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Instructions for screwing yourself: How to become a screwdriver

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D he tool buying has its pitfalls, like Wolfgang Peters from Munich White. He planned to carry out minor repairs on his newly acquired Triumph Spitfire himself in order to save workshop costs. When it came time to change the V-belt, he surprisingly found that none of his overzealously acquired wrenches fit exactly.

Had the novice in the classic car scene had researched in advance, he would have known that with British cars use customs screws, as well as old Volvo cars or US cars. The tools he bought for metric screws were therefore a bad investment.

Clarify tool requirements in advance

This is just one example of why you shouldn't buy tools at random and without informing yourself. One possible approach is to limit the future screwdriver activity at the beginning and clarify the need for the necessary tools - for example with the help of information from a repair manual or with the support of experienced screwdrivers.

But there is nothing against yourself To begin with, create a small set of basic equipment with frequently used tools. This includes a set of combination wrenches, a screwdriver set (depending on the age of the car, some are sufficient for slotted screws), a ratchet box, a combination pliers, water pump pliers and a hammer.

But there are quite a few things in many households If tools are available, you should first make an inventory. Rusty, damaged or bent pieces are best sorted out, and the rest can be compared to the characteristics for good tools shown in the photos in the picture gallery of this article.

Buying large tool sets online involves dangers

What you should beware of is buying large tool sets online at low prices. Against this is the fact that you cannot touch the tool before buying it. Because tools should lie comfortably in the hand and, for example, have no sharp corners in the grip area that suddenly become painful when working.

Of course, depending on how often they are used, cheap tools can be used for a while Making ends meet, but everyone should be aware of the risk. A combination wrench is given as an example.High-quality products meet the requirements listed for the photo in the gallery, such as a small outer diameter of the ring (which is advantageous when space is limited) and tight dimensional tolerances. The latter means that the wrench size fits the screw head exactly, so that the heads of screws that are difficult to loosen are not turned round. Because it is all too easy to slip and injure yourself. In addition, you are then faced with the problem of having to loosen a round, unruly screw.

Unfortunately, when looking at a combination wrench, the hardening process used in its manufacture cannot be recognized, because the chrome-vanadium label does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the quality. The only thing the buyer can do is to trust the good name of the manufacturer. Companies like Hazet, Stahlwille, Gedore and others can pay for their keys well, but this has advantages for the user.

The tools not only last longer, but also during the production of the combination wrenches mentioned improper handling is already factored in. This includes placing a long tube on the wrench to increase the lever arm and thus the force applied to the screw. Cheap tools then break suddenly and unpredictably, which can easily lead to injuries. High-quality tools offer significantly more safety reserves in the event of such misuse, and they warn that they have reached their load limit by means of a slow deformation.

High-quality tools have a price

Notice how expensive high-quality tools are Especially when you buy a ratchet case for 300 euros or more. Depending on your financial resources, you can opt for a 3/8-inch box as an all-rounder, or you can buy a 1/2-inch and a 1/4-inch box, which allows more flexible work. Depending on the work involved, you will of course have to add many special tools to the basic equipment - torque wrenches, offset screwdrivers, special pliers, extractors, feeler gauges, etc.

But you should know that there are a large number of useful helpers that are not mentioned in the repair instructions, but make the work easier. These are, for example, telescopic mirrors, which (possibly supplemented by an LED light) enable a view into areas that are difficult to see, or a telescopic magnet to fish out screws that have fallen into the engine compartment, or extra-long double-jointed pliers for gripping or holding a nut in hard-to-reach places .

Take a look at the online catalogs from Hazet (www.hazet.de), Stahlwille (www.stahlwille.de) or Gedore (www.gedore.de). In the offerings of these companies, but especially also at Wiha (www.wiha.com) or Wera (www.wera.de), you will come across practical tool innovations, of which the authors of the repair instructions were 60 years oldYears had no idea. For example, a screwdriver with a claw to hold a screw can save a lot of nerves in certain situations.

Increasing use of special tools

One nuisance that owners of youngtimers increasingly have to deal with is the growing number of special tools required. The younger the cars, the more the manufacturers seem to have come up with to annoy the hobby mechanics. But even with older cars, some repairs require expensive special tools, which are not worth purchasing for a single use. In such cases it makes sense to borrow the tool from a workshop, if possible. Or you can simply have the corresponding part or the relevant assembly repaired by a specialist company and limit yourself to the work that you have mastered.

Power tools should not go completely unmentioned. One of the most important is the drill, which, with the use of the appropriate accessories, is also suitable for grinding and derusting, for example. The machine should have a sufficiently long cable, provide left and right rotation, enable a problem-free drill change and be infinitely variable. How strong it has to be, of course, depends on what you intend to do with it. And don't forget your protective goggles when grinding.

You will certainly have to equip your hobby workshop with chemical helpers such as rust removers, assembly pastes, etc. In addition, at least one first aid kit belongs in every screwdriver garage. The list goes on and on, but as mentioned at the beginning: Buy wisely, one at a time. Incidentally, beginners in particular benefit from the subsequent assembly if they have a good camera phone to hand to document the initial state. Last tip: Closing a workshop or company often offers the opportunity to acquire professional tools for little money.

Sensible workshop equipment makes work easier

Some people manage to drive a car in a tight spot To restore garage box, but generally more generous space makes screwing easier and encourages work enjoyment. As soon as several parts of the oldies have to be dismantled, the volume of a garage is quickly exhausted. So you should think about the storage of the dismantled parts beforehand and, if there are many, store them in lattice boxes and shelves. In the case of restorations, it helps to keep the dismantled components sorted by assembly and to put the corresponding screws in labeled boxes and bags.

In the rarest of cases, a budding hobby mechanic will build a completely new workshop, but has to use the existing one Optimally use or optimize conditions. This includes theFor example, to ensure good lighting and to check whether the existing power grid is suitable for the equipment used (such as a welding machine).

Anyone who wants to intensify the hobby of screwdriving will benefit from a pit that in the rarest cases is already present. If the floor is stable and the garage is high enough, you can buy a used lifting platform. What you should definitely think about, however, is the purchase of a robust workbench that can also hold a sturdy vice. A tool trolley or a tool wall is suitable for tool storage.

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