RE: What is your favorite strange tool that you can’t buy at a regular supply house?
I cobbled together a special “valve socket” for the manual lift stem on Sporlan solenoid valves. It is a 1/8″ brass stem making it really soft and easy to snap. I snapped ONE trying to use a crescent wrench because I never carried the stupid valve coin thingy they sell/give away.
Took a steel valve key, welded it to a cheap 7/16″ socket 1/4″ drive that I had wasting space in a bucket, cut the edges and spun it on a wheel grinder.
It’s grim and ugly, but just the socket gives plenty of leverage to open and close the manual lift stem with no need of a wrench.