How Not To Fuck Up Tools Like A Goddamned Ape
September 28, 2014 6:44 PM   Subscribe

 
Can we get a software tools version of this please? I'm thinking along the lines of "Primitive Pete declares a bunch of globals, then writes code with automatic variables with the same names that shadow them, and turns off all the compiler warnings."

Later, Pete's code segfaults in production, and the users rip his arms off and beat him with the soggy ends.
posted by sourcequench at 6:57 PM on September 28, 2014 [35 favorites]


This is the best goddamn 18 minutes you'll ever spend in your miserable, tool-using life.
posted by NoMich at 6:59 PM on September 28, 2014 [21 favorites]


The intro soundtrack is so over the top.
posted by kiltedtaco at 7:00 PM on September 28, 2014


Appropriate
posted by harrietthespy at 7:07 PM on September 28, 2014 [11 favorites]


The intro soundtrack is so over the top.

You have a problem with the goddamn soundtrack? Fuck that.
posted by thelonius at 7:24 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm a carpenter. We routinely call each other Primitive Pete at work: sometimes when you're up on a scaffold and the right tool would take an arduous climb down and back up to retrieve, you end up hitting things with a pair of pliers (and it works about 99% of the time).
posted by halogen at 7:30 PM on September 28, 2014 [15 favorites]


SPOILER

Never use a hammer as a crowbar. That goes all the way back to PrimitivePete.

The best rule is never hammer on any screwdriver.

Don't be a PrimitivePete and resort to the use of pliers. (to ream on a screwdriver)

Remember to keep the moving parts well oiled. (wrench)

There are many uses for a medium sized Monkey wrench, this tool also is often abused. (It's Disney not porn so no demonstration)

Notice the nut is gripped at all six corners. (box wrench)
posted by sammyo at 7:32 PM on September 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


The best rule is never hammer on any screwdriver.

I have found that whenever I am using a screwdriver for something other than turning screws, trouble is not far off
posted by thelonius at 7:39 PM on September 28, 2014 [36 favorites]


Oh man, an OSHA-related thread elsewhere linked to this last week, but I lost the link due to a browser crash. Great timing.
posted by subbes at 7:39 PM on September 28, 2014


subbes, here's where I got it from the SA forums.
posted by boo_radley at 7:45 PM on September 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have destroyed tools in exactly these ways. I have the bad guilt from watching this.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:47 PM on September 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


boo_radley, that's exactly the thread I was thinking of :)
posted by subbes at 7:49 PM on September 28, 2014


Say, that IS a larger socket set!
posted by hydrophonic at 8:22 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


And I feel bad for Primitive Pete. One of the finest minds of his generation, and he'll be forever remembered as a buffoon.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:25 PM on September 28, 2014 [21 favorites]


I remember they showed us this in 7th or 8th grade shop class. For years after that my friends and I would tell each other not to be a primitive Pete whenever we were attempting to do almost anything the wrong way.
posted by freakazoid at 8:43 PM on September 28, 2014


(That SA Forums thread has been amazing. Totally got sucked into YouTube one night watching USCSB videos after the link to the "Let's dispose of fireworks by cutting them into chunks and storing loose black powder" accident report.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:06 PM on September 28, 2014


Just today I showed my kids how to get extra leverage by slipping a pipe over the handle of a wrench - just doing my part to raise the next generation of primitive petes. Why didn't I just use a bigger wrench like the video suggested? This was a bolt with a 7/8" head and 15/16" nut and I had already tried a breaker bar and then a 3/4" drive impact wrench ( I believe that this was the first thing it hadn't been able to break loose, ever). I could have used the acetylene torch (gas wrench), but this was on a 1951 Studebaker and I wanted to keep the original bolt and nut. So, I grabbed the handle to my Hi-Lift jack (a tube about 1 1/4" dia. x 3 feet long), slipped it over the handle of my Snap-on breaker bar and just walked in a circle. It made a series of horrible squeaks and pings, but it moved. Then I switched back to the 3/4" drive air impact, when the nut came off the end of the bolt, it was smoking hot.
posted by 445supermag at 9:49 PM on September 28, 2014 [24 favorites]


