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 or stubborn bolts or nuts which were last over-tightened 30 years
ago by someone at Ford, and instantly rounds off their heads. Also used to
quickly snap off lug nut studs.
BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used
to convert minor touchup jobs into major refinishing jobs.
CRAFTSMAN 1/2" x 24" SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry
bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end
opposite the handle.
DRILL PRESS: A tall upright drilling 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 stained heirloom piece you were drying.
EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 2X4: Used for levering
an automobile upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.
ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop
rivets in their holes until you die of old age.
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.
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.
HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make fuel, vacuum,
heater, hoses too short.
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an
automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes without
the brake drum and tire, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.
MASKING TAPE: Useful for securing the Band-Aid on
your index finger so you can finish the job without worrying about the Band-Aid
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.
Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.
OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for
setting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for setting
the grease on fire inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.
PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the
vacuum seals under lids and 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. Women excel at using this tool.
PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes
used in the creation of blood-blisters. The most often the tool used by most
PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal
surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50
RADIAL ARM SAW: A large stationary power saw
primarily used by most shops to scare neophytes into choosing another line of
SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make
studs too short.
SMALL THREAD CUTTING TAPS: A tool for making new
threaded bolt holes that is just as hard as any known drill bit that snaps off
neatly thereby turning a good day into a
STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint
cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.
TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly
used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.
TROUBLE LIGHT (with a bulb, not the fluorescent
kind): Sometimes called a drop light, it’s the home mechanic’s own miniature
“sunburn tool.” Its 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
TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters, metal
cuttings and wire wheel wires from your hands and fingers.
TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the
maximum tensile strength of the motor mounts you forgot to disconnect.
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.
WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves used to
prolong the conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
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 45 minutes.
WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint, dirt and rust off bolts
and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also
removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers.
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