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Guest thrasher

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Guest thrasher

Great tips for knowing your "tools".


Tool Definitions


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, splattering it against that


freshly painted part you were drying.


WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under


the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls


and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say,




ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their


holes until you die of old age.


PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.


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: Used to 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 shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside


the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.


WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and


motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16" or


1/2" socket you've been searching for the last 15 minutes.


HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground


after you have installed your new disk brake pads, trapping the jack


handle firmly under the bumper.


EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering an automobile upward


off a hydraulic jack handle.


TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.


PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbours to see if he has another


hydraulic floor jack.


SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for


spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog poop off your boot.


E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known


drill bit that snaps off in bolt holes you couldn't use anyway.


TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the tensile strength on


everything you forgot to disconnect.


CRAFTSMAN 1/2" x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large pry bar that inexplicably


has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.




TROUBLE LIGHT: The home mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called


a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin,"


which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits


aside, it's main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the


same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the


first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light,


its name is somewhat misleading.


PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of old-style


paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; but can also be


used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.


AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning


power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that


travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty


bolts last over tightened 58 years ago by someone at ERCO, and neatly


rounds off their heads.


PRY BAR: 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 cut hoses too short.


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 not


far from the object we are trying to hit.


MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of


cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well


on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles,


collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts.


DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage


while yelling "DAMMIT" at the top of your lungs. It is also the next


tool that you will need.


EXPLETIVE: A balm, usually applied verbally in hindsight, which somehow


eases those pains and indignities following our every deficiency in





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