Doing More Repairs With Fewer Tools
Dec 02, 2018
When I was an amateur mechanic doing my own maintenance and repairs, I didn't have a lot of tools, which required me to be creative. I was reminded of that the other day when I dug out an ancient 1-inch deep well socket and found out it wouldn't fit on a bolt because its business end was all mushroomed and abused.
That's probably because, back in the day, I often used my deep well sockets as bearing and seal drivers. It was normal for me to grab a tool and modify it (or mis-use it) to accomplish a task. I destroyed a lot of sockets. I carved a lot of pieces of wood to use as bearing and seal drivers. I heated and bent a lot of wrenches to get them to fit in awkward places. And I usually got the bearing or seal drive installed, or whatever other repair that needed a tool I didn't have.
Compare that to today, when I wander around the dealership looking for the exact, factory-mandated tool that's supposed to be in our Tool Room, or to find another mechanic who has some weird Snap-on or Mac tool that's supposed to be the perfect way to remove or install a part. If I don't find the exact tool I need, I whine and complain that I can't do the job until I get that exact tool. I've become a tool snob. I've forgotten that it's the mechanic who makes the repair, not the tool.
I need to get back to my roots, and remember that to a creative mind, ANY tool can be the RIGHT tool...with a little modification.