The real uses for common auto shop tools …   Leave a comment


I stole this from that great repository of knowledge known as the internet and made a few updates. I wish I knew the author so I could give proper credit. I haven’t been doing this restoration thing very long but I’ve learned these descriptions are very accurate.

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 drink across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned guitar callouses in about the time it takes you to say “Yngwie Malmsteen”.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

VISE-GRIPS: 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.

HAMMER: 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. May also be used to remove finger nails.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids and splash the fluid on your shirt; can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

FLAT-HEAD SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL/DRIVER: A relatively modern convenience, especially those powered by batteries, that allows you to strip out screw heads in a tenth of the time it used to take.

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.

SKIL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub as you remove a bearing race.

ZIPPO LIGHTER: See oxyacetylene torch.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes thereby trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

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

BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

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.

GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog poop off your boot.

TIMING LIGHT: A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup on crankshaft pulleys.

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.

UTILITY KNIFE: 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.

S.O.B. TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling “Son of…!” at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

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Posted August 8, 2011 by jglee920 in General

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