The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

August 28, 2008

The Output Square Shaft Whirled at Once, or Your Money Back

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 12:59 am

This is an item that I  meant to post several months ago, but never got around to posting at the time.  It comes from my brother Jared, who works for the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association as a groundskeeper, responsible for maintaining the Sixty Acres soccer complex in the Sammamish Valley on the outskirts of Redmond.  There are sixteen soccer fields at Sixty Acres,  and the demands of maintaining such a large complex require a significant amount of heavy machinery and farm equipment to keep the fields in shape.  Between all the mowers, utility vehicles, irrigators and big tractors needed for the job, it’s inevitable that stuff is going to break down, which means that the job requires its fair share of wrench-turning. 

For some unknown genetic reason, my two brothers managed to inherit my Dad’s mechanical skills and uncanny ability to fix anything with an engine in it. I, on the other hand, got my Dad’s technical and computer skills but can barely manage to change the oil in my car without breaking stuff.  This means that it’s rare that I make use of any tools more complicated than a Phillips screwdriver and a roll of duct tape. My Dad has a rather impressive collection of hand and power tools if the need for such things arises (on the plus side, I can usually put together Ikea furniture in only 3 or 4 tries.)  Although there’s something to be said for a nice set of quality tools, every once in a while you just need something that’ll do the job for cheap.  I’m guessing the item in question here probably falls into the latter category.

The tool itself is an impact wrench designed to be powered by the cigarette lighter plug in a car.  A typical no-name product from a factory in a town you’ve probably never heard of, and probably purchased from Harbor Freight Tools, which is usually where inexpensive no-name tools come from around here (if I had to guess, I’d say this is probably one of these.)  I suspect that something like this probably wouldn’t work nearly as well as a more standard pneumatic impact wrench for removing or installing lug nuts, but I’d guess most people don’t have those available to them when they’re out in the middle of nowhere. It looks like the type of thing that would be handy to have around in case of a flat tire, provided that you could actually find somewhere in the car to store the thing.  It should be pretty easy to figure out what it is, and what you’d use it for, but how do you use it?  The manual should explain it… I think:

Wait a minute…  So does this mean I should hold the another big end plug to insert the cigarette lighter socket, or should I insert the another short wire’s end socket?  And why do I have to buckle the start button with a forefinger, the output square shaft whirled at once?  What happens if I use another part of the finger to whirled the output square shaft at once?  I’m confused now…

If I press down the center of the button, it whirled what direction?  And if the working can start only when the output square shaft has been inserted into the socket reliable, what the heck have we been doing all this whirling for anyway?  Maybe we’re supposed to get ourselves really dizzy before we use this thing, just to make the whole tire-changing process a bit more interesting (although I’m pretty sure there aren’t any instructions here that say anything about wandering into oncoming traffic, thankfully.)  Apparently the tire nuts are need to loose or tighten, but not all that badly.  Once you’ve finished all the impromptu whirling and you’ve got the output square shaft into the socket reliable, you’ll be under the normal working condition.  At this point, a working or a re-tighten it again will appear, but only for a little while.  I’d recommend bringing a net so you can catch the working, but the re-tighten it again is probably just going to be way too fast.

And if you managed to make any sense of that last sentence (good luck with that one,) here are a few points for attention.  Just whirled the output square shaft with a normal connecting and you should be fine, just as long as the vibration accompanied with the working time doesn’t make the power connections in bad condition.  And be sure to preserve the wrench, but make sure it’s dry while you’re preserving it (just keep the thing buried in a big box full of salt while you’re not using it and you should be fine, I’m sure.)  Just follow these easy instructions, and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of whirling and normal working condition, and the output square shaft will always remain in the socket reliable.

Um…. Yeah.  That made no sense whatsoever.  I’m pretty sure when you’re buying power tools  for twenty bucks you probably shouldn’t expect the manual to get much more attention than having someone in the factory toss the text through Google translator, but this manual takes a tool that should theoretically be pretty easy to figure out and provides instructions that complicate the heck out of the process.  It’s probably a good thing that this manual didn’t bother listing any of the 73 different ways you could theoretically manage to accidentally kill yourself with one of these things, because given the quality of the instructions provided here, it doesn’t seem like it would be too hard for someone to inadvertently discover one of them while they were trying to figure the thing out.

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