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Heirloom Tools


Roger Frazee
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8 hours ago, Ronnie said:

I'm surprised that no one has posted a photo of an old monkey wrench they own in this thread. My father once owned one but it got lost years ago. I don't have a photo of it but it looked like a pipe wrench with straight jaws (without teeth) and a screw adjustment similar to a crescent wrench.

Is this what you had in mind, Ronnie?

wrench2.JPG

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1 hour ago, Roger Frazee said:

Is this what you had in mind, Ronnie?

wrench2.JPG

 

That's it Roger. I'll bet a lot of young people have heard the term "monkey wrench" but have never seen a real monkey wrench. Thanks for posting the photo!

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Monkey wrenches you want, monkey wrenches you get.  I've probably got 20 of these in various sizes with different types of handles.  I don't use any of them much anymore except for that stubborn plumbing fitting that resists everything else.

 

Pictured is the "modern" Yankee screwdriver called the "Yankee Handyman."  It works the same as the original and has a selection of bits contained in the handle.  Made by Stanley(No.46).  The nested screwdriver set is one of my favorites.  Called a "Four-In-One." it was made by E. Edelmann & Co., Chicago, USA.

 

Finally, to add another element to this discussion, here's a selection of "plier" like tools designed to perform specific functions according to their shaped ends.  This is but a portion of the ones I have.  How many more strange ones can you add?

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2 hours ago, ejboyd5 said:

Monkey wrenches you want, monkey wrenches you get.  I've probably got 20 of these in various sizes with different types of handles.  I don't use any of them much anymore except for that stubborn plumbing fitting that resists everything else.

 

Pictured is the "modern" Yankee screwdriver called the "Yankee Handyman."  It works the same as the original and has a selection of bits contained in the handle.  Made by Stanley(No.46).  The nested screwdriver set is one of my favorites.  Called a "Four-In-One." it was made by E. Edelmann & Co., Chicago, USA.

 

Finally, to add another element to this discussion, here's a selection of "plier" like tools designed to perform specific functions according to their shaped ends.  This is but a portion of the ones I have.  How many more strange ones can you add?

 

 

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Thanks for posting the monkey wrenches. I have large pliers like you show at the top in your photo. My father owned them. I don't know what they are intended to be used for but they come in handy to nip off the ends of nails or small screws. Do you know what they were made for?

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23 hours ago, Ronnie said:

 

Thanks for posting the monkey wrenches. I have large pliers like you show at the top in your photo. My father owned them. I don't know what they are intended to be used for but they come in handy to nip off the ends of nails or small screws. Do you know what they were made for?

 

My father used them when he was replacing shoes on horses. They were the standard tool for pulling the tapered rectangular nails. A German master builder friend uses them for pulling nails, as well. They have their own neat slot in his toolbox, and get regular use. I believe they are known as pincers.

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Here are some of mine. The blades we used for doing grass edges, but they are really shearing shears. They are used on high country sheep to leave a bit of wool so they don't freeze in a cold snap. The double hook is a wool bale hook I think, although I remember them being bigger. This is for the days when wool bales were made of hessian rather than plastic as they are now. Maybe they will use them.... The bent pliers are a mystery. I still use the hole punch for gaskets when small holes are needed. They are also very handy for putting a hole in a piece of card (old business card) to make a label out of it.

 

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9 hours ago, Roger Frazee said:

Another tool that I am lucky to have inherited is this pair of pliers.  I'm not sure if they are fencing pliers or early electrician's pliers but they are one of the handiest tools in my box.  You can't beat them when you need to stretch new seat covers over a seat frame.

 

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Definitely fencing pliers Roger. I have a pair just like them and while I don't do much fencing any more, they were very handy. You can cut wire from either side or between the jaws.

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9 hours ago, Roger Frazee said:

Another tool that I am lucky to have inherited is this pair of pliers.  I'm not sure if they are fencing pliers or early electrician's pliers but they are one of the handiest tools in my box.  You can't beat them when you need to stretch new seat covers over a seat frame.

 

pliers.JPG

 

I have some pliers like yours but they are slightly different by having teeth on the jaws. They also have teeth behind the pivot point at the ends of the handles that appear to be used for squeezing or crushing. They work great for cutting coat hanger wire.  Are these fence pliers too?

I also have some calipers that were given to me by an old machinist I worked with. They are pretty old too.

 

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9 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

 

I have some pliers like yours but they are slightly different by having teeth on the jaws. They also have teeth behind the pivot point at the ends of the handles that appear to be used for squeezing or crushing. They work great for cutting coat hanger wire.  Are these fence pliers too?

I also have some calipers that were given to me by an old machinist I worked with. They are pretty old too.

