Tool Box Time







Every time I go to the tool store with one of my grandsons, they refer to it as “Grandpa’s Toy Store.” If you are an old car enthusiast or hobbyist, there is no such thing as too big a garage or too many tools. As far as that goes, it is just as difficult to have enough.


            To answer the question of “What tools do you need to take care of your old car?” well, you first must determine how much of your own work you are going to do. Even if you don’t do any of your own work, you should have a set of “touring tools.”


            This should be a separate set that stays in the trunk of your “old car.” Your best bet for this can be found at a tool store, discount stores, hardware stores, Sears, Wards, etc. They come in nice, neat little plastic cases and cost $20 to $60.


            They hold an assortment of various tools and are designed for minor repairs on the roadside. They are not really high-quality tools, but they will do the job for which they are intended. Even if you can’t do the repairs, somebody on the tour might be able to help you if you have some tools.


            I will always remember the time one of our Club members paid a $65 tow bill because he didn’t have a screwdriver to tighten a hose clamp. A roll of duct tape and electrical tape are good to have along with you as well as a few pieces of wire.


            These tools and supplies should stay in your car and separate from your garage tools; otherwise, you may have a habit of not getting them back in your car when needed.


            As for your garage tools, you are only limited by your checkbook and room. Let’s talk about a few basics.


            The common tools such as wrench sets, pliers of various types, screwdrivers, hammers and other common hand tools are readily available in various price and quality ranges. If you make your living as a mechanic, it pays to get high quality tools. You can get lifetime guarantees on many less expensive tools. Let your wallet be your guide.


            As for power tools, each of these will increase your ability to do projects easier, quicker, and more thorough. Cordless tools are great, but you should have standard electric tools first and use your cordless as convenience or “luxury tools.”


            One of the main types of jobs you will be doing as a hobbyist is removing, disassembling, cleaning and reassembling. Your hand tools can do most of this except cleaning. For this, your first power tool should be a bench grinder. You can change your wheels to include not only grinding wheels of various grits, but wire wheels and polishing wheels. Fifty bucks can set you up quite well in this area.


            A parts washing tub will always prove to be a valuable aid.


            Compressed air is something that once you have it, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. Even if you only use it for tires and cleaning parts, air tools are so numerous and varied you will find that once you have an air compressor, you will find more and more uses for it. You might as well plan on always wanting a bigger one. The room you have should govern the size.


            You will find when you price them, that you can double your capacity for about one-third more in cost. Again, too much air is not possible.


            We could talk about many other luxuries in your shop such as sandblasters, shop presses, etc., but they will come with time and how good you are in convincing your spouse of their need and worth.


            See ya next month.