Work Tools Explained
This piece originally appeared in Road & Track, April 1996 in Peter’s column, Side Glances. The original column has a half-page introduction and some additional definitions, so I recommend you try to obtain that issue of R&T. It was also reprinted in the book, Side Glances, Vol. 2, 1992-1997 by Peter Egan, published by Brooklands Books Ltd., a wonderfuil collection of 66 or Peter’s columns.
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, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.
Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, ‘Oh sh –‘
A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.
Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.
An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.
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.
Generally used after pliers to completely 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.
Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race..
A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.
Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.
A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.
A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.
A tool used to make hoses too short.
Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent to the object we are trying to hit.
Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.
Son of a b*tch TOOL:
Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling ‘Son of a b*tch’ at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.