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Tool Rules

Good quality tools are designed to be tough and hard wearing. But the fact that they are resilient to breaking takes more effort and better raw materials which all add up to making them quite expensive to replace. However, if they are taken care of, good tools will last a lifetime and then some. Here’s how you can make sure that your tools go the distance:

  • Keeping your tools clean is imperative. Dust, grime, oil and metal filings all come together and wreck havoc on tools because of their abrasive action. Before closing for the day and putting the tools away, make sure you clean them thoroughly.
  • Many tools come with protective cases. In addition to keeping them from getting misplaced, these covers prevent dust, moisture and the like from getting on to the tools and reducing their longevity. Thus, preserve the cases and use them to store the tools when not in use.
  • Use the right tool for the job. Not doing so not only endangers yourself, but could damage the tool or the part itself that you are working on. For example, never use a screwdriver like a chisel or a tommy bar. Only bad things can result from misusing tools.
  • Keeping your tools in an orderly fashion makes them easier to find when you need them. Knowing what is kept where also prevents tools from getting misplaced.
  • Some tools like flat head screwdrivers might need shaping from time to time, depending on how much they are being used, in order to work as they were intended. Make sure you get them maintained and shaped promptly as and when required.
  • Tools are not play things. Children should never be left unsupervised around tools. They can seriously hurt themselves and others around them if they are left unchecked.

Stuck In A Rut
Hoshang Billimoria writes:

I own a Yamaha RX135 from 1998. The bike is well cared for and runs like a Swiss watch. However, a few days ago, while I was riding it to work, the shifter stuck in the second gear and wouldn’t budge up or down. I rode it home but it still won’t move out of second. The bike starts very easily and sounds normal. I am worried and the bike cannot be ridden till this issue gets resolved.

Hi Hoshang,
From your description of the problem, I would start by draining the oil and then opening the clutch housing. After removing the cover, I would check if the arm that extends from the gear shift shaft is resting on the drum selector. These are known to come off in certain motorcycles. Also check the star faced washer that fits over the end of the drum selector and prevents the arm from dislodging itself off. Once the arm rests on the slot on the drum selector, try shifting the gears, all the while rotating the rear wheel by hand. This should have rectified the fault. If not, then it is time to investigate further but this needs to be done by a competent mechanic.

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[The article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of Motoring World]