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  • Loaning Tools

    When I was in business I had a prominent sign in the shop that said, “We don’t loan tools. Don’t ask”

    For those that did ask we just pointed to the sign and kept on with what we were doing.

    It is amazing how many times when you loan tools you have to go get them back. Then there is the type that brings them back broken. That happened this morning. Loaned a friend (maybe ex-friend) a 3/4 –10 tap. I guess he dropped it on the floor. It now has a pretty good chunk broken out of the end of one flute. In my work this size was pretty common and I had several in that size so in one sense it was no big deal. It still gripes me.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  • #2
    I do not loan tools.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      Years ago, my neighbor came over one afternoon and wanted to borrow "some C clamps". I let him have two 6" C clamps. He thanked me and left.

      For the ensuing 6 months, I asked him no less than 10 times to bring back the C clamps. Each time he said, OK, he would get them back to me "tomorrrow".

      Finally, in frustration, I went across the road and asked him to give me the clamps "now". I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that he had been using them to hold his steel shelves together in his garage.

      Another neighbor "borrowed" my 20 foot extension ladder. I sort of forgot about it and he did finally bring it back. I only had to ask him once. The bad part was that it was covered with white paint for about the top five feet.

      I don't lend tools to anyone anymore.

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      • #4
        The same concerns could be expressed over borrowing tools. I very seldom damage any of MY tools. Most of them I've had for many, many years. However, I haven't always had the money that comes from working for 45 years, and when I was younger, I did borrow other peoples tools. And invariably, the damn things would break when I was using them. Then I would end up having to buy a new tool to replace whatever I broke, then give it back to the fellow I had borrowed the tool from, and keep the broken one to see if I could repair it and get it working good enough to keep for myself!!! It wasn't too long before I realized that this was not a particularly intelligent way to do business.---Brian
        Brian Rupnow

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        • #5
          Originally posted by brian Rupnow
          The same concerns could be expressed over borrowing tools. I very seldom damage any of MY tools. Most of them I've had for many, many years. However, I haven't always had the money that comes from working for 45 years, and when I was younger, I did borrow other peoples tools. And invariably, the damn things would break when I was using them. Then I would end up having to buy a new tool to replace whatever I broke, then give it back to the fellow I had borrowed the tool from, and keep the broken one to see if I could repair it and get it working good enough to keep for myself!!! It wasn't too long before I realized that this was not a particularly intelligent way to do business.---Brian

          I don't borrow tools either. I just buy what I need. Sooner or later, you will need the same tool again.

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          • #6
            I've had exactly the same experience as Brian, with the same conclusion. "Neither a borrower or lender be". There have been a very few exceptions, but that's my general philosophy.
            Russ
            Master Floor Sweeper

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            • #7
              In my book lenders should teach bortrowers that asking for tools is just as bad as asking for money.Lesson learned ?Hopefully. Does anyone here get those tools free? I think not.Alistair
              Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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              • #8
                I'm both a borrower and lender of tools, to a select number of highly trusted people I can easily count using the fingers on one hand. Everyone else gets, "No tools loaned."

                I feel that many of the the tools I have accumulated over the years are somewhat irreplaceable due to unique function or just plain superior quality, especially when compared to what is available in today's tool market.

                Then there's the tool with just plain sentimental value like my 50+ year old Stanley hammer I bought as a young boy (my first tool). It's gone through life with me, first building the projects of a small boy, then the needs of a teen and later the projects of an adult. The very home I live in was built (in part) with that same hammer. Little did I know when I purchased it, the power and value I would receive.

                P.S. DoctorDemo, I still owe you two collets!!

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                • #9
                  I know a very few select people that I wouldn't hesitate to lend every single one of my tools to, As I have no doubt they would respect and treat the tools as I would. Unfortunatly they live anywhere from 300,or 1500-3000 miles away. The people that live around me? I could be using the very tool their asking to borrow and I'd tell em I don't own one. Usually they don't bother me after that. Just because mankind is known as a tool using species doesn't mean ALL of that species should be trusted to use or borrow tools.

