View Full Version : Tool definitions

Don W
12-07-2002, 11:09 AM
I'm a fan of Road and Track's Peter Egan and his Side Glances column. He's also a boatin guy. Have a look at this:

Description of common tools

This lovely article was originally one of Peter Egan's "Side Glances" and has been making the list rounds on the net being modified along the way.

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 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 new seats and soft tops.

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 mounting holes in the body just above the wiring harness.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.

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 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.

WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16 or 1/2 socket you've been searching for the last 15 minutes.

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 calluses in about the time it takes you to say, "Ouc...."

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a car to the ground trapping the jack handle firmly under the front wing.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 4X6: 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.

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.

TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps, fuel or vacume lines or electrical connections 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.

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.


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. 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 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 Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty bolts last tightened 40 years ago by someone in Solihull, and snaps the heads off.

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.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses 1/2 inch too short.

12-09-2002, 08:52 AM
Don outstanding. I laughed, I cried, and I think I've lived it.


gunnar I am
12-09-2002, 04:21 PM
I've been doing woodworking long enough that:
I no longer take tool catalogs in the bathroom but instaed get ticked off that the indexes aren't detailed enough and I'll have to actually look through the catalog.
I now leave sawdust and shavings on the floor because I'm sick of cleaning them up as opposed to leaving sawdust and shavings on the floor cause I'm proud of that big pile I made
No longer use sandpaper till I'mm sure it's ineffective and then save it for a finer grade.
No longer think its a big deal to buy glue by the gallon.
Can actually control myself when I see boards 30" wide and leave them instead of taking them home and putting them under my bed.
Can ,without a second thought burn nice clean and large scrap pieces in the woodstove as opposed to searching for hours on end through "the Collier brother's collection".
Roll my eyes at 90% of the stupid crap in the catalogs(chisel holder for sharpening and one handed clamps among them)
Have become a master at explaining away flaws as " A function of what was a living thing and is indeed still made of cells"
Can pick my nose with abandon and have something to show for it(Mahagony is the best for color)
Ok guys,care to ad to the list?

12-09-2002, 06:51 PM
"...'the Collier brother's collection'..." --gunnar i am.

Ah, then you have seen the interior of my shop!

Mr. Know It All
12-09-2002, 07:10 PM
Great Post Don. :D It all started with that damn drill press spilling that poor guys beer. I've lived quite a few on that list. Wasn't oil in easy to pour plastic bottles a great invention? I used a beer can opener(and the ever important funnel) and only used a phillips screw driver in a pinch to open the old style cans. tongue.gif
Kevin in Ohio