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Tools and memories

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 49 total)
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  • #537695
    Paulc
    Pro

    Hi all,

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Busy around the house and at work. I finished the basement washroom a while back that I was working on, great to have a second washroom in the house now. Some solid learning along the way. I still check in and browse the forum, even if not posting.

    A month ago my grandfather passed away. He was training to be a machinist after WWII; not sure if he completed this training or just moved right into being a lead hand in a local factory that thrived during his employment years; he was also a do-it-yourself-er.

    As such, he had a whole lot of tools in his garage. My dad was a millwright his whole career who enjoys working on cars and doing his own renovations; he has all the tools he’ll ever need. Most of what was in my grandpas garage would go to the trash or donation store if I didn’t want it (I am his only remaining grandchild). Just thought I’d share some musings here. Apologies for the over-editing of the photos – I’ve been having fun with instagram.

    I rescued a wide variety of tools from the garage – woodworking tools, metalworking tools, vices (a nice Rigid with a small anvil on the back, and a craftsman wood vice, made in England), measuring tools, purpose built tools… There were a lot of files in decent shape. Some of them weren’t cleaned out after their last use; I saw something online about using a flat piece of copper to clean between the teeth of a file, as the copper, being so soft, will form itself to basically make a custom cleaning tool. Whoever came up with that, great idea. Due to the age of a lot of the tools, there was some mild rust. The first photo is a collection of tools sitting in a roasting pan of Evaporust. The bottom is all covered by files, hard to see though.

    As an aside, if you haven’t tried Evapo-rust, I highly recommend it. They recently stopped carrying it at my local Canadian Tires; I picked up the last bottle at one of the local stores.

    I find old tools really interesting. They don’t make ’em like they used to (in general). The second photo is of a an interesting pipe-wrench made in Massachusetts, while the level is from West Germany. I have more Rigid Pipe wrenches than I know what to do with now, so I think this guy is just going to go on a little display shelf I put up in the shop.

    The 3rd photo, I’m not exactly sure what this is. My dad suggests it is something fabricated for practice by my grandfather while he was training to be a machinist. What makes it special though is that it’s stamped with his initials. Also not sure what the 16 hours stands for; seemed a bit long to create this, but I suppose with the tools of the day it’s possible. A really nice memory piece though, for me.

    I just finished cleaning up the oil cans today. The middle one is marked ‘Eagle’, made in USA. The blue oiler is made in Italy. I clearly remember this one sitting on my grandfathers bench at his house in the country way back when I was little. One day I borrowed it from its spot to pump some oil onto an ant hill in a crack between pavers beside his garage. A great idea in the eyes of a child I guess.

    The final photo in this first post is basically a history piece for the City of Welland. Atlas Steels Limited in Welland was where my grandpa worked after the war until he retired. By 1948 Atlas steels was regarded as the largest specialty steel company in the British Commonwealth, employing 3000 people and exporting to 53 countries around the world. During my lifetime the factory shut down. Portions are now operating again, ownership having changed many times, but it’s a shell of its former self. My dad has a solid titanium crowbar my grandpa made for him at work. Another interesting item I found in the garage was a large hook made of titanium. It’s hypothesized that he made it for hooking fish in the gills and pulling them out of an ice-fishing hole.

    Anyone else have any inherited tools with memories attached?

    (post 1 of 2).

    #537708
    Paulc
    Pro

    Post 2 of 2.

    The above post brings me to a related thought.

    I went to a local trunk sale a couple weekends ago. I ended up only buying some items from an older gentleman who had a very limited selection in the back of his van. He was there with his teenage grandson. Apart from a collection of ball caps, his offerings were high-quality vintage tools that were extremely well taken care of. It’s a shame that his grandson wasn’t interested in any of it, as they were tools built to last a lifetime.

    One of the tools I purchased from him was a large wood plane (probably 18″ long). I was almost scared to ask how much it was (no price sticker on it, compared to his other items). Even planes in really rough condition tend to go for high dollars at flea markets locally. I asked his grandson, do you know how much the wood plane is? He did not, and asked his grandpa. $18, was his reply. I gave him $20.

    The vice that is pictured here I also purchased from him. It it extremely solid. Almost had to take a break carrying it back to my vehicle. Anyone have any info on it? It is a made in England piece, with the label reading Sanders Hylo Vice. I plan to use it as a drill press vice, as there is no play at all in the jaws.

    Anyway, all that is a long way of saying, a shame that the gentleman’s grandson wasn’t into tools. His wares were built to last a lifetime. I’ll have them for that long, and take good care of them.

    Attachments:
    #537713

    This is powerful and will take a minute to digest. Brings back memories.

    #537841
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    That was quite a day for you, Paul.

    I remember Atlas Steel as a young salesman for Union Carbide, another Welland based company closed down.

