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Thread: Comfort Tools, not really OT

  1. #11
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    Jan 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalee100 View Post
    ... But tools to me are simply a means to an end. There is nothing romantic or enjoyable about them - one is as good as another....
    Try buying a NEW tool that is the same quality as an OLD tool.
    Maybe then you will have some respect for what old tools really are.

    -Doozer
    DZER

  2. #12
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    Yep the square. Thanks, Doozer!
    Out of the entire company, I was the only one who up and spent a weeks pay on a Starrett combination set. Back when I was starting out, I was working in a boiler shop (welder/fab). My job was to put on the flanges before they were machined. The head machinist explained to me that I had to have the dimensions within 1/32 or he would personally come back here and beat me. The starrett square set is accurate enough for me to get finished parts within 1/32 after it has cooled off. All the other guys were using stuff from Home Depot, and they were having a hard time. Nowdays I'm trying to move into the machining instead of fab, for the last 5 yrs.

  3. #13
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    Germany
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    My comfort tool is a machining vise I got from a very old retired machinist. The vise was his masters project. He made the entire vise. When I answered the add for the vise I think he said he would take 85Euros for it. I went by his house to pick up the vise and he showed me his Masters Diploma and told me the story of the vise. His children wern't interested in his tools. The price was 85Euros and I gave him 500Euros. I asked him to come by and maybe teach me some and his eyes lit up and he was happy that someone appreciated him. Every time I clamp something in the vise I feel good about it. The vise is as smooth as silk and clamps really well.
    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  4. #14
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    May 2011
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    LONG STORY: I went to tech school on a co-op program which allowed me to go to a technical school starting my second year of high school till graduation as a senior. I could go for a half day every day for three years and the city paid for the transportation - didn't cost me anything. My dad worked in a machine shop but he wasn't a machinist. He was very proud of what I was doing especially after I showed him the first few projects I had made. One night he came home from work with a very old but very accurate Starrett mic which he bought from a machinist at work for $7. It was dead-on-balls accurate but all it had was the ratchet. Knowing how hard it was for my dad to part with $7 (he went through the Depression and all) I was, believe it or not, overwhelmed that he would spend $7 for something he didn't know how to use himself. Seven bucks was still a lot of money back in those days.

    LONG STORY LONGER: During the evening I worked at the same school I went to during the day as a teacher's helper. All of the students were grown men. The night my dad gave me the mic I showed it around the shop. There was one guy who was a bit of a jerk who had a Mitutoyo 1" mic which had the ratchet, carbide faces, tenths vernier, spindle lock, decimal equivalents and was finished in satin chrome but it was off by 3 1/2 thou. He offered to trade me even for the old mic because it was so accurate. Well, I knew I could reset the Mitutoyo [EDIT] I reset it before I went home [END EDIT] so I traded him. I wouldn't have taken advantage of him if he was a nice guy, but as I said he was a pompous jerk.

    EPILOGUE: I have always been a rather sentimental guy and it wasn't till the ride home on the bus that it occurred to me what I had done. This was a gift that my dad had given me and I had callously bartered it away. I had to fess up and I did. I explained all the features of the new mic to him and it looked brand new. Like I said before, my dad had lived a very hard life and that hard life had kicked all the sentimentality out of him. He was always wheeling and dealing but he told me that never in his life had he traded up to such a profit in so short a time as the few hours of time that I had owned the mic, and that he had never known anyone else to do so in so short a time either. He told me that he was very proud of me - and I could tell by his expression he wasn't kidding.

    That 1" mic served me through my entire half-century career as my principal 1" mic. and over the course of my working life I have told this story often. In all probability, now that I am retired, this will be the last time.

    /
    Last edited by DATo; 07-06-2019 at 12:53 PM.

  5. #15
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    Jan 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doozer View Post
    Try buying a NEW tool that is the same quality as an OLD tool.
    Maybe then you will have some respect for what old tools really are.

    -Doozer
    Hi,

    Is that old Sherr-Tumico or Starret of mine better than a new digital Mitutoyo? An old B&D cast aluminum corded drill better than a new Milwaukee cordless? An old Craftsman tool box better than a new HF General? Heck, I'm as happy with a HF combo wrench in my hand as I am with a SnapOn.

