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Sunday, July 7, 2019

We've All Been There....


  1. The bolt on a broken leaf spring on a '63 Valiant................

  2. It was at an early age, maybe 22 orso, that I learned that it doesn't pay to buy cheap tools. I had a stuck bolt on my car, I can't even remember what one, I have had so many over the years. I was using a cheap Chinese ratchet. The square post you seat the socket on, was not very strong. I twisted just by hand, and the nut didn't move, but the ratchet did. I twisted that square post into a twirled part that could be used on your wrought iron fence, as a decorative piece. Spun the damn thing almost completely in a circle, until it came off the socket which of course, sat there on the nut, just looking at me, almost mocking me. We didn't have any place in town which sold even a Craftsmen brand or any other higher quality tools. So I went to the local ACE hardware. They sold an ACE brand that had the exact same no fail guarantee that Sears did with their craftsman brand did. I still have that socket and ratchet set, and I just turned 59. It is not S & K or anything, but it has not broken, and has not failed to work as needed. My dad was not very mechanically inclined. He worked on our car exhaust, not with the right parts, but with soup cans and coat hangers. He would take a hacksaw, and cut slices into one pipe, so that he could slip the other part inside of it and then clamp the two together.
    I am a cheapskate, but even I know that doing the thing right the first time is the only way to go, and saves one heck of a lot of headache and messing about. He was a fantastic dad, who taught me how to be a good, honorable man, but I had to learn how to use tools on my own. I learned that from working from age 18 for 35 years in a steel making factory, melting all kinds of metal to sell to the investment cast industry. We had a maintenance department, but often, in the first half of my time there, it was just as easy to fix your own things. Later on, after things began to get more into computers and ladder logic, most of the time, the bosses didn't like it if we got our hands into things, even though I, as a ham radio operator from the age of 12, had a handle on a lot of things. So I mostly just waited for maintenance to fix it. If I tried to fix something and could not, then they probably would have blamed me for something that I did not do. So I mostly just waited and watched.
    We made metal for just about everything. From gun parts, frames, barrels, etc. to boat propellers, to food service equipment, and artificial hip and knee parts. The thing that people who talk about social security and increasing the retirement age fail to realize is that for guys like me, who spend our whole lives at work doing extremely heavy physical labor, our body has worn out by the time we hit the age of 60 or so. I had to have my elbow operated on a number of years back, to take out a piece that had broken off the bone. It was just worn out, from running air hammers, and heavy lifting. Moving the age of retirement to 70 for office workers might seem like a fair solution for the long term stability of social security, but for workers who spend their lives doing manual labor, it is just not realistic.

  3. as far as wrenching technicians go there is a difference between auto mechanics and industrial mechanics. auto mechs have maybe two or three hammers. industrial techs have two or three drawers filled with hammers, from six ounce to fifty pound drifts. selection of proper tools calls for knowing just how far the part needs to move and how expensive the part is. tool selection is at an inverse ratio to part expense and the hourly rate such movement pays. more expensive parts get the maxi hammer. electronics need the 100# copper drift-usually a speciality shop tool. conductive you know. for those delicate adjustments you close your eyes to do.

  4. When I doubt, impact wrench

  5. Someone (a fellow Millwright) devised the best penetrating oil ever. It is a 50-50
    mixture of ATF and Acetone. I am guessing that the Acetone cuts the rust, carbon
    or whatever, allowing the mixture to seep deeper into the threads. Some engineering
    firm uniformly rusted a series of fasteners and measured the break-away torqure.
    WD-40, Break-Free, you name it. The torque value for that solution was half that
    of the next best commercial penetrant.

    I was in the trades for more than 45 years, and the most complete tool selection I
    have is my sets of extractors. I have Proto type straight flue and spiral flue
    extractors that can remove small screws to 1+ inch pipe nipples. My favorite screw
    extractor kit is the Irwin 25 piece short spiral set. The more sizes you have, the less
    precise the hole needs to be and they work wonders on stripped Allen screws. In addition
    to that, I have their their bolt and screw head extractors, and a full 29 piece
    left handed dill set.

    There is nothing I hate more than busting my ass to get a stubborn fastener out.
    An old saying states than every 15 minute job is one broken bold away from being
    an all day job!


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