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Hand Tool Safety


TOOL SAFETY

In this section, you will find the following subsections:

SAFETY TIPS FOR HANDHELD TOOLS
SCREWDRIVER RULES
REMOVING A DAMAGED SCREW
ONE GOOD WRENCH DESERVES ANOTHER
HAMMERS AND HAWERS
HACKING WITH A HACKSAW
USING HACKSAW TO REMOVE A STRIPPED OR FROZEN NUT
BOBBING, WEAVING, CHISELING & PUNCHING
USING A SCREW EXTRACTOR TO REMOVE HEADLESS SCREW
KEEPING YOUR FILES STRAIGHT
SAFETY TIPS FOR HANDHELD TOOLS:

Our years of association with small engines and outdoor power equipment has given us the chance to work with countless tools on any number of projects. Here are a few general rules that our experience has taught us to respect:

A)It is sound practice to go with high quality tools when given a choice, even if they do cost a little more!

B)Pay attention to the storage and maintenance of your tools; they will be safer and last longer.

C)Always use the right tool for a job. If the job requires a different tool or a different size tool, stop and get it.

D)Periodically inspect your hand tools for defects. If you notice a defective tool, repair or replace it before using.

WE ADVOCATE: that in any professional repair shop, tools be inspected for problems and flaws regularly(preferably by a set schedule) to protect laborers!

E)Comply with instructions of the manufacturer when working with a tool. Follow instructions for use, maintenance, AND for installation or changing of accessories.

F)Avoid carrying a power tool by its cord.

G)Never throw tools when passing or exchanging them. This practice can injure tools, AND people.

H)Unplug power tools whenever they are not in use, before they are serviced, and any time blades, bits, or cutters need to be changed.

I)Protect your tools from rust by wiping them clean after a job. Tools with moving parts like pliers and crescent wrenches should be lubricated regularly to prevent wear. Store tools in a dry location.

J)Keep cutting edges on your tools sharp. Sharp tools improve accuracy, and save time.


SCREWDRIVER RULES:

Here are a few of our favorite screwdriver related tips:

A)Clean out slots in a screw head before attempting removal; this is an especially useful trick if you are dealing with a tight or stubborn screw!

B)To reduce chances of blade slippage, always hold screwdriver with its shank at a 90 degree angle to slot of the screw.

TIP: another simple way to reduce chances of slippage is to insure that screwdriver blade fits a screw slot tightly.

D)Never use screwdriver to cut metal, as a hole punch, or pry bar. Such unintended stresses can snap blade!

E)Do not strike handle of screwdriver with a hammer; this can cause handle to split or mushroom.

TIP: impact screwdrivers are used to loosen frozen or stubborn screws, and are specially designed to be struck by a hammer. Each time handle of impact screwdriver is struck, its blade rotates a couple of millimeters, eventually forcing screw to unlock.

F)Never use screwdriver to work on an object you are holding in your hand. Screwdriver blade may slip and cause puncture wound(which can require stitches if severe enough). Try using a bench vise to hold the small objects you need to work on.

REMEMBER: in particular never aim screwdriver blade toward your hand as you work.

G)A screwdriver should be replaced any time it has a split handle, bent shank, or bent or chipped blade.

H)To guard against shock, use screwdriver with an insulated handle whenever you work on electrical equipment.


REMOVING A DAMAGED SCREW:

If you come up against a screw with compromised slot, try the following to remove it:

A)Start by checking that blade of screwdriver you will use fits screw slot as perfectly as possible to limit further damage.

B)If necessary, clean screw head to remove dirt, grease, or paint.

C)If screw slot is too narrow to accept a screwdriver blade, try using hacksaw to deepen and widen slot.

D)Try using penetrating lubricant to dissolve rust or other deposits around screw head that may be impeding removal. Good penetrating lubricants can be found at most home improvement warehouses and auto parts stores.

E)After screw head has been soaked with lubricant, try tapping lightly with a hammer and punch. Deposits can often be dislodged before you begin removal.

IF NECESSARY: use an impact screwdriver to loosen frozen or stubborn screws. An impact screwdriver is designed to be struck by a hammer. Each time handle is struck, the blade of impact screwdriver rotates a couple of millimeters, eventually forcing screw to unlock.


ONE GOOD WRENCH DESERVES ANOTHER:

TIP: box end wrenches are available in two styles, the 6 point and the 12 point. Points refer to number of corners found inside wrench end.

The 6 point wrench provides a perfect fit over head of bolt, thereby offering better support than your 12 point wrench would. For this reason, 6 point wrenches should be used whenever possible on extremely tight bolts to reduce chances of slippage.

Using a 6 point wrench is not always possible. The 6 point head is thicker, and therefore difficult to apply in snug areas. The problem can be compounded because 6 point wrench is limited to just 6 positions on any bolt head. In snug locations, you may not have enough flexibility to apply wrench end again after bolt has been rotated.

TIP: you may be tempted in snug locations to use a crescent(also called adjustable) wrench for maximum flexibility. Be aware that crescent wrenches do not grip as well as other wrench varieties; they have a tendency to slip and wear down(or strip) the corners of nut and bolt heads. Remember that when corners of a nut or bolt head become stripped, it is almost impossible to remove by conventional means.

TIP: when using a crescent wrench, if possible apply pressure against stationary part of wrench head. Stationary portion of head can withstand far greater force without dribbling open.

