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Unread 11-13-2017, 09:31 PM
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The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

What are the tools you can't get through FRC build season without (or wouldn't want to)?
I asked another question on Facebook and here are the answers. I tried my best to compile the best bits of the conversation and remove duplicates, etc but I probably missed some stuff.

Allen Gregory
K. Verdeyen
B. Simons
A. Spears
E. Morrison
  • We use a Dewalt DW328 with a stand from Swag Offroad, been our best tool since 2016
  • Clecos! I'm always amazed how many people don't know what they are. We don't do sheetmetal but we use a TON of versaframe and they're great for that too.

C. Cash
V. Pham
  • Something simple, but gets very handy: a rubber mallet. Could never build a robot without one.

N. Coussens
  • Clevis and air rivet gun cannot be stressed enough. Also never enough Allen key sets for when students inevitably use them. Quality diagonal cutters. Also just a brass cylinder is super useful whenever you need to bang on something but don't want a mallet. Put a counterbore into one end of the brass cylinder and it's really nice for when you need to tap on the outer race of a bearing or something.

B. Leverette

R. Stockton
J. Zondag
P. Francis
J. Chong
J. Killian
I. Rife
R. Oakley
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Last edited by AllenGregoryIV : 11-13-2017 at 11:21 PM.
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Unread 11-13-2017, 10:09 PM
Mike Marandola Mike Marandola is offline
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

A few of the non obvious tools:

-RAGE4 chop saw - Much faster and cleaner cuts than a bandsaw. I wouldn't use this without changing to a blade made for aluminum.

-Bessey 90 degree clamp - Great for quickly fastening corners. Worth $20

-A quality label maker

-1-2-3 blocks - Use them for mill setups, holding small parts, and much more. They are too cheap to not have.

-Swivel deburring tool - Use for deburring long straights and inside curves of metal and plastic. I prefer Noga

-Automatic center punches - Husky is ok because of the warranty but you can easily get Starrett punches on eBay for under $20 shipped.

-Self adjusting wire stripper
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Last edited by Mike Marandola : 11-13-2017 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Added tools
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Unread 11-13-2017, 10:39 PM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

Cold Saw for nice accurate cuts.

Lathe with Quick Change tool post (BXA)
+1 on correct grooving tool

Klein off set 3/8 & 7/16 reversible box wrench ( covers both #10 and 1/2 inch nuts)

6 inch calipers, 1 inch micrometer, 6 inch 16R rule
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Unread 11-13-2017, 10:47 PM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InFlight View Post
Cold Saw for nice accurate cuts.

Lathe with Quick Change tool post (BXA)
+1 on correct grooving tool

Klein off set 3/8 & 7/16 reversible box wrench ( covers both #10 and 1/2 inch nuts)

6 inch calipers, 1 inch micrometer, 6 inch 16R rule
Think ya meant 1/4"

Now that im here ill add some:

These are great for when you drop E-clips, shaft collars and just about anything other than plastic or aluminum inside your robot or boxtube - http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/te...-0586833p.html

For welding or just holding a piece to something when you dont have a vice, vice grips work really well - http://www.irwin.com/tools/brands/vise-grip

Lastly, these are basically the only wrenches we use, they are small, and really good for basically anything, since the ends are capped you dont have to worry about aligning the wrench on the nut - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.1...iABEgKljvD_BwE
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Unread 11-13-2017, 10:53 PM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

I've sworn by these snips, they were very good in d̶e̶s̶t̶r̶o̶y̶i̶n̶g̶ tearing down field zip ties at our local offseason.

https://www.amazon.com/CHP-170-Stand.../dp/B076M3ZHBV

They're also sold by Adafruit and probably some other vendors fairly cheaply.
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Unread 11-13-2017, 11:24 PM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

A bench vise that's bolted to a workbench.
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Unread 11-13-2017, 11:29 PM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_forbes View Post
A bench vise that's bolted to a workbench.
I bought this one about 4 years ago, it's still working well.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We've also used these sometimes as well. Come in handy at events.
https://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-H3245-6-Inch-Vise-Brake/dp/B0000DD4UW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510633890&sr=8-1&keywords=vise+break
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Unread 11-14-2017, 12:09 AM
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Maybe I'm taking this question too literally and not revealing some hidden gem, but narrow Vice Grip/locking pliers are maybe the most used gripping tool in our shop.

https://m.lowes.com/pd/IRWIN-6-in-Lo...iABEgJC-PD_BwE


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Unread 11-14-2017, 01:01 AM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

High Torque Allen Keys:
https://www.mcmaster.com/#high-torque-hex-keys/

These have a modified hex profile that makes them incredibly resistant to stripping - even on tiny sizes of ball end versions. I've been using these almost 10 years now, and have yet to strip one. I'll never buy regular hex keys again after using these.
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Unread 11-14-2017, 01:42 AM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

This horizontal bandsaw. It cuts down long metal tubes and has been for the past 5 years.
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Unread 11-14-2017, 02:06 AM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

My computer (13" rMBP)
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Unread 11-14-2017, 06:56 AM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

+1 for Allenís arbor press.

We use an ammeter (50A) frequently, to find friction so we can fix it.
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Unread 11-14-2017, 08:27 AM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenGregoryIV View Post
We got this Arbor Press over the summer for around $200 with one of the MSC free shipping and 30% off coupons.
It's the cheapest press I could find that will do 1/2" Hex broaching in one stroke. https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/00231290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Wallace View Post
+1 for Allen’s arbor press.
Does this work well in practice? Seems like the 1/2" hex broach is nearly as long as the "max working height" of the press, which would only let you broach thin stuff.
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Unread 11-14-2017, 11:03 AM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

Powerpole Crimper:
https://powerwerx.com/tricrimp-power...-crimping-tool

Powerpole terminals and ends:
https://powerwerx.com/anderson-power...-sb-connectors

Ferrule Crimper & Ferrules:
https://www.amazon.com/Crimping-Erno...+crimper&psc=1
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Unread 11-14-2017, 12:07 PM
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Re: The tools you can't get through FRC build season without?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Laverdure View Post
Does this work well in practice? Seems like the 1/2" hex broach is nearly as long as the "max working height" of the press, which would only let you broach thin stuff.
So far yes, the first inch or two of the broach goes into a half inch hole with only light pressure. You could start it in a lathe with no real danger to your bearings or for quick stuff you can start it by hand then press the rest of the way on the press. We drilled a hole in our workbench to allow the broach to fall through.

I've also heard heard of team's boring the press to allow the broach to fit inside it for a an inch or two and keep the broach straight. We haven't done this yet though.
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