You all might find this very true with Spring at hand and all the
do-it-yourself questions that have been recently posted:
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.
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.
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
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
OXYACETYLENE 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 Campbell.
ZIPPO LIGHTER: See oxyacetylene torch.
WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and
motorcycles, they are now used mainly for hiding six-month old Salems from
the sort of person who would throw them away for no good reason.
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 the Rolling Stones
poster over the bench grinder.
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, "Django
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a Mustang to the ground after you
have installed a set of Ford Motorsports lowered road springs, trapping the
jack handle firmly under the front air dam.
EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering a car upward off a
TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.
PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor Chris 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.
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
TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile
strength of ground straps and hydraulic clutch lines you may have forgotten
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
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.
AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
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 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; 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.
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