Byer's Basic Blog

just call us the Tunkhannock Times

The Purpose of Tools

Posted by joelbyer on December 10, 2009

…thanks Ed Kennedy! 🙂

The purpose of tools:

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

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 leather goods.

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel Pop
rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

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 and transfer
intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting
various flammable objects in your garage on fire.

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.

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 coffee 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, “Ouch”

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a car to the ground
after you have installed your new front disk brake setup,
trapping the jack handle firmly under the fender.

PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor to see if he has
another hydraulic floor jack.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering a car
upward off of a hydraulic jack.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.

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

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 and brake 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.

BATTERY Hydrometer: 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
motorcycles 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 out
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 bolts last
tightened 60 years ago by someone in Springfield, and
rounds them 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


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