    You have some wonderful memories there, for sure.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #537843
    ChadM
    Moderator
    Rogers, Ohio

    Awesome post @Paulc! My dad still has all of his tools but I have several tools (mostly hand planes, draw knives, and chisels) that belonged to my grandfather and great-grandfather – they mean a lot to me. Thanks for the post!

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #537856
    Warren6810
    Moderator
    Akron, OH

    While my dad was not a tradesman, or a tool enthusiast, I did run across a wrench in my shop a couple weeks ago that was his. I knew it because he had engraved most of his tools with his SS number. Something that most of us would be very hesitant to do nowadays. None of his tools were high quality or particularly “vintage”, but it was still cool to find it out of the blue like that.

    #537864
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    My grandfather was an operating engineer for a steel mill, and as such he repaired much if the machinery seen things broke on the job. His tool collection at home kind of reflected that….liked like an auto shop more than anything else.

    I have a few of his hand tools as my uncle has the majority of his things. What I really remember though is the smell…old grease I suppose you would call it. Well that mixed with a dirt floor. His shop are was a long building with several barn style doors along the front with several project cars in various states of repair inside.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #537873
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    All i can say is wow/

    #537913
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Paul, very nice post and memories. I have a few tools from my Dad in the workshop and each time I see them they bring back a flood of memories.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #537920
    Clev08
    Pro

    My grandfather passed away almost 4 years ago and all his tools still sit in his shop in the basement of my Grandmothers house. Some day soon I’ll go down there and see what I can find.

    #537980
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    my grandfather owned factories, my father was a chef. so no tools for me, however i’ll end up passing tons of tools to my kids, just hope when i have them i can teach them how to use em.

    #538004

    Wow, great history and story, very touching,

    My grandfather was a printer, and my dad was a manager at Eatons, so the little things as tools they had, most of them I still have.

    #538012
    Paulc
    Pro

    As it happens, my grandma worked at union carbide, in their office. I’m pretty sure she still knows shorthand.

    #538013
    Paulc
    Pro

    Good to read your comments guys.
    Take care all.

    #538055
    JimDaddyO
    Pro
    Wawa, ON

    Nice collection of tools for sure. It is wonderful that they will that they will continue to serve the way they were meant to.

    I have a lot of my Dad’s old tools and equipment. One I treasure is a hammer I took over 35 years ago. I don’t use it much, but it is something I will never part with. Dad is still kicking at 91, lives with my sister and managed to get in the pool this summer already.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #538059

    Thanks for this post Paul. I enjoyed reading it and remembering my Dad.

    I treasure the couple of tools that I have from my Dad. He didn’t have many in the woodworking arena. I sure hope my grandson wants what I will have for him. It will mean a great deal to me.

    #538082
    MTRoads
    Pro
    Near Glacier National Park, MT

    Tools handed down are always special, especially if there were shared times using those tools.

    I also got a large toolbox handed down from my grandfather – all woodworking related but the plane below is the special item out of the box.

    Stan
    From the Northwest corner of Montana.

    Attachments:
    #538214
    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    @Paulc,
    Great story. Sorry to hear about your grandfather.

    I inherited a lot of my dad’s tools and still use them today. Great memories.

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #538354
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    but the plane below is the special item out of the box.

    Looks like a nice plane. They sure designed things different way back when.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #538812
    Dustincoc
    Pro
    Madrid, NY

    Post 2 of 2.

    The above post brings me to a related thought.

    I went to a local trunk sale a couple weekends ago. I ended up only buying some items from an older gentleman who had a very limited selection in the back of his van. He was there with his teenage grandson. Apart from a collection of ball caps, his offerings were high-quality vintage tools that were extremely well taken care of. It’s a shame that his grandson wasn’t interested in any of it, as they were tools built to last a lifetime.

    One of the tools I purchased from him was a large wood plane (probably 18″ long). I was almost scared to ask how much it was (no price sticker on it, compared to his other items). Even planes in really rough condition tend to go for high dollars at flea markets locally. I asked his grandson, do you know how much the wood plane is? He did not, and asked his grandpa. $18, was his reply. I gave him $20.

    The vice that is pictured here I also purchased from him. It it extremely solid. Almost had to take a break carrying it back to my vehicle. Anyone have any info on it? It is a made in England piece, with the label reading Sanders Hylo Vice. I plan to use it as a drill press vice, as there is no play at all in the jaws.

    Anyway, all that is a long way of saying, a shame that the gentleman’s grandson wasn’t into tools. His wares were built to last a lifetime. I’ll have them for that long, and take good care of them.

    That looks to be some type of milling machine vise.

    Shop Blog: http://ravenbarsrepair.tumblr.com/
    Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz498FKw9LF1awJsKIqhoxQ

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