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Old June 7th, 2013, 11:10 PM
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Default TL 12 Mechanical Tool Set

I would like to expand some on what should be included in the TL 12 version of the various Mechanical/Electronic/Metalworking tool sets, plus TL 12 Ship's Engineer equipment. I'm going to divide this into four threads, starting off w some of my own ideas, and hoping to get more suggestions from y'all. This thread is for:

TL 12 Mechanical Tool Set

First, here is the description for the Mechanical Tool Set from The Traveller Book (p.109): TL 5 - 20kg - Cr1000. Includes basic tools necessary to repair and alter mechanical devices, including vehicles and guns. Calls for Mechanical skill in order to be used properly. Boxed set.

I want to try thinking of different functions of tools that would be in this set today, and then extrapolate to how these functions might be done differently w better tech.

Screwdrivers - I don't know if you can get away from swapping tips for all of the different types of fasteners you'll encounter: flat, phillips, various stars and hexes, etc. Having the tip of the tool actually morph to match the fastener seems to me beyond TL 12. I'd hope that the shaft of the thing would be very strong and flexible and powered to get into odd nooks and crannies that are hard to reach. Dunno if light and vision should be included in the tool; maybe better to have a separate generic thing for seeing into tight spots (kinda like medical laparoscopy).

Wrenches - These should come in some basic sizes - tiny, small, medium, large, very large, ginormous - and automatically adjust to fit all sizes and shapes within that size range, so you don't need different tools for inches, metric, Vilani, Aslan, etc. Socket equivalents should be flexible and powered to get into those hard to reach places. Extra leverage can be provided with a telescoping rod; materials for rod and wrenches should be strong enough that you can't break them with human physical strength.

Hammers (no, do not just use a handy wrench!) - These should cover a few different mass/size combinations, plus something like a rubber mallet. Small enough gravitics would allow some tricks with apparent mass, but that is probably beyond TL 12. Any ideas on improving these, other than better materials that won't shoot off chips when you hit something?

Pliers - Some of the function of pliers may go to our improved wrenches, but we probably still need a basic plier, slip-joint, needlenose, vice-grip, various clippers - I'm just not sure how to improve them any. Ideas?

Clamps, Files, Saws, Punches - Ideas for improvement by TL 12? Stronger, better materials - what else?

Measurement - Probably have some gadget that can scan whatever you are working on and convert it to CAD/CAM components in your hand-computer, so that you can pull out whatever measurements you need. Still some use for basic measuring tape or ruler, and various calipers for inside/outside measurements, angles, etc. Maybe something like a stud-finder that can give you a picture of cables, pipes, conduits inside walls, or would that require magi-tech above TL 12?

Drills and Lathes - Again, improved materials. Other ideas?

Chemicals - I think this could be a big area for improvement, as high-tech materials allow some temporary fixes by glues and epoxy welds to actually be permanent repairs - or at least, until the proper solvent is applied to dissolve your fix and let you put on a new part at your next vehicle maintenance in port. Probably also some improved lubes, such as super-powered WD-40 that will even work in vacuum to release vac-welded parts.

Small-part Fabricator that could create minor screws, bolts, nuts, widgets as needed from scrap metal and a file description?

Last edited by SpaceBadger; June 8th, 2013 at 02:18 AM.. Reason: added links to connected threads
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Old June 7th, 2013, 11:35 PM
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One of the most basic functions for mechanical repairs includes:

Holding and Manipulating
Currently performed by wrenches and screwdrivers and pliers.
What about magnetic grippers that 'grab' the object without relying on pressure?
So the Magnetic Screwdriver has a clay-like tip that molds into and over the bolt or screw (any shape) and holds tight until you press the release button.
The Magnetic Wrench functions the same way, but has a long handle for leverage.
The Magnetic Clamp will fix itself to a surface and grab on to another surface holding any object secure in any position. It includes long telescoping segments with universal joints to adjust the position of the grippers to suit the task.

