Author Topic: Number plate removal/installation tool - for plates held on by spring clips  (Read 406 times)

Offline TelePlay

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This topic is to add one more "adapted" tool for phone use to the tool box.

I picked up this tool out of a hospital "going to the medical waste bin" some time ago. It was tossed for some reason, usually no longer up to spec to use as intended. In real use, it is indeed a nerve hook - yes, to hook and move a nerve bundle during an operation.

This tool is available for money (it is surgical stainless steel so not real cheap at $35 plus shipping) but posting this may be helpful in concept for anyone who may want to make their own similar tool, if they need one, out of a strong metal wire.

I use this tool exclusively for the removal of porcelain number plates from dials, the type where the number plate is held in place by two spring clips. To remove, simply hook the end of the tool under a clip, pull up and toward the center and it comes free. To install, put the hook under the clip, pull up and toward the plate and release.

I've never damaged a plate or had to try more than once to remove or replace the plate (usually removal is easy with a small screw driver to pop the clip over the plate edge but catching the spring clip when it is under the plate and pulling it up when installing can be difficult).

Looks easy to make but keep in mind the number plate retainer spring tension is significant so the hook part of the tool has to stay bent during use. The hook is 19 gauge wire (0.036" diameter) and the horizontal length of the hook is 5/32nds of an inch (0.162").
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 05:19:21 PM by TelePlay »
            John . . .

              

Offline Key2871

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https://m.ebay.com/itm/DS102-STAINLESS-STEEL-DENTAL-PICK-SINGLE-END/140793017486

?epid=1500700509&hash=item20c7eaf48e:g:cBoAAOxyXWdQ7Mex

Would this work also?
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 02:27:25 PM by TelePlay »

Offline TelePlay

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I never thought about dental picks, have some and yes, they would work. The issue I see is the large bend which might have to be made smaller and then bend the hook end so it is 90 degrees from the shaft.

What works well for the surgical tool is the straight, thin shaft ending with a small hook at the end. It makes it easy to insert the shaft below the number plate, catch the spring which is not much wider than the hook and pull it out, up and over the plate without the shaft hitting the number plate. The large loop of a dental pick would forced the spring clamp to be pulled much more toward the center of the dial so the look would clear the plate. The nerve hook is the just less than the width of the spring clip so there is no extra metal to get in the way when pulling the clip up and over the plate notch. That keeps the spring clip right next to the number plate notch during the installation (anything can be used for the removal of the clip).

I have this clay modeling tool that has a smaller bend that might work if the round part were straightened out and the hook point cut off, made shorter.

A piece of string or wire would also work but add an additional factor (holding a flexible object) in controlling the movement needed to pull the clip up out of the dial well and over the plate notch. I just found this nerve tool to be the exact size and design to do the job perfectly. A piece of bare station wire would work for that.

The point here is to say the best tool is something that is strong and small to grab the spring clip, pull it up and over the plate notch and release it in place. Lot of things would work but the size and design of the nerve tool is perfect for that task.
            John . . .

              

Offline Key2871

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There are all sorts of shapes available, eBay quick search shows most in kits. They are generally cheaper than the site you posted. But that site is surgical supplies.
I bought a small kit years ago for $7 on line and it came with a style very close to yours. Bit that is a great tip for getting the retainer off.

Offline kleenax

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I get mine from my Dentist!

My last visit, I just asked, and he gave me a handful of them! After awhile, they apparently get worn down, and don't suit his purpose anymore so he said he just pitches them, but I was welcome to them; even were already sterilized ;-)
Ray Kotke
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Offline Key2871

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 A nurse I knew years ago said that after two years sterilisation doesn't work well anymore, and because of possible contamination they discard instruments.

Offline Butch Harlow

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I guess it's all relative to what you do for a living. I an a maintenance guy, I install a lot of faucets, the bathroom type come with a popup assembly. We never install the popup, because they result in a lot of work orders for clogs. The rod that you pull is usually solid steel, sometimes brass. I have fashioned them into tools of all kinds using my grinder and vise to shape them up just so. Nice part is, they have a fancy knob end on them.

Offline RB

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That's a GREAT idea! ;D

Offline 19and41

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Harbor Freight has dental picks and "test probes".  Do a search on their site for each.  you can order online and they are dirt cheap.
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Offline FABphones

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...... I install a lot of faucets, the bathroom type come with a popup assembly. We never install the popup, because they result in a lot of work orders for clogs. The rod that you pull is usually solid steel, sometimes brass. I have fashioned them into tools of all kinds using my grinder and vise to shape them up just so. Nice part is, they have a fancy knob end on them.

Good idea. Photos please!  :)
A collector of Black, Ivory, Grey.
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Offline Butch Harlow

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Here you go. I have more, but this is the one I get the most use out of. I can reach deep into a drain and hook things, I can dislodge items in narrow pipes, and it works great on a variety of picky tool jobs. I get an endless supply of them, every time I install a faucet I get a fresh one.