a.. 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
b.. WIRE WHEEL: Cleans rust off old 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...."
c.. ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel
pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age
d.. PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.
e.. 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.
f.. 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.
g.. OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting
various flammable objects in your garage on fire. Also
handy for igniting the grease inside a brake drum you're
trying to get the bearing race out of.
h.. 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.
i.. HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a motorcycle to
the ground after you have installed your new front disk
brake setup, trapping the jack handle firmly under the
j.. EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering a
motorcycle upward off a hydraulic jack.
k.. TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.
l.. PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor to see if he has
another hydraulic floor jack.
m.. SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a
sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for
getting dog-do off your boot.
n.. E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool that snaps off
in bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill
o.. TIMING LIGHT: A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating
p.. TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing
the tensile strength of ground straps and brake lines you
may have forgotten to disconnect.
q.. CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large motor mount
prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined
screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.
r.. BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER: A handy tool for
transferring sulfuric acid from a car battery to the inside
of your toolbox after determining that your battery is
dead as a doornail, just as you thought.
s.. AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
t.. TROUBLE LIGHT: The 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 motorcycles 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
u.. PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of
old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your
shirt; can also be used, as the name implies, to round off
Phillips screw heads.
v.. 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
tightened 40 years ago by someone in Sindelfingen, and
rounds them off.
w.. 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.
x.. HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses 1/2 inch too
y.. HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the
hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate
expensive parts not far from the object we are trying to
z.. 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 seats and