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Posted By: Geoff Hannis The Perfect Toolkit - 20/11/05 10:29 AM
A few months ago my life-long collection of tools and test equipment were liberated for use by others; I can only hope that some deserved tech is now making good use of by beloved stuff.

Moving on, I'm now in the process of slowly re-building my stock of tools, but this time around I shall need to be more focussed and only buy the tools I actually make use of. Cheaper that way too.

Some years ago I started to make up what I called (for want of a better term) a "minimal toolkit". This was a day-pack (small back-pack) containing a minimal but reasonably comprehensive set of tools, the idea being to be able to tackle most jobs from this kit. It contained, for instance, adjustable spanners rather than spanner sets, and a butane-powered soldering iron to be able to work in "the field", 1/4 inch hex bit sets, reversible screwdrivers etc. I'm sure you get the picture. And before someone starts moaning, in principle I am a great advocate of using the correct tool for each task - but here I'm talking about working on the go, as lightly loaded as possible, not back in the (fully equipped, we hope) workshop.

So what I'm interested in hearing about now is - assuming that we're talking about working away from the workshop, out in the departments and wards, and off-site, how do you organize your tools? How do you carry them around? Satchel, day-pack, brief-case style toolkit, traditional toolbox, shoulder bag, stuffed in your pockets, canvas toolbag, whatever? Or do you visit the job first, and then go back to pick up the tools you need? Also, do you make up your own kit(s), or simply rely on ready-made sets purchased from ... whoever?

If anyone has the time, how about listing the contents of the perfect toolkit (as long as you can handle the general ridicule bound to result)? wink

Lastly, what about service consumables? Give us your perfect list of aerosols, tapes, cable ties etc. that you regularly lug around, and how do you carry them?

We'll leave the topic of the "ideal biomed cart" for another day, and later we'll move on to the "ideal biomed service vehicle" (car, estate car, motor-bike, on foot public transport, van etc.)! smile
Posted By: Chris Pearson Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 20/11/05 6:48 PM
You only need 2 items in your perfect travelling emergency toolkit.
2/Gaffer tape.

If it is stuck and shouldn't be - use 1.

If it isn't stuck and it should be - use 2
Problem solved smile
Posted By: Dicky Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 20/11/05 8:14 PM
Try baling twine. This seems to be the farmers perfect toolkit/fixall. Have seen it used for everything from repairing tractors and land rovers etc. to hanging gates.
Posted By: gringo Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/11/05 7:05 AM
Hi Geoff,
There is no perfect toolkit that can fit in a carrying toolbox. We usualy carry a pair of screwdrivers, - and +, tweesers, and AVO meter. After visiting the job, if it requires any other tools, and usualy it doesnt, we walk back to the workshop and get it or have someone bring it to you. I insist on the staff to give me as presice info on the problrm as thay can so I can determine which tools to bring along. If it is a lab problem I have a box with tubings and electrodes, tweesers and cutters ready for the job. cheers Milan
Posted By: Jeff Carr Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/11/05 8:13 AM

You must be forgetting some other essentials:

1/ Sky-hooks
2/ Tube of elbow-grease
3/ Bucket of steam

Oh yes and of course ... a long wait, sorry weight !
Posted By: RoJo Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/11/05 11:27 AM
Sleek or Micropore. It is light, readily available and easy to carry.
....Well it works as a fix-all for the nursing staff. laugh
Posted By: Scott Barlow Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/11/05 1:07 PM
I think the general rule is if the tool can not do two jobs, its taking up too much space.
Posted By: RoJo Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/11/05 3:27 PM
Swiss Army knife and a Leatherman it is then.

I actually used to carry a Leather man around on my belt and found it very useful at times. If you were stopped on the ward for a "while your here" job and a screw just needed tightening or you needed to get something undone to take it back, it saved a double journey to the workshop.
And the department paid for it!!

Posted By: exitwound Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/11/05 5:15 PM
Don't they pay for all your tools then?

I have two full kits, one in the lab and one in the car. Most of these are routinely replaced as they wear out. I also have a Gerber multitool on my belt aside a Winchester lock knife and a maglight.. My three mto3's are equally well equipped!

Any special tools we need, we get too, cos we are 'hands on' with everything except that oddball physio. gear and suction (yuk), as its cheaper than service contracts! BTW, where's my AFC7 at?

