[hackerspaces] Tool ID tools?

Nathaniel Bezanson myself at telcodata.us
Fri Sep 18 06:11:21 CEST 2015

I run a semi-sporadic fasteners-and-fastening-tools class, externally known as Fasteners 101, internally known as "Screw-U". I haven't written down a syllabus, but it's basically this: 
I start with safety glasses, then dive right into https://www.i3detroit.org/wiki/Handheld_Drills and we go over the types of drill bits and types of sockets. Anyone who hasn't used every tool in the table gets a chance to try one out. (Yes, sometimes we punch holes in a cinder block to demonstrate the masonry bits.) 
Riffing on the impact driver for a bit, I keep a stock of small woodscrews that take a #1 and invite people to try to drive them with the ubiquitous #2 phillips bit. When it makes that horrible noise, we talk about the noise and how it means that something is wrong, then go into sizes of phillips heads and drivers, and how to tell that a bit is hopelessly worn-out. We cull through the bit-bin and find the "bad and making other things bad" bits that've built up, and throw them out. 
I haven't worked JIS screws into the curriculum yet, but have a personal set of Hozan drivers and I'm not sure how to approach that. We don't see much Pozidriv or Frearson here, thankfully. 
We then talk about the different types of threaded fasteners, primarily breaking it into machine screws, wood screws, and drywall screws. I grab some scrap wood for a demo of how a full-thread drywall screw can leave the pieces stood-off, while the unthreaded portion of a wood screw allows them to pull together. That's usually enough for the attention span of an intro class, so we clean up and call it there. 
As for other basic hand tools, we haven't had much issue except that someone always tries to cut steel with the big copper loppers, and my response to that has just been to keep a personal pair in my member storage. We've been unsuccessful in keeping a pair of those in good shape for very long, so clearly there's room for improvement in our training. (I'd love to find a way to make tools that know when they're being used improperly and just shock the shit out of the culprit, but as of yet they seem to evade detection.) 
In general, Shirley, I would aim for posters that hang right behind/above where the tools themselves are stored, rather than trying to put the info on the tool itself. The above table of drills is hanging right above the drill rack: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwixson/15623934637/
Also, simple silhouettes with names can help a ton, both at getting things put away, and at helping noobs learn the terms for what they're using. Finding more info is easier given a name: https://www.flickr.com/photos/screamingflamingdeath/6023908803/

-Nate B-
Shirley Hicks  wrote:
> > On Sep 17, 2015, at 8:19 PM, Joshua Pritt <ramgarden at gmail.com> wrote:
> You could always create a bunch of wiki pages with pictures of the tool and all that info. But it would require the user to find it on the wiki themselves.  Maybe have an index page with just the tool thumbnails. Then they click on the one that looks like it and bam!  All the info they could want! 
> Otherwise putting a small QR code on there that links to that tool's wiki page?
That’s all done for the power tools and more complicated hand tools. 
My concern is setting up setting up some sort of field identification for the complete noob so that they can determine when to use what type of wire strippers, needlenose pliers and tube wire wraps (the type that shrink onto a splice), a phillips versus a star versus a robertson screwdriver, and 000 versus a #6.  All the really small stuff. 
— Shirley
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