REMEMBER THAT: the fastest and safest wrench to use is a socket.

TIP: if socket needs to be used on a bolt requiring high torque, use a breaker bar instead of standard ratchet. A breaker bar is made of thick steel(usually also longer than your standard ratchet handle, providing even greater turning force), and has a socket drive affixed to one end. By eliminating ratchet mechanism of standard handle, socket can withstand far greater turning force and is especially ideal for dislodging tight bolts!


HAMMERS AND HAWERS:

Here are a few hammer related safety considerations we like to follow:

A)Before you use a hammer, make sure head is securely attached to handle. A head that flies off unexpectedly can make a dangerous weapon!

B)Grip hammer close to end of handle; this position offers better control and permits you to strike a heavier blow.

C)Replace hammer any time it has a loose head, or handle that is split or chipped, or of incorrect size for head.

NEVER: use any hammer with a loose or defective head, or split handle.

D)Use the right hammer for job; avoid using carpenter's hammer on metal or machinist?s hammer for striking nails.

CAUTION: do not use hammer to strike hardened steel. It will have little or no effect, and is liable to recoil on you like a snake!


HACKING WITH A HACKSAW:

REMEMBER: that hacksaws are meant to cut metal tubing or sheet metal. Different kinds of saws should be used to cut other materials.

TIP: hacksaw blades also come in different styles; hardness of the blade and number of teeth vary with metal you will be cutting. The harder and thicker the material to be cut, the coarser your hacksaw blade should be.

A)Mount blade in frame of hacksaw with its teeth slanting forward. When cutting, apply pressure on forward stroke ONLY.

B)Keep blade as horizontal as possible against surface of metal you are cutting.

TIP: try to begin cut properly, with gentle forward strokes, to insure accuracy of result.

C)Always hold pieces being cut in place with a vise or clamp; not with your fingers!

REMEMBER: that for best results and greatest safety, use sharp blade for a job.

D)Hacksaw should be replaced any time handle is loose, split, or otherwise compromised; replace blade if it has missing teeth, is dull, or sprung.

E)Hang your saws up when they are not in use!


USING HACKSAW TO REMOVE A STRIPPED OR FROZEN NUT:

A)Starting cut as close as possible to threads of bolt, cut downward into the nut. Get as close as you can to lock washer, WITHOUT attempting to cut through.

AVOID CUTTING INTO LOCK WASHER BECAUSE: lock washers are composed of especially hard metal, and are a match for any hacksaw blade you can buy! Trying to cut through one will guarantee only one thing: that you end up needing a new blade.

B)Use a flat chisel and machinist's hammer(also called a ball peen hammer) to split open cut you have made in nut.

C)Try using a crescent wrench to either 1)break away remainder of nut; or 2)turn the loosened nut off of bolt threads.


BOBBING, WEAVING, CHISELING & PUNCHING:

To maximize the effectiveness of chisels and punches, keep the following in mind as you work:

A)Never use a wood chisel to cut or form metal.

B)Chisels are only intended to cut softer metals; they should be driven by a ball peen or sledge hammer.

C)For best results, the harder the metal the steeper the angle at which chisel should be held; likewise, try holding chisel at a lower angle when working with soft metal.

D)Make shallow cuts for best accuracy.

CAUTION: the end of chisel which the hammer strikes is made of soft shatter-resistant metal; because of this, end will frequently become "mushroomed" after period of use.

Mushrooming means that edges of metal are curled like the petals of a flower. When mushrooming occurs, chisel end should be ground smooth. This will prevent metal chips from flying off when end is struck.

REMEMBER: to replace a chisel or punch if it has mushroomed head which can no longer be smoothed by grinding; also if there are chips or cracks on pointed end, or if shank has become too short to grip tightly.

E)Never use punch or chisel as a pry bar.

F)Do not use chisel or punch to tighten screws.

G)For utmost safety, wear safety goggles when you are chipping.

H)Never chip towards yourself or others.


USING A SCREW EXTRACTOR TO REMOVE HEADLESS SCREW:

If the head of a screw has been sheared off, try using a screw extractor to remove screw. Here is how to do it:

A)Drill a small hole in center of broken screw.

B)Slowly thread screw extractor in counterclockwise.

As screw extractor cuts its own threads into broken screw, its momentum will begin twisting screw threads from hole.


KEEPING YOUR FILES STRAIGHT:

Here are a few things to remember about files:

BE AWARE: that coarse files are intended for the rapid removal of metal, and will therefore leave finished product rough and scarred. Smooth files remove less metal per stroke, but you can use them to produce a smooth finish.

A)File on the forward stroke; let file float on backward stroke. When filing, pressure on instrument should be firm but not heavy.

B)When you have finished a job, use a file card to clean teeth of file before putting it away.

C)Files should be replaced if they have missing handles, if teeth are excessively worn, or if there are visible cracks in metal.

D)Do not use file without its handle.

E)Do not use file as a pry bar.

F)There are better ways to clean file than by striking it against another object; try using a file card to clean teeth!


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T-Rex Generators distributes products from many different standby and portable generator manufacturers at substantially discounted prices. These represented companies include: Asco automatic transfer switches, Briggs & Stratton generators, Winco generators, Generac Generators, GenTran transfer switches, Reliance Controls Transfer Switches, and Zenith automatic transfer switches. T-Rex also carries Honda powered generators which have the same time-tested Honda engines as the substantially more expensive Honda generator brand units.