    As long as the tool is fit for purpose and does the job correctly anything else is meaningless. Tools are meant to be bent to my purpose to achieve my goals and not idolized. Anthropomorphising an inanimate object is trying to turn a tool into Disney's Mickie Mouse. And just as silly.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  6. #16
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    Buffalo NY
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    Tools get you where you want to go.
    No question there.
    I am all for what works. Believe me.
    But you have to compare apples to apples.
    I get a new battery lithium drill motor is a lightweight
    and high performance tool. It gets the job done, and
    is easier on the operator compared to heavy drills of the
    past. But it will not last long. Not like the old heavy plug
    in drill. But they are two different classes of tool. I am
    all for tools that take advantage of advancements in modern
    technology, but just be aware they might not last as long.
    It is a game of trade offs for sure. But don't discount that
    old arm breaker drill all together. Nothing mixes a pale
    of plaster or grout like an old geared down bully of a drill motor.

    -Doozer
    DZER

  7. #17
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    Oct 2013
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    USA MD 21030
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    I am an extreme pack rat, so I have kept many tools and other things that had belonged to my father. He had been a machinist at Martin's during WWII, and as I was growing up I remember him using tools that he kept in a nice Kennedy tool chest. He gave me a little cheap 1/2" micrometer when I was a child, and had no real use for it, but it worked and I kept it. I think he said he paid 50 cents for it. He also had a nice 1" Starrett #209-F micrometer. 20 years after his and my mother's death, I sold the house and the tools were split up between myself and my brother. He insisted on taking the toolbox and many of the tools he could use as a plumber's apprentice, so I got the machinist tools such as the micrometer. I am estranged from my alcoholic brother, but last I heard he was evicted from his trailer along with his tools, which were promptly stolen, so the toolchest and our father's tools are probably lost forever. Here are the two mikes:



    The micrometer suffered from rust due to high humidity in my subterranean workshop, so the friction feature is permanently frozen, but it is still usable and is among my prize possessions.



    BTW, I found an interesting compendium of old micrometers:
    http://cofes.com/Portals/0/cofes_201...icrometers.pdf

    Some machinist tools that I really haven't had occasion to use:


    I do suffer from sentimentality about old tools and other things, so I have kept a huge quantity of things that date back before I was born. Someday I might take a partial inventory, with pictures and captions describing what they are and their history, but meanwhile, here are some things, including many that are electronic more than mechanical:

    Tube power supply that my father bought from a blind radio repairman around 1940.
    Vacuum tube voltmeter, 1950s, with a dust cover sewed by my mother.
    Capacitor checker with "magic eye" tube.
    Audio and RF signal generator.
    German specialty multimeters acquired by my father during the war at the Messerschmidt factory.
    Casco rotary tool set, similar to: https://www.ebay.com/itm/50s-CASCO-E...S/192975558669

  8. #18
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    May 2013
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    UK, near London
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    I used to think something 30 years old was old. As we age our possessions age with us without us realising. So now I have things and sometimes I suddenly remember when I got it 40, 50 years ago. Every now an then I notice that the teaspoon I am using is the one I spark engraved my name on the first week at work.

  9. #19
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    Not everything old was was better. My old post war Lionel trains are actually pieces of crap compared to what you can buy today, in terms of scale. Yes, they are still working, but there's no bearings, the motors are made of poor materials, all the cars have no type of bearing on the axles, the track looks like crap, etc. Stone age method of control.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
    Not everything old was was better. My old post war Lionel trains are actually pieces of crap compared to what you can buy today, in terms of scale. Yes, they are still working, but there's no bearings, the motors are made of poor materials, all the cars have no type of bearing on the axles, the track looks like crap, etc. Stone age method of control.
    That is quite true -- examples would be the quality and consistency of modern steel making. Electronics is another example. Much as I love my rugged old tube sets, they will never have the sensitivity and selectivity of modern chips. Its just too bad that the modern stuff is not as mechanically rugged as when TV's were built in the midwest.

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