The Tool Thread - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 3:46 PM Thread Starter
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The Tool Thread

My apologies up front if anyone feels this particular forum is not the place for this thread.


Also, I thought we had a tool thread ages ago. After using the search function, I did not find one, or I would have resurrected it here.



My idea for this thread is that those of us who have what we might collectively refer to as a tool kit of some substance post our preferred tools.


That way others might have a resource for recommended tools in a single spot on this forum. Also, I figured this is the FYI part of the forum and thus where this thread belongs.



Enough of the blather though, lets talk tools.



I initially looked around for a "Tool Thread" because I wanted to share with the forum a tool I discovered at work recently.



As I've posted many times, I work as a mobile heavy equipment mechanic. As such, I do an amount of fabrication work at least weekly. This includes welding and the associated metal prep work involved.



I had to do some recently and went to our tool crib to find a scotch brite wheel for my die grinder. As we were out, I went to our body shop to find more.



The guys there told me they didn't use them anymore. Then gave me what they were using instead.



It still the same 3M Roloc stuff as the scotch brite wheels but now they use what 3M calls a bristle disc.




That's what they look like, and they come in other colors and diameters. The one I used at work was about the size of the one above, or 2". There are also 3" and 6" for larger grinders.


They also come in small 1" diameter discs. Each color indicates the "grit" or aggressiveness of the disc. White is equal to 120 grit. Green is like 50 grit. Yellow is 80 grit and Purple is like 30 grit.



Why is this significant? If you are doing any kind of project where you need to remove rust, paint or other corrosion, or engine work where you need to remove a gasket, these are applicable.



They remove all the above without doing damage or marring the metal you are trying to clean. As I am in the middle of a complete frame off resto-mod on a 1993 Ducati 900 Super Sport, these are going to be really handy for paint removal and other such jobs where I don't want to mar the metal beneath.



Anyone else out there doing similar work will no doubt find these as useful as I do. I used the yellow 80 grit at work to remove paint, rust and gasket material from a cylinder head end cover.



It removed all of the above without removing metal from the cover which had to remain true in order to seal against the cylinder head. It worked phenomenally in that, I was able to do the job quickly, easily and accurately.



When I was done, and the cover was repainted I installed it and after refilling the coolant and running the engine up to operating temperature, the cover did not leak.



Based on that experience, using the bristle discs on things like the frame and wheels should yield the same results........sean
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 9:35 PM Thread Starter
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Screwdrivers are a pet peeve of mine. In that when they don't fit properly or are worn out, I get peeved.



Also, as a mechanic in a aircraft flight line environment, I am provided the tools I use professionally.



These are largely Snap-On brand tools so you could say I'm spoiled in that respect.



You could also say that when I whole heartedly endorse a different brand of tool, I know what works best because I use top of the line tools every day.



That brings me back to screwdrivers. I use Snap-On at work so when I decided to buy a set of top of the line screwdrivers to use in my own garage, naturally I went to see the Snap-On guy.



Well....a full set of screwdrivers from a #1 Phillips and common up to a #4 Phillips and common plus a stubby in each was well over $200. I balked. I make good money, but I won't throw it away.



That brought me to a brand of German made screwdrivers I used when I was in Europe. The brand is called Wiha and they make precision screwdrivers.

https://www.wihatools.com/ or you can find them on Amazaon.



I bought a full set of these for my own garage, including the stubbies for a sound $80. If you wait until they're on sale you can find them for less.



They are far and above the best screwdrivers you can buy for your home tool box. I mean, if you are as picky about your screwdrivers as I am.



I use their Micro Finish Non-Slip Grip Extra Heavy Duty drivers like these:

The grips fit ergonomically in your hand and don't roll the skin of your palm up when higher torque is required to break a screw loose.



That sort of thing happens with Snap-On screwdrivers. Hence why I prefer the Wiha drivers.



Also, the Wiha drivers, at least the Extra Heavy Duty ones have both a hex shank and a hex shaft to slide a wrench onto if the torque is higher than what you can turn with your wrist.



Further, if you can see them in the tiny thumbnail pic I was able to get, they have a steel cap on the handle. It goes all the way through to the shaft.



That means you can strike them with a hammer without fear of driving the handle down over the shaft.



