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Subject: Tool tip and time savers
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lamadriver1948User is Offline
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JH Veteran
Posts:29

04/09/2008 10:47 PM  
I was wondering if some of you would like to share tool tips and time savers. I recently read about a guy who uses a stubby flatblade screwdriver with a smalll notch cut in it for removing those pesky circlips inside the 205/212/412 T/R driveshaft couplings. I like to use the Brunton six LED headlight (available at Sportsman's Warehouse and a few other outlets) for doing all my inside the ship maintenance, mostly cause I can't see as well as when I was younger but primarily because it frees my hands to do more work. The Brunton has four AA batteries in two packets. It puts out a lot of light and for a long time. Anyone else got a tip or time saver? Let's hear from you.
ms0134User is Offline
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JH Member
Posts:8

04/21/2008 12:03 PM  
I'm a new mechanic and will be finishing up school in the not to distant future. I'm interested in what everyone would consider the basic "Have-to-have-it" tools. I have a pretty good basic set but I'm wondering if there's things I haven't thought of. Also do I need to invest in Metric tools? Thanks, Mike
HelofxrUser is Offline

Posts:5

04/22/2008 8:04 PM  
You will acquire those "speciality" tools as you go. It's not uncommon to take-for example- an $18 wrench and heat it, twist it, grind it for one unusual job. But, sometimes, it beats having to take more of the helicopter apart than necessary. My mainstay after 32 years in this business is Craftsman tools. You can find a Sears almost anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I have a few Snap-On and Matco. It just depends on where you're at and what the helicopter needs as to when and what you buy. If you're married, tell the wife the your new-and expensive- tools are a tax deduction. Don't be afraid to buy what you need. And have a lot of trust to those you may lend them to.....They may not come back at all; or be so badly damaged they are not useable anymore.
Mech/PilotUser is Offline
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Posts:37

04/23/2008 3:26 PM  
For circlips I use my tiny Jeweler's screwdrivers, or my "dental" picks. I like specialty tools, but hate to pay for them if I can cross-utitlize the mundane. I took a retired latch bolt from a 206 MRH & ground down the threads to smaller diameter, to use as a "bullet" for assembling MRH during overhauls, strap change, excluder seal change, etc. I have 4-ea .25 inch bolts with heads ground off, for use as "bullets" when opening a swash plate for friction adjust or for build-up. I cut off an ignition wrench, drilled a hole thru the remaining handle & riveted it to a flattened piece of stainless tubing for adjusting idle speeds on Allison 250. An old broken screw driver handle can be used for the long handle as well. When working on a 206 series Xmsn, you can hoist MRH, mast & all to gain access underneath. On a B-Model or OH-58A or C, you can leave the fwd ends of the dog legs LOOSE-INSTALLED ( ! ) & gently hoist /swing the pylon components up/fwd to swap out the stop pin, etc.
lamadriver1948User is Offline
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Posts:29

04/24/2008 2:00 PM  
Ditto on the Allison 250 idle tool. I used the screwdriver handle approach. Works good. I always keep a few long 3/16, 1/4 and 5/16 inch AN bolts with the heads cut off in my box in case I have to re-assemble something in layers like fuel cells and covers. Helps to cut a screwdriver slot in the non-threaded end to help turn them. I've found a good assortment of 1/4 and 3/8 drive tubing-type crowsfeet (Snap-on AN85086B series) can really save me a lot of assembly/disassembly work at times.
bravesfan10User is Offline
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JH Newbie
Posts:1

06/22/2008 11:20 AM  
I agree with what was said previously.. You will acquire 'special' tools as you go. Also you will get ideas for manufacturing your own. A general rule that I go by.. If you have to borrow it twice, you should buy it or make it for your collection.
Mech/PilotUser is Offline
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Posts:37

08/29/2008 11:45 PM  
Those six-point "crow's feet" ( if that's the proper name ? ) are a beautiful thing. You can put them on a socket extension to really nice effect. I recently showed a newbie how to back up the union going into the fuel Eng-Driven Fuel Pump on a C-20 with this so that we could loosen the gorilla-tightened line w/o backing out the union. I also found two from Snap-On that are 12-point: a 5/8" & I THINK 3/4" which rarely gets used. They were designed for some GM suspension. The 5/8" 12-point on a long 3/8" extension is LUVLY for tweaking the outlet fitting on an Allison 250 sump can during leak checks. You can take small "bites" when tightening in this cluttered area without having to swing a wrench under that 6K RPM driveshaft. The slot is offset, so you can flip it on the extension to get a better angle.
magictoolUser is Offline
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JH Newbie
Posts:4