This is why i don't use tools.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:50 PM on September 28, 2014


Primative Pete is a sad soul, born too late to be a dinosaur, yet too early to share his lifehacks on Buzzfeed.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:53 PM on September 28, 2014 [18 favorites]


Bah, as if any of these assclowns knows the first thing about lithic bifacial percussion flaking.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 9:56 PM on September 28, 2014 [28 favorites]


Ladies and gentlemen of General Motors, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my Chevrolet Cruze and run off into the hills. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know - never hammer on any screwdriver.
posted by Naberius at 10:17 PM on September 28, 2014 [30 favorites]


Not for nothing. TIL the 15 degree thing. And disregarding Pete, this is a bunch of great advise for everyone. Work with your tools. Not against them. Understand how they work best and you will be a happy camper.
posted by Splunge at 10:44 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's another amazing Disney educational/propaganda video from the '40s explaining vaccination in terms of the US military build-up and mobilization prior to entering WWII. The cartoon battle between red blood cell soldiers and the invading disease army might be the most violent thing I've seen in a Disney cartoon.
posted by straight at 10:44 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm extremely tough on tools. I've abused pencil-point San Angelo bars into corkscrews. Bow rakes deform within minutes of my grasp. Hickory handles splinter after mere weeks of use, and "unbreakable" fiberglass handles routinely shatter. Hell, my own hands often bear the blisters and scars of being used in conjunction with (or as substitutes for) common hand tools. I'd happily give the Samsonite gorilla a run for his money on rough treatment of things.

But use a screwdriver as a chisel? Or a monkey wrench with a pipe as a breaking bar? That's not primitive. I don't even think that's primate. That's stupid lizard-brain disrespectfulness.
posted by Graygorey at 10:45 PM on September 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I love how videos like this just assume a person has a full and complete set of tools for every occasion. In the real world, most people have a hammer, a pliers, a couple of screwdrivers, and maybe an adjustable wrench. You have to make those work or drive across town to buy a tool you'll probably use once. That's why people improvise tools.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:38 PM on September 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


GM probably has a complete set of tools
posted by edeezy at 11:49 PM on September 28, 2014 [11 favorites]


I have found that whenever I am using a screwdriver for something other than turning screws, trouble is not far off

Yeah, if you're using a screwdriver to, say, hold apart a nuclear core, you're probably asking for trouble.
posted by zsazsa at 1:11 AM on September 29, 2014 [25 favorites]


Is bodging a term used in the US? Because Primitive Pete is a bodger. Bodging and bodge jobs are to be found in all areas of human endeavour, as anyone who's worked in a repair shop dealing with consumer goods will testify. "Them The Bodgers" was a common cry in a TV/radio/CB repair shop I worked in as a schoolkid, usually when the top or back of a repair job was removed on arrival. Often before: if some of the screws intended to hold everything together were already missing, unwashered, misthreaded, stripped or just the wrong sort - you could tell Them The Bodgers had been at work even before you picked up your screwdriver. Of course, it was never the person who brought the job in - it was like that when they got it.

And if you want evidence of human ingenuity, tenacity, and willingness to battle on in the face of the unknown and unsafe, it's there, hiding behind the covers of a million oddly buzzing, curiously warm or strangely tingling bits of consumer gear. Or, these days, Android apps or JS scripts.
posted by Devonian at 1:46 AM on September 29, 2014 [10 favorites]


In the real world, most people have a hammer, a pliers, a couple of screwdrivers, and maybe an adjustable wrench. You have to make those work or drive across town to buy a tool you'll probably use once.

