2. Introduction to Basic Hand Tools and Hardware: Pliers

18December 2021

All right! Here we are and I've got my
lovely assistant Ellen with me and she's gonna help me explain the tools a little
bit and let's start off with a little bit of basic safety. So if you're doing
stuff with tools and it's involving a lot of impact like hammering or you're
going to be creating a lot of dust you want to take some precautions, so here
we've got our really awesome safety glasses. This will help keep the
dust from getting in your eyes. Isn't that great? And then we also have some gloves.
Gloves will help protect your hands and help you to prevent hand injuries
which is always a good thing. So, don't really need those just right now but
that is something that you always want to take into consideration. So we're
gonna start off with some pliers. This is what we call slip joint pliers or common
plierT. this is probably what you think of when you think of just basic pliers –
Right, I'd say that's true – Yeah, so here we've got two positions with this: it's
got the slip joint right there and so it can be either onto this wide mouth where
the jaws of the pliers don't meet when you have the handles completely squeezed,
or you can have a narrower one where they do meet, and so this is good for just
picking up things or rotating objects like this.

You can just grab it in a jaw
there and that helps you to get more force on the object as you're rotating
it there. – Now I'm guessing with the two positions there the wider one would be
for larger items and the smaller one is for narrower things. – Exactly, yeah, so the
pliers are basically two levers and so you've got your fulcrum right here and
then this is the end that you're applying your force to and then this is
the end of the load and so by basically taking the load between those two jaws
there you can put quite a bit of force, transform that force into more force on
this and since this end is longer than that end, so by doing that it transforms
the force and gives you better grip and more pressure than you'd have with just
your hand.

– That make sense. – So that's your basic pliers and then here we've got
needlenose pliers. These can be used – they have a little
cutting edge right here – so same basic principle
with the lever and your fulcrum and your load jaw there but you can use this to
strip wires, so these are used a lot in electrical scenarios, but you can also
use them in other applications too. So anytime you maybe need to
retrieve an object from a small space and your fingers don't quite fit in
there you can use the needle nose pliers to get in there – or other things. Do
you have any ideas of ways that you could apply needlenose pliers? –
Well I had a necklace that fell apart one time, or it got like
pulled on something and I had to use needle nose pliers to kind of like bend
the little wire pieces back. – Sure, because yeah, you're able to get more force on
that than you would be able to do with just your fingers and also it's a little
bit finer work there, too – so I just used that to strip the end of this wire here
and then I could also use it to make like a tight loop there so it helps you
to fabricate the wires and electricians do that a lot when they're working
with terminals and things like that so even if you're not an electrician you
might find an application for needlenose pliers as well.

And then here we have
lineman's pliers, and as the name indicates, this is also something used a
lot by electricians, so they also have a cutting edge there and they're good for
maneuvering heavy-duty wire and with this they come in different sizes but a
general principle with the tools is that bigger the tool, the more force you get
out of it, especially with a lever tool like this, so the longer the handle is
the more force you can apply so if you're working with a really heavy gauge
wire you'd want to get the bigger ones, and I know this for personal
experience because one time I tried doing a project with heavy gauge wire
and little lineman pliers and it was terrible then finally I got the big ones
and I was like "why didn't I do this forever ago?" But anyway you can also use these just like
the needle nose pliers to strip the wire by rotating it around like that and then
by pulling it off like that and then you can also use it to twist the ends of
wires together like that in order to make a nice tight
coil and that's something you do a lot with electrical work.

Okay! And next we have
tongue and groove pliers and this might be a little hard to see from this
distance but you can see they're basically all these little channels
right here and then there's a pin that goes in right there that engages with
the groove and so these have adjustable jaws as well. So you can have a wide
jaw or you can have a narrow jaw there and you can put quite a bit of pressure
on with those. These are probably the most versatile of all the pliers – they don't
have a cutting edge but they are really good for just gripping a lot of things
of different sizes.

So honestly one of the biggest or most common ways that I
use this will be to like get tight bottle open. So this one keeps
sticking on me but yeah if you adjust it to the right edge there you can get a
good grip on it and then you can get your bottle open and vanilla in your
cookies. So yeah these have applications outside of just hardware and mechanics
so you can use it in the kitchen too. Can you think of any… – That's actually like the
most practical thing – yeah – like I'm always just asking someone else to open it
for me instead of thinking to get a tool. – So these are also really great for
tightening up like water hoses and things like that too. I've used these
recently to put the water hoses back on the back of my washing machine, but you
could also use it for outdoor hoses and things like that too. Then we have
locking pliers and these are fun – they also come in different sizes – and this is
an adjustable screw at the bottom and that actually changes the width of the
jaw here So with that you can see it can be wider
like that or it can come together and these basically can act as a temporary
hand because they lock into place and so if you get it set to the right width
there let's say I want to grab onto this wire something like that, I'll
set the jaws just a little bit narrower than whatever it is
I want a grip and then just lock it like that and that thing is not going anywhere.

Try pulling on it. – Yeah I'm not as familiar with
this kind. – Yeah so these are great – you can use them, sometimes people will
use them as temporary handles like if a handle is broken off with something and
it's just got like a little stem of something to grab there and they'll snap
those on there so that you can then turn whatever it is that you need to turn. And
then to release it you just squeeze this part right here so I've got these pretty
tight so I have to squeeze pretty hard to get it open there but they do come off there.
And they come in different varieties so you'll have your bigger ones and then
these are like basically like the needlenose pliers but with the locking
mechanism there too. So that is your introduction to the pliers! Any questions,
thoughts, anything you never saw before? Well, the locking pliers was something
that I was not familiar with – I didn't even – I haven't ever used those before so
that's that's really that's really unique tool that I haven't had any
experience with.

– Yeah, another thing these can be really good for is just
pulling nails out so if you grab that nail near the base of the board where it
is then you can use that – the rounded nose there to kind of rock it like that
and apply leverage to the nail to pull it out of a board, too, so they're really handy
for that. Yeah, all right! So that wraps up our segment on pliers.

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