Putting it all together, the MagDriver removes the restraining screws from the access cover and the long articulated MagWrench reaches around the drive housing to grab and twist the filter assemblies free from their sockets. One end of the MagClamp is secured to the wall and the telescoping segments adjusted so the second plate is at the optimal location to function as a temporary workbench. Then the Filter Assembly is attached to the MagClamp to hold it at the perfect angle and height for hands-free work. The MagDriver makes quick work of disassembly, unphased by the unusual double-star bolt heads and non-Imperial screw sizes. There is the problem, the restraining collar is cracked and needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, we don't have a spare ... (to be continued).

Last edited by atpollard; June 7th, 2013 at 11:55 PM..
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Old June 7th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
One of the most basic functions for mechanical repairs includes:

Holding and Manipulating
Currently performed by wrenches and screwdrivers and pliers.
What about magnetic grippers that 'grab' the object without relying on pressure?
So the Magnetic Screwdriver has a clay-like tip that molds into and over the bolt or screw (any shape) and holds tight until you press the release button.
The Magnetic Wrench functions the same way, but has a long handle for leverage.
The Magnetic Clamp will fix itself to a surface and grab on to another surface holding any object secure in any position. It includes long telescoping segments with universal joints to adjust the position of the grippers to suit the task.

Putting it all together, the MagDriver removes the restraining screws from the access cover and the long articulated MagWrench reaches around the drive housing to grab and twist the filter assemblies free from their sockets. One end of the MagClamp is secured to the wall and the telescoping segments adjusted so the second plate is at the optimal location to function as a temporary workbench. Then the Filter Assembly is attached to the MagClamp to hold it at the perfect angle and height for hands-free work. The MagDriver makes quick work of disassembly, unphased by the unusual double-star bolt heads and non-Imperial screw sizes. There is the problem, the restraining color is cracked and needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, we don't have a spare ... (to be continued).
I like these, as they address the problem of switching out screwdriver tips and reduce the number of wrenches from the six I had down to just one (although you probably need two or three in practice, for use on multiple parts at the same time).

Do you think "magnetic" would be a strong enough grip for turning stuck bolts etc? That was my concern about positing a universal screwdriver tip; if it were malleable enough to reshape itself as needed, would it be strong enough for breaking loose stuck screws?

I don't claim to understand the exact physics, but I know I have broken more wrenches and sockets than I want to remember by adding too much leverage and exerting too much oomph in efforts to free a stuck bolt. Would the magnetic grip be strong enough to hold that bolt, even if we have already stated that the tools themselves are strong enough not to break?
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Old June 7th, 2013, 11:55 PM
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Cutting and Welding
Another basic mechanical repair function involves cutting things apart and sticking things together. Plasma Cutters (micro and macro sized) make short work of any job that traditionally required a saw or drill. Multi-spectral Tunable Laser welders allow precise control of depth and temperature to fuse a wide variety of materials together. With the computerized sensor options, it can even be programmed to fuse dissimilar materials together.
For joining materials that cannot be fused, there is either ChemWeld or EpoxyBond (caution, use only as directed and carefully follow all manufacturer guidelines. Not for use on Superdense or Bonded Superdense).

Grabing the PlazCutter, you quickly clean the edge of the restraining collar at the crack and the MST Laser quickly fuses the pieces back together. You've done this before and know to spray the piece with the MBrittle chemical hardener. That will hold until you can get a replacement ... (to be continued).
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Old June 8th, 2013, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
I like these, as they address the problem of switching out screwdriver tips and reduce the number of wrenches from the six I had down to just one (although you probably need two or three in practice, for use on multiple parts at the same time).

Do you think "magnetic" would be a strong enough grip for turning stuck bolts etc? That was my concern about positing a universal screwdriver tip; if it were malleable enough to reshape itself as needed, would it be strong enough for breaking loose stuck screws?

I don't claim to understand the exact physics, but I know I have broken more wrenches and sockets than I want to remember by adding too much leverage and exerting too much oomph in efforts to free a stuck bolt. Would the magnetic grip be strong enough to hold that bolt, even if we have already stated that the tools themselves are strong enough not to break?
Good question.
If we assume current super-magnet gripping power, then it should be strong enough to hold it tighter than any human grip, so let's assume that by TL 12 they have magnets. Strong as needed.

