Tag Archives: calipers

I’m a mechanical engineer. I love mechanical things. My parents gave me lots of Legos to play with as a child and I suppose I never entirely grew out of them. If I had to say what the favorite part of my job is, I’d probably say it’s when parts come in the mail. I mean, it’s like Christmas. Stuff shows up on your desk in a nice box and you get to rip it open and play with what’s inside. How awesome is that? After parts arrive though, there are still the tools to play with. Here are some of the coolest tools out there that I think every mechanical engineer should have. Calipers The first time I played with a pair of calipers, I was maybe 9 years old and following my dad around to a space satellite fabrication facility. An engineer picked a pair of calipers up…

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In the olden days of apprenticeships, your status in the world was built on your set of tools. While you were an apprentice, you started saving your money and acquiring your collection of tools, and when you had a full set and were ready to start your own practice, you launched on the foundation of the tools you brought with you. The set of tools you needed was directly related to your field – cobblers needed shoemaking tools, blacksmiths needed forging tools. If you allow the analogy to stretch, even the young women of the time built a collection of tools – they filled hope chests with linens and tablecloths as a dowry for when they got married. And I think to some extent, this tradition of building a set of tools persists today. Machinists and auto shop guys still take great pride in their toolboxes, carpenters take loving care…

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