Being able to evaluate the cost of driving across town to buy a tool you'll use once, versus the risk of driving across town to buy a tool you'll use once plus the pieces you broke, is the mark of a true craftsman.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:50 AM on September 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


At 0:45 I swear to God above that it appears that the Oscar Mayer weinermobile is driving on that road.
posted by still bill at 2:15 AM on September 29, 2014


Hey, Disney, how about you stop wailing on Primitive Pete and quit buying such shitty God-damn hammers?
posted by dudekiller at 2:48 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


> I love how videos like this just assume a person has a full and complete set of tools for every occasion.

Presumably the toolshop in a GM plant is stocked with a full and complete set of tools so that the facilities workers and mechanics can fix the wiring, plumbing, breaktime bench, and so on.

Except for that damn 2" monkey wrench. It's been two weeks since Podnarovich fucking jacked it again for that joejob at his old lady's place and he keeps saying he'll bring it back but I'm betting he got in another fight with her and is too scared to go back and pick it up.
posted by ardgedee at 3:10 AM on September 29, 2014 [9 favorites]


"you end up hitting things with a pair of pliers"

I've taken to calling a similar method a "crescent hammer"
posted by flaterik at 4:02 AM on September 29, 2014 [16 favorites]


I'm kind of sad that that Announcer Voice seems to be as extinct, these days, as Primitive Pete and his pals.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:13 AM on September 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yesterday I asked if there was a chisel available so I could hang a door. I was handed a cold chisel and was told take it or leave it. Sometimes you just work with what you have and I reckon if you can make that work you are good at what you are doing.

I was taught that an alternative name for a hammer was an American screwdriver when I was a younger man. You can blame my dad.
posted by deadwax at 4:41 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have book on airplane hydraulics that begins with, "this is a screwdriver, here are its parts."

It goes on to explain the economic manufacturing constraints that result in the tapered faces of the tip. Then it tells you that in all cases you need to "dress the screwdriver" by taking it over to the grinder and grinding the faces until they are parallel at the tip.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:45 AM on September 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yep, we all have a couple industrial high powered precision grinders in our basement.
posted by sammyo at 4:52 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I smell a RiffTrax short in the offing!
posted by dhens at 4:57 AM on September 29, 2014


Oh General Motors, what would YOU know about craftsmanship?
posted by dr_dank at 4:58 AM on September 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


The first time I was working overseas I watched a crew of guys build a very nice wooden house next door over a few weeks. Their entire toolset was a couple of hammers (with homemade handles), a handsaw, a plane, and maybe a chisel. They weren't as fast as a framing crew all decked out in tool belts and with a bunch of pneumatic nail guns, especially when they'd spend the hot part of the afternoon in the shade straightening bent nails or figuring out how to adapt lumber that was the wrong size, but they did beautiful work.

There is a certain kind of person who fetishizes tools over knowing how to get things done sometimes, but at the same time I'll admit to the enormous frustration of driving over to someone's house to help out with a DIY project and discovering that they are planning to use the wrong tool all afternoon.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:04 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


This reminds of what my grandfather declared in amazement at my youthful ineptitude with tools: "Son, you could fuck up an anvil with a rubber mallet!"
posted by HillbillyInBC at 5:10 AM on September 29, 2014 [10 favorites]


Wasn't Bodger a name on Junkyard Wars?

Oops... 'Scrapheap Challenge'. (Translate: Kings English to Murcan.)
posted by dragonsi55 at 5:37 AM on September 29, 2014


Yep, we all have a couple industrial high powered precision grinders in our basement.

I am so grateful to have grown up in a house with what I used to describe as an "A-Team Starter Kit" in the basement. My father and grandfather were both craftsmen, both by hobby, and at times, by trade. An arc welder, a cutting torch, a lathe, a drill press, a blacksmith forge, and tools of all kinds collected over nearly a hundred years were at hand. If we couldn't find a tool to fit our needs, we'd build it - my grandfather specialty was woodworking, and when the Dremel tool came out in the 1930-40s he loved it, but found the shape to be a bit awkward after a while, and constructed his own out of a milkshake machine motor and a 18" flexible drive shaft to reduce strain during long periods of detailed work. After 80 years, that thing still runs like a champ.

