The Sharpie marks are easy to see - I color in the whole step.

They eat Aluminum, sheetmetal, plastic, and whatever. The depth of the step should exceed the thickness of the material, but you can finish off a hole by drilling from the backside if your steps are too shallow.

They are perfect for hole to take grommets for your electrical wiring. You can use the same trick - fit the grommet into the drill index to find the hole size, so the grommet is snug and does not rattle around, grab the Sharpie and there you go.

They'd be useless in wood I'd think...Never tried that.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Kindling Cracker.
OK, this thing is an outlier, but it is so dang effective that I must post it up. Developed by a KIWI schoolgirl, it has completely changed how I deal with my firewood for the wood stove.

There are home-made versions, there are copycats, but I only know about this one.
It comes in two sizes, but I don't see any reason to deal with the smaller one. It may have predecessors in history, I would not doubt it, but this version is very nice...and it is a good story.

I like Axes, Splitting Axes, Splitting hatchets, Throwing Tomahawks, basically I am a sucker for anything with a blade at the end of an American Hickory handle.
But...
This thing is just easier, faster, and more efficient. My firewood comes cut to stove length, about 16"-18", some full rounds, some quarter or half split, softwoods (fir and pine) and Dry. I'm lucky enough to have a Pole Company about 8 miles away, and they create mountains of firewood as a byproduct of their pole production.

It is simple. I pick straight grained chunks, and with a tap or two with a single jack, they are split. Then Split again, and so on. I can fill a 55 gallon Brute trash can with kindling in a few minutes. It just flows.
If the firewood slug seems tough or twisted, you'll know after the first tap. You can power through it, but I just pull the bound up piece off of the blade and reload. They'll all burn in the end.

You need to build a platform for it, to bolt it down at working height, but if you need kindling for your stoves or a fireplace, this thing is the ticket.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brooks USA Hammers and Drift- Punches.
Very nicely made. If you buy the complete hammer set in the box, it is expensive, but the hammers individually are not so bad. The Punches are great as well.
They are a pleasure to use.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They have another line of beautiful products - Scale Black Powder Cannons.

They don't make the wheeled carriages for the Napoleon and the Mountain Howitzer shown.
They do offer a basic ship's carriage for some of their barrels.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Forstner vs Aluminum. I needed clearance for the locking rings on the Blue Sea meters. I built a little plywood
Deck, with a step in it matching the thickness of the aluminum.
The bit centered in the plywood and cut the Aluminum no
Problem.
No mill here, and a step bit needs a full circumference in the material to work, so it was either a jigsaw, filing,
or give the Forstner a go.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
South Africa has a Miniature Cannon Club - of course they do. Brooks USA manufactures an approved barrel for the SAMCC target shooting competitions. If you want to compete with the locals while on vacation to South Africa, you can buy the barrel, build the carriage, and the shooting box, and practice at home before you go.

Customs might be tricky, and I would not attempt to fly with it in my luggage. I'd probably ship it to the club as
'Tractor Parts', or arrange to borrow a club member's piece for the competition and leave my cannon safe at home.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This thread will only become useful with group participation, lads.

In the meantime - Deburring.

These little hand-held deburring tools work very well. Masterfull in aluminum, they also glide through plastics, and have reasonable effect on steel. They are commonly used to clean up drilled holes, but with aluminum, they can round over straight edges with a little practice. YouTube is a good educator here.

The curvature of the rotating cutting blade allows you to get both the front and the back edges of the hole chamfered, just by changing the angle of attack. The less expensive brands, such as General, seem to work as well as the more expensive offerings. The blades are inexpensive and easy to replace. There should be one on station at every drill press.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hand-held countersinks are handy for cleaning up drilled holes as well.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with a powered countersink, and in a drill press you can insure that the bit is perpendicular to the stock.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When cutting a bolt or a rod down, these things put a uniform chamfer on them. A little cleaning up of the threads with a micro-file might be required to get the start of the thread opened up.
Of course, you can do the same thing with a file, but if you have a number of them to do, these will speed things up quite a bit.
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Wera screwdrivers. I use this exact set on the daily. Probably in around 30-100 small machine screws I take in and out of electronics for repairs. I've used a ton of cheap screwdrivers and finally bought myself a set of these some years back. The handle has different diameters for gripping should you need a bit more torque, and the top is free spinning for quickly removing/installing. Never had one of these slip and they are very comfortable to hold and use. My only complaint would be 4 different sizes of slotted is a bit much in this set, I'd have liked two slotted and maybe two something else but I inevitably end up using all of them for something or other. I'm predicting more Wera in my future.

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