Tuesday, September 21, 2010

User guide to tools

A summary of the best tools ever and their uses.

DRILL PRESS:   A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out  of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL:   Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, "Oh, shit!"

SKILL SAW:   A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS:   Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood blisters.

BELT SANDER:  An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija-board principle: it transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS:  Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH:  Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your workshop. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

TABLE SAW:  A large stationary power tool commonly used for launching wood projectiles to test wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK:  Used for lowering a car to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

BAND SAW:  A large, stationary power saw primarily used by most workshops to cut good aluminium sheeting into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the bin after being cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST:  A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER:   Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

FLAT SCREWDRIVER:  A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

CROWBAR:  A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50-cent part.

HOSE CUTTER:  A tool used to make hoses too short.

UTILITY KNIFE:  Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard boxes delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collectors' magazines, refund cheques, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use. Can also be used to remove excess fingertips.

HAMMER:  Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

FOUR POUND HAMMER aka THE UNIVERSAL TOOL: Originally designed as a sawn-off version of the warhammer, there is no end to the uses of this versatile tool.
Will flatten almost any known bolt or screw head to ensure it cannot be removed by other means. Can be used to crush fingertips, thumbs and even toes when dropped from a height. Will place dents in any sheet metal, especially around spot welds, can bend any nail to a right angle and embed it in your wood project or wall, or simply snap it off. Especially useful for reducing any small- to medium-sized parts to scrap metal, allowing easy disposal.

SON OF A B*TCH TOOL:   Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling "Son of a b*tch" at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

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