Helpful at times when freeing a steel screw in an aluminum "hole".



I've not used a screwdriver with a more precise fit, ever. The tips are a harder material than the rest of the tool and are precision ground in Germany.



I've had mine for about 18 years or so....give or take a couple of years. Never had an issue with the tools themselves.....only with others not returning them...sean
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 3:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hex 'Bit' socket set

Like the title says. No tool box should be without one of these. The set I have is similar to the one pictured below:



I got mine in the UK 25 years ago or so. Really, the only differences between the set I have and the one pictured above is, while my set has both short and long hex bits like the set above it also include, both hex and torx up to 12mm as well as spline bits.



There are a number of advantages to this type of kit. You have both 3/8" and 1/2" driver sockets that the bits lock into, but as the bits are all 10mm base, any 10mm tool will work with them.



If you have to, a 1/4" drive 10mm socket will work, as will a 10mm combination wrench if you have clearance issues to deal with.



As I wrote, I've had this set for 25 years or so and not really ever needed anything more for daily wrenching chores. As I wrote, no tool box should be without this versatile set......sean
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Impact driver

If there is one indispensable tool in my tool kit it is this:



An impact driver. Smack it with a hammer and it will eventually loosen almost anything you have that won't come out.



Might take more than a smack or two...and the bigger the hammer the better. The best part is, they're cheap. Harbor Freight or any auto parts store sells them for under $20.



They're almost idiot proof. Basically if you want to loosen a bolt or nut, you put a socket on the tool. Put the combined two over the stuck nut or bolt and turn in the direction needed to loosen. Once it clicks over, you hit it with a hammer. Just make sure it clicks over.



I know more than one shade tree mechanic who broke a bolt or stud off because of that little gem right there.



Used with the took kit in the previous post, nearly any motorcycle engine can be disassembled. Most of impact drivers come with a couple of screwdriver bits which should cover the Phillips screws found on engine cases.



There are other forms of impact, notable pnuematic and a more recent development, battery powered electric to go with the age old electric impact tools.



It's probably a good idea to have a second type of impact so one of the above is good to have around too. Electric ones are fairly inexpensive.



Battery powered ones are in the same price range as pneumatic tools but don't require a compressor.



The powered impact tools are nice, particularly if you need to remove a nut or bolt that could potentially topple your bike over if you used a socket with a long breaker bar plus a cheater pipe. Just saying......sean
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 12:41 AM
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Good info. That bristle disc looks like a great innovation. I'm curious how it works on surfaces that don't have enough friction to eat away the bristles as you go. That's the big problem with flapper discs. They work great on steel surfaces but try it on painted wood and it'll just clog and burn.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 3:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by K-woppa View Post
Good info. That bristle disc looks like a great innovation. I'm curious how it works on surfaces that don't have enough friction to eat away the bristles as you go. That's the big problem with flapper discs. They work great on steel surfaces but try it on painted wood and it'll just clog and burn.
Hmmm.....I don't know about that one. I know they don't clog so that part should be much better. I just don't know how effective they will be on wood....IE, they may just dig in and abrade a deep gouge into it.


I know on a flat metal surface they work supremely well. On my 900SS front wheel....well....one side went really well and there were no issues. The other side though, that was different. A real PITA....sean
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 4:16 PM
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Funny thing about having all the tools you need, is you still buy more. My latest is a combination tire inflator with a built in dial gage and tire chuck and trigger valve.
This is a vital tool to save picking up the tire gage checking the pressure , then inflating the tire some, then checking again ,repeat ,repeat.

I would never think about driving a screw without a power driver, or removing a bolt or nut without my pneumatic tools, Why brush away dirt when you can blow it away with a air nozzle.
I put the car on the lift to avoid bending over to wash the wheels.


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 9:22 PM Thread Starter
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Funny thing about having all the tools you need, is you still buy more. My latest is a combination tire inflator with a built in dial gage and tire chuck and trigger valve.
Amen to that. I went with the Ryobi battery powered inflator. In fact, I ended up getting two. One for my garage, one for my bicycle room. That way, I don't have to head out to the garage to inflate tires before a ride.



That, and the Ryobi inflator uses the same battery as my drill driver.....and my impact driver....and hammer drill...circular saw....sawzall...multi-tool....oh yeah, and spot light.


