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Questions tagged [tools]

For questions involving the design and manufacture of basic tools like carpentry tools or musical instruments, etc. Excludes weapons and electronics (use 'weapons' and 'technology' respectively).

6
votes
3answers
116 views

Forging with geothermal heat: Possible alternative to fire in alien species' technological progression?

A world idea I'm playing with for a sci-fi idea I'm working on has an atmosphere similar to the composition of Earth's atmosphere during the Carboniferous Period: Lots of oxygen, so while a human or a ...
9
votes
10answers
3k views

What kind of equipment would a giant-slayer use?

My character is a giant-slayer living in the far North with his family. He is able to bend and generate magnetic fields. The only technology he could use would be something like Feudal Japan and/or ...
5
votes
6answers
760 views

Material for weapons and tools in a magnetic field

What material for weapons and tools would a tribal/medieval society use if there was a magnetic field preventing the use of iron? The iron would be attracted by the ground, obviously. It can`t be used ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What kind, and where are the tools used to construct the pyramid at Giza? [closed]

Since granite is hardness level 6.5 this would require either diamond tipped tools or perhaps iron-carbide rotary saws and such. Some of the inner granite is high in Quartz crystal, likely due to it's ...
10
votes
8answers
409 views

Essentials for post apocalyptic traveler

You are a traveling across what used to be Colorado and Utah: it may be cold, it may be hot. This is okay, you have caches of clothing and weather gear you can easily pick up. Electricity is ...
3
votes
6answers
175 views

Weapons out of grass and roots practical for tiny humans to hunt beetles?

In a world I'm creating, a group of humans from Stone-age earth have been shrunk to 2 centimeters tall and are now stranded in another Earth-like world similar to our own, but without vertebrates. ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What are the traits of and how could a compound(mosquito) eye be used for bug-sized equipment [closed]

How could a medieval nomadic explorer air-ship (bug-sized people) use the African mosquito's eyes for equipment building? there is no magic in their world apart from the fact that such a tiny species ...
3
votes
4answers
158 views

Megatherium tool making

I have seen many questions and answers throughout this site, and as far I have understood, thumbs are not needed to use tools. Seems like many structures and objects can be used properly with any kind ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Would it be possible to make an alloy of metal and amorphous solid?

I would like to know if there'd be any way to forge a metal with an amorphous natural glass such as opal or obsidian into an alloy. Could such a thing be crafted into tools? Would it be conchoidal ...
8
votes
2answers
306 views

Could a Dinosaur make tools with only three fingers?

I've become interested in different kinds of dinosaurs lately, and have also been on a creature design kick. Let's talk about Troodons. Troodons were a type of theropod dinosaur with unusually large ...
4
votes
6answers
638 views

Is there an actual use for Gold Tools?

I am running a sci-fi RPG. One of my players (the Engineer) has expressed interest in having a gold hammer. This seems pretty ridiculous to me as gold is soft and softness doesn't seem like a ...
8
votes
3answers
249 views

Webbed Fingers and Toolmaking

Many designs I've seen of mermaids include webbed fingers. This may be a useful feature for a creature that swims a lot, but I'm wondering if this trait could be a hinderance where complex tasks are ...
4
votes
4answers
349 views

Can early civilization utilize gold and silver when they are abundant, and copper and iron are rare?

This question is a thought expansion on this What early tools might be devised on a planet where diamonds were abundant? According to this article, prehistoric men already utilized gold and silver ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How would a sapient species with a copper allergy develop metallurgy?

The trope of a sapient species (most often elves) that is allergic to/poisoned by iron is a common one in fantasy works; however, there are quite a few ways to make serviceable cutting tools without ...
49
votes
31answers
7k views

Why leave magical runes exposed?

So, just to clarify, you needn't worry about vague rules - this question is relevant to my own fantasy universe. In this such universe, magic is not a separate energy, it is the ability to control ...
11
votes
4answers
485 views

What benefits and drawbacks would forging a blade with a single mighty blow yield over traditional manual hammer-forging?

Assume you have two blades (of whatever design you wish) made from identical starting steel (in fact, we can assume that the two starting ingots are sisters from the same mill run). One is shaped by ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

Which inorganic tool can never work when 3D printed?

