Skip to comments.Thoughts On Tools
Posted on 08/30/2009 6:21:04 AM PDT by Patriot1259
Over the past few years I have collected a lot of tools. With each move, my dad brings tools just in case things need to be fixed around the house. When he leaves, the tools stay behind, so I end up with a new saw, screwdriver or wrench. Then there are the tools that fix the sprinkler system, the tools that come with some assembly required furniture, bolts that hang heavy pictures, bolts to hang light fixtures, and then just plain old regular bolts. Oh, and dont forget the nails tiny nails all the way up to the amazingly huge industrial strength nails. I probably have most of these things in my garage.
The problem is, I have absolutely no idea how to use the tools. A glance into my garage would lead you to believe I am a real handy man; that I can actually build things. But that is a myth. What I have is just a collection of tools that I have gathered over the years and since I am not really sure what to do with them, they just sit.
(Excerpt) Read more at thecypresstimes.com ...
Do you know how to use these tools?
1. 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.
2. WIRE WHEEL: Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the work bench at the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, “Ouch...”
3. ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.
4. PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.
5. 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.
6. 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 hand.
7. OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for setting 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 race out of.
8. HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a Morgan to the ground after you have installed your new front brake setup, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front bumper.
when I saw the word “tool”, I thought it was another story on Ted Kennedy or Barack Obama.
My thoughts on tools are that Juan McCain, Rooty Guiliani, and Mitt Romney are the three biggest tools seen in years.
Lindsay Graham and Arlen Specter are right up there too.
Oh, you meant the other kind of tool.
Another good one from the CypressPress. Thanks for sharing
When I grew up, we were taught to use our hands...today, it’s all keyboards (although my kids are sure as heck not getting a free ride...video games or not).
I suggest everyone that has the chance to take some serious classes in things like auto repair, welding, plumbing, electrical, etc. Once the tax rates shoot up, being able to do things yourself, rather than paying people, will make a HUGE difference in lifestyle. [[ Example: Auto air conditioner compressor change out, figure $300 yourself, $1100 to pay someone (save $800). Now figure that you’re being taxed at 50%, then you have to earn $600 pre-tax to buy the compressor, and $2200 pre-tax to have the man do it. Big difference ]]
I have access to many tools(from Dad)that I have no idea how to use. I would never give them away or sell them because you never know when you might need them.
I’ve done many home and auto repairs using some of these tools, help from friends, instructions on the web and sometimes just common sense.
It might take me three days to something a pro could do in an hour, but I save money and feel a little more self sufficient.
Don't forget that not only the money you had to save up to get the work done was taxed at 50%, but you'll have to pay sales tax on the work you get done. Double taxing your money.
I'm a pipefitter by trade, so I'm used to working with tools. (Both mechanical and human). I'm looking at buying my own welding machine, beyond the 110v mig I have. I already have a pretty fair amount of tools. I do my own plumbing, electrical, carpentry, tile, roofing.
But I'm looking at adding more on. It goes beyond the Tim Taylor-guy mentality of more tools, ugh-ugh-ugh. I think times are going to get real tough in the future. And the more tools I have, will mean the more work I can do on the side to try to make ends meet.
In the not to distant future, I think very handy people, will be in demand. Maybe not for "regular" jobs, but in helping others just to survive.
I always thought taxes on repairs were for replacement parts only?
Does it differ by state?
Yep - earning some side cash is another benefit. There will always be boatloads of people that need help. Back in the 80s an electrician friend of mine studied his tail off to get his contractor’s license. His co-worker friends laughed at him...after all the company they worked for was loaded with work. You can guess the rest...the economy crashed, everyone was out of work - but my friend was able to simply start up his business (legally), keep it to small jobs, and do fine financially. Not a perfect analogy, but valid in principal.
“Don’t forget that not only the money you had to save up to get the work done was taxed at 50%, but you’ll have to pay sales tax on the work you get done. Double taxing your money.”
You can even go a step further, as taxes go up. Now the guy who comes over to work on air conditioner (or at the garage) has to pay more in taxes...one guess as to what happens to his rates...it’s a nasty spiral - but people can defeat it IF they take the necessary steps.
I grew up dirt poor. We thought anyone that could afford to pay someone else to fix something was wealthy. So we learned to fix things ourselves. I have also found that tools are a fantastic investment. Some expensive repairs are hired out for want of a “special tool” I will buy the special tool even if it cost more than the repair would have. Now my collection includes such things as a backhoe, and a ten foot long double ended wrench I had to get to fix IT with!
“It might take me three days to something a pro could do in an hour, but I save money and feel a little more self sufficient.”
Tell me about it...but in some cases you still come out way ahead. I was once told that 90% of residential air conditioner problems were electrical (as opposed to freon loop). In my limited experience working them, I’ve had two capacitor failures, one blower motor failure, one condenser motor failure, and a plugged drain line. But never a freon problem, so the number holds, at least for me (although I have the materials and tools to fix freon problems too...but I would have to do some serious brush-up).
