An unconventional tool

Thread Starter

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
916
I saw this on YouTube a while back and had to give it a try.

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What it is is a seam ripper normally used for sewing. The guy online was using it to cut loose fitting woven tape used as harness material. I have found it does work awesome for that as well as normal electrical tape, woven plastic loom, fiberglass tape, and multiconductor cable. I found a two pack and the smaller one works great for Ethernet cable.
There was a plastic ball on the blunt end that fell off the first time I used it, but it hasn't caused a problem with this one.
Pardon the dirt and grime. This is my work one so it sees plenty of grease.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,893
Seam rippers are just one common tool that is very useful in electronics. Another one that I have found extremely useful are dental picks. They make probing circuits very easy, as well as moving small SMD components around on a circuit board and breaking and cleaning up solder bridges on fine-pitched components.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
6,080
Ah, memories. My mother was often heard running around the house asking, “have you seen my little green ripper?” She did not do electronics.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
27,686
Tips from the past
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I used to steal the hairdressing clips from my sisters. I used them for heat sinks on the leads of germanium transistors when soldering.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,492
I use them to hold components in place when soldering. For heat sinks when soldering I use the solid copper alligator clips in various sizes and the flat "Duck Bill" ones also.
 

Thread Starter

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
916
I figured I wasn't the only one to have found the secret, but it worked so well I wanted to share. The picks and hair clips may find their way in to my box also...
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,492
That reminds me of the PDP-11 rack computer we had that was overheating. Solution: run an instrument/dry compressed air tubing over to it for forced air cooling directly on the processor. Worked that way for several years before we upgraded.
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
433
A seam ripper was very handy when an alternator fault fused the wiring harness in the most unreachable part the dash into a molten blob in our 1976 GMC Motorhome.

GM designers saved a few cents by using a nichrome wire as a resistor in the alternator circuit. Ten feet of nichrome. To keep it neat and tidy, they bundled it with the main wiring harness running from the fuse block on one side of the dash to the instrument panel on the other. Well, not just bundled, but wrapped around the wiring harness.

The internal voltage regulator of the alternator failed. The alternator shop said the alternator was putting out over 95 volts (top of scale) when they tested it....turning the nichrome wire into a toaster wire. Fortunately, we knew what the problem was and ended up only with a molten blob in the wiring instead of a fire!

Working through the holes in the dash, we managed to separate out some wires that weren't damaged, some that were, and needed new sections spliced in, and a bunch that just had to be cut out en masse and sorted out. Why did they have so many different circuits using orange wire in that harness?!? We managed to get everything back together with only a few mixed up connections.

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