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Old 12-07-2012, 03:09 AM   #1
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Improvised tools?


I need some clever makeshift-tool ideas. I write tool-user articles for a national kids magazine and am now putting together an article called 'Tools When There Aren't Any.' So far have: the classic garden hose water level, using tape as a clamp substitute, and the pencil-on-a-string circle maker. Readers are a million and a half boys, age ten through eighteen.

So what are your best tool-user improvisations? Can be for outdoor survival, or kitchen to carpentry - whatever - so long as it's a safe substitute tool. The object is to encourage kids to think on their feet, carefully, when they don't have the right tool for the job, and to judge when not to use a substitute tool. Thanks.


Last edited by Msmontana; 12-07-2012 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:14 AM   #2
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Using parts of your body instead of a tape measure.
Measure from finger tip to finger tip. Should come out to pretty close to your height.

Teach them how to pace off a distance. Just measure there foot and have them walk on foot in front of the other and have them do the math to figure out how far it is.

Here's how to figure a trees height.
http://www.csgnetwork.com/treeheightcalc.html

God bless you for trying to teach common since, most often it's like trying to teach a pig to sing, all it does is upset the pig.

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Old 12-07-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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Measure 3-4-5 for square. Or any mutiples of it.
so measure 6" on one leg, 8" on the other and you should get 10" on the diagonal.

NO table saw, use a saw guide for nice straight cuts.https://www.google.ca/search?q=homem...JuaZiALi2IHYDw
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:21 PM   #4
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Nylon string will cut PVC pipe- so I'm told
Pipes make excellent rollers to move heavy objects such as boilers and heavy pallets.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Nylon string will cut PVC pipe- so I'm told
Pipes make excellent rollers to move heavy objects such as boilers and heavy pallets.
That is true!
Use the string to pull wire underground and you will cut a slot in the pipe.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:25 AM   #6
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Peice of tape on the of a bolt will hold the bolt in a socket. A short peice of rubber hose to start a spark plug with out cross threads.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:33 AM   #7
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the rubber hose works great
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
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That is true!
Use the string to pull wire underground and you will cut a slot in the pipe.
Didn't know that part But I've heard you guys repair broken conduit with it
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:10 AM   #9
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Improvised tools?


Quote:
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Nylon string will cut PVC pipe- so I'm told
Pipes make excellent rollers to move heavy objects such as boilers and heavy pallets.
-Round fence posts work for this too, we used some to move my laundry into position when shifting my house.
-Hot melt glue sticks, or one of those plastic tongues from t&g plywood or chipboard subflooring to check you have a smooth curve when doing wood turning
-I once saw a lazy suzan type stand on which to sit items for spray painting etc, that was made from a old computer HDD & a disc of MDF. I would never have thought of that one!
-A scrap of fibre-cement board works well for marking cut and fold lines on stone coated steel roof tiles.
-A wedge shaped wood scrap to hold a door open.
-An offcut of EPDM roofing wrapped around a stubborn plastic jar or bottle lid, helps you grip it easier to turn it. This is also effective when the leather grip on a shinai (kendo sword) twists out of the correct position, or when disassembling/reassembling one to replace split staves.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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I'm going to adapt several of these great ideas. Much appreciated - what a valuable website. My purpose is to get kids to turn off their electronic devices and join the real 3D world of DIY. You helped.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:40 PM   #11
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Well there was a time when I tied a string to a hammer as make shift plumb bob. It did the job but would have been more convenient if I have the actual too. It's great though if you know these alternative. It will come in handy at times when the actual tool is nowhere to be found.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:33 AM   #12
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You can sometimes use a string and pencil or pen for a clamp. Tie the string loosely around the item, then slide the pencil under the string and twist it until taut. I've used this trick gluing chair legs.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:13 AM   #13
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I think different knots are indispensable, such as a clove hitch or taut-line hitch. I find myself using different knots all the time for various projects. Unless of course your national kids magazine is for the BSA, then they should already know their knots.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:20 PM   #14
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Punching holes with a sharpened pipe.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #15
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I didn't have an oxygen sensor socket, so I took a combination wrench and cut a slot in the box end so I could pass the O2 sensor wire through.

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