About the Colony

This power tool has a world of untapped potential

I love tools. I always have. Even as a kid I took good care of them.

In fact, in high school, as a member of FFA, I created a “farm shop” where each tool’s proper place was marked by a black silhouette. If it was missing at day’s end, I knew it immediately, even suggesting to my dad once that he “put the tool away when you’re through using it.”

Back then the only tool we owned that was powered by a motor was the table saw.

Today we have tools powered by batteries. A jig saw powered by a tiny motor is so superior to using a hack saw or a manually held jig saw, which you could never hold straight enough.

Next to tools, I love the small suitcases they come in. Actually, I’m a sucker for anything in a box. In fact, I often buy the tool that has the best carrying container. I think it’s because of my need for neatness. The tool in its carrying case sits properly on a shelf along with its other tool mates — the drill, nail gun, saber saw, circular hand saw, and more. No dangling cords to deal with. Neat, neat, neat.

Woodworking tools keep getting smaller but with longer battery life. One of my most-used tools is my smallest, the Dremel, which very much resembles a dentist’s tool.

I got to thinking about all this when I bought a battery-powered toothbrush this month. Because of a less-than-stellar report on the condition of my teeth, my dentist suggested that a power toothbrush would be superior to my manually powered one.

So my newest tool is my electric toothbrush. I love the sound in my head as the little machine vibrates against my teeth. It screams “jackhammer.” It is so compact it seems that with just a little work we could create a line of more manly power toothbrushes with such brand names as DeWalt or Ridgid. I think a DeWalt Compact Tooth and Gum Maintenance Machine has a nice ring to it.

It would be great if I could pull off the toothbrush end of my newest tool and replace it with a screwdriver. How about the name Bostitch? To me that name needs an exclamation point to go with it. Pow, zap, done!

But I love my new aquamarine-colored power toothbrush. After wiping toothpaste off the mirror, the sink top and my shirt, I learned that you wait until you actually insert the toothbrush in your mouth before you turn it on.

If only it came in a carrying case with a warning I see included with all my newest tools, to “wear safety glasses when using this tool.” I think they put that in all the instructions just to make you think you’re doing something dangerous.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.