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How many tools have you given away

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  • How many tools have you given away

    Just out of curiosity how many or what types of tools have you given away. I started out 25 years ago as a machinist and bought some tools that were needed. When I stat=rted my present job in a Model Shop / Toolroom..when we had the time would make some of our own equipment. Sine plates, sine bars, 1-2-3 blocks, angle bars (1,2,3,4,5,& 10 degrees) 30-60's, angle plates, etc. I have given enough away over the years to supply probably a half a dozen machinist. Seems like I get into a mood and make some then when I break someone in I end up giving them tools to help out in their profession. The only thing I ever asked of them is to never sell them. To only give them to someone else if they ever get out of the trade. How many others have done this? I suppose if I ever make it to retirement I'll give all my stuff to someone else that wants to get into the profession.

    If it's not good enough for you, it's sure not good enough for anyone else.

  • #2
    I'm definitely not a professional machinist, but I frequently do repairs and give them away. I know, someone is going to say that is what they were worth.

    Besides metal working and instrument repairs (which I often do at no charge), I also make furniture for fun. Last year I made a pie safe and gave it to my brother and sister in law. I just wanted something to do, and when I got done I didn't have any place to put it.

    When you get right down to it, the time you spend can't often be recouped in monitary rewards, so you might as well give what you make to someone that will appreciate it and possibly pass on the good deed later. So far, I've never had anyone sell what I made them. And yes, the pie safe is sitting in the dining room, and not in the garage as a paint cabinet. : )



    • #3
      NONE! There mine, all mine! (Maniacle Laugh)

      Actualy, I can't say I've had the luxuary of having any surpluss tools I could afford to give away. I hope that doesn't make me selfish, I just don't think I've had anything I wasn't using.

      One small item I did leave with a co-worker when I left a job at model shop was a sanding planer disk/rotary planer I had made. It was a 2 1/2" diameter disk turned flat with a shaft. It was chucked in a mill and used to take light cuts off of wood or foam workpieces (Like the surface plate surface grinder described in the Bedside Reader). Not a very noteworthy tool, but very useful for model making and I knew this guy really apreciated this little gizmo, so it made a nice parting gift when I left.

      I have traded numerous little gadgets and shopmade gauges with other toolmakers over the years. It feels like beeing a kid again making a trade for marbles or GI Joe stuff. Nothing valuable but lots of fun!


      • #4
        I go to a lot of auctions and whind up with duplicates and spares but luckily I have friends near by and we always horse trade on our extras.I have and do give a lot of stuff away heck I can't keep everything.Also I have found that the more I give the more I get in return.I think its called the law of resroprosity.
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5
          Twice, I gave my brother a new 9'' starrett caliper with the interchangable legs. I also gave away a set of pipe dies, Shortly after divesting myself of unecessary these items I was hit with the need to lay out 12'' flanges and make several pipe nipples.
          Since this event I no longer give tools away, I will make,lend, or maybe even buy a tool as a present but I no longer give them away.
          If I am ever called upon to adjust a Spicer clutch on Pete or KW, change ball joints on a 63 ford, or set the timing on a Fairbanks-morse 381/8 OP diesel I'm ready and equipped.
          Non, je ne regrette rien.


          • #6
            When young knife makers come over they geenrally get stuff that I am "surplusing". I had a small band saw, that made a guy in New Hersey happy. I had three extra O2 bottle, gave them away. I have finite space, so when I upgrade some device the old one has to find a new home. I build wood stabilizers, when I make an improved model, the old one finds a new home.

            I can't tell you how many, but a lot.



            • #7
              I had a person who I did not know very well come to my shop one day and gave me a 0-4" mike set,1-12" inside mike set and a dial and stand.All of very good quality.Said he was finished with the trade and wanted someone to make good use of the tools.It was very nice of him and I told him that if I could ever do anything for him to just ask.
              Just a side note:
              Whenever I have a "bad" day or lots of things go wrong, I usually do a small favorite of sorts for Like a reduced price job or a n/c job.It's nice to see their face light up.I find things start to "turn around" at that point.
              please visit my webpage:


              • #8
                I've given away a bunch of tools that I've accumulated either by buying broken tools or having them given to me.Tools that don't fit anything I have,usually go to someone that can use them. It's hard to sit on several of the same type machines and I can only use one at a time. I enjoy making parts and tooling for our neighbors and eventually they will be able to do the same for others.


                • #9
                  until i was married, i traveled with two suit cases, weight less than what international airlines allow. Included in that weight was a .45 revolver, some reference books, drafting tools and my clothing. Most jobs were very short stays and on to the next problem. Alwways tried to produce on first day, bought whatever i needed to do the job and left it all behind when i left. Went on tech assist jobs and some time bought VOM meter, wrenches, what ever ws needed and left them. That explains why i am broke, happy and unencumbered till i married- five yeras later came back to the usa- and was 10,000 pounds over weight and I had a generous moving allowance.
                  Tools are like ideas- right one to fit the job is invaluable, when its not needed its worth nothing. Man should never fall in love with his tools. give them away when you see no future need or they become bothersome.


                  • #10
                    I can't remember ever giving a tool away, but I use my tools in the course of giving my services away. I lend my tools against my better judgement. Once, a friend asked to borrow my panel say. Nice unit, carbide blade, expensive. Came back half hour later, motor burnt to a crisp. It probably had close to 3 hours total on it up to that point. Does that classify as giving it away, or throwing it away?
                    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                    • #11
                      Too Dag Gone Many !!!
                      And generally i can leave a piece laying around for ever and not need it, but give it away and for sure your gonna need it...LOL


                      • #12
                        I think most everybody that comes into my shop leaves with something, IF I like them, that is. More often it's a gun related gizmo. It's not often tools, but sometimes, esp. if they are just starting on this path. I must say, I do get my knickers in a twist when I give something to someone, and then they bitch about it. They invarably end up on my "Do NOT Like" list...
                        I'm here hoping to advancify my smartitude.


                        • #13
                          Why give them away? Hell if you just turn your back for five minutes, you'll find they disappear by themselves! Seriously this has been a real problem. When you rely on your tools to make a living it is very difficult to part with them. I have been on a lifetime quest to aquire my tools. I have to defend mine constantly. I dream of getting to that "comfort zone" where I have excess tools and excess everything else. I have given just a very few items away. However the recipients were so deserving, and I felt so indebted to them, that hope my gestures have been recieved well. Of all my possessions, I think that I cherish my tools the most. Some people think "He who has the most toys when he dies wins." I think "He who has the most TOOLS when he dies wins." I think everyone on this site is well ahead of me but I am content in my little shop.