Thursday, May 29, 2014


Retirees ……….. Most downsize when they retire, a big house for 2 is usually just too big, but with most professional’s…. their garage often becomes their workshop, depending on your occupation before retiring, Not too long ago I had a couple, retired sell there house and move to Middletown, one of these communities that are popping up all over the place, but unlike a house they have no storage …. And no garage. He is a retired Mechanic, who still works on his own automobiles, Over 40 years being a mechanic you collect a large amount of tools, and those tools like most for any profession are not inexpensive, some are extremely costly. So you take them with you, or like my retiree you get a storage unit, even down sized they still needed a large space for all his tools and equipment. Being retired he has rolling drawer full of parts and tools. The amount of tools a mechanic uses is truly extensive. Different parts of the engine have their own group of tools; you also have the tires that get their own select group.  Let’s hang out with the engine mechanics for now, the engine is the most complex part of the car we would all agree, now with computer chips and sensors regulating just about everything the engine says or does not only do you need traditional  tools like wrench’s and power drills, you need a laptop as well. When your check engine light comes on, the first thing they do is connect it to the computer to see what the problem is, and then from that point comes the real work…. No matter how far we get with technology we still need hands on service, the guy or gal to get under the hood and make your engine purr like a kitten once again.

The check engine light is like a guideline, shall we say a starting point….. Then comes the professional, the one who finds and fixes your knocking, clanging or chug chug sound your cars makes. A computer can’t listen and tell you like a experienced mechanic can, I recently had a screeching noise over the winter, this is actually the second winter I have had this particular grinding metal screech, I explained the noise to my awesome mechanic and he popped off with the problem, so of course in it went, some flap getting sand and salt …. So he fixed it, he straightened my flaps and poof the noise is gone…. Funny thing is I had two people look at it the year before and both could not find anything wrong….

The importance of a good honest mechanic is as valuable as drinking water!  The other guys were clearly lacking the knowledge or the desire to find and fix my crazy screech.

Tools of the trade ….
An experienced and honest mechanic will not “make do” with just any tool to do any task. There is the correct tool for every job Not only does the right tool do the job right the first time, it can also avoid doing any damage to the machine needing the work, if you use the improper tool the likelihood of creating more damage is almost guaranteed when it comes to an engine,

Wrenches ………

Top mechanics will rarely if ever use an adjustable (“monkey”) wrench. Mechanics use wrenches sized for every nut and bolt. Also, mechanics will have every sized tool for both English (inches, feet) and Metric (meters) measurements.

On some machinery there will be a combination of English and Metric fasteners as components come from around the world for final assembly. Another advantage of a good set of box end wrenches is they are engineered to make work easier . The wrench heads are angled for better leverage with loosening and tightening fasteners. Mechanics will also have a set of box end wrenches with offset wrench heads to reach around an obstruction and reach a bolt or nut deeper in the machine.

Finally, every top mechanic will have sets of both 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ sockets and a socket wrench. The different sizes offer larger wrenches for greater leverage. With the socket set the mechanic will have either one or possibly more torque wrenches. Torque wrenches are set to certain settings and will only drive a fastener so tight before releasing. This avoids tightening a bolt too much and possibly digging into the machine surface or shearing the bolt with too much force.

Although seemingly simple tools, the screwdriver comes in different lengths, weights and with different heads for different types of screws. Again, a top mechanic only uses the right screwdriver for each fastener. Longer screwdrivers reach screw heads in deep recesses while a thicker shaft and beefier head can apply more twisting action  to the screw. Screwdrivers are made to fit flathead screws (one slot), Philips head (cross slots) or star screws (a star-shaped hole). Screwdriver bits can also be attached to socket wrenches for turning hard to reach screws needing significant force to turn.

Air Tools
Mechanics will have an assortment of pneumatic (air) powered tools for quickly doing work with less effort. Air wrenches can whip off a lug nut quickly. A screwdriver bit can turn screws with the press of a button. Air hammers are needed to pry apart seized or frozen parts fused together even after removing the fastener.
The tools are driving by an air hose connected to a compressed air tank filled by a recycling compressor (as air is used and pressure goes down the compressor activates and refills the tank). Different tools, however, may need different air pressure so the tank is regulated. An air-powered screwdriver needs less power  than an air hammer.

Hang on……. We just scratched the surface……
Floor jacks
Trolly hoist
Engine hoist
Transmission jack
Oil drain pans

Air compressor. Bigger the better
All types of air tools
Impacts, ratchets, grinders, saws, rivet gun, blow guns,

Parts washer

Electric power tools like grinders, drills, etc

Hand tools
Ratchets, sockets in SAE and Metric in short, med and deep well, in 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ drive sizes
vise grips, wire cutters, slip joints
pry bars
punch sets
code readers/scanners

compression and leak-down gauges
timing light
dial calipers
feeler gauges
Volt/ohm meter
valve spring compressor
allen/hex wrenchs
torx drivers

Mig welder
Oxy/fuel torch

Now , just imagine running your own mechanic shop for 40+ years, then retiring, then downsizing….. That is where we here at Storage station come in to help…. With the mass amount of tools acquired over the years it takes a large space to store all of them, my retiree currently rents a 10×15 drive up storage unit, I have a contractor here who utilizes a 10×30 drive up double door unit, that is a whole different bundle of tools those contractors use….. we will save that for another day.

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