[Homestead] Tool definitions
genegerue at ruralize.com
Mon Sep 26 20:05:39 EDT 2005
Forgive me. It's been three weeks since I escaped sunny Phoenix, I finally
have all utility-type necessities restored including full-power showers,
ahhh, the Nature out front has been temporarily slashed back, the ticks and
chiggers are in deep repositioning mode, the poison ivy blisters have
subdued to the point where I get a full night's rest without waking to
urgent itching, Dax and Benny seem to have finally got past "Hey boss, why
did you bring us back here to this humidity from that wonderful
air-conditioning?!", and today, TODAY, I found that New Belgium Brewery,
the wonderful, tasty, employee-owned, ONLY WIND-POWERED BREWERY IN THE USA,
does indeed make enough product to ship this far East. Can it be so? Yes,
it is so. Thank you, Jeezus! Tonight I am celebrating my return to
Heartwood with fresh salmon, pasta and pesto and the last bottle of
California chardonnay. Life is good. And I am likely drunk. So forgive me
for sending on this silly but pertinent-to-some-of-us thing:
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 seats and motorcycle jackets.
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 fenders just above the brake line that goes to the rear
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.
VICE- 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 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 grease out of.
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 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 "Ouch...."
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a motorcycle to the ground after
you have installed your new front disk brake set-up, trapping the jack
handle firmly under the front fender.
EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering a motorcycle 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
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 build up.
TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile
strength of ground straps and brake lines you may have forgotten to
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 sulphuric acid
from a battery to the inside of your tool box after determining that your
battery is dead as a door nail, just as you thought.
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 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
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 and can double as oil
filter removal wrench by stabbing through stubborn oil filters.
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.
PRYBAR: 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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