..buy my own?? pah! the very thought....
Posted By: DAS Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 23/11/05 11:43 AM
Originally posted by RoJo:
Sleek or Micropore. It is light, readily available and easy to carry.
....Well it works as a fix-all for the nursing staff. laugh
Can of label remover for the above.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 20/12/09 12:11 PM

My "minimal toolkit" is still ... er, under development. There have been some good comments posted above, and I agree with most of them.


Originally Posted By: Scott Barlow
I think the general rule is if the tool can not do two jobs, its taking up too much space.

A Leatherman tool, Swiss Army knife ... yeah, that's the idea. Walking back to the workshop is all very well if you're based at a hospital ... but not everyone is.

Noticing that this thread is over four years old now, I would say that the stuff I've used the most of since then is indeed Label Remover (Maplin's works for me). The only other purchase that springs to mind has been a stock of lead-free solder! smile

That ... and the PPS-10 reported earlier. Plus a decent general purpose toolkit that was on special offer at Halfords three years ago now (hardly "minimal" material, though).

One last thought. What has become of our old friend exitwound, I wonder. We haven't heard from him for a while.
Posted By: bam Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/12/09 10:05 AM
Can I suggest that you take the can of WD40 out of the toolkit?
It is not a lubricant as most people think but a waterproofing agent. If you spray some on a clean surface it will dry out to a sticky brown wax. Because it sticks dirt so any contacts, it makes most electrical problems worse. Replace it with a spray can of 3 in 1.https://www.ebme.co.uk/forums/images/icons/default/thumbs_up.gif
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/12/09 10:44 AM

Yes. You're right of course. We've discussed WD-40 before.

"Water Displacement - 40th Attempt"

But don't worry, to go with the Perfect Toolkit I also have the Perfect Box of Aerosols* (another thread, perhaps**).

I find that WD-40 comes in handy when mixed (in small doses) with other products (and rubbed in with Emery paper etc.) in an attempt to shift stubborn stains, brighten metallic materials (as in rusty) and the like. smile

* Bottles, Cans, Tins ... whatever.

** For me, the interesting thing about service consumables is hunting down common or garden alternatives for the proprietary - meaning expensive - brands!
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/12/09 11:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Geoff Hannis
The only other purchase that springs to mind has been a stock of lead-free solder!

Of course, what I actually meant there was non-lead-free solder, if you know what I mean. That is, good old traditional 60/40. That seems to be the only way I can get a half decent joint ... especially when "out in the field" (and in less than ideal conditions)!
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 20/09/10 8:28 AM

Here's something a bit different ... an Overseas Client needs information about (what we might call) a "standard list" of biomed tools and test equipment (amongst other things).

OK, how long is a piece of string? I have some stuff laying around somewhere (I hope) - lists that I have used before. But, as time is short (as usual, that is), I was wondering if anyone has any up-to-date thoughts?

The only other "guidance" I have available at the moment, is that the workshops concerned are "small". However (and on the other hand), the guys concerned shall be supporting whole regions of healthcare facilities ... that is, will need to travel "up country" when required (so it would be nice to keep our toolkits etc. on the handy - portable - side)!

For what it's worth, the Client is looking for similar input regarding Plumbers', Building Services', Electricians' and Mechanical Workshops, including toolkits specific to each tradesman (including Refrigeration Technicians)! smile
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 22/09/10 3:51 PM

What do you have for me, Jandre?

Or ... how about any friends still out in the Magic Kingdom? Lists of stuff like this were very much in vogue out there, if I remember rightly. Do we know anyone like that, I wonder - Neil?

And, of course ... what about all those new PFI hospitals in the UK? OK, don't tell me, they were executed without any lists! whistle
Posted By: fmic.biomedical Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 26/09/10 7:43 AM
my favorite minimal toolkit (as i leave it on site when i'm in mission):
bost smalls screwdrivers set(+ -)
2 medium sizes philips + posidiv + flat + torx screwdrivers
a set of allen keys , a st of torx keys
a 1/4 rachet wrench kit , from 4mm to 13mm
a adjustable wrench , a strong split joint plier
a set of surgical clamps , strait and curved
a set of pliers , 2 cutting pliers small and medium
a cutter , 50 mm white tape , a 3m measurement tape
batterie soldering iron (antex or weller) , 40w soldering iron
desoldering wick , low temp solder , regular solder
a basic autorange multimeter with thermal probe
various heahtshrink sizes and colors
a set of superglue tubes , liquide and gel
usually all this can fit in a small bag and i use aluminium boxes to have fuses , bolts and nuts , various clips , springs , wires and somes "found in the drawer" stuff.
and , of course , my favorite Leatherman Skeltool with the bit kit
the result :

if you have sugestions , i'll apreciatev:-)


jean michel
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 26/09/10 7:46 AM

Hey Jean Michel ... that's exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for! Thanks for that.

