I am not one for controversy or political incorrectness, nor do I hold any stock in cosmetic companies or products, but I am a firm supporter of women keeping a well stocked make-up kit on hand. With that being said, I am positive that all married women are at the peak of their beauty when they appear as God made them, without an ounce of cosmetic alteration or application. So” why the cosmetic industry love?” you ask. Truth be told, I could not care any less whether a lady is born with it or whether it’s Maybelline, all I know is that my wife’s (unneeded) cosmetic arsenal has come in handy quite a few times when I lacked the necessary tools and equipment for various projects. Despite the certain trouble that I will be in when my wife finds out where has eye-liner has been, below are twelve cosmetic products that I have resorted to over the years when I was in a tight spot.
- Hair Dryer
Hair dryers work well in the removal of glues and adhesives on a variety of surfaces. The most common way that I have used this in adhesive removal is to apply heat to bumper stickers and car accessories to somewhat liquefy the glue, making removal of the sticker much easier. I also confiscated my wife’s spare hair dryer a few years ago to use as a blower for my homemade metal forge.
2. Make Up Brush
I have found make up brushes to be ideal for cleaning tools and electronics. Use them to clean your computer’s keyboard and other delicate electronics. From time to time I have to disassemble my power tools (specifically angle grinders) and clean away dirt and metal shavings from their motor and wiring. These brushes are soft enough that they will not damage any of the sensitive parts of the tool, but stiff enough to remove the dirt and metal shavings.
I have used eye-liner in the past to layout cuts on metal surfaces when I did not have a metal crayon. It is not ideal due to the fact that it runs out quickly when marking lines, but it does shows up well on metal surfaces.
4. Petroleum Jelly
This one is pretty versatile. In a pinch I have used Vaseline as drilling lubricant while drilling holes into brick and metal. It can also be used to lubricate drawer tracks to keep them from sticking and silence squeaky hinges. Vaseline can be applied to tools to aid in corrosion prevention.
5. Mascara Wand
Although most of my cosmetic product-capades have been a product of laziness (not wanting to go out to buy supplies), this use way discovered out of legit necessity. I once went to a friend’s camp with him and his wife to cut grass and do some general maintenance to prepare it for summer. We were probably twenty-five minutes from the nearest town or store and could not get his push mower to start. Figuring that the carburetor was dirty the three of us began to go through our things to find something that we could clean it with. After describing the implement needed to clean the carburetor to my buddy and his wife in order to get the mower running she jokingly/brilliantly opened her purse, pulled her mascara wand from her mascara, and said “you mean something like this?” The answer was “YES!” So we cleaned the mascara off of the wand, cleaned the carburetor, and mowed the grass without having to leave.
6. Nail Polish
Nail Polish is pretty versatile as well. In the past I have used this stuff for a multitude of things. It can be used to color code tools (like standard and metric sockets and wrenches) and also to leave reference marks on pretty much any surface. The last time I changed a u-joint on my truck’s drive shaft I used bright nail polish to mark down the shaft in order to re-install it with the correct alignment and orientation. It can also be used as an alternative to Loctite to keep nuts and bolts in place.
Believe it or not I have used foundation to run a chalk line. Like an idiot I once bought a chalk box for a project thinking that it already had chalk in it. I was wrong. I searched the house for baby powder with no luck but I did come across some foundation in the process. I crushed the foundation up over a sheet of paper and poured it in the box and voila! I am only sharing this one because it worked so well, but I am praying that my wife overlooks number seven.
8. Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover can be used to dissolve adhesives making them easier to remove from a variety of surfaces such as plastic car bumpers, wood, and metal. Nail polish remover contains acetone which is said to be a disinfectant, so it can also be used to sanitize the blades of razors and knives.
9. Lip Balm
Many lip balms (such as this one) contain bee’s wax and work well as lubricants for drawer slides, hinges, and cabinets. You can also coat the tables on tools like band saws, table saws, sanders, and bench grinders to prevent corrosion and help work pieces glide across the tables with less resistance.
10. Clear Nail Polish/Hardener
This is the cosmetic product that I have used the most as an alternative to Loctite. The primary reason is that it works well as a means of keeping nuts and bolts in place. For items that see heavy and/or frequent use and have a tendency to loosen, like cabinet and drawer pulls, simply tighten the pull and dab on some of this stuff on and around the area where the nut and bolt meet. This will solidify and secure the nut in place on the bolt, but still allow you to remove the nut easily with a wrench. It can also be used on chipped wood furniture to transparently fill in voids so that nothing snags or rips on it.
11. Bobbing/Bobby Pin
Although these things can be used for a variety of things, they made the list as a tie clip. When I was a classroom teacher males were required to wear ties and I did not own a clip. To avoid staining a floppy tie at lunch or looking too sloppy I would often get a bobby pin from a female student in class and use it as my tie clip. It worked very well and is pretty discreet.
12. Nail File
In the past I have used nail files to do some light sanding in tight spaces or when I simply did not have any sandpaper at my disposal. They can also be used to sharpen or clean knives and tools in a pinch.
I can honestly say that I do not know if my intention for this article is information or entertainment, but I do know that it is the official confession for my sins against my wife’s caboodle. If you found this post useful or entertaining please like, comment, and follow my site tool-school.com. Thank you!