As the years go on, I appreciate more an more of the environment I grew up in. When I was little, I'd ask all sorts of questions about how does this work, how would you make that, and such, and they would explain it out, and if the idea interested them or sparked another idea, we'd just go downstairs, brainstorm a bit, and see if we could make it. My father took this into his professional career, working in everything from electronics for the Apollo program in the 60s with my grandfather, to automotive repair, to raising horses and cattle, to becoming a blacksmith in his retirement. This led to my brother and I continuing the tradition of building and modifying, with him going into aeronautics, and I into computers and IT. The specific application of our skills didn't matter, it was the tools, the guidance, and the environment that developed in us how we asked questions, take apart a system, and approach problem solving. To us, there was little difference between woodcarving, plumbing, electrical systems, an automobile , a jet engine, or computer network - they were all just systems that could be approached, taken apart, modified and repaired with roughly the same logical approach.

So in conclusion, tools - surround your kids with them and work on stuff with them. It doesn't matter if you don't know all the specifics - you'll not only learn something yourself, but you will be expanding your kid's mind in countless ways.
posted by chambers at 6:42 AM on September 29, 2014 [18 favorites]


Bodgers love mashed potatoes.
posted by pmcp at 6:43 AM on September 29, 2014


Using poorly made, maintained, or badly used tools gives one a great appreciation of the opposite. Growing up, though I had time and opportunity to become comfortable with tools, I never developed a deep appreciation for them ( likely because I simply wasn't depending on them often enough ). Reexamining this as an adult -- and encountering the usual problems of setting up and maintaining a house -- I've become much more mindful about how I use, maintain, and purchase tools.

This animation is a nice little primer ( and inventory ). I wish I'd seen it earlier. Part 2 is also good.
posted by Kikkoman at 6:51 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


All I have to say is that you need to get one of these. Locking adjustable wrench, people. Get it exactly where it needs to be and then lock it down, or clamp it down onto a nut so you don't need to worry about it slipping off when you put leverage on it. It's about 98% as good as having the actual proper box wrench on hand, doesn't mess up nuts the way vise grips do, costs $15, and is a lot more convenient than carrying around a giant roll of 30 different wrenches. I highly recommend it, it's my favorite multi-purpose tool.

Also, I use a flathead screwdriver as a small pry bar all the time. Not one of my good screwdrivers, obviously. I keep an old, crappy one in the toolbox specifically for that purpose.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:57 AM on September 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


PS: zsazsa, that story is horrifying.
posted by dhens at 7:19 AM on September 29, 2014


"Well... *chuckle*, some people have to learn the hard way."
-- Narrator
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:21 AM on September 29, 2014


[Trigger Alert]

When i worked on old cars a lot, one of my essential tools was a nut-cutter just like this one. It didn't always work, but when it did, it saved me a lot of trouble. I still have it. Somewhere. I think I have a monkey wrench someplace, too, but I don't think I've ever used it.


I have to say, some of those tools in the cartoon are pretty low-quality. I've never seen a steel hammer chip like theirs did.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:24 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm getting towards the end and he hasn't yet covered how terrible it is to use the closed end of a combination wrench as a cheater pipe/bar/lever on another combination wrench. Never done that myself, no sir.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:25 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've never seen a steel hammer chip like theirs did.

Oh man. Under hard use and long life, yep, it happens. Older tools might have been more prone to it but even anvils get chipped and worn out if not treated with the utmost care.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:26 AM on September 29, 2014


Since we are on the subject of tools, The Woodwright's Shop, which has been something my dad and I have enjoyed since I was little, is not only still on, but currently has 110 full episodes available for streaming. Don't let the old-timey theme fool you, the stuff you can learn from there is just as useful now.
posted by chambers at 7:27 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


In the real world, most people have a hammer, a pliers, a couple of screwdrivers, and maybe an adjustable wrench. You have to make those work or drive across town to buy a tool you'll probably use once.