But I won't comment further until I've had some time to digest it all. smile

Those are interesting photos, too, my Friend. There are some "classics" there, for sure.

Originally Posted By: fmic.biomedical
(as i leave it on site when i'm in mission)

I like that idea. It's what we used to do in some of my Previous Lives. In one place (country) it was, shall we say, "ill advised" to carry too much "shiny" (attractive) kit around in the Peugeot (and there's the clue to the location, right there), for reasons that you will no doubt appreciate! "Pre-positioned" T&TE*, and a "Guest House" at our disposal at each site (not to mention HF radio communications that, er, never seemed to work).
Oh yes, that's more like it!

* Tools and Test Equipment
Posted By: Neil Porter Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 26/09/10 7:58 AM
Geoff, Check your email please
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 26/09/10 8:20 AM

Thanks for that, Neil. As we know, it's always nice to have (someone else's) lists to hand - it helps in marshalling the thoughts!

I must admit that I'm getting a bit lazy (or maybe that should be efficient) these days when it comes to tools and such. Now that I'm back, and well entrenched, in the Civilised World ... when I find that I need something I generally have a quick look on eBay. And (nine times out of ten) it will be there, at reasonable cost. And delivered to the door - sometimes the very next day!

Where I am at the moment we have a realisation that we need to get stuff into kits, ready to take along according to the type of job (or servicing) in question. We have made a (hesitant) start, but a lot more needs to be done.

I had to resort to my "reserve" soldering iron whilst out on a job the other day. On the drive back I was racking my brain trying to work out where I had left my soldering kit (or, more like, which of the usual suspects had "borrowed" it). But when I got back to the workshop, yes ... there it was, sitting amognst the chaos beneath my bench (and probably wondering why I hadn't taken it along)!

Yes, the will to organise remains ... but (as seems to be usual here), time is in short supply. As I may have mentioned, we simply need more man-hours (more staff, but of the "useful" kind).

Perhaps I should mention the related topic of "servicing kits" as well. We are keen on those, too. But where do you draw the line? How do you avoid (expensive) duplication? Also (and this seems to be a Big Question), how do you enforce a bit of, er, discipline when it comes to checking them (and re-stocking if need be) ready to take out the next time? smile
Posted By: Neil Porter Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 26/09/10 8:30 AM
When do I get the 'Blue Peter Badge'
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 26/09/10 8:35 AM

Don't worry, Neil, you can look forward to receiving a Mention in Despatches! smile

Apart from that, you had better be ready for some (more) "me too" appeals for your lists from other users of the forum. You know, your mates!

Meanwhile, take your pick!

But see here for the real Blue Peter!

When the Blue Peter flag is flown (apart from the letter P in a signal string), the following meanings are generally intended:-

In harbour:- "All persons should report on board as the vessel is about to proceed to sea."

At sea it may be used by fishing vessels to mean:- "My nets have come fast upon an obstruction."

As you will find when you look into the origins of most things useful, the ICS was a British invention. Necessity being the Mother of ... and all that good stuff!
Posted By: Gazpacho Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 27/10/10 1:56 PM
what about the three ball bearings? The ones you give to nurse in a locked room : she'll break one, lose one and swear blind she has never seen the third
A supply in the NHS is an absolute neccessity
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 27/10/10 2:08 PM

You'll probably need four. Don't forget that she will want to hide one away as a spare, "just in case"! smile
Posted By: Gazpacho Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 27/10/10 2:14 PM
That's my Missus, she had a cupboard in theatre where I know there are magical things that people haven't seen for hundreds of years, leeches and the such like...just in case.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 10/12/19 9:35 PM

For the first time in many years I have heard about tools I might actually buy if I saw them:-

Tite-Reach Extension Wrenches. smile

I wonder if Santa will remember me this year.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The Perfect Toolkit - 13/12/19 8:06 PM

I probably need a Speed-Square too. It has to be a Swanson, of course. smile

Invented by Albert Swanson in 1925.
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