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Etching problem

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  • Etching problem

    I started taking pics and writing descriptions to post some of Dad's items on craigslist. Hit a problem.

    Dad was fond of etching his SSN - social security number - into HIS tools. This was common for the company he worked at, back in the 1950's and 1960's. All the guys in the maintenance crew did this, at the plant where Dad worked. Now, of course, no way I am going to let his ssn be floating around out there!

    So I have spotted his SSN on Swingline hand held nail guns (check out the Whammer Swignline 2001 nail gun on ebay, I have one in the case, brand new, all the brads, looks like it was never used BUT he put his SSN on it), and electric drills, and a few other things. I know now that I am going to have to LOOK for it on each item prior to selling it. Fortunately, he didn't HIDE it, they guys wanted to be able to quickly and easily identify their own tools.

    The question is, how to I 'erase' it? Can I sit with steel wool and rub while I am watching TV? Sounds time consuming when all I want to do is move stuff OUT of here.

    I'm not sure what he used to put it in, most of the etching is not too deep.

    Again, thank you for reading.
    Last edited by Freedom2be; 04-20-2013, 02:08 PM.

  • #2
    I take it your father is deceased. If that is the case, don't worry since the number won't be of any use or benefit to anyone. If the buyer doesn't like it then they can polish or grind it off. You might make sure Social Security has been sent a copy of the Death Certificate.

    I just noticed on another post that your father was placed in a nursing home and is alive and well! Please forgive me for the assumption I made.

    Anyway, grinding a tag off of some tools may seriously devalue it - especially if it was chromed. Is there any way you could "alter" the SS number? Otherwise, use a Dremmel tool (this should make the least disturbance) and grind off the last four digits.

    Have you talked with SS to see if leaving the number on would cause a problem?

    Last edited by Mike Burdick; 04-20-2013, 03:58 PM.


    • #3
      Ditto to Mike's reply. I would not waste any time on this, just sell them and let the buyer worry or not worry about it. If it is not reported as the subject of a theft, then there is no problem. Even if it is, the buyer should have a receipt of sale to show he/she did not steal it.
      Paul A.
      SE Texas

      Make it fit.
      You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!


      • #4
        It is not theft of the product / or item I am worried about, it is Dad's identity theft! He has a fabulous credit score!


        • #5
          How was the ssn # put on was is scratched in , engraved , stamped , or acid etched usually a Dremel with a sanding drum will remove them.


          • #6
            You must have not heard of illegalls that come to our country using a dead presons SS . I would grind it out for sure


            • #7
              Kinda wonder why you can't just get.. a new SSN.
              Seems obvious that once stolen/leaked, It would be best to have it changed. Being just a number in a database, it couldn't take more then 2 minutes of time to add in a note: "Xyz number is now obsolete and has been succeeded by YZ"
              Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


              • #8
                I'm not sure it matters a lot.......

                The folks who buy tools are not ID thieves, the ID thieves have no use for tools, they want to get rich quick by stealing.

                besides that, the number with no name does no good........... they need a number PLUS the name for ID theft... They might try to use the number AS identification, but that backfires if the number is still in use..... it becomes obvious with the least investigation.

                I understand the desire to remove it. And except for tool collectors, nobody gives a rip if there is a number on it, or part of a number and a ground-off spot.

                You can grind it off with a dremel, don't do the whole number, just 2 or 3 digits should do the job. They only need to be unreadable.

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan


                • #9
                  Why not add 2 or 3 numbers before and after His numbers. Maybe a letter or 2 to make it look like an inventory control number.
                  mark costello-Low speed steel


                  • #10
                    Mcostello. that is a great idea!

                    I asked Dad how he put the numbers on. He did not use acid, but he could not remember how he did it. He did it at home, so the tool is there in the workshop. (I was thinking perhaps he did it at the plant where he worked.) So, one more thing for me to work on.


                    • #11
                      Show us a pic, we'll tell you how he did it, probably.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by michigan doug View Post
                        Show us a pic, we'll tell you how he did it, probably.

                        No don't post a pic,then the SSN would live forever on the internet.



                        • #13
                          Show a portion of the etching.
                          North Central Arkansas