I bought an HDX tool set from Home Depot for $20 based on The Wirecutter's recommendation (for my girlfriend's apartment, so I didn't have to lug tools around), and although everything in it feels pretty cheap it all works fine for basic home repair stuff.
posted by Huck500 at 7:32 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


For homeowners, most tool-abuse problems would be fixed if people bought actual prying tools, which for some reason basic toolkits never include, and you have reasons to need all the time.

Rather than abusing a screwdriver, just get a small prybar — a "cat's paw" is a good choice and fits easily in a toolbox, or a flat steel "wonder bar" is even better if you have room — and go to town with that. Paint-can lid remover? Check. Nail puller? No problem. Pryer-apart of mistakenly fastened boards? Done.

If you make the small bar your go-to tool of choice when you're not sure what you need but you're pretty sure it needs to get banged on, you're a lot less likely to end up breaking a tool or getting hurt when something breaks, than if you reach for a screwdriver.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:42 AM on September 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


I've never seen a steel hammer chip like theirs did.

In their example they were showing a ball-peen hammer made for metal working. The face of a ball-peen hammer is typically made with heat-treated high carbon steel which is much harder and more brittle than the claw hammer you might be most familiar with. It also has sharper corners on the face which are more likely to chip, unlike the more gently round edges of a claw hammer.
posted by JackFlash at 8:08 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised they didn't emphasize more the danger of a chisel that has a flattened head with mushroom-like edges. One slightly off-center hit from those can send a metal shard flying with unpleasant results. Also, grinding wheels need to approached with a bit of caution and some warnings about what can go wrong if you're not careful. The sparks are the least of your worries - if you aren't careful about the size of what you are grinding and the angle of the metal to the wheel, it may not only rip that metal out of your hands, but wind your fingers and hand right into the machine, and keep grinding away at that. I've had a couple of close calls in my teenage years with a bench grinder, and it scared the bejeezus out of me enough to always be on my guard when using it.

For larger-scale examples of this, I recommend the both informative (and wonderfully Rifftraxed) "Shake Hands with Danger" - Relevant clips of chisel danger here, and grinder danger here. Note - there is some rather graphic unpleasantness in that second one, but on the bright side the whole film has a great song as it's soundtrack.
posted by chambers at 8:34 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


sammyo: Yep, we all have a couple industrial high powered precision grinders in our basement.
It's pronounced "file", and if you really don't own one, memail me your address, you poor thing.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:36 AM on September 29, 2014


dr_dank: Oh General Motors, what would YOU know about craftsmanship?
Well, it's quite obvious they shitcanned this training video long ago.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:36 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Kirth Gerson: [Trigger Alert]

When i worked on old cars a lot, one of my essential tools was a nut-cutter just like this one.
You glorious bastard. I salute you, latte cup in hand and all.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:37 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Kadin2048, I have a nice selection of purpose-built prybars for various jobs, ranging from little 6" mini flatbars up to a 24" wonderbar. Sometimes a flathead screwdriver is still the best prying tool for the job, and that's all there is to it. Heck, sometimes the best prying tool is a utility knife. It all just depends on how small and delicate the task at hand is; are you trying to separate two glued-together plates of thin glass, or are you breaking down old pallets for firewood?

Sometimes a screwdriver, which let's face it is really just a thin wedge of flattened steel on the end of a long metal stick (complete with a handy-dandy grip that can even stand up to a little tapping with a hammer) is exactly what's needed. A specialized tool doesn't exist, because it would be pointless to invent one.

Just don't use one of my good screwdrivers, or I'll shank you.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:48 AM on September 29, 2014


Do you have any idea what damage bone will do to a screwdriver?
posted by boo_radley at 12:16 PM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


In their example they were showing a ball-peen hammer... It also has sharper corners on the face which are more likely to chip, unlike the more gently round edges of a claw hammer.