I like not having a half dozen different chargers for my cordless tools.....sean

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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meter...foot....meter....tempo...meter....instrume nt

Like the title says. Meter. You need one. If you plan on doing any electrical work, a DVOM or digital volt/ohm meter is an essential tool for the tool box.





Pictured above is a Fluke 87. Pretty much the standard in my world for diagnostics on the majority of systems involving the use of a computer, computer card or the like.



My own personal tool box is equipped with a simpler and much cheaper Craftsman DVOM. It is similar to the Fluke but minus a row of buttons (functions) as mine does not do temperature or "hi res"



Pretty much all the other functions are present though. I'm pretty sure I got mine during a Father's Day sale a decade or more ago........maybe more like two decades


It is a vital part of electrical system diagnostics though, and mine has more than paid for its paltry sale price. I don't remember what it was but I'm sure it was under $40.



Thing is, you can find these almost anywhere today, at prices well below the $375 the Fluke commands.



If for whatever reason, you decide you want one, and you don't have any reason to spend more than a few dollars on a meter, there is always the analog option.



These still perform the same functions, just display them with a needle on a gauge rather than digitally.

The meter above is available on Amazon for just $10. Easy to see, it also performs the same functions as the digital version. Easier on the wallet too.



This is a must for electrical system diagnosis. You can use a test light, but that will only tell you there is voltage at a given point, just not how much. If you are putting together a tool box of things you gotta have to get basic maintenance done, this is one of the tools to put in that box.....sean
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 9:40 AM
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I have been surprised at how often a pick set has come in handy. I bought a 4 piece set on a whim and have since used to for everything from removing o-rings to levering panels and brackets in line with screw holes. beats the heck out of prying things with your fingernails.
I like the Tekton ones for the aggressiveness of the grips.

https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-6943-P...words=pick+set
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by john z View Post
I have been surprised at how often a pick set has come in handy. I bought a 4 piece set on a whim and have since used to for everything from removing o-rings to levering panels and brackets in line with screw holes. beats the heck out of prying things with your fingernails.
I like the Tekton ones for the aggressiveness of the grips.
There. Fixed.


I have a similar Snap-On set at work. At home, I just use what ever. I have a set from Harbor Freight and a set from Auto Zone...that I think I've lost half of.



I also have a couple of these from Craftsman:
I probably use them more than any of the individual ones with plastic handles. At home at least. All I have at work are the individual ones.


I do use them often though as any kind of hydraulic cylinder rebuild work requires them. I have probably worn them out TBH...I'll have to see about new ones. ....sean


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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big hooker tool

Here's another fantastically useful tool that you didn't know you needed.



I wrote in the title that it is called the big hooker tool because that's what brand the first one I saw was.



In reality, it is simply a radiator hose removal tool.






It makes radiator hose removal so much easier. You just slip the pointed end between the hose and radiator stub pipe and rotate the tool around the stub pipe. Hose will slide right off.



There is a smaller version of this tool in the post above about the pick set. I use that one to remove smaller lines, like fuel hose or vacuum lines that are stuck or baked on.



There are other versions available that are more hook like for use on heater hoses or others that face the firewall and are nearly impossible to get the tool above in to aid in removal....sean


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 9:39 AM
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Here's a great update to a tool everyone should already have... (hopefully with a pic this time )

https://www.harborfreight.com/4-inch...lamp-4137.html

The quick release lets you just slide the clamp until it is touching the parts and then you can twist to secure. It can be operated (almost) one handed and keeps you from having to do that index finger spin only to find that you went just a little too far and now can't get the clamp around your parts. Removing the clamp is just one twist and then hit the button to back it all the way out.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2018, 9:41 AM
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Darn it, no pic again.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-9-2018, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Crimpers

Most folks have a combination tool that does crimping and wire stripping and maybe small machine screw cutting too.




This is an improper tool to utilize when you actually need to crimp a wire terminal.



For the other uses it is fine, but the crimp you can achieve with this type of tool is not a proper one if you want it to last. For a temp fix, sure. It's fine for that. For a permanent one, not so much.



So, when I went to specialized electrical training at General Motors I was presented with a set of crimpers that the GM tech training instructor claimed was the proper one for a factory finish terminal installation.



