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A Useful Tip For Noobies And Oldies.

Rangemaster1

Gunsmith
Active Member
#1
You can stopping chasing small parts all over your shop while working at the bench, and while seated.

An old watch makers trick is to attach the bottom of your apron to the bottom of the bench so the parts drop into your lap and not onto the floor.

I used the loop part of Velcro attachments sewn to each corner of my shop apron and glued the hook parts, spaced accordingly, under the front of my bench. Sure saves a lot of time crawling around on the floor. Not to mention trying to find the part that gets legs and runs to a secret location somewhere in the shop, never to be seen again.

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brino

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#3
Hi Rangemaster,

I can think of several times I SHOULD have had this.
I like that the velcro is a safe way to do it and will break-away if you forget and walk away.

Thanks for another valuable tip!
Keep 'em coming.......

-brino
 

kvt

Active User
Active Member
#4
looks like it would work great, Except that most of the time when something leaves my bench int is normally flying across the room. I hate springs and spring clips. Small things can see thm and they go flying at the slightest movement .
 

Rangemaster1

Gunsmith
Active Member
#5
looks like it would work great, Except that most of the time when something leaves my bench int is normally flying across the room. I hate springs and spring clips. Small things can see thm and they go flying at the slightest movement .
I'm in complete agreement. One way to slow the little beggars down is work inside a clear plastic bag of generous size. You can see what you're doing and they can't get away so easy. Of course the bag should be open at both ends. Naturally, I think of the bag AFTER the spring, or e-clip takes flight. I thank God I have extras.
 

jim18655

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#7
+1 on the plastic bag. I've done a lot work on 'springy' things inside of a bag. But I'll never figure out how the spring knows the end of the bag is open. That's the direction it almost always takes.
 

Silverbullet

Active Member
Active Member
#8
I'm the one who drops things 4 or 5 times and still nothing will help except a glass bubble and magnets everywhere. I keep grabbers and magnets in arms reach on every bench I work at. As for loaded springs I do them in a cloth shipping bag wrapped tight so them thar escaping suckers get caught inside. Firing pins and springs love to be airborne . My perazzi springs bring tears to your check book.
 

tertiaryjim

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#9
A hanger that I was working in was sublet to some gent's who needed to tear into the engine of their helicopter.
I went in the evening after they pulled the chopper out and found a small, thin, washer on the floor.
Those guys had spent hours looking for it and feared they would have to tear the engine down again. They were mighty happy it was found.
Small things can mean a lot!
 

Rangemaster1

Gunsmith
Active Member
#10
I'm the one who drops things 4 or 5 times and still nothing will help except a glass bubble and magnets everywhere. I keep grabbers and magnets in arms reach on every bench I work at. As for loaded springs I do them in a cloth shipping bag wrapped tight so them thar escaping suckers get caught inside. Firing pins and springs love to be airborne . My perazzi springs bring tears to your check book.
10-4 on those magnets and grabbers. I have a HF heavy duty extension magnet at every tool station and work bench in the shop. The grabbers are also within arms reach. Sure saves a lot of time bending over. When you're 6-4 and old with a bad back, it's a long ways down.
 

trg-s338

Active User
Active Member
#11
When working on a part with tiny springy things that can fly, I turn on some really bright lights in the garage and throw a thin white bed sheet over my head and worktable so when the spring does fly, it lands on my work table, eye protection on of course!
 

WalterC

Active Member
Active Member
#12
I remove the very strong magnets from computer hard drives. These find dropped parts and tools easily. Just be careful- they are very powerful and can be hard to remove from some surfaces.
 

Chip Hacket

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#14
Great idea! I must say, this situation is one of the few advantages of having a big belly[emoji1]. Although I will admit the apron method is better.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Randall Marx

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#16
I've been considering and planning for a few years to build a fabric drawer that has a round cutout to pull out around me for this same purpose. The Velcro and apron trick is MUCH easier. I'll try it first. Thank you for sharing and have a merry Christmas!
 

Bill Gruby

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#17
I use a large clear plastic bag when disassembling small parts. I haven't lost any yet, Good tip though.

"Billy G"
 
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bosephus

Active Member
Active Member
#18
On the useful tip subject ... here's one I used to get my girlfriend to clean my shop for me .

Not long after I got my surface grinder I somehow managed to misplace my single point wheel dresser .
After an hour of searching and being a bit disgusted with the fruitless search I went back in the house to fortify my spirits with a cold glass of iced tea .
My gal , always one to spot my bad mood asked what had me being a grumpy Gus .

Instantly a light bulb switched on inside my head and I couldn't resist this rather mean reply .
Poptart ... I bought a half carrot diamond last week to have a ring made for you and I simply can't find it anywhere .
And then gave a rather uhmm... deceiving description of the little white box it resided in .

She had her shoes on and was out the door so fast I had to put a friction fire out on my kitchen floor .

45 minutes later a rather dirty and disheveled devil came stomping back in the house holding my single point diamond dresser with the .. I'm not happy look in her eyes. Most of us know so well.

The black eye was mostly worth the clean shop
 

WalterC

Active Member
Active Member
#21
How did you know I work out of my bathtub? :cautious:

I was working on an old drill press when I couldn't find a pin. It was right there on the table one minute and gone the next. I spent 30 min looking to no avail and went to the point of sectioning off areas (like an anthropologist) to search small areas intensely. Another 45 minutes and I was getting mad and in a state of ; "I'm going to fine you no matter if it takes forever"!, so I decided to take a break from talking to myself and come back in an hour and start over with a fresh head.
After the break, I walked into the shop and immediately saw the pin clamped in the small vise. :frown:
An apron can't fix stupid.
 

royesses

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#22
I use a large clear plastic bag when disassembling small parts. I haven't lost any yet, Good tip though.

"Billy G"
I also use a large baggy. When I order many small bits and things from MSC they come in very large bags. I staple the center top closed so I have enough room for both hands. Then I do the disassembly and reassembly in the bag. Works great for 1/4" and 3/8" drive ratchets. The pawl detent springs and balls seem to like to go into orbit. Also I use a snap-on detent ball tool to reinstall them.
 

kvt

Active User
Active Member
#23
Managed to keep them together while taking it apart, Then cleaned it all up had all the little bits on the top of the clean table, went to put it back together, and missing a set screw, Looked all over, even went as far as pulling out the sweep magnet and going over the floor, Picked up a gob of swarf that I had missed, cleaning up, but no set screw. Finally opened my drawer to pull out something to measure with so I could go get a new one, There sitting on the bottom of the drawer was my set screw. Some how managed to knock it into the drawer while putting away tools or something.:rolleyes: To bad it does not provide a way to track when your do not pay attention to what you are doing.