 

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Your pliers are also fencing pliers a little better to work with as the teeth make it easier to grip wire and pull it tight around a fence post. You use the nose of the pliers as a lever point, grip the wire with the serrated jaws and pull it around by hauling on the handles.

Nice nippers and calipers too!

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This is what i know as fencing pliers. The "claw" is for pulling staples. And you can also stretch fence by grabbing it without cutting it and pull by levering using the rounded bottom part against the wooden post. Also hammer staples in. An all-in-one tool.

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And have one of these type of fence stretchers.

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Edited by mike6024 (see edit history)
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These are what we use for wire strainers on post and wire fences. The can also be used on deer netting fences.

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@mike6024 I notice you working on barbed wire. We don't use that much any more. If an animal pushes against it, they tear their skin = low grade hide later. Cattle like to push between wires for the greener grass over the fence (or the trees over there, or the flax).

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These heirloom tools predate the automobile by about 50 years.One of my great great grandfathers was a foreman on a barn building outfit. We still have his broad axes (left hand and right hand) ,his adze, and an assortment of augers for drilling holes in the hand hewn beams to pin them together.

Barn building tools 001.JPG

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4 hours ago, J.H.Boland said:

These heirloom tools predate the automobile by about 50 years.One of my great great grandfathers was a foreman on a barn building outfit. We still have his broad axes (left hand and right hand) ,his adze, and an assortment of augers for drilling holes in the hand hewn beams to pin them together.

Barn building tools 001.JPG

 

 

I imagine those hand operated augers could cause some serious blisters on your hands after a drilling holes in a few big logs.

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37 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

 

I imagine those hand operated augers could cause some serious blisters on your hands after a drilling holes a few big logs.

 

Imagine swinging those big broad axes all day too ! That was back in the day when men were men and women could tell the difference.

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5 hours ago, J.H.Boland said:

These heirloom tools predate the automobile by about 50 years.One of my great great grandfathers was a foreman on a barn building outfit. We still have his broad axes (left hand and right hand) ,his adze, and an assortment of augers for drilling holes in the hand hewn beams to pin them together.

Barn building tools 001.JPG

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Very satisfying working with hand tools such as these. Have always avoided the hand augers, though.

Believe it or not, I built my house, many years ago, using the siding axe, adze, draw-knife and froe. And still have the scars to prove it. Very little money, no electricity, plenty of Eucalyptus trees and the boundless energy of youth. Pretty much the situation our rural fore-fathers found themselves in, I imagine. (But I did have a chainsaw).  I'm still living in it, 39 years later, but have had grid power connected for 20-odd years, so the hand tools just hang in the shed.

Use of these tools is enjoying a resurgence in this part of the world,  and mortise and peg building is not uncommon.  I imagine this is the case in the US, as well. Same driving forces that have us fancying antique vehicles and machinery, I guess.

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1 hour ago, Ozstatman said:

Forgive my ignorance, but what is the difference between left hand and right hand broad axes? Or is it like right and left handed screwdrivers?

 

Ozstatman, these are siding axes. They are completely flat on one side, for finishing timbers such as railway sleepers and beams square and flat.  I only have a RH axe, but in the photo above, I believe the flat sides of both LH and RH are showing. Huge numbers of Red-gum sleepers, (railroad ties?) were cut  by hand in Victoria in the 19th and 20th centuries. I originally come from up the Murray, in Red-gum country, where my Grandfather was a fettler on the railroads. We built a lot of yards out of the Red-gum 'slabs' from the sides of the logs, after sawmills took over the work.   

Mick.

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I am lucky to have an understanding wife who likes old stuff so she doesn’t mind having my grandmothers old china cabinet in our living room which I have full of old tools.

The adjustable wrench shown in the picture is an interesting design.  Patent date is hard to read conclusively but the last 3 numbers are 7 9 7.  Most likely 1897 manufactured, did they have the ability to make something like that in 1797? Looks to be forged.

The pliers I have no idea what their purpose is but the patent date is quite clear on this one July 21 1803.

The wrench set has special value to me because they were given to me by a great guy that I had the great fortune to make friends with.  They are Canadian made Gray brand that he bought new in 1936 when he was just a young guy starting out in the logging industry in Lake Cowichan, BC.  They are in their original canvas pouch.  The tools are great but the story behind each one is what makes them special.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today I opened my grandfather's automotive tool chest for the first time in many years.  Inside the box are some very interesting tools that challenge the mind, just trying to figure out what they were designed to do.  I'll post pictures of the ones that have be baffled in hopes that smarter minds than mine can explain their function.

 

The first one is, I think, a valve-seat grinder.  The unique feature of this tool is that the shaft rotates in one direction when you turn the crank from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock.  The shaft turns in the opposite direction from 6 o'clock to 12 o'clock.

