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isn't quite ashamed enough to present

jr conlin's ink stained banana

:: Tool Box Love

It occurred to me while i was on my roof adjusting my satellite dish, there’s an amazing assortment of “accidental crap” i’ve grown to really rely on.

i’m talking about stuff i’ve gotten for completely other reasons that have turned out to be insanely useful stuff, and since i don’t have any cats, i figured: Score! Blog Post! Seriously, if you don’t have this stuff in your hardware kit, get thee to a hardware store (preferably one running a sale).

So, what kind of accidental but now life critical crap am i talking about?

Small Vice Grips
Ok, i’ve actually got three of these now. The small set (which is about six inches long) a large set, and a set that can be used to turn several inch diameter pipes. i got the other two because of the insane number of times i’ve found the vice grips to be useful, although i don’t use those others anywhere nearly as often. So why accidental? Well, the first set i got was because i was looking for just a pair of pliers. The vice grips were on sale.
Multi socket tool kit
This was originally going to Hetta, however turns out she couldn’t use it. So i kept it. Damn glad i did. This is one of those no-name screwdriver with a kazillion bit kids. It’s got more than just hte usual Phillips and flat-head drivers, it’s got Torx, sockets (english and metric) and a slew of other fittings. Again, it’s nuts how many times i’ve dug into that kit for something that just worked. It’s gotten to the point where i don’t even bother putting it back in the toolbox, it just sits next to it ready for the next job.
Blue Painters Tape.
Oh sure, you’ve heard about duct-tape, but not everyone wants to live in a gray silvery world. In fact, often duct-tape is more than you really need. Yeah, this is basically masking tape, but it’s stronger paper (meaning it’s not quite as easily tear-able and the glue doesn’t pull up paint, so you can use it in more locations. i’ve used it as a replacement clamp to repair a bed-post, strap stuff together and enough other temporary tasks to make having a few rolls of the stuff on hand. And to think, i originally got it just to mask paint.
Wire cutters
These aren’t the normal set of cutters built into some cheap pliers, these are dedicated cutters. i swear that these should be handed to new parents to help with opening future toys, but these suckers cut through lots more. i’d also suggest a pair of full sized tin-snips, but i don’t use those anywhere near as often as i do these.
The accident about these? They’re the wrong size for the job i originally wanted. Didn’t stop me from using them all the time for other things, though.

and finally…

Bag of nylon ties
Ok, these weren’t accidental in any way. These were a deliberate purchase. i’m addicted to these things, and thanks to the wire-clippers mentioned above, these are responsible for holding down, or keeping together far more things in my house than i feel comfortable discussing, indoors and out. The nice thing is that they’re also re-usable, if you don’t mind wedging a small, flathead under the fastener to release it. Of course, at $3 for a bag of 100, i don’t really re-use a lot of these.

So, those are my must-haves. What are yours?

Blogs of note
personal Christopher Conlin USMC memoirs of hydrogen guy rhapsodic.org Henriette's Herbal Blog
geek ultramookie

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