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Tool time

I’ve always had an appreciation for people who can use tools – and know what they were for before they picked them up. When I became a widow I especially appreciated those who knew how to use tools, and could accomplish a project before they were too old to enjoy it, before they fell over the pieces – or lost the pieces of said project.

My husband, and dad, did a good job in training me to use a certain amount of tools; I can change my own oil, put in a battery, pull a mile of barbed wire out of a lawnmower blade after I run over it, build raised bed gardens from horse cribbed wood, and a few other things. I’m definitely aware that a real carpenter is right on in measurements, while I myself use a hand grenade theory that certain things are close enough.

Auctioneers love to see me coming – I’m in the “hey, that might be handy” class. I now own three circular saws – why? I don’t know. One doesn’t work, the other one does – and the other one I have no idea of its working condition ...

So ... the latest money pit I’ve fallen into is buying a tractor. With that, I’m the connoisseur of YouTube videos on the latest and greatest upgrades to your tractor. I feel like females in the tractor world are fairly outnumbered, as they are on YouTube tool videos, granted people like me are why men are on YouTube doing how-to videos. In doing a search of the internet, I could not find a study on the percentage of women tool users. If I were a guessing person, I’d say it’s a fast growing market. But, who knows?

I recently received an email from a friend on tools – any of you that use tools may have experiences that allow you to understand the humor in each tool description. 

I certainly understand on several – I still have all 10 of my digits, but just by the grace of God.

So I hope you enjoy the tool description chart, “Tools and How to Use Them.” (Warning – there is colorful language in some descriptions.)

Circular Saw:

A portable cutting tool used to make boards too short.

Belt Sander:

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

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 calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, “Oh shit.”

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, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.


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


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.

Oxyacetylene Torch:

Used almost entirely for igniting various flammable objects in your shop and creating a fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

Table Saw:

A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity. Very effective for digit removal !!

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.

Band Saw:

A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut large pieces into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge. Also good for Digit Removal. 

Two-ton Engine Hoist:

A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of all the crap you forgot to disconnect.

Phillips Screwdriver:

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.

Straight Screwdriver: (Mixing Paint)

A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

Pry Bar:

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

PVC Pipe Cutter:

A tool used to make plastic pipe too short.

Hammer: (American Screwdriver)

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.

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. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.




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