Without tools, there is nothing to take apart. With no taking apart, things can't be fixed or broken. If things can't be fixed (or broken and then fixed), then we do without or buy new things. That's too easy and too cheap - both the things and the overall expense. With tools, things can be broken, fixed, and expensive cause tools aren't cheap. Tools are also a sign of age. When I don't have to go to the store to get a tool or (God Forbid) borrow one, then I've hit a milestone.

  Click on Image for Bigger View In June 2012, I picked this chinese concrete mixer up. It is electric powered and holds four one foot cubes of concrete. Actually, I only put a couple of 80# bags of concrete cause it seems pretty light. But, it has worked fantastic - saves lots of time.

  Also in June 2012, I gave myself a present - a Rebit RIM50R Carbide-Tipped rock chisel. This one is two inches (my other Rebit HM25 below is one inch). I haven't used it yet cause we are forming rocks instead of deforming them. Click on Image for Bigger View

  Click on Image for Bigger View This is the new (May 2012) weedeater. Its all nine pounds of a Husqvarna 326. Was thinking about a Stihl, but they are pricier, heavier, slower, and trendier. Oh and they're four stroke now (or some new fangled hybrid four stroke). No thanks. I'll stick with Husky.

  Here's a great set of tools. An air compressor for running all sorts of things. Its a real source of pride to be able to state you have an air compressor and some tools - even if you don't actually use them. I was lucky enough to use some - paint sprayer for the tractor paint and shed paint - air impact wrench for wheels and hard to remove nuts - air rachet for repetitive nuts. Also note jack stands and come-alongs. Jack stands are helpful for holding up jacked things. Come-alongs help get things to come along.

  Hand tools are the bread and butter of the toolbox. If the world of tools is the body, then hand tools are the hands. These are the first items in the toolbox. Without these, it is impossible to assemble or disassemble enough parts on which to use other tools.

  The tools that everyone starts with are screwdrivers. If you don't have a complete, good set, throw away every wooden or cheap yellow handled screwdriver you have and buy a good set of screwdrivers - about $15. Next, you'll need a set of combination open/box end wrenches - about 6 should do, covering the range 3/8" to 7/8". Oh yeah, a 8" adjustable wrench is pretty useful too!

Every tool box needs 3/8" sockets ranging from 3/8" to 7/8", about 8 sockets. Along with a decent rachet, you need at least one 3" extension. You're sure to need a set of metric sockets, 9mm to 17mm. As your set grows, you'll add pliers - first standard, then needle nose, channel locks, vice grips, and lineman's pliers - in that order. I can get by with one of each, but the true toolsman will need a couple of each. Finish off your basic tool kit with a good, 16oz hammer to use when you don't have any thing else that fits.

By this point, you'll need a box to put all this stuff in. Start with a good, solid, metal box, with a removeable, metal tray inside. Don't get sucked in by those cheap plastic boxes or trays. Remember, you can always beat out or reweld a metal box if you run over it with your truck.

  The blue wrench is one of the most useful and versatile tools in the arsenal. It was most recently used to remove a bundle of fence wire from the tail wheel of the bush hog. It removes an amazing variety of nuts, bolts, axles, engine mounts, exhaust components, or any other iron-containing fastener. It also does a good job of joining these components once they've been separated.

  No barn or garage can be complete without an assortment of oils, lubes, and greases. Here, you'll see engine oils, hydraulic oils, fence paint, and old cans for holding old oils and other residues of the mechanicing trade.

  Plain Boy Here is Plain Boy, otherwise known as the Rock Hog.  Its used to mow down the grass and weeds over all the Outcrop rocks.  Its fun to do it at dark so that I can see the stream of sparks as it looses big chunks of blades against the outcrops.  I even broke (not bent) a blade!  Given a few more rounds of rock hogging, I'll have the outcrops down to where they barely make a spark!  

  A chain saw. This is the postertool for all tools. Its sort of expensive. Its loud. And it changes things dramatically. This ensures that people around you know you have one. If you want to see what happens when you run this without oil in the gas, go here. Chainsaw

  Click for Bigger Picture This is a Husqvarna 346XP which, in October of 2011, replaced the Husky 51 above, until the Husky 51 turned into a Chinese Husky 55 with a rebuild. The 346xp is to a log what a Light Saber is to an alien's neck.

  This is a Rebit HM25, which is a stone-mason's chisel. It has a tungsten-carbide tip in it that is very hard. It also is not sharp. But it works like a champ when splitting and shaping rocks. Click for Larger Image

  Click for Bigger Picture Chains are tools, even though they really have to work with another tool (like a tractor or a come-along). Thee are two 12 foot chains wrapped on top of each other here. They go around a couple of Frankenstein bolts in the front of the International IH-574 in this big solid steel bumper thing. Chains are very handy for tree-gutting or yanking out WartHogs and Crappy Bush.

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