04/13/2009 10:21 AM  
An extensive selection of extensions for your sockets are essential. Twelve point sockets are also a must. Special tools are best made or purchased as needed. Headlamps rule, and put a flashlight on the handle of your inspection mirror to facilitate one handed viewing. SAE or Metric depends upon the aircraft(s) you will be working on. Good luck and enjoy.
mickman77User is Offline

Posts:5

06/27/2009 1:25 PM  
The handiest flashlight i've ever owned was bought off of a Snap-On truck. It had a single LED unshielded bulb on the end of an 18" "stem" that could be bent into ANY direction, used 3 AA batteries and, was almost indestructible. It worked fantastically for looking through spark plug holes to check for piston damage after an overspeed in motorcycle engines. As I remember, it wasn't all that expensive either.
FletchUser is Offline
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JH Newbie
Posts:3

08/11/2009 5:37 PM  
I found a plastic 2 inch magnafying glass on an extendabe rod like an inspection mirror. Great for reading part numbers buried deep in engine bays or inspecting compressor blades. I also cut down a flat blade screwdriver to make a circlip remover on the 212/412 couplings. Grind in at the tip at about a 45' angle to the end face. You can hook the point in and lift the circlip out. Buy one set of expensive wrenchs and one set you can grind and bend.
oldwarriorpilotUser is Offline
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JH Member
Posts:22

08/21/2009 1:43 PM  

You always seem to need 2 of everything so I have 2 wrench sets, 2 socket sets (1 six point, 1 twelve point) etc.

For those special tools, I stop by the local Pawn shop and buy tools at pennys on the dollar. I have a box full of cheap tools that I chop and modify for all those special things.

Note: keep a list of what special tools you build and I even vibro etch the tool itself.


was once bold, now just old
meyerflyrUser is Offline
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JH Member
Posts:22

08/27/2009 1:11 PM  
Wait until you get hired by a company and get thier "recommened" tool list. A basic tool kit, with 2 of everything is a good idea. Shadow your box if you can (makes inventory quick). Mark all of your tools (paint, eteched, whatever). Take a photo of each drawer, paste it to the list (inventory) of each drawer. This is so your not the one who caused the FOD because you didn't inventory your box after a completed task, also this photo-inventory, if in the event that your box is stolen or damaged...Insurance claims are easier. I'm the QC manager for FLT. Training center w/20 airplanes, (I'm the only rotorhead A&P/IA & pilot). But that is the way I set up the progam with my mech.'s boxes. A rotor mech also indexes (mark's direction of rotation etc.) all parts BEFORE disassembly. These fixed-wing use to laugh @ me...Until some cowlings got mixed up...Now that they see the value! Good Luck, I've got 29+ and hope to get 30 more.
369DUser is Offline
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JH Newbie
Posts:1

02/19/2010 10:33 AM  
Im needing a tool case for personal hand tools to take into the field.
Have to fly with tools to locations . Anyone have critique for Platt, Pelican or any other brand(s) good or bad?? I need something that will hold up thru a couple of seasons at least. Thanks!
HeloHealerUser is Offline
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JH Newbie
Posts:1

03/18/2010 10:11 PM  
I know silly puddy is for kids but it works great for copying S/N off data tags that you can't look directly at... I keep an egg of it in my toolbox..
peri helixUser is Offline
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JH Newbie
Posts:4

09/17/2010 9:05 AM  
For all the Rolls Royce/allison guys out there, a tip for thr fuel nozzle screen inspection. I have a small pen light, I modified many years ago to do the N2 turbine nut 500 hour inspection, with a mini mag-lite bulb soldered onto a length of two #20 solid wires. I now use it for the fuel nozzle screen inspection. I have found that you can set the fuel nozzle screen on it, supporting it, while you have a very close look at the screen with a ten power loupe.
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