Now for the tip.
What if the clay tip were naturally soft, like a plastic foam, with metal embedded in it. Perhaps the super magnet that grips the screw could hold the metal sand in place, temporarily fusing the driver, head and screw into one piece. In this case, breaking the head results in a simple slipping off the bolt. Turn the magnet off and the metal sand head returns to its soft natural shape, press the tip over the bolt, turn on the magnet and try again.
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Old June 8th, 2013, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
Good question.
If we assume current super-magnet gripping power, then it should be strong enough to hold it tighter than any human grip, so let's assume that by TL 12 they have magnets. Strong as needed.

Now for the tip.
What if the clay tip were naturally soft, like a plastic foam, with metal embedded in it. Perhaps the super magnet that grips the screw could hold the metal sand in place, temporarily fusing the driver, head and screw into one piece. In this case, breaking the head results in a simple slipping off the bolt. Turn the magnet off and the metal sand head returns to its soft natural shape, press the tip over the bolt, turn on the magnet and try again.
Good enough for me! Thanks!!!
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Old June 8th, 2013, 12:49 AM
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Fabricating New Parts
So, another basic mechanical function is making new parts by removing material from a block of metal, or adding material to an existing piece. For fabricating an entire simple part from nothing, I suspect that a Dot Matrix Fabricator that will print a simple part one thin layer at a time will be a practical approach. On the other hand, what if only a tiny piece is missing from a large object? Universal Putty could be used to mold an oversized lump over the missing piece and allow 1 hour for it to bond and fully harden.

Pulling the second filter assembly went as easily as the first, but disassembly revealed a completely different set of problems. The restraining collar had completely disintegrated and the internal turbine had enough play to hit the casing. Fortunately the Superdense turbine blades were fine, but the same could not be said for the external casing. There was a 5 x 7 cm hole in the casing. The hole is too big to patch with Universal Putty. Printing another complete casing would take almost a full day and use up virtually all of your stock of PrintableMetal. Fortunately, you know a trick. Using the TriD Scanner you create a 3D model of the hole, invert it, and print just the piece to fill the hole. Of course the ceramic casing can't be fused, but you can use the PlasTorch to cut away both the edge of the hole and the edge of the patch, leaving just a 2mm gap ... the perfect size to fill with Universal Putty. Making sure to coat both surfaces, you press the patch into the hole and leave lots of putty squeezing out past the edges. It is always a stronger patch of you overfill and cut away the excess than if you need to patch over a patch. The Universal Gripper is great for holding the piece while the putty hardens. Cutting away most of the excess with the PlazCutter is fast and easy, but that restraining collar and turbine are not forgiving of variations in the interior of the casing, so the job of removing the final layers and polishing the inner surface falls to NuclearSander (no it is not fusion powered, it projects a beam that attacks molecular bonds and 'sands' a surface to sub-nanometer tolerances.) While you were repairing the casing, the printer was fabricating a new restraining collar (at ten times what the part would have cost at a starport), so you are ready to put it all back together.

After a quick diagnostic check, everything is working, passengers are once again enjoying the zero-G jacuzzi, the captain is happy, so that makes the chief engineer happy which keeps your life happy. It feels like beer-thirty and tonight is Mojito Night.

END.

Last edited by atpollard; June 8th, 2013 at 01:00 AM..
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Old June 9th, 2013, 01:44 AM
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I thought of another hammer variation for use in zero-G, esp on the outside of the ship. Solenoid hammer, with magnetic grip to hold it in place so it doesn't fly away from recoil effect. Place it exactly where you want it, engage the magnetic grip to hold it there, set how hard of an impact you want, set it for one tap or multiple, engage solenoid. Call it a MagHammer in keeping w other names that atpollard invented.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Lubrication Application Tools.
your basic grease gun, can of WD40, and spray graphite.
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Old June 9th, 2013, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Lubrication Application Tools.
your basic grease gun, can of WD40, and spray graphite.
How will this spray graphite (or any spray for what's worth) work in zero G? Will they leave floating particles (with its explosión risk if in atmosphere)?

And how will vacuum affect spray performaces?

I sincerely don't know.
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