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Dirty Girl's Tool Glossary

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touchup jobs into major refinishing jobs. Also useful for flinging small parts out of sight and far under nearby benches and tables.

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

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it clears off nearby bench surfaces and flings you across the room.

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, or carving squiggly marks around the point at which you were hoping a hole would form.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known drill bit that snaps neatly off in bolt holes thereby saving the time and expense, or even the possibility, of any future repair.

FIRST AID KIT: No fooling, every shop with even a single tool on this list should have one! Tetanus shots are a good idea too.

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 divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object you are trying to hit. Except for use as a divining rod, hammers should be restricted to use in the carpentry shop exclusively for putting nails into wood. If you use a hammer on your motorcycle the Society for the Prevention of Abuse of Motorcycles (SPAM) will come to scold you, and maybe take away your hammer. A mallet may be necessary in certain circumstances, a chipping hammer if you're arc welding, a pining hammer if you're hand fabricating parts, by never, ever a carpentry hammer.

IMPERIAL SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British and American cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 14 mm or ?? socket you've been searching for the last 45 minutes.

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: a nearly useless tool normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids; although it can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads. Phillips screws should be replaced with other fittings anyway, if you can get them out.

PLIERS: Used to render bolt-heads unrecognizable as well as unusable. Sometimes pliers are also used in the creation of blood-blisters; see SAFETY WIRE PLIERS for a superior alternative.

SAFETY WIRE PLIERS: The hand tool of choice for the creation of blood blisters, because the locking mechanism defeats your natural tendency to let go when it starts to hurt. (see PLIERS) Safety wire pliers have many other uses including the tearing of bolt heads in a way that can't be accomplished with basic pliers. Safety wire pliers are also used to mangle and tangle expensive stainless steel wire into burr like forms that adhere to your clothing then randomly perform acupuncture. If you've cut your safety wire long enough, the pieces will be large enough to remove without tweezers.

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 substantial projectiles for the purpose of testing wall integrity.

TROUBLE LIGHT: Giving off more heat than light, yet assumed to be a source of vitamin D, which is not otherwise found in shops except while welding. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at a fearsome rate. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.

TWEEZERS: A necessary part of the shop first-aid-kit, the tool of choice for removing wire wheel wires, tiny pieces of safety wire (see above for proper useage), steel machining shreds and chips, and anything else you find embedded in your skin at the end of the day (wash first).

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. They are sometimes seen tacked on to decorate welding projects.

WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves, crafted exclusively for giants, and mainly used to prevent anything approaching normal dexterity in your hands. Recommended for medicating cats.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint and rust of parts while making them excessively hot. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, "Yeeoowww".

XXXIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling "XXXIT" at the top of your lungs. It is also, almost certainly, the tool that you will want next. The frequency with which you use your XXXIT will give you an indication of wether you should consider anger management classes, meditation or yoga as part of your race season preparations.




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