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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Anyone else hate working with those small Allen wrenches?

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Apr 4th, 2018 10:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

The truss rod adjustment Allen wrench supplied by Fender is ok, but those little 1 mm ones for adjusting saddle screws are awkward to use, especially for an old fart...

So I did this...

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Apr 4th, 2018 10:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

...another view..

I cut off a small section of a wood closet pole, drilled a hole through it just slightly smaller than the width of the wrench, and with a Dremel, cut a notch along the top so that the short angled part would set into, then covered it with some glue and a toothpick..then hit with a sander...

it's crude but it works really good.


I'm curious if anyone else has come up with another way of making it easier to use these things

View from top

(This message was last edited by Guitar Fool at 12:22 PM, Apr 4th, 2018)

RicOkc

Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Apr 4th, 2018 11:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've been using one of these for years.

It solves the "small driver" issues, and it's perfect for adjusting bridge saddles.

.050 driver

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Apr 4th, 2018 12:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

cool......I i figured someone built a better mousetrap...and it's nice and cheap too....

I'll put it on my to do list...

Peegoo
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Buena Buena
Apr 4th, 2018 12:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

Makes 'em harder to lose, too!

My setup tools contain a modified steel thickness gauge. What I did was remove two leaves from a thickness gauge (the .012" and the .020"). I attached them together with a small screw, trim washers, and Nylock nut. This prevents having to search through the stack of leaves on a big fat gauge to pull the two most-used leaves out.

The 12 is for setting neck relief, and the 20 is for nut action at the first fret.

If I need to read a guitar (determine the current setup), then I pull out the full-up thickness gauge.

I also make tool handles for small files and hex keys. The best stuff I've found is fluted hardwood dowels. These are available pre-made, in various diameters. They have flutes on the sides to assist with gripping and turning. And they're cheap!

Find these in your local hardware store in the tools department. All you gotta do is drill a hole in the end and epoxy the tool in.

These

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Apr 4th, 2018 03:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Proof that there are more ways than one to skin a cat.....

one of the reasons why I love this place..
great info

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Apr 4th, 2018 03:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a couple of those .050 allens with the screwdriver handle. I bought them when I was a kid playing with slot cars and still have them. They are a bit shorter now due to refinishing the tips due to wear.

I have a couple of other sizes too. The only way to go.

I color code my stuff too. Ok, now I want the red one. I learned this when in the bicycle business where you were going between metric and SAE all the time. I had a ratchet handle for each size socket.

(This message was last edited by Hammond101 at 11:54 AM, Apr 5th, 2018)

vomer
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Apr 4th, 2018 04:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

Handy! And you could write the size on the wood.

Peegoo
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Buena Buena
Apr 5th, 2018 02:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

Another cool trick is to use the ends of guitar strings (the cutoffs after you string up) as thickness gauges. For example:

Epoxy (or gel CA) a piece of .012" string onto half a Popsicle stick so the string extends about 1" from the end of the stick. Pass the tip of the string between the low E and the 8th fret when measuring neck relief.

This is better than a thickness gauge because you'll see the string gauge bend if the gap is too tight. Write the gauge thickness on the stick with a Sharpie.

More: need a 3/32" thickness gauge? The plain end of a 3/32" drill bit. Etc...

Hex keys can be used the same way, but they can be tricky because they have flats and corners--and that can throw you off.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Apr 5th, 2018 06:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

I made these about 20 years ago. They have been in my little guitar tech tool box ...

... ever since.

Leftee
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VA

Apr 5th, 2018 07:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

Pretty cool stuff in this thread - as is always the case around here. (-:



Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Apr 5th, 2018 07:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

nice work Blondie...that is probably what mine will eventually morph into...prototype first!

and Peegoo...you put McIver to shame my friend...

wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Apr 5th, 2018 08:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

When you come across saddle height screws that have heads filled up with dead skin and guck, take a one-inch length of a G-string and put in in your dremel chuck like a drill bit. On low speed it will clean out the socket.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Apr 5th, 2018 09:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

Here's another one I use to change discs on my pneumatic cut off tool.

It hangs on a peg ...

... in the garage.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Apr 5th, 2018 10:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I like that suggestion wrnch, I've been using a dental pick and it can be quite slow. I will upgrade to the motorized version.

I really should go through my automotive tool box and find all the special tools and helping hand items I've built over the years. Window crank removers, bearing drivers, gages, lots of stuff.

Peegoo
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Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 5th, 2018 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

Any true toolie will have several (sometimes a lot) of homemade tools in the box.

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

What is wrong with men being men?
Apr 7th, 2018 07:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

yes sir that is correct....

my wife looks at them in amazement..."what does this do?"

Peegoo
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Buena Buena
Apr 7th, 2018 10:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

"It does something that no tool you can buy will do."

Inventing and improving stuff is a lot of fun and makes life a lot easier. I like that 'large knob' idea of yours. I may try that with some old Gibson speed knobs.

That would be cool.

"My little hex wrenches all go to eleven."

Peegoo
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Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 7th, 2018 10:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I color code my stuff too. Ok, now I want the red one. I learned this when in the bicycle business where you were going between metric and SAE all the time. I had a ratchet handle for each size socket."


That is a fantastic idea. I'm going to do that with my two 8" Proto adjustable wrenches, because I usually grab the metric one when I need the SAE wrench, and vice-versa.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Anyone else hate working with those small Allen wrenches?




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