Tool definitions…

Tool Definitions

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 airplane part you were drying.

BELT SANDER: Used for making rectangular gouges in wood.

PAD SANDER: Used for easing the edges of the rectangular gouges.

RANDOM ORBIT SANDER: Used for removing the marks left by the PAD SANDER, usually on any surface perpendicular to the original gouge. May also be used to make semicircular gouges in wood.

DETAIL SANDER: Makes triangular gouges, generally in blind corners.

BISCUIT JOINER: Tool used to misalign wood in a very consistent manner which can then be sanded heavily (See BELT SANDER).

CHISEL: Multi use tool – good for making deep cuts in the hand.

CORDLESS DRILL/POWER SCREWDRIVER: Used for rounding out Phillips screw heads at high speed.

ROUTER: Used to darken wood by friction and make smoke. For this latter purpose, it replaces the incense used by primitive woodworking cultures who wished to influence the woodworking deities. When used with a ROUTER TABLE this tool can be used to make varying profiles using a single bit and a single depth setting.

TAPE MEASURE: This device is used to measure length. It should be immediately dropped onto concrete several times so that measurements made with it will then agree with every other TAPE MEASURE in the world.

NAILSET: Used to make small, round depressions around the head of a finish nail. Principally used for decoration.

CLAMPS: These come in two sizes: too small and loaned to an in-law.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off 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….”

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age; with the proper accessories, used to destroy perfectly good wood in many ways.

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.

SABER SAW: See Hacksaw.

VISE-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.

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

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

8-FOOT LONG 2X4: Used for levering an automobile upward off a hydraulic jack handle.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.

PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbors to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack.

PHONE (alt.): Tool for calling your brother-in-law to see if he has your CLAMPS.

TABLE SAW: Used to make wood slightly narrower than necessary.

MITER SAW: Used to make wood slightly shorter than necessary.

THICKNESS PLANER: Used to make wood slightly thinner than necessary.

JOINTER: Used to make the too thin, too short, too narrow wood perfectly straight. Very useful for making two sides of a board perfectly straight but non-parallel.

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

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known drill bit that snaps off in bolt holes you couldn’t use anyway.

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

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large pry bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.


TROUBLE LIGHT: The home 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 cars at night. Health benefits aside, it’s 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 misleading.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

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 over tightened 58 years ago by someone at ERCO, and neatly rounds off their heads.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50¢ part.

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 not far from the object we are trying to hit.

HAMMER (alt.): Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer continues

to be the tool of choice for making medium sized circular depressions

in wooden surfaces of all kinds.

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.

UTILITY KNIFE (alt.): Used to slice through the fingers. For purposes of sanitation, the blades are easily replaceable.

DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling “DAMMIT” at the top of your lungs. It is also the next tool that you will need.

EXPLETIVE: A balm, usually applied verbally in hindsight, which somehow eases those pains and indignities following our every deficiency in foresight.


About Lazy Larry

Just a woodworker sharing some of the things learnt the hard way... so you don't make the same mistakes...
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2 Responses to Tool definitions…

  1. Michael A. Ragan says:

    How true it is. My Dad said (and I bet Grand Dad said it) and I said it. I’m going to send this to my two Sons so they will understand.

  2. Troy says:

    Brilliant work Larry 🙂 Comprehensive and funny!

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