TOOLS OF THE TRADE 2 TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool used for testing the tensile strength of ground straps, motor mounts, exhaust pipes and automatic transmission cooler lines you may have forgotten to disconnect before the attempted removal of an engine. 2 TON HYDRAULIC PRESS: A tool that was designed for the pressing in or out of bushings, installation or removal of bearing races and the insallation or removal of shafts, pins or gears. Reality dictates that it is far more useful for squashing new parts into a totally unusable shape or smashing fingers. AIR COMPRESSOR: An "Energy-Transference" machine that takes electricity produced in a coal burning power plant at least 800 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty suspension bolts (last tightened 30+ years ago by someone in Detroit) and instantly rounds the heads off. AVIATION METAL SNIPS: (see also: "Hacksaw") Useful for the attempted trimming off of lengthy fingernails but this useage most often results in torn, bloody fingernails and a nasty, painful infection. Also occasionally used to trim sheetmetal strips or cut off the zip ties holding on the front fenders. BANDSAW: Another device that falls into the "Ouija Board" family of cutting tools. While originally designed to be used to quickly cut stock to size with minimal setup time, only the highest skilled user is able to obtain satisfactory results due to the design flaw of not having a fence built into the table thus precluding straight cuts. It is rumored that the average mechanic produces more scrap with the bandsaw than any other machine tool. BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER: A handy tool used for transferring Hydrochloric Acid from a battery to the inside of your toolbox after determining that your battery is dead as a doornail, just as you thought. Buck Knife: An often thoroughly "dull as-a-ball-point-pen" tool used for the cleaning of dirt or grease laden fingernails. Somewhat useful for the chopping off of stray hangnails as well as the attempted removal of wood splinters, metal shavings and all other manner of particulates imbedded in the hands of its current user. Like the metal snips, this tool is also often closely associated with infection. CRAFTSMAN 1/2 X 16 SCREWDRIVER: A long, motor mount prying tool that had an accurately machined screwdriver tip on one end. The finely machined surface most often dissappears soon after the tool is purchased and is replaced by a pitted, scored or chipped tip immediately after said tool is put into any toolbox. This large screwdriver is also often used as a substitute for the hallowed "Bonking Stick". It is rumored to have once been used as an actual screwdriver by most "real" mechanics. DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine used to suddenly snatch flat metal stock out of your hands so that it repeatedly smacks you in the chest making you wish you had mastered the knowledge of the "C-Clamp" back in junior high school. Also handy for whipping all manner of stock across the shop at high speed so that the user can remain proficient at patching up sheetrock. EIGHT FOOT LONG 2X4: Used to pry a truck upward off a hydraulic jack. E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A "Misnomer Tool" designed to be used to remove broken off bolts or screws in engine blocks. Reality soon dictated that it was far more useful as a tool simply used to "plug up" these holes after it was discovered that it snaps off in said bolt holes 99% of the time. This may be due to the over zealousness of the original engineers who ordered the tool to be made ten times harder than any known drill bit thus precluding a broken off stud extractor from itself being drilled out and removed. 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. Originally designed as a hand tool, it was soon replaced by the power hack saw. See below. TOOLS OF THE TRADE-Part Duex HACKSAW, POWER: (See also: Bandsaw) This modern device was designed to replace the original human powered hacksaw which was found to be more counterproductive than productive due to its propensity to quickly induce tendinitis in the arms of all its users. Although it was thought that it would be perfected after an electric motor was istalled, reality soon dictated that it too was a counterproductive machine because the owner spent far more time buying new blades than cutting metal stock. HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, today the hammer is used as a kind of divining rod to locate tender body parts not far from the object you are trying to hit. The hammer is often wrongly used in conjunction with screwdrivers & other pointy objects that have no business being smacked by a hammer. HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering drop spindle trucks to the ground, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front air dam. MECHANIC'S KNIFE: (AKA "Razor Blade") Used to open cardboard cartons. It works particularly well on boxes containing convertible tops, tonneau covers or any other soft material usually preferred to be in "unsliced" condition. OXYACETYLENE TORCH: (See also: Telephone) Used to remove rounded off bolts and free any stuck part. Also useful for turning grease seals back into their base carbon compounds as well as turning various materials into a thoroughly useless molten mass. PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab holes in the lids of old style paper & tin oil cans to promptly splash oil up on your new shirt. It can also be used, as the name somewhat implies, to round off Phillips screw head screws. Another little known use for the Phillips head screw driver is as a center punch for the attempted marking of steel parts for drilling. PICKLE FORK: (AKA "Bonking Stick") This strange looking device is most often used as a crude tuning fork as well as a percussive device when one needs to check the solidity of any object in the shop. It can also be used for the attempted prying off of stuck on valve covers and intake manifolds. There is a rumor that this tool was originally used to remove suspension components but it is beyond the comprehension of most garage monkeys to figure that out. PLIERS: (See also: "Vice Grips") In today's workshop, pliers are used solely to round off bolt and screw heads. May also be used to destroy nuts. TELEPHONE: A "modern" tool used for calling around to find another hydraulic floor jack. Also useful for requesting ambulances or fire trucks after you employ the use of the Oxyacetylene Torch. TIMING LIGHT: Another "modern" tool which is an electically powered strobo-scopic instrument used for illuminating grease buildup on crankshaft pulleys. May also be used to actually set the timing on an engine or to simply play "Ray Gun Shoot 'Em Up" with the kids in your neighborhood. TROUBLE LIGHT: Another tool from the "Misnomer Tool" realm. The trouble light is sometimes called a "drop light" and for good reason as its main purpose is to consume 100 watt light bulbs. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading. It may sporadically be used as a temporary light source. VISE GRIPS: The "ultimate" tool used to round off bolt heads. Consistantly outperforms the more common 'pliers' due to the extra gripping power employed by the built-in spring locking mechanism that multiplies the brute grip force. Like pliers, and/or if nothing else is available, they can transfer intense welding heat from freshly welded metal to the palm of your hand. WIRE WHEEL: Cleans the rust off old bolts and then zings them at the speed of light into a black hole somewhere underneath the workbench never to be found again. Also removes loose skin, fingerprints, warts and callouses in a better than surgical fashion.