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Page 69
THE MAGIC OF MAGNETS Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated with magnets. After all, they are pretty amazing things if you think about them. And they can be amazingly helpful little buggers, too, especially in and around your garage and workshop. Indeed, there are all kinds of useful things magnets can do for you. Here are a few examples of what I mean. Ever drop a nut, bolt or even a tool into some inaccessible place while you were working on something? I know I sure have, and more times than I’d like to admit. You can save yourself a lot of bending, reaching, scraping your knuckles and cussing by getting yourself a telescoping magnetic want. Without exaggeration, you’ll find this to be one of the most useful tools you can have in your garage, especially the next time you drop something while working in your engine bay. These tools are inexpensive and worth every penny. OK, so while I’m on the subject of dropping things, I know I’m not the only one who’s ever knocked over a can or a jar containing nuts, bolts, washers, nails, cotter pins or what-have-you onto the garage floor and then had to spend a lot of time picking up the mess. Here’s another instance when a magnet comes in handy, and a magnetic sweeper is just what the garage doctor ordered for such tasks! These magnetic sweepers come in various sizes, they’re inexpensive and you can get them at the local home improvement center – another very handy item to have in your garage or workshop. Whenever you’re doing things on your car (or any machinery, for that matter) that entails taking parts off it’s easy to lose little things like nuts, bolts, washers and so forth. That’s where magnetic parts trays come in handy for keeping these little pieces from getting lost. And when you’re not using the trays, just stick ‘em to the side of your tool chest.
And another way to claim unused real estate on the outsides of your tool chest is to use magnetic tool box trays let you add extra and convenient storage to any tool box. These come in 4 different sizes and they’re really great for holding small, frequently used items like utility knives, duct tape, WD-40, measuring tape, tire pressure gauge, etc. You might also want to invest in magnetic tool “icons” for your tool chest. These are full-color representations of tools like pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc. that have magnetic, rubberized backings on them so that they stick to your tool chest drawers. These are great for identifying what each drawer contains, and you can take them off and re-affix them anytime you decide to rearrange your tool chest’s contents. If you do any MIG welding then you’ll find magnetic welding jigs to be just the thing for holding your pieces in place for welding, soldering or assembly operations. And an adjustable weld- ing link is similarly useful for those tasks that require holding things in place at irregular angles while welding them. Magnetic socket holders are great for keep- ing all your sockets in one place right where you can get at them easily. These holder trays are available in sizes for ¼”, 3/8” and ½” drives and you can use them for either ASA or metric sockets, too! If you’re into changing the oil on your Corvette yourself, you may want to check out a multi-size six-point quick-spin wrench. It’s a really handy tool, especially if you have several vehicles with different size drain plugs. The wrench even has a built-in neodymium magnet to hold your drain plug, so this tool has it all covered. And since we’re talking about oil and drain plugs here, you should certainly install a magnetic drain plug in your car’s oil pan and, while you’re at it, an oil filter magnet is also a great idea for trapping those stray magnetic particles to keep them from circulating throughout your engine.