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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Snap-On Tools, The Mumbler and Project Cars

I was bombarded with the Angelic Chorus as I walked into class last night to see the Snap-On Tools guy in residence. Now, ask any technician you know and they’ll say that Snap-On Tools are the bomb. Expensive, but you can’t get any better. How expensive, you ask? Well, ladies, you know how you can’t afford any of the clothes when there are no price tags in the store? You got it. No prices anywhere on Snap-On Tools. They have these awesome beginner tool sets that are made for baby mechanics and I think I’d love to have me a set of those. Um, no. With the 50% student discount, the price is $1700-1800. They even have an mini-baby beginner mechanic tool set that is slightly less awesome, but with the student discount, even that is $900-1000. Jeez Louise.

Oscilloscopes and Attention Spans
I worked with Jiffy and All-American on our circuitry lab (which we didn’t finish because those damn boys kept getting off task). Unfortunately, our circuit set was right next to the front desk where Mr. Shado was playing with a Snap-On Tools oscilloscope (which is a scan tool that measures voltage over time so it has a fancy screen that shows fancy graphs, and is complete with a very fancy price). It was so enthralling that I could have taken off all my clothes and danced naked to the cheesy synthesized music from my cell phone and Jiffy and All-American would have simply asked me to hold it down so they could focus on what Mr. Shado was doing with his fancy toy. Seriously.

After not finishing our lab, we still had to sit through another 1.5 hours of lecture on wires, wire gauges, oscilloscopes, wiring diagrams and such. As we walked out, The Mumbler caught up to me and handed me a sheet of suggestions for tools because he didn’t want me to get all caught up on the tool issue as a baby mechanic. So I thought I would share those with you:

Good tool brands: Craftsman, Robalt, Husky, Easco, KD, SK, Napa, Stanley, Klein, Dewalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi, Starrett, Popular Mechanics (lower end of decent tools; buy only if very low price)
Places to get good prices: pawn shops, yard/garage sales, flea markets, consignment shops, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Harbor Freight Tools (very cheap prices -- must know how to judge a good quality tool to get a good buy)
Tips: Don’t buy anything without a name stamped on it. Look for quality in manufacturing: smooth grinding, crisp lettering, straight edges, clarity in gauges. Signs of bad tools: excessively thick heads, non-uniform grinding marks, bubbles in handles, uneven grinds on bit tips, no brand name on tool, uneven stamping on letters, non-symmetrical components (handles, drive heads, etc.), looseness between components (i.e., screwdriver blades and handles)

I don’t know much about these brands or his tips, so I didn’t question him on anything. I’m becoming his pet too, and I’m cool with that. I’m beginning to think of all the guys in the class as “my boys” anyway.

Finally, apparently I need a Project Car. Everyone else in the class is working on a 1978 This or a 1989 That or a 2003 Somethingorother. Mr. Forrest suggested a nice Honda for me. Jiffy said I had to get a 1989-1993 Ford Mustang. I said I thought a VW beetle or bus would be awesome, which was quickly and completely dismissed because they have all the wrong parts for what we’re learning in the class and I need to start out a little easier. Mr. Forrest reiterated his Honda suggestion, to which I said that Hondas have no flash. Jiffy said that I didn’t need any flash, which I took to mean “girl, you wouldn’t know what to do with flash if you had any,” which I don’t necessarily disagree with.

So I'm still on the hunt for a good Project Car. Any suggestions?


  1. What about an old Jeep... used to be made pretty well and sturdy. Course the older ones tip over more easily if you take your turns really sharp.

    I have always been a sucker for Mustangs though.

  2. This project have to own it, I'm assuming? Bit more of an investment than books!
    I like that they're "your" boys and for some, you're "their" girl :)

  3. Pickup truck? Old enough to be cool, but young enough to be cheap? And useful once its running. Not sure if there are weight issues since your teacher is recommending a honda, which is is relatively lightweight.

  4. I just happen to have a 1994 Honda Prelude in my driveway that has been sitting there for 3 years. we can work on it together! ;-)

  5. I mentioned the Jeep suggestion in class and everyone agreed that a Jeep Cherokee would be great. Not a Grand Jeep Cherokee, but just the regular Jeep Cherokee. But iamLAJ's Honda sure does sound handy.