Yeah, I know what they were showing. I have still never seen one chip like that. And the face of my main ball-peen has a chamfer on it, not a sharp corner. My other ball-peen, which was somebody's shop project long ago, does have a sharp corner, but I don't use that for heavy work.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:42 PM on September 29, 2014


I have a full tool chest with lots of specialty tools bought over the years, but my favorite is an 18 inch long flathead craftsman screwdriver that has never been used to turn a screw. It's my prybar, chisel, gouger, and punch. When you're laying on a piece of cardboard under a car, sometimes it's just easier to use whatever you have with you at the time.
posted by Mr. Big Business at 1:35 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


bah anyone who tells you "just use a bigger wrench" has never had to remove a seized, cross-threaded, chemically welded (steel + Al + H2O + neglect + time = a very bad idea) or loctited (customers will often do this because they think it's the "right way" to go about silencing a squeaking crankset) bottom bracket from a bicycle frame.

this, kids, is why most bike shop wrenches are consigned to a cordoned-off area where customers can't see us manhandling your precious baby darlings. oh and the swears, because here be swears ...and just general cussedness and tomfoolery.

there have been numerous times when I tried the 2' and 3' breaker bar / "torque extender" to no avail to remove some stubbornly welded-in mangled threaded disaster and I had to call for the shop owner to bring down "Big Bertha", the 6' pipe, from upstairs where we kept her, out of sight and harm's way ("harm" in this instance would indicate teenage part-time help).

you haven't lived until you've heard the metallic squeals and pops and groans of protest emanating from someone's prized handbuilt custom steel frameset that you've enlisted a couple of shop kids to hang from either end of to stabilize the stand (which already has a sixty pound steel base plate and may or may not be actually bolted to the floor, depending) as you slowly, laboriously, degree by degree, winch the offending part free of its loving embrace, all the while sweating bullets and praying whatever damned proprietary wrench interface you're using doesn't strip or break or round off. The smoke that pours out of the BB shell when you finally triumph by sheer brute physics smells like hot grease, steel mills and victory.

I've done this to my own bikes, even, and successfully re-tapped / threaded the shell and rode off into the sunset, no harm done.

sadly modern pressfit BBs appear to be bringing an eventual end to these quaint customs, at a cost to convenience and self-reliance. I'm sure it's probably viewed as a good thing (e.g. things like red loctite, etc.) that DIY bike wrenches now are forced to take this job to the pros to have done (or spend a pretty penny on specialized tools to do it). Yeah, sure you can MacGuyver in a pressfit headset or BB with some large washers and threaded rod, but are you really going to take the risk of getting it wrong and roaching the seats with high end framesets now running in the $3-5K range alone?
posted by lonefrontranger at 2:03 PM on September 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


The smoke that pours out of the BB shell when you finally triumph by sheer brute physics smells like hot grease, steel mills and victory.

There is little in life more satisfying that the crack that accompanies a stuck fastener finally coming loose.

Thinking about it just made me smile.
posted by flaterik at 5:09 PM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm getting towards the end and he hasn't yet covered how terrible it is to use the closed end of a combination wrench as a cheater pipe/bar/lever on another combination wrench. Never done that myself, no sir.

One time at an old job we were trying to get a 2 ½" tee off of an old pipe, and someone hadn't brought the breaker bar pipe we always used, so we ended up putting a pipe wrench on the fitting and using a second pipe wrench on the back of the first and third wrench on the second. The jury-rigged assemblage was about six or seven feet long, and it took three of us pulling on it to get the fitting to move. We treated those pipe wrenches as consumables, but we only broke a couple of them. They all ended up with bent handles, though.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:43 PM on September 29, 2014


As someone that has always been somewhat of a tinkerer, I have to say that my world was rocked the first time I got to work with a precision fixture that was custom built by a real machine shop. There's something different about it, and it's immediately noticeable in your hands, from the light circular striation patterns left by the flycutter to the tolerances that are just downright scary. It's like you think you know how metal works, and then you are handed a ground, hardened, polished rod that fits into a hole reamed with just the right clearance, and it's like wtf is this sorcery. And those socket head cap machine screws with the black oxide finish — man I love those things. You get ultimate control of the amount of torque without the slightest hint of slippage or stripped heads, and they feel like they have enough clamping force to hold up a bus. I wish everything used them. I feel like a cave man when using philips head machine screws from Home Depot.

