Tool of the Trade

New to PC silencing? Read & post your questions here. Dedicated to rosy_toes.

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Tool of the Trade

Post by pster » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:03 am


Long time reader and first time poster. This has nothing to do with silence but more to do with tools. I'm not exactly a first time pc builder but I can't say that I have any "dedicated" tool for pc building. I'm thinking about building a $1K+ pc and I wasn't sure if using a $3 Radioshack screwdriver is wise. Perhaps I'm just paranoid but I would like to hear some suggestions from members as to which tool or tool set is excellent for the job.

Thank you much.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:07 am

Welcome to SPCR!

I have a wrist strap around here somewhere, that grounds you to the case, to avoid any static charges. I used to use it, but I have built several machines w/o it, too.

Some needlenose and "regular" pliers, and/or a small adjustable wrench won't go amiss, and some SPCR specific tools (that are sometimes required to help quiet a machine): good quality tin snips, and/or a sheet metal "nibbler", and/or a good rotary tool (a Dremel, Black&Decker, etc.). I also use a set of small screw drivers (like from Radio Shack) to move Molex pins, disassemble things, etc.
Sincerely, Neil

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Post by Maelwys » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:16 am

The screwdriver itself shouldn't cause you any problems regardless of its price. I myself have a cheapo low power Black and Decker cordless screwdriver that I use for many things and a few hand screwdrivers for fine tuning. My hand screwdrivers are magnetic too which some people say you should never use, but I've built countless computers with them and never had a problem.

For the other bits, a pair of needlenose pliers and one of those grabby-claw things is good for picking up bits from tight spaces. I also keep a static wrist and penlight in my kit.

Neil already mentioned some tools specific to silencing, but all that depends on how much you want to get into modding. That requires a whole different set of tools.

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Post by NyteOwl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:11 am

Quick comment on the magnetics. They shouldn't casue any real problems unless you get in the habit of laying them consistantly on Hard drives or magnetic media such as floppies.

One of the biggest caveats becasue mos tpeple don't think of it is leaving magnetized tools very close to or ontop of CRT monitors. (I have even seen someone "play with the screen" using a magnetized screwdriver.) They can result in screen geometry distorions or colour distortions that can be hard to get rid of, even after several degaussing cycles. In extreme cases an external commercial degausser may be needed to fix some distortions.
Obsolesence is just a lack of imagination!

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Post by psiu » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:50 pm

Magnetic screwdrivers are great. Maybe a 1/4" nut driver. Some needle-noise pliers, sidecutters, molex tool if you are going to be tinkering with them a lot, some "precision" screwdrivers (the 5 piece kit of teeny screwdrivers basically). Electric tape. Flashlight.

J. Sparrow
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Post by J. Sparrow » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:33 pm

Maelwys wrote:My hand screwdrivers are magnetic too which some people say you should never use, but I've built countless computers with them and never had a problem.
I'm all for magnetic screwdrivers, they can be lifesavers when you have to deal with screws in recessed locations :)

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