Tools: Definitions and Uses

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Tools: Definitions and Uses

Postby Lubbock_BugEye » Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:21 am

I am not the author. I found these elsewhere and thought I might share:

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive car 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 boxes containing convertible tops or tonneau covers.

PLIERS: A user-adjustable tool used to round off bolt heads.


ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel Pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling rollbar mounting holes in the floor of a sports car just above the brake line that goes to the rear axle.

PNEUMATIC HAND DRILL: Operated by an air compressor, used for spinning pop rivets accompanied by a loud noise which announces to others in the shop that you are spinning a pop rivet. Also used for rounding off grade 8 Phillips head screws when they refuse to properly strip with an electric hand drill.

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.

OXYACETELENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting those stale garage cigarettes you keep hidden in the back of the Whitworth socket drawer (what wife would think to look in there?) because you can never remember to buy lighter fluid for the Zippo lighter you got from the PX at Fort Sam Houston.

ZIPPO LIGHTER: See oxyacetelene torch.

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 for the last 15 minutes. They are particularly useful for rounding off metric bolts when a pair of pliers is not available.

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 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 callouses in about the time it takes you to say, "Ouch!"

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: A hydraulic device useful for raising a vehicle off of the ground and into the rack of bicycles you hung from the ceiling of your garage, thereby loosening the bicycles, causing them to fall onto the vehicle you were raising. When RAISING - The first stopping point will ALWAYS be 1/2 inch below the top of the Jack Stand. When LOWERING - The stopping point of the jack will ALWAYS be 1/2 inch above the height needed to remove the jack. Used for lowering a vehicle to the ground after you have installed a set of lowered road springs, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front apron.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2x4: Used for levering a car upward off a hydraulic jack.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.

PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor 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-doo off your boot.

PUTTY KNIFE: A shorter and wider version of a GASKET SCRAPER (above). Who the heck uses putty anymore anyway ?

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.

TIMING LIGHT: A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup on crankshaft pulleys.

TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps and hydraulic clutch lines you may have forgotten to disconnect.

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. Let's admit it. There's nothing better for prying, chiseling, lifting, breaking, splitting or mutilating than a huge flatbladed screwdriver, particularly when wielded with gusto and a big hammer. This is also the tool of choice for all oil filters so insanely located that they can only be removed by driving a stake in one side and out the other. If you break the screwdriver -- and you will just like Dad and your shop teacher said -- who cares, it has a lifetime guarantee.

BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER: A handy tool for transferring sulfuric acid from car battery to the inside of your toolbox after determining that your battery is dead as a doornail, just as you thought.


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 cars at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105mm 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; can also be used, as the name implies, to round off 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 suspension bolts last tightened 40 years ago by someone in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and rounds them off.

DUCT TAPE: Not just a tool, a veritable Swiss Army knife in stickum and plastic. It's safety wire, body material, radiator hose, upholstery, insulation, tow rope, and more - in an easy to carry package. Sure, there's prejudice surrounding duct tape in professional competitions, but in the real world, everything from LeMans-winning Porsches to Atlas rockets and attack-helicopters use it by the yard. The only thing that can get you out of more scrapes is a quarter and a phone booth. Also known as Alabama chrome.

SPRAY LUBRICANTS: An alternative to new doors, alternators, and other squeaky items. Slicker than pig phlegm, repeated soakings will allow the main hull bolts of the Andrea Doria to be removed by hand. Strangely enough, an integral part of these sprays is the infamous Little Red Tube that flies out of the nozzle if you look at it cross eyed (one of the 10 worst tools of all time).

MARGARINE TUBS WITH CLEAR LIDS: If you spend all your time under the hood looking for a frendle pin that karoomed off the pertal valve when you knocked both off the air cleaner, it's because you eat butter. Real mechanics consume pounds of tasteless vegetable oil replicas just so they can use the empty tubs for parts containers afterward. (Some of course chuck the butter-colored goo altogether or use it to repack wheel bearings.) Unlike air cleaners and radiator lips, margarine tubs aren't connected by a time/space wormhole to the Parallel Universe of Lost Frendle Pins.

BIG ROCK AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD: Block up a tire. Smack corroded battery terminals. Pound out a dent. Bop noisy know-it-all types on the noodle. Scientists have yet to develop a hammer that packs the raw banging power of granite or limestone. This is the only tool with which a "Made in Malaysia" emblem is not synonymous with the user being maimed.

POP RIVETER: The poor man’s spot welder.

PLASTIC ZIP TIES: The poor man’s pop riveter. After 20 years of lashing down stray hose and wiring with old bread ties, some genius brought a slightly slicked-up version to the auto parts market. Fifteen zip ties can transform a hulking mass of amateur-quality wiring from a working model of the Brazilian Rain Forest into something remotely resembling a wiring harness. Of course it works both ways. When buying a used car, subtract $100 for each zip tie you find under the hood.

BALING WIRE: Commonly known as MG muffler brackets, baling wire holds anything that's too hot for tape or ties. Like duct tape, it's not recommended for NASCAR contenders, since it works so well you'll never need to replace it with the right thing again. Baling wire is a sentimental favorite in some circles, particularly with the Pinto, Gremlin, and Rambler set.

BONKING STICK: This monstrous tuning fork with devilish pointy ends is technically known as a tie-rod separator, but how often do you separate tie-rod ends? Once every decade if you're lucky. Other than medieval combat, its real use is the all-purpose application of undue force, not unlike that of the huge flat-bladed screwdriver. Nature doesn't know the bent metal panel or frozen exhaust pipe that can stand up to a good bonking stick. (Can also be use to separate tie-rod ends in a pinch, of course, but does a lousy job of it).

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.

TUBING CUTTER: A very accurate tool used to cut brake and fuel lines exactly 1/2 inch too short.

6-FOOT STEEL TAPE: A long slender steel ribbon with inch marks. Steel tapes ALWAYS break-away and bend downwards just before you reach the point to which you are measuring.

BEAM-TYPE TORQUE WRENCH: A long tool used for precisely tightening nuts and bolts. Chief characteristic of using = The handle will ALWAYS contact firewall or fender-well just BEFORE the required torque value is reached.

CLICK-TYPE TORQUE WRENCH: A long tool used for precisely tightening nuts and bolts. May also be used as a very accurate and expensive BREAKER BAR

BREAKER BAR: A long tool for loosening and tightning nuts and bolts. May substitute for TORQUE WRENCH. When used to tighten nuts and bolts, the rule of thumb is "Thighten Until It Strips - Then Back It Off 1/4 Turn".

FLASHLIGHT: An container for holding dead batteries. Can also be used to test batteries to determine that they are dead. If they are not dead, it can be used to drain them until they are dead. Also useful for illuminating the interior of your tool box when the lid is closed.
1960 Mk. I Bug Eye Sprite AN5L24215
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Postby Ray McCaleb » Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:40 pm

Excellent...I love it!

I'd like to expand on the "WIRE WHEEL":

Also used to make garage fashion statement by transforming ordinary T-shirt in bare-midriff model. If done correctly will also apply temporary (2 - 3 week) colorful (red/blue/black) Miami Hurricanes logo to belly.

'73 Midget (show)
'60 TR3A (driver)
'60 Bugeye (vintage racer)
'62 Sprite (future project)
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Postby bugeye58 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:48 pm

Ya gotta love Peter Egan.
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