It looks like this:

You can find these at almost any hardware store or Harbor Freight....or Amazon. Any of them will do, and I don't see much of an advantage for one brand over another.



Normally, I'll utilize a segment of heat shrink tubing so that once the terminal is crimped on the wire, I can slide the heat shrink up to cover the end of the terminal up to the end of the wire.



After applying heat, the terminal end is all that is left exposed. This method prevents moisture from penetrating behind the crimp and causing corrosion and loss of connectivity.

The yellow wire above illustrates the technique written about above the image. This method can be used with both insulated and non-insulated type terminals....sean


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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 4:43 AM
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I finally got tired of cheap crimpers and bought the good stuff. Astro Pneumatic 9477 interchangeable jaw ratcheting crimpers.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 8:45 AM
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I just solder.

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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I finally got tired of cheap crimpers and bought the good stuff. Astro Pneumatic 9477 interchangeable jaw ratcheting crimpers.
Oooohh.....nice!!! An electrician buddy of mine suggested something similar....from Klein Tools. I took one look at that price and though, no. Thank you, I'll keep my "hammer and anvil" crimpers.



I've used a similar set at work though. We have them for all manner of terminals. I use the Deutsch terminal crimpers the most often as they are by far the most durable and weather proof connectors we have available at work.


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I just solder.

FOG
On this subject, solder irons.



At home I use a simple plug in solder iron from Radio Shack. It is dead simple. Plug it in, it gets hot, start soldering.



At work, we had several different soldering irons. A couple of these:


Which sucked for soldering. I've found other uses for them, like plastic welding, they're sorta okay for doing that.



And a couple like this:

And a couple like this:



None of them really worked when I got to the shop. I managed to repair one of base station models like the one above and got it working well enough to do the job.


One of our managers dropped by one day and found me soldering with that and said, "when was this thing made? 1950?" I'll get you a new one.



So, we ended up tossing out all but the Weller "guns" and were presented with this:



This thing is amazing. It has a preheat table on top. A heat gun for heat shrink tube. And it's digital. There is a very short wait for heat up time.



You set your heat, wait for about 20-30 seconds and you're ready to go. The digital indicator shows when the set temp is reached.



The magnified, lighted viewer is a real help for those of us with less than perfect vision. Overall, it saves us a ton of time when we have a bunch of wiring to do.



We've had it for about a year or so and really, I find it one of the most useful tools in our tool crib. It isn't cheap though so for home use, I'd just go simple like I've done. Sure be nice to have one of those in my garage though......sean


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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Baller...ball ends

Another very useful tool to have is a set of ball end allen wrenches.



You can't apply much torque with them, the ball end will snap off the wrench.






I have a set like the ones above, one SAE fractional and one metric. Actually, that's not true. I have several sets of metric ones. None of which are complete save for my newest set.



Like my screwdrivers, I got a set of medium length ball end Allen wrenches from Wiha.



Why these are so useful: You can turn a socket head bolt from almost any angle. Getting into a tight spot and being able to turn the bolt down until it is tight so you can get a straight wrench on it for final torque.



Just to illustrate the point, I snapped off the ball end on an 8mm wrench. The bolt I was removing was torqued to just 25 ft/lbs.



In other words, don't use them to break loose a bolt. Just to finish removing the bolt.



If you find these in a socket type set, using them with a power ratchet REALLY speeds up removal....sean


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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 1:21 PM
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I made a tool to to remove the dampening rod from the fork.
25 bucks for a Bosch hammer drill bit (pn hs1934) braised to a 1/2” drive 11/16 socket.

Works as good as the Kawasaki tool I lost in the abyss.

I’m sure someone has covered this somewhere in the forum but I couldn’t find it. Saturday afternoon is not a good time to buy obscure tools for a bike that’s been out of production for a decade. (Although they were glad to sell me a new 400)
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 3:39 PM
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^ friggin thing looks dangerous

ďBeing shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba....Ē quote Hunter S Thompson

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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 8:09 PM
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Didn’t really notice the “danger” level of the thing (I was busy being proud of myself) but now you mention it I could probably market as a vampire killer (might have to add a wood tip) or a personal defense weapon.
Wadda ya think
RajinCajin is offline  
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