3D printing technology has come of age, its application is widespread and has already started to replace many manufacturing processes. Let us cut to the chase: I am wondering if we can really print ...
21
votes
9answers
5k views

Telekinesis resistant locks

In my world, telekinesis is a common ability, to the point that it is unusual not to be able to use it to some degree. It is an ability that was genetically grafted onto the human genome when humanity ...
28
votes
7answers
5k views

What should I pack for an overland journey in a Bronze Age?

For reasons that are too complicated to explain right now, I'm currently living on the edges of a late Bronze Age/early Iron Age set of civilisations, and I need to make a long overland journey. The ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Is playing musical instruments easier or harder with fewer fingers? [closed]

Say humans had 3 digits per hand instead of 5, 1 thumb and 2 fingers then which musical instruments could we play better and which ones would be harder or impossible to play? -Computers do not count ...
17
votes
8answers
689 views

Evolution of ophidian sapience and caudal tool use

What natural environmental pressures or opportunities might drive an alien ophidian species to evolve sapience and caudal tool use? Conditions The species should be lacking limbs prior to the ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

Planet of the Aves: Tool use

On the planet of the Aves, birds have evolved to dominate the Earth instead of mammals. Of the thousands of species in this world, both on the ground and in the water, the only one to develop sapience ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

What would iron-age tools and weapons be like if they were redesigned with modern metallurgy?

I am a skilled metallurgist and engineer and, like most well-educated people, I'm terrified by the possibility of an impending apocalypse. Let's not worry too much about what form it takes. Nuclear, ...
4
votes
6answers
271 views

Could amphibious creatures ever evolve hand-like parts?

Could there ever be an incentive for a fish or other aquatic being to use simple tools, like early humans did? Would it be possible for any structure of a current water-dwelling being (for example, ...
4
votes
6answers
397 views

How can anthills use tools?

The idea of a collective consciousness (or anthill) species is pretty simple; instead of cells tissues and organs you have ant-like creatures, all making up a larger creature. This is different from a ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What materials are needed to build large structures, such as castles? [closed]

I am trying to understand what natural resources a city would need access to in order to build walls/castles. I am trying to place my cities in relative location to all needed resources, but I need to ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

What aspects of a creature's hand would make it good for climbing but not good for tool use?

I'm trying to design a mammal that lives in trees. I'd like its hands to be good for climbing, but not good for using tools. What aspects of the hand would make it good for climbing and not good for ...
6
votes
5answers
569 views

Could any type of technological advancement occur among a species with no prehensile limbs?

Due to an evolutionary arms race , highly intelligent dire wolves evolved on my world. Their vocal cords have developed to produce beyond human ranges of sound , and have become more social , ...
4
votes
2answers
178 views

How would the design of tools differ if people had developed crassly dissimilar hands?

Introduction: Welcome to a world where hominids developed to have two different sized hands (similar to the male fiddler crab). We have developed societies, art, and naturally war. But, how exactly ...
3
votes
2answers
202 views

What adaptations would an elephant's trunk need to have human-like prehensility?

____________Useless Backstory_________________________________________________ In my world, A hurricane has washed a group of 8,000 pachyderms off of Afro-Eurasia and onto a large island ...
4
votes
2answers
319 views

Machines in four spatial dimensions

Assuming that we have a universe with four spatial dimensions plus time, within which atoms exist that can form solids, liquids, gases and plasmas, the compounds that can be formed having physical ...
6
votes
6answers
924 views

Could crash survivors on an island for months smelt and craft iron tools?

Let's take 4 or 5 survivors living on a more or less friendly island. They have a cosy camp, a source of water, some food and stone tools. They are here for several weeks/months and know they will ...
8
votes
3answers
375 views

A Futuristic Ssiws Army Knife

Canonical Definition: A Ssiws Army Man-portable Omnitool (more often referred to as a Ssiws Army Knife) can easily dispatch cave bears and moderately large dinosaurs, carve through granite, print ...
-2
votes
2answers
569 views

What if humans were shorter? [closed]

I was looking outside of the window and got an idea "All tools human use seems to be strangely fit for our size. Buildings, cars, various power tools. All of them are have good size for humans that ...
5
votes
3answers
192 views

How would tools develop differently if we had a trunk instead of hands?

Imagine a planet where a sentient race is evolving, but rather than evolving hands like primates they evolve a single trunk like an elephant. They have a single flexible and strong manipulator which ...