Marking tools for easy readability

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As I get older, even with new glasses, I find it harder and harder to see things like the engraved markings on socket wrenches. Has anyone found a way to mark these things so that they can be read in dim light by old fogeys? I tried various kinds of Dymo labels, but they peeled off in short order. I had a little better success using Sharpies and then painting over the lettering with clear nail polish.
Any hints, clues, tips, suggestions?
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

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On Tue, 03 Nov 2009 10:01:12 -0500, Van Chocstraw

He said "even with new glasses". They aren't the same as the old eyes-- especially at all distances and in poor light.
I where a headlamp sometimes. It not only sheds more contrasting light, it also focuses attention.
It's a bitch getting old- but it beats *not* getting old.
Jim
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How so? ;-)
Cheri
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Cheri wrote:

-- aem sends...
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wrote:

Correct. At some point, no amount of lens correction is going to compensate for the degradation of old age. Van, no disrespect or ill will intended, but wait until you find out what "floaters" are. Then you'll realize the tip of the iceberg has shown itself. )-:

Yes, great minds run in the same ruts. When I realized I was having trouble, I bought 3 at Allelectronics because they were cheap, ran on AAA's instead of infuriating coin cells and had a nice band and swivel head. Great for dogwalking, too, because I'd have a scooper in one hand, a feisty squirrel-hating dog in the other and a penlight in my mouth.
Alas, when two of them went missing, (the dog is the primary suspect, but still hasn't confessed) I went back to Allelectronics but they were gone. That's the problem with surplus dealers. Haven't found anything near their price or performance point since. If anyone knows where to get a good swivel head AAA powered LED headlamp for $5, let me know.

My favorite quote from Kurt Vonnegut is "I knew getting old was going to be bad, but I didn't know it was going to be THIS bad!"
Interestingly enough, I have the kind of visual deterioration that extra light doesn't help as much as some of my sight-challenged friends. Did you know that older people's eyes are incredibly more yellow than young ones but that the brain automatically "white balances" for you by assuming that the brightest, lightest shaded item in a scene is white? I learned all about that from some brochure about cataracts and other ways your eyes can fail in my eye docs office.
Apparently my very yellowed eyes are helped, oddly enough, by LED flashlights. Some people find them too blue, but I bought some 100 LED "showerhead" flashlights and they help in lots of places. Strapped one to the vacuum wand with hose clamps and now I hardly hear "How on earth could you miss that?" from the missus anymore. Very bright but no "throw" - the beam falters at about 25' feet. Those 1MCP spots are still the best for lighting up street signs (I've got binocs in the glove box for reading those, and I'm probably not the only semi-senior who does!).
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

Eyes are strange....I got a routine eye exam, first in about 5 years, last Jan. I'm post-medicare, but not ancient :o) Hubby usually drives, so I don't drive often. Out driving alone one day, I had double vision. It was after noon, had had nothing to eat yet, so figured it was low blood sugar. Knew it wasn't a brain tumor, as it only happened that once. Month or two later, got it again. Went back to the cheapo optemetrist, who checked my prescription and later redid the exam. No change. Got double vision again, so went to MD. Ahah! One eye crosses (invisibly, no less) and my eyes had always "adjusted". Got new glasses, and all is well when I drive. Now my vision is more blurry without glasses than it was previously but no more double vision. Very disconcerting when you know the road has two lanes but yer seein' four lanes :o)

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As Bill the Cat would say: "Gack!" Another thing to look forward to like finger and toenails get so thick I need surgical scissors to cut them. Oddly enough, inside I still feel about 25 years old (although my wife insists I act more like I think I am 13) but outside, Father time keeps kicking me in the knees, stepping on my fingers, grinding down my teeth, stealing my hair while I sleep and making my hairline make a beeline for my neckline. But I consider myself lucky. My friend goes to his dermatologist to get his skin tabs shaved as often as I get my hair cut. And at least I don't have double vision - yet! (-:
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

Can't help on the other problems but I've solved the long-toenail difficulty.
Clown shoes.
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Robert Green wrote:

And you call yourself a DIYer? On AHR?! A Dremel tool works nicely with a sanding drum tip...Of course, if you can't reach toes or see them well, you need an assistant :o)

