One of my favorite finishes is Watco Danish Oil. I love the product, but hate the container. In addition to being a pretty good wood finish, Watco Oil is also a very effective metal-to-metal adhesive. After you use it, the little bit of finish that drips around the threads of the opening gets spread around when you put the cap back on. By the time you need it again, the oil polymerizes making an incredible seal between cap and can. I’ve been using Watco so long that I remember when they added to white “safety cap” to the lid, a move that made a bad situation worse.
As you can see if you click on the photo to enlarge it, the lid tells you to push down as you turn to open. That’s a lot like telling you to use a pulling motion to put the cat in the carrier to take him to the vet. It’s not the direction either one of you want to go. About fifty per cent of the time I can get a fresh-from-the-store can open by hand but after that, I have to have some help. I refer to the dedicated tool I use as the “Watco Can Opening Pliers”, but most people use a different term.
I keep this small pair of Channel Lock pliers around for the sole purpose of opening Watco cans, and I can’t remember the last time I used them for anything else. This size is just big enough to get around the cap, and bigger pliers are more effective but these don’t take up much space in my pinching and grabbing things drawer. Sometimes, if the lid is stuck on really tight, the pliers will break the bond between the plastic safety cap and the real metal cap. That’s a good thing. If you use the gallon cans, you’ll need to step up in size. My bigger pair stays at home where they serve double-duty; opening cans and tightening up the hose connections on the washing machine.
So I got to wondering: What tools do you keep around that only do one mundane task around the shop? Leave a comment below to share your favorite. I have a few such tools, and I wonder if any of our readers can guess the purpose of the skinny screwdriver with the long shank in the picture below. Leave a comment with your guess, and the old-timers will have an advantage here. This screwdriver was made obsolete for my purpose in the woodshop about 15 or 20 years ago.