I don't really know what that had to do with the video, but that was a memory that popped into my head after reading this thread.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:59 PM on September 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


lonefrontranger, you probably already know this, but for the benefit of those who don't, red Loctite lets go at about 500 degrees F.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:17 AM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kirth Gerson, yes indeed. The catch is attempting to heat the shell to that temperature without a) setting half the shop on fire and b) risking damage to the frame itself depending on its MOC.
posted by lonefrontranger at 11:41 AM on September 30, 2014


(not to mention all the messy melty bits you'd wind up with seeing as most shitty OEM BB designs incorporate some kind of nylon / plastic washer fitting garbage)
posted by lonefrontranger at 11:43 AM on September 30, 2014


Bottom brackets are part black magic and part industrial espionage against the consumer. Never again.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:27 PM on September 30, 2014


slightest hint of slippage or stripped heads

I have stripped several of those on my motorcycle. Not the black ones, but stainless.

I think motorcycles were invented mostly to destroy fasteners.
posted by flaterik at 1:18 PM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is your bike Japanese? When I worked in a bike shop, we sold a ton of impact-drivers to Japanese-bike riders. I didn't really understand the depth of their problem until I bought a Yamaha and tried to take one of the engine side covers off. Those screws were tightened to just this side of completely immovable.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:02 PM on September 30, 2014


> they feel like they have enough clamping force to hold up a bus

I worked with a guy that claimed that small (6-32?) machine screws would be sufficient to hold wheels on a car, if properly torqued, but lug nuts are used because the manufacturers can't count on that.
posted by morganw at 6:56 PM on September 30, 2014


It is Japanese - KLR-650. And the factory bolts are super tight and made out of compressed oatmeal so they strip all the time. But these were replacement bolts, because of that!

But I just realized that all the ones that stripped were button head, not cap head, and there's a LOT less depth to work with there.
posted by flaterik at 9:09 PM on September 30, 2014


You have to make those work or drive across town to buy a tool you'll probably use once

Sometimes you've got to work with the tools you've got before you can drive anywhere at all!
posted by yohko at 1:08 AM on October 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I worked with a guy that claimed that small (6-32?) machine screws would be sufficient to hold wheels on a car, if properly torqued,

Don't believe it. 6-32 is the weakest, most-prone-to-snap thread standard on the planet. Look at the geometry of the thing - once you make the threads, there's less than a tenth of an inch left.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:54 AM on October 1, 2014


I was stunned the first time I read about the correct preload for nuts and bolts. Even for removable applications, the recommended preload is often quoted as 70% of the rating of the bolt. For mid-size bolts this means quite a bit more torque than I would normally have assumed was healthy. But if you don't put the right preload on, the bolt will actually fail earlier than if you do.

So for a 10-32 Grade 8, which has a clamp load of almost 1800 lbs (!), the recommended preload torque is 68 lb-ft dry and 51 wet. That's a fair amount of torque for a little screw.

And the factory bolts are super tight and made out of compressed oatmeal so they strip all the time.

Honda apparently built my bike with bolts that have very strong heads, but have a soft Tootsie Roll midsection, so when you're extracting them from the stupendous correct torque with which they were installed, they have a tendency to stretch out or just break along their length somewhere.

I have a couple of oil filter cover bolts that are so stretched out they look like plastic someone held over a candle.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:59 PM on October 1, 2014


Honda oil filter bolts are the specific item that prompted the shop I worked in to sell impact drivers. We also sold lots of those bolts. .
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:48 AM on October 2, 2014


Ironically I've never had a problem with THOSE. Oil changing on a KLR is super easy! Except that if you've put a real skid plate on, it's also super easy to get oil everywhere while you do it.
posted by flaterik at 1:10 PM on October 3, 2014


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