Tool Tips #1

Galibier Design - Setup ToolsTools selection is a personal matter, and our preferences are influenced by our individual work style.  I’m a big fan of both the Feickert Protractor and the Mint LP arc protractors, whereas others prefer the SmartTractor.

No Accounting for Taste

I was recently working with a customer who was looking to upgrade his tool set and the subject of magnifying glasses came up. 

One feature that I love on the SmartTractor is the built-in, strategically positioned magnification.  It’s not not enough to sway me from using my preferred tools, but it’s only fair that I point out the SmartTractor’s hands-free magnification. 

The good news is that we have a wealth of choices to match our preferences.

Hands Free Operation

Galibier Design - Setup Tools
(click to enlarge)

So, hands-free operation is something I look for when sourcing a magnifying glass, and I explained this (and my work style) to my customer.   A web search for a glass that’s similar to my current favorite was unsuccessful.

A few years ago, I came across a product  while wandering the aisles of an outdoors shop.

The magnifier was made for fishermen.  It came close, but the lens was somewhat distorted.

Having an idea of what to look for, I searched the web and found a better version – one with a bit less distortion, and which is easier to position.

In viewing the photo of it in action, note that by varying the angle at which you position the tweezer’s “arm”, you can change the angle of the lens so it “points” to the area of interest on your protractor. 

This tool is still not perfect, but it’s very close.  I’m going to pick up a second one for my traveling setup it (for such time that we get past COVID and I start traveling again).

Galibier Design - Setup Tools
(click link to view Cabela’s Website)

Some people prefer 10x jeweler’s loupes, which of course, you have to hold in your hand, lest they roll off the surface of your turntable.

If that describes your work style, then this product is not for you.  It’s magnification is about 3x.  I’d prefer 5x and because of this, it may boil down to me fabricating my own tool, but this will get the job done in the meantime.

The tool is called the “Carson Fish’n Grip Fishing Tool”, and no doubt there are similar tools at fly fishing shops and such.  Click the photo to link to the product on Cabela’s website.  This is not an affiliate link (I don’t make any money from this). 

Note that  online retailers frequently change their links, and this page will likely not exist at some point after this writing.  Use your internet search skills and you’ll likely find similar products.

But wait!  There’s more …

The end is a tweezer and you can use it to remove cartridge clips.  How does it get better than that?

Bottom Line

We audiophiles are trained to purchase “official” products.  Sometimes the best solution lies elsewhere.

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