So, say you have a 10 year old AC unit, and one day it dies. You call the man, he says it’s the compressor, and that you need a new system ($5000). How can you argue it...after all it doesn’t work. Maybe it is the compressor, but maybe it’s the blower starting capacitor ($20). Either one keeps the system from running. In my case, I never called the man, but I did hear a hum from the blower. I then hand-spun the blower and had my wife turn on the unit...it worked!! It was the $20 capacitor (and it was visibly expanded...shorted inside probably).
But what about the guy they send to your house who has to feed his family? He makes $40 on a service call if he replaces the cap, or he makes $500 labor and commission for replacing the compressor - I would be hard-pressed to tell the truth to the customer...image others.
Lots of reasons to get proficient.
Even a non-money reason - simply to minimize the number of strangers going through your house. While the guy at Mike’s AC may not come back in a week to ‘pick up a few items’, he may tip off his friend as to where the loot is. It’s my theory that in 75% of burglaries someone came to the house knowing that a specific item existed. Minimize the number of ‘visitors’, and you’ve definitely lowered your chances of being hit.
My .02 here, if you buy any hand tools ESPECIALLY automotive hand tools always buy the best, and from my 30+ years as a mechanic I can say that this usually excludes Sears hand tools, buy American made such as Snapon, Mac or Proto.
When a single wrench sets you back over $20 and a 3/8’s ratchet over $75 you tend to have a better appreciation of getting the best performance from that tool.
Basically I have found over the years over and over that a cheap tool will break, wear out and become unsafe or loses its value if the time arose that you need to sell it and as painful as it has to be the high dollar tools like Snapons will always be worth the initial investment, I have a complete massive tool set of almost all Snapons bought between 1981-83, 95% of those tools are still in my toolbox in near perfect state of usefulness, some naturally wear down like screwdriver tips but Snapon will replace it free of charge, and thats forever. Sears does the same but with them I had to replace broken tools on a weekly basis, with a Snapon wrench its measured not in years but over a decade of daily use.
Buy the best and it will never fail for you unless you cannot use the right tool for the job. Buy cheap and you get a possible unsafe tool with continuous use, cheap tools to me are only useful in situations of possible theft or of very infrequent light usage.
Good points, but if I was the repair guy, I couldn’t lie to the customer like that.
The one thing that made me learn to fix my own stuff more than any other reason was being lied to by the “pros”.
Most of the hand tools in my (former) cabinet shop were Porter-Cable.
When you work for yourself, TIME is money!
“Good points, but if I was the repair guy, I couldnt lie to the customer like that.”
I couldn’t either, but the other half of the country can without a second thought. And I agree. I still remember the only time in my life when I had a situation where I had a situation where I could not troubleshoot a problem, and had to pay the guy to both troubleshoot and repair it. It was a horrible feeling, and something that I’ve never had to repeat (i.e., for the few times that I do let someone work on my car, I already know exactly what repairs are needed). That one time was over 20 years ago and still feels like yesterday.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the word “steel” just doesn’t translate properly into Chinese.
“My .02 here, if you buy any hand tools ESPECIALLY automotive hand tools always buy the best, and from my 30+ years as a mechanic I can say that this usually excludes Sears hand tools, buy American made such as Snapon, Mac or Proto.”
I think it goes both ways with tools. The expensive ones are VERY EXPENSIVE, relative to Craftsman, for example. If I did use them daily, in my line of work, I would, of course, buy the best. But, with my light usage, I’m more likely to misplace or leave outside (hence rust) my tools, then to wear them out or break them. So I stick with Craftsman pretty much.
The tools at the real bottom end, though, can really suck. I had a nice-looking multi-point crow-foot wrench from Northern Tool that rounded out the first time I used. I then used my Craftsman crow-foot and, even with its straight sides, still worked fine. I have no confidence in the materials selections used on bottom-end tools. I still buy at Northern, but only stuff that I can verify will work, prior to leaving the store with it (like engines from Briggs or trash cans).
>I couldnt either, but the other half of the country can without a second thought.<
In decades of use of Craftsman wrenches/tools, I have only had to replace one. It was a 3/4" socket that we cracked. My father and I had used it several times and when we took it back to Sears to guy only said "Please tell me how you cracked it and we will give you a new one."
We then told him that we put an eight foot piece of pipe on the handle and I jumped up and down on the end of the pipe. We had been doing this for years before the socket cracked.
I think it translates as ‘reverse engineer’, or ‘take without compensation’.
Amen! Snap-on and the like are very good tools, but waaaaaaay over-priced and generally used as "social plumage". Sears Craftsman tools have served me far better over the years.
I can take a cracked socket back to Sears and the teenager working the hardware dept will simply replace it with a smile. The Snap-on man seems to automatically presume you used an impact wrench on it until you can produce a witness that can testify otherwise. You'd think with the over-priced tools they hawk, that they would be more forgiving and just replace a failed socket. Just my $.02 based on past experiences with my buddies...
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