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Neat Tricks: Socket Wrench Secret

Neat trick and useful tip on how to keep from dropping fasteners from a socket wrench. OK I'll show you a little trick that I learned. Very often, you know, you put a nut into a socket and you come into a little recess like this and you put it in there and it falls off. And you lose it inside the door panel and it either takes you forever to find it or you never find it and it leaves a rusty spot or a rattle behind. So one of the great things you can do is just take an ordinary shop towel, put it over the head of the nut or bolt and just pass it in there like that and then just tear off the corner so you're not dealing with the whole rag. And, voila, the tension holds it in place for you, no problem. And you can go into tight spaces and not worry about dropping it. And then when you pull out you just have to either hope that the rag comes with you or reach in and fish out the rag, which should be no problem. One of the problems that faces you is the notion of having this bolt in your socket, having a hard time finding the hole and accidentally dropping it into the door panel. So to prevent that, a great little trick of the trade I've learned is to just wrap the head of the bolt in a piece of shop-towel, put it into your socket and then tear the shop towel free and so just using a little corner of it. And as you can see it holds it nice and firm and straight and you won't drop it when you try and pass it in to a tight space, you wind it up like that and when you pull it out either this stays behind and you can just reach in and pull it off with mechanical fingers or your own fingers. Or maybe it'll stay attached to the socket wrench or maybe it'll drop out and you'll just have to fish that out. But it's a lot more fun than fishing out a lost bolt. OK I've got my nut loaded in there and it's safely in place with a bit of shop towel. I'll just find my stud. Get it started. OK I'm fairly certain that's started now so I'm going to pull this off so I can get the shop--towel out of there easily then I can put this back on. OK I got the rag out and now I'll go in and finish torquing it. This is the kind of trick that you're only going to learn by working in the field for years, or right here at Repairs101.
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