Knowing your tools
1. 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,
against that freshly painted part you were drying.
2. 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
time it takes you to say, "SH**
3. ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in
their holes until you die of old age
4. PLIERS: Used to round off hexagonal bolt heads.
5. 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.
6. VISE GRIP PLIERS: 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.
7. OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for setting various
flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the
grease inside a wheel hub you're trying to get the bearing race
8. 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
9. 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.
10. EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 4X4: Used to attempt to lever an
automobile upward off a hydraulic jack handle.
11. TWEEZERS: A tool for removing splinters of wood, especially
12. TELEPHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor to see if he has
another hydraulic floor jack.
13. SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich
tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for removing dog feces
from your boots.
14. E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool that snaps off in
bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.
15. TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the
tensile strength of bolts and fuel lines you forgot to disconnect.
16. CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large motor mount
prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined
on the end without the handle.
17. AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
18. TROUBLE LIGHT: The home builder's own tanning booth.
Sometimes called 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, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt
light bulbs at about the same rate t hat 105-mm howitzer shells
be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge.
often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.
19. PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of
old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and squirt oil on your shirt;
can also be used, as the name implies, to round off the interiors of
Phillips screw heads.
20. 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 an Pneumatic impact wrench
that grips rusty bolts last tightened 70 years ago by someone at
and rounds them off.
21. PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that
clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50
22. HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses 1/2 inch too short.
23. HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer
now-a-days is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive
parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.
24. MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the
contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works
particularly well on boxes containing upholstered items,
chrome-plated metal, plastic parts and the other hand not holding