|Topics||Fasteners, Levels, Pincers, Punches, Ratchets, Soldering, Welding, Wrenches|
Wrenches are used with threaded fasteners like bolts and nuts. A bolt has external threads while a nut has internal threads and this thread pattern combination allows them to lock together and act as fasteners. Nuts come in a variety of configurations including wing nuts which provide appendages that allow tightening and loosening by hand, slotted nuts that use a cotter pin to lock the nut in place and prevent it from loosening, and lock nuts that also prevent loosening via nylon in their threads. Threads are identified by pitch which is the number of threads per inch.
Levels utlize a fluid-filled tube containing a bubble that is centered when the surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (plumb) along the direction of the tube. While a standard level can measure along a single dimension, a bullseye level is circular and can indicate the levelness of a two dimensional plane.
Pincers provide a mechanical advantage that's used to cut, pinch or pull an object. The force applied to pincers is concentrated to a point or to an edge of the tool which allows pincers to be brought very close to a surface. Pincers are typically used for removing objects from a material to which they've previously been applied, for example, to pull nails from wood.
A punch is narrow and is used to drive objects like nails (pin punch) or for making guide marks for drilling (center punch) or patterns in wood or metal.
A ratchet (or socket wrench) is a wrench that applies torque in only one direction with a handle that can be moved back and forth without losing contact with the fastener. A ratchet uses variable attachments called sockets which come in a variety of drive sizes based on the size of the opening that attaches to the ratchet. Sockets with the same drive size will vary in the shape (six-point, twelve-point) and size of the nut opening that attaches to the fastener being tightened or loosened. Smaller point sized sockets are stronger and can apply greater torque while larger point sizes allow easier alignment.
Soldering is a low-temperature process by which two or more items (typically metal) are joined together by melting a filler metal (solder) into the joint. An electrically powered soldering iron or soldering gun is used to melt the solder which is an alloy of lead and tin that has a melting point below the melting point of the items being joined. A chemical cleaning agent called flux is also used to clean the surfaces before soldering.
Welding is a high-temperature process that involves melting the base metals in the objects to be joined to fuse them together. A filler metal is used to provide additional material to make up a joint that, depending on the weld type, can be stronger than the base materials alone. Oxyacetylene welding is a welding process that uses a torch fueled with oxygen and acetylene gases. Electric-arc welding utlizes electric current in a safer welding process (it doesn't involve burning explosive gases) that enables a wide variety of specialized applications like stick, MIG (metal inert gas), and TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding.
Wrenches are used to provide grip and mechanical advantage by applying torque to turn objects (or to keep them from turning). The longer the wrench, the more torque that can be applied. Wrench ends are available in two primary types, open-end and box-end. A box-end wrench encloses the bolt head and is useful when more torque is needed or to maintain contact in difficult to reach locations. An open-end wrench is designed for speedily loosening easier to reach fasteners. Wrenches that feature one open and one box end are called combination wrenches and adjustable wrenches feature an open end with an adjustable width.