The Handy Home Restorer's
Guide to Workshop Tools
An Article by Mark Rense ( and others)
For those of you who have a toolbox full of Tiger tools and no idea what their intended uses REALLY are, here is a compiled list of their actual functions:
- HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive Tiger parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.
- MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on boxes containing seats and new convertable tops.
- ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning chrome trim Pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling mounting holes in fenders just above the brake line that goes to the rear wheels.
- 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.
- 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.
- OXY-ACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your garage on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside a brake drum you're trying to get 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.
- 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 Bass Ale across the room, splattering it against that freshly painted part you were drying.
- WIRE WHEEL: Cleans rust off old 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, "Ouc...."
- HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering your Tiger to the ground after you have installed your new Wilwood front disk brake setup, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front fender.
- EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering your Tiger upward off a hydraulic jack.
- TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters (see above).
- CELL PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack.
- SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog-doo off your boot.
- E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool that snaps off deep in header bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.
- TIMING LIGHT: A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup.
- TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps and brake lines you may have forgotten to disconnect.
- CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large motor mount prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.
- BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER: A handy tool for transferring sulfuric acid from your Tiger battery to the inside of your toolbox after determining that your battery is dead as a doornail, just as you thought.
- AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
- TROUBLE LIGHT: The 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 Tigers at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 60-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. This tool's name is actually a warning.
- PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin Castrol oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; can also be used, as the name implies, to round off Phillips screw heads. Alternatively: Something you should have returned to Phillip, after you borrowed it.
- 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 tightened 37 years ago by someone in England, and promptly rounds them off.
- 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.
- HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses 1/2 inch too short.
For an in-depth treatment specific to using and interpreting the Rootes Workshop Manual, further information can be found in the treatise Interpreting "The Book"
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