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Yeah, "what a drag it is getting old." (-:
-- Bobby G.
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Well, Craftsman or someone addressed this problem with large-etched sockets, for precisely this problem. Heh, 'Boomers Rool!!
That's a bit of an expensive solution, tho, if you already have tools.
You could take a dremel with a round ball stone and engrave this yourself. Or use a std buzz-type engraver. For some reason I prefer the dremel.
The problem with this is, if your sockets/tools are chromed, this will now be a posible entry point for rust.
OTOH, if my impression is correct, most people don't really look for a particular size -- they see what fits, thus making readable markings semi-moot. I'm almost tempted to just mix my SAE with metric!!! Heh, sometimes metric fits better than the SAE on american stuff! The only sizes I "know" are: 7/16" for 1/4-20 nuts/bolts, and 1/2" for 5/16" -- that's it. Ditto allen -- the only size I know is 3/8" for 1/2-13 sockets screws.
Proly much more of an issue: engrave every goddamm tool in the place with yer initials. Then fill that in with brite red nail polish. :) :)
Toward this end, I think I saw a company that will personalize new tools for you -- purchased from them, of course.
And, having said this, if you can find someone with a laser engraver, who is really desperate for work, they might do sumpn for you cheap.
--
EA


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Yeah, probably cheaper to buy a lighted magnifier and velcro it to every wrench, drill bit and other "sized" tool's toolbox.

Thought about that and rejected it for that very reason.

That's how I used to do it, but another aspect of age, fumble fingers, makes that not as simple as it used to be. The set I have is metric and SAE, and it's often hard to tell what a nut on something's going to be so I end up going through all off them and dropping at least one of them so that it rolls directly under the center of the car. (-"
I've seen security inventory tags of a semi-metallic nature that stick on stuff like it was born there, but I haven't found any label-makers labels like that. I've bought three different units using three different tape carts and tried about a dozen different tape qualities but all of them start to peel when put on shiny curved chrome surface that's knocked around.

I only know 1/4-20 on sight because it's the standard US camera tripod screw.

Part of the wisdom of old age is that I don't lend $ or tools to friends anymore. It's pissed some of them off, but better that they are angry at me and I still have my tool then I am angry at them and my tool's gone. For anyone to steal them, they'd have to get past two alarms, a feisty dog that just bit ME for the first time in its life (nail clipping anxiety) and my personal bodyguards, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson. (-: That eliminates all need to mark tools and other gear almost entirely.

Yep, nice but not practical.

Now you're talking. While I couldn't convince SWMBO to open the treasury for a plasma cutter, I might be able to sell a laser engraver, particularly if I could sell it as a potential home business. If I ever toted up the $ I've spend on stuff people have turned me onto via the internet, I'd probably go into shock.
Thanks for your input, Mr. Angst
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

colors, fairly fine tips. I used it only on camera accessories, so don't know how they hold up in workshop wear/tear.
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Alas, not well, at least not on curved, shiny chrome. The stuff's almost like teflon. The paint just sort of beads up as you apply it. I have silver and gold versions of the paint pens that have little mixing balls in them and that dry out if you look at them the wrong way! (-: I think mine are made by Berol. What are you using?
-- Bobby G.
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I'm buying magnifying glasses by the bucket full!
I leave them anywhere I might need to read something small.
"Robert Green" wrote in message

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You got DAT right! Go to yer dollar store -- you can get glasses up to 3.5 mag.... WOW.... 99c Also, they have pretty nice 4" magnifiers, with the high-magnifier inset. 99c . I must have a dozen of each, all over. Ditto the 6-in-1 screwdrivers -- decent quality $2.99 jobbies from Nat. Wholesale Liq.
Yeah, solving the I-cain't-find-it problem with sheer brute force of numbers!! Screw organization!!
--
EA



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Bill wrote:

Here's a trick. On my last annual visit to the eye doctor, I got a prescription for 2.25 mag contact lenses.
I wear ONE.
I can easily read without glasses (through one eye of course) and I can drive because the magnifying lens doesn't interfere with depth perception even if the objects are a tad fuzzy through that one eye.
The ONLY downside is precision depth perception at arm's length or less. Most of the time it's no problem but in the case of putting teeny gears back inside a ladies antique watch, I drop on a magnifying headset.
These AccuVu constant-wear lenses are good for one-two months and cost about $30 ($27 at Sams) for six. YMMV.
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You are the third person in as many months from whom I have heard the one-contact-for-reading trick.
What did your eye doctor say about doing that?
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wrote:

You are the third person in as many months from whom I have heard the one-contact-for-reading trick.
What did your eye doctor say about doing that? ==my wife does this. it was prescribed by her optimologist. it's pretty common now.
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