First, let me say that I'm a big fan of D&R. I've been reading it
since I went live, and it's good to see a blog that doesn't seem to be
driven by a publishing schedule, but instead is driven by quality
Your recent "Tools Explained by a Do-It-Yourselfer" post is a mutation
of a column written by Peter Egan and published in Road and Track back
in 1996. Peter's a fantastic writer and a great companion for an
afternoon of sitting on the porch, and the version you posted is not
an improvement on the original. Here it is.
(An old chestnut sent to us by Bob Paleck)
TOOLS EXPLAINED BY A DO-IT-YOURSELFER:
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 objects across the room, denting the freshly-painted vertical stabilizer which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.
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*t'
ELECTRIC HAND DRILL:
Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.
A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.
Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.
An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST:
A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.
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.
A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.
A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50-cent part.
A tool used to make hoses too short.
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.
Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as leather 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.
Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling 'DAMMIT' at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.