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Re: Tool for a loved one

To: Chris Heerschap <>
Subject: Re: Tool for a loved one
From: Scott Hall <>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 16:25:48 -0500 (EST)

I forget what kind of bike you said that y'all were working on, but if
it's a japanese (or european, come to think of it) here's my starter set:

s-k or facom ratchets, in 1/4" and 3/8".  there is no substitute.  you
won't need 1/2" on a bike because if it's that big, you'll need an impact
wrench to get it off, or *creative* engineering.  let her use yours.

1/4" and 3/8" breaker bars.  my f2 is the only thing I've ever worked on
where I _actually_ reached for a 1/4" breaker bar and went, "glad I got
this here, been wondering what that's for."

_good_ ***6-point*** sockets.  for bikes (except hardly-ableson) get
metric, try to get up to 32mm on the 3/8" if possible, depending on the
bike (some countershaft sproket nuts are 32mm.  it might be best to see
which large ones you'll need, there are only a few large fasteners on a
bike, and get a impact socket to loosen it--see above--and a hand socket
to tighten it, if you feel like it).  I can't agree enough with chris
about this. 12-point sockets on that steel are good only for rounding off
nuts.  get something with o.g.v. (facom) or whatever snap on and mac call
it, where the socket flats are radiused to grip the sides.  get both 1/4"
and 3/8", she'll use both.  I only need my 1/4" stuff for my bike, but I
do need it there.  might get 3/8" sae stuff, just to be nice, but I've
never used 1/4" sae stuff.

extensions for both ratchets.  I have a two great long ones for my zx,
because kawasaki thought it would be a good idea to put carb retaining
bolts under the middle carbs where no human hand can even attempt to near.
the s-k extensions are knurled, which is very nice.

_facom_ screwdrivers.  those handles are _great_, and the tips are vapor
blasted to grip.  get ones with hex-bolsters.  the japs *love* to fasten
lots of stuff with phillips screws tightly so that they strip.  I think
they're still pissed about the war.  phillips are most important, I've
found few slotted screws.  get at least one long #2.

good combo wrenches are nice, and should be part of a box, but I find
myself using them rarely on the bike.  I more often used the wrenches with
one open end and one 'socket' end.  don't know what they're called, but I
need to buy myself a set, as the other set belonged to the tech I worked
with.  get 'em if you have the cash.  metric, for the bike, sae too, if
you're flush.

multimeter, most any will do.

box.  find one she likes and get it.  doesn't have to be big--I can fit my
basic bike tools in a small hand-held sears jobbie)

creeper chair (or make box sit-able).  I think now they should be required
purchases with motorcycles.

maybe get a hand held impact.  if you do, resist the urge to use it on
screws, at least until you get good at it (and even then, you'll still
mangle some), and you won't need it for nuts, nothing with a nut is big
enough to be impossible with a bar, but get-able with a hand impact.  if
you can't get it with a bar, use an impact wrench (i.e., countershaft
sprockets), unless your s/o is a big, hulking girl.

all this you can get cheap as s-k stuff from, (facom
owns s-k, so they'll sell you facom too, for about the same price) or from
griots garage if you only want facom (but maybe they sell s-k, too, I
dunno).  I like toolshack better (the first one), the guy is very helpful.

oh, and like chris said, if you get her the ratchets, don't use 'em
yourself or you'll steal 'em (or get some for yourself).  the facoms have
a rubber grip, but the tuff-1s work better with oily hands methinks.
the nice thing I've found with the facom is the ability to apply
in-line pressure on the ratchet head, because the head cover 'floats'. 
 this is very nice on a tiny 8mm, stubborn bolt on the end of a 12"
extension by the fuel pump that is threatening to strip.  both have the
same ratchet mechanism, witch you'll sit there and just spin for the first
five minutes after you open the box. ;-)

hope this helps, sorry about the length.


On Mon, 22 Nov 1999, Chris Heerschap wrote:

> Eric J Petrevich/LRM wrote:
> > So, to the questions...
> > 1- is the HD stuff worth it?
> > 2-What should a "starter" kit contain?
> What I've been thinking lately is that it's just fine to get Craftsman
> or Husky or whatever sockets, as long as they are good SIX POINT
> sockets.  Twelve points are good for 1) twelve point fasteners and 2)
> rounding six point fasteners.  There's no other use for them.
> In terms of ratchets, I strongly recommend forgetting about the
> Craftsman/Husky/whatever stuff and getting a nice SK or comparable
> ratchet.  The teeth are much finer (smaller swing increments) and they
> are >much< stronger.  If you break a socket, you can bring it back,
> but I still haven't broken any of my SK ratchets... I've treated my SK
> ratchets worse than my (barely used anymore) Craftsman ratchets and
> I've already exchanged a couple of the Craftsmans after breaking them.
> Basically, what I'm trying to say is the Craftsman/Husky sockets are
> fine, but you should use that saved money to get yourself some GOOD
> ratchets.  They're not even *that* much more expensive if you get a
> good source like A&I Supply.  The TUFF-1 ratchets are wonderful.
> Just a warning... if you start using really nice ratchets, the
> plain-jane Craftsman/Husky ratchets just won't do it for you anymore. 
> I've had so many folks threaten to steal my ratchets when they're
> working on their cars at my place. Have to make sure they're all back
> before anyone leaves. ;)
> Oh... and as for a starter kit on a motorcycle, I'd say 3/8" and 1/4"
> with both deep and shallow six points.
> cmh
> -- 
> Chris Heerschap - UNIX Systems Mutilator/Postmaster

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