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Guest Thrasher
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Guest Thrasher

TOOL DEFINITIONS

 

Great tips for knowing your "tools".

 

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,

 

"Ouch..."

 

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.

 

AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.

 

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

 

foresight.

 

 

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