 

Does anyone know any more about this gadget?

 

 

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I have several but the most interesting to me is the GI Ring Kit from WW2. One could find rings (cast iron) but not aluminum pistons (essential material) so this has a cutter to cut worn ring lands and grooves out to a size that is equal to the compression ring thickness PLUS the oil ring scraper thickness. Once cut you installed the compression ring along with the scraper ring and the ring fit without slop. Probably good for another 20k miles. As to a picture---maybe, since it is somewhere in a double decked 6000 sq ft shop and two 600 sq ft storage sheds. I usually only find something when digging for something else.

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  • 3 years later...
Posted (edited)
On 1/31/2018 at 3:07 AM, Bush Mechanic said:

 

Very satisfying working with hand tools such as these. Have always avoided the hand augers, though.

Believe it or not, I built my house, many years ago, using the siding axe, adze, draw-knife and froe. And still have the scars to prove it. Very little money, no electricity, plenty of Eucalyptus trees and the boundless energy of youth. Pretty much the situation our rural fore-fathers found themselves in, I imagine. (But I did have a chainsaw).  I'm still living in it, 39 years later, but have had grid power connected for 20-odd years, so the hand tools just hang in the shed.

Use of these tools is enjoying a resurgence in this part of the world,  and mortise and peg building is not uncommon.  I imagine this is the case in the US, as well. Same driving forces that have us fancying antique vehicles and machinery, I guess.

Well, I use normally Gas Chainsaws but my list include different chainsaws for wood work. I also have a couple of estimating tools that had a place with my granddad with his initials on them that I'm pleased to claim and want to pass on. Two out of my four corded Milwaukee drills ought to handily outlast me and accomplish great work for the up and coming age of dustynlefties. The carpentry and metal working tight clamps from family members will live on; ideally the workbenches from the 1950's and prior can get utilized. I have a Stanley 45 plane (the craftsmanship deco ? body) that discussions to me about the bygone era make guidelines. I didn't acquire that one yet got it utilized, yet I'd prefer to pass it's anything but a legacy.

Edited by wilhary (see edit history)
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On 2/25/2018 at 4:29 PM, Roger Frazee said:

And what in the heck is this?

 

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Roger, this is used with your brace and bit. Brace goes on the top, bit in the bottom. The chain goes around the barn beam. When you turn the brace it keeps pressure on the bit so it keeps drilling. This was a big help when hanging on a ladder while drilling for a wooden peg hole. Karl

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I am a 4th generation carpenter, and unfortunately about the only tool I have inherited is my dads estwing hammer, and its only about 40 yrs old or so. My older brother has his wooden toolbox with some stuff in it, but nothing old. Unlike today, Pop could build an entire house with what few tools would fit in a 40" wooden toolbox that was in the back of his 1964 Ranch wagon. Now I have 2 large buildings full of tools, something special for just about every job we do. I have never asked but have always thought that my cousin had my grandfathers tools. 

 

I have a modernish yankee screwdriver with a plastic handle, unlike dads that had a smaller wood handle. These were great pre battery screw gun days, but keep in mind most if not all screws were slotted. It took a bit of a knack to drive in a screw with one of those things. Always kept a bar of soap in the tool box for lube. 

 

Related to the brace, auger bits are good bit are you familiar with a spoon bit?

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Most enjoyable picture thread. Too bad we took several years off, but perhaps it can be restarted with some new posts.  Here's a Hinsdale 1/2" socket set that came to me via my maternal grandfather who was a mounted NYPD sergeant in the early 1900s.1961263376_HinsdaleSocketSet.JPG.6a6901064726ae44d4bad97a28ffa816.JPG

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Posted (edited)

 I am embarrassed to say that I have many of those tools in my tool box that I use quite often!

 

 A while back, a friend that is into national racing asked me if I could identify a screw head and I f I knew the name of the tool that is used with it.

 I calmly went to my tool box and handed him two different sizes of Clutch head screw drivers.

                                                        :rolleyes:

Edited by Roger Walling (see edit history)
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I have a set of wooden spool clamps that belonged to my grandfather and were brought over from Russia. As a small child, I liked to steal them and roll them around on the floor. Half a century later, I'm still playing with Grandpa's clamps. I have no idea how old they really are, but even 50 years ago they were already ancient. 

Grandpa's Clamps.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Just saw this thread! I’ve got tons of old tools from my grandad. Including Stillson wrenches from the 1890’s etc etc. Some restored and some as he laid them down. The useful tool in the garage of his this evening is an old set of pistol grip pliers. I’ve used them numerous times on drum brakes. 

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Edited by BobinVirginia (see edit history)
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