                  Pete
                  Last edited by uncle pete; 06-30-2010, 04:23 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Worthy friends are one of life's greatest treasures. And, for sure, I don't hesitate to lend tools to friends. I can't recall any friend who became a habitual borrower, but sometimes things get broken. Life (mine anyway) is too short to dwell on the disappointments, so I refuse to allow a bad experience change the way I live my life.

                    At my shop, we work with a very high level of trust in our employees, and generally that trust is rewarded. Once, a few years ago, one employee embezzled well over $10,000. People expected us to tighten up after that, but we didn't because to do so would be to let that one episode change our life. I refuse to allow that guy to have such power over me.

                    If I borrow a tool and lose or damage it, I'd expect to replace it without hesitation, and I believe my friends would do the same.
                    Cheers,

                    Frank Ford
                    HomeShopTech

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                    • #11
                      I'm taking all this in and processing it. I'm still waiting for Sir John to weigh in on the topic. I'm just assuming if he didn't loan out the occasional tool he'd have no floor to stand on.
                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                      Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                      It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pherdie
                        I'm both a borrower and lender of tools, to a select number of highly trusted people I can easily count using the fingers on one hand. Everyone else gets, "No tools loaned."
                        Same here , tools dont need to sit around dusty if they are needed. if my buddie breaks a tool he gets to buy the new one within reason, some old tap thats a bit dull but is fine to chase a hole then its no loss.

                        some shops will rent a tool like a mag drill oir portable welder. Just ask for a credit card and check it out, if the tool dont come back they buy it.

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                        • #13
                          For the very few people that make up our closest neighbours instead of loaning tools I will either tell them to bring over the item and I will fix it, or I will make them a part or I will go over and fix it for them.

                          It isn't about trust. It is about having the tool when I need it.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            I am with Frank on this one- my friends are more important to me than small tools, and my big tools are too heavy to lend out.

                            I have duplicates and triplicates of most common tools anyway- a side effect of having had, off and on, 1-3 employees in the shop for 25 years. So there is almost always a tool available for lending that I wont really miss if it doesnt come back.

                            But more often than loaning stuff, I just fix things for people. Either in my shop, or at their place. Usually, the level of knowledge and tools needed are more than a simple borrowing can accomplish anyway.

                            I am sure I have had a few tools go out and never come back- but I cannot think of one of em- which tells you how important they must have been.

                            Much more irritating, to me, is what the heck happened to that Blackbird CD that I still have the empty case for...

                            But in the end, its all only stuff, and I am merely a temporary caretaker for any of it- all too soon, I will be gone, and somebody else will have to worry about it.

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                            • #15
                              It isn't just tools. I have a car dolly that I used to use frequently, but due to circumstances, it sits most of the time now. Last two times I lent it out it was nothing but grief. First time the fools didn't know how to use a ratcheting tie down properly and the webbing broke! That let the one wheel pull off the dolly and torqued the drawbar off center. At least they returned it fairly soon with a new strap.

                              Last time I lent it out, the guy never returned it for months. I dropped a few "hints" that I'd like it returned, but he didn't think it was worth his time I guess. Then last fall I finally told him to return it. He said he would...but come spring still no dolly. When I called him up he knew what I was calling for and didn't screw around anymore and returned it right away. Trouble was it came back severely beat up! The drawbar was torqued way out of shape, looked like he tried to back it up and jackknifed it badly. The self contained loading ramps look like they seen a hell of a lot more miles of gravel road than what should have been put on them considering what and where he said he was towing. Then when he did bring it back, he pushed it up tight against my aluminum clad garage door and dented that! I'm right T'eed off at him.
                              There are people who I don't mind lending tools to, but I am tired of the dumb a**es who do not respect the tool and apparently do not appreciate the zero cost to them of borrowing what cost me a pretty penny. My future loan outs are definitely going to be much less than in the past.
                              Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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