Anyone who’s been reading my ramblings for any length of time has to have realized that I’ve got a real soft spot in my heart for the do-it-yourselfer. I truly am partial to homebuilt trucks and the folks who work so diligently building ’em in garages, barns, and driveways nationwide. And like any DIY’er worth his or her salt, I’m a sucker for tools of any kind. It was with this in mind that I hurriedly opened a recent email that read “Tools, definition and use of” in the subject line. The email of which I speak was sent to me from a fellow classic trucker by the name of Steve Topi and I enjoyed it so much that I just had to share. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. And with a tip of our hat to Steve, here goes:
Tools; Definition and use of:
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, denting the freshly painted project that you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.
Wire Wheel: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench at the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, “Oh Sh--!”
Skilsaw: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.
Pliers: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood blisters.
Belt Sander: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.
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: 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.
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 out of which you want to remove a bearing race.
Table Saw: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.
Hydraulic Floor Jack: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.
Bandsaw: 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.
2-Ton Engine Hoist: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.
Phillips Screwdriver: 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.
Straight Screwdriver: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.
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 make hoses too short.
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 the object we are trying to hit.
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 being worn. Can also be used to create an excuse to go to the urgent care clinic for stitches on fingers or thumbs.
S.O.B. Tool: (A personal favorite!) Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling “Son of a BITCH!” at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need to use for something…
Like any DIY’er worth his or her salt, I’m a sucker for tools of any kind. It was with this in mind that I hurriedly opened a recent email that read “Tools, definition and use of” in the subject line.