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Posts Tagged ‘Tools’

1. If you can’t find a screwdriver, use a knife. If you break off the tip, it’s an improved screwdriver.

2. Try to work alone. An audience is rarely any help.

3. Despite what you may have been told by your mother, praying and cursing are both helpful in home repair … but only if you are working alone.

4. Work in the kitchen whenever you can … many fine tools are there, its warm and dry, and you are close to the refrigerator.

5. If it’s electronic, get a new one … or consult a twelve-year-old.

6. Stay simple minded: Get a new battery; replace the bulb or fuse; see if the tank is empty; try turning it to the “on” position; or just paint over it.

7. Always take credit for miracles. If you dropped the alarm clock while taking it apart and it suddenly starts working, you have healed it.

8. Regardless of what people say, kicking, pounding, throwing, and swearing sometimes DOES help.

9. If something look level, it is level.

10. If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success.

11. Above all, if what you’ve done is stupid, but it works, then it isn’t stupid.

[author unknown]

Quit Stealing Our Letters Sign

Quit Stealing Our Letters Sign

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

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 24-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.

DREMEL TOOL: A very useful tool for modelers which allows them to make more mistakes much faster, thereby turning $100 kits into spare parts, and completely justifying the purchase of another $100 kit.

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 canned drink across the room, splattering it against that freshly stained heirloom piece you were drying.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 2X4: Used for levering an automobile upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

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.

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.  Also used as replacement for screwdriver.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

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.

MECHANIC’S 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.

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 you want the bearing race out of.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids and 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.

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

RADIAL ARM SAW: A large stationary power-saw primarily used by most shops to scare neophytes into choosing another line of work.

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

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters and wire-wheel wires.

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

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.

WELDING GLOVES: Heavy-duty leather gloves used to prolong the conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

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 inch socket you’ve been searching for the last 45 minutes.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned guitar calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, “YEOWW!”

[author unknown]

changing diapers

changing diapers

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There is a rule in carpentry and the handi-work business that says, “Measure twice, cut once.” I am not always so good at following that rule.  This may explain the convoluted ways the projects I do tend to take when I am at work.  This is also why it is always good for me to work with someone who really knows what they are doing.  Nevertheless, my working with even a professional can prove to be an interesting experience for them.

I am not necessarily a great tool-time guy. This probably explains why I have 10 times as many books as I do tools and why my books are Dewey decimaled while my tools are thrown together in a heap or unsorted in toolboxes or crates.  For the “thinker/reader,” books are our tools.  This is not the fault of my father who is a professional carpenter.  I just seemed to be missing that genetic makeup, unlike my brother Bruce who became very good and well known for his carpentry and handyman skills.

swiss-army-pastor

swiss-army-pastor

Several years ago, while working on various projects at church, the guys who were the professionals in their trades stated coming up with a list of “Rules for Pastor Ron Projects.” They violated common sense but just seemed to be how the universe worked in the vortex of the projects in which I was involved.  Some vowed it was some sort of bad t00l-time Karma, while others averred I had made the skilled-labor gods angry.

At any rate, the list of rules contained some of the following:

  1. Any project that requires trips to the hardware store will require more than one trip, probably multiple trips, which will triple the time, if not quadruple the time, you would normally spend on the project.
  2. Any tools that you bring for the project will never be enough and the most important ones you need will have been left at home, which will require a trip back to your shop to get more tools.  Do not be surprised if this trip is made more than once.
  3. You, or Ron, will get injured – scrapes, cuts, slivers and bruises are the least of your worries.
  4. Take the normal amount of time it would require you to do that project by yourself.  Double it.
  5. Every project must be done with a full cup of hot coffee in one hand, thus one of the reasons for doubling the amount of time required to complete any project.
  6. When having Ron hold the “dummy end” of the tape measure, double-check to make sure he is holding it in the right spot.
  7. When having Ron hold the “other end” of a board, double-check to make sure he is holding it in the right spot.
  8. Never, ever put a power tool in Ron’s hand unless you are a safe distance away such as in another room or on another piece of property.
  9. Do not bother asking Ron, “Where’s your tool belt?”  He does not own one.  This explains the jostling around of an armful of tools and handfuls of nails and screws around the project.  This can be amusing to watch.
  10. Your joy and entertainment in working on any project with Ron will be watching him dancing around, jumping up and down and creating new invectives without formally swearing to express the pain of hitting, cutting or slamming a body part .  This may also be your most spiritually instructive experience of the day.

So, there you have it. Incidentally, I do have a few projects I need to work on.  Any volunteers?  I realize that after reading this you may want to just do the work by yourself.  And that is fine.  But I cannot stand to watch other people work and not do anything, so I will just go in the other room with my coffee and find a good book from my library.

©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

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