Monday, December 26, 2011

My Dad's Garage

My son has been clearing out my deceased father's garage, so he'll have a place to restore an old car, and he's been finding all manner of stuff. I've begun one post about an old woodworking vise that I mean to restore. This weekend, my son brought me four toolboxes full of items. As a small honour to my father, I'll 'catalogue' them in this post, in no particular order, little-by-little as I go through the boxes.

For openers, here's something I never knew existed.

Hoof Picks

They're for cleaning mud and what-have-you from horses' hooves. My dad must have had something else in mind for them -- he was not a horseman, nor would he have been inclined to keep company with the horsey set. I'll clean these up and make them a place to hang on a toolboard. If a horse should come by with mud-caked hooves that need tending to, I'll have just what's needed right handy.

- - -

A Couple of Small Spanners

It says "Acme 2029" on them. I googled that and learned that these are for adjusting bifold door pivots.

The big open end is 1/2". That truncated jaw would be to give the wrench a sort of 'ratcheting' action. The box wrench and the small open end are both 5/16". It appears that he filed one of the small open ends to make it 11/32".

These remind me that I have quite a collection of little specialized spanners. I should hang them on a toolboard and free up some drawer space.

- - -

A Propane Torch Flame Spreader

It must be for some big old brute of a torch. The round opening is sized to go on a 3/4" diameter nozzle -- that's much bigger than either one of my two relatively modern torches.

It's made of heavy-gauge steel. The clamp screw is 10-32. I could adapt it to my torches by making a bushing.

I'll park it on my 'pending' shelf, where it will bug me to get at it.

- - -

A Paint Can Lid Pry Bar

On one side is embossed, "SCARFE & CO., LIMITED". On the other side is embossed, "VARNISHES, PAINTS, ENAMELS".

I googled "SCARFE & CO.", and it appears that they're no longer with us. I seem to recall that Scarfe & Co. was a Canadian paint manufacturer that was alive and well throughout my 1950s boyhood; I could be wrong about that.

Anyway, I'll wirebrush this to brighten/clean it up. I have a place for it on a shelf above the bench where I do most of my painting.

- - -

A Pin Vise Based on a Small Gear Chuck

My dad and I were on the same wavelength more than I knew. He made a chuck-based pin vise.

And I made a chuck-based pin vise.

The handle on this one that he made is quite nice; it's remarkably comfortable and elegant, and it has a hole through it for hanging it on a nail on a toolboard. I think I'll hang it on a nail on a toolboard.

- - -

A Very Clunky 1/2" x 5/8" Open End Wrench

Embossed on the handle is what looks vaguely like "US/C" or "USAC". Stamped at the 5/8" end is "1755", although the '1' could as easily be taken for 'L'.

This looks to me like something you might find in the toolbox of a steam locomotive. It can go directly to my open end wrenches drawer.

- - -

A Brass Sweeper Nozzle with an Extended Nose

I don't know what to make of this; I'm sure he had a good reason for making it.

On the thread-on portion it says "RAIN BIRD GLENDORA CALIF". Rain Bird is still a going concern.

Come spring, I must try this out. It might be good for harassing squirrels. Meanwhile, it can go in my hose fittings bin.

- - -

A Lanyard Whistle

I've cleaned it up; it cleaned up nicely with just lacquer thinner. On the top surface of the mouthpiece there's an etched lion and "MADE IN HONG KONG". I can't imagine my dad having had a use for this item, and neither do I have a use for it.

I'll hang it on a nail by the door; perhaps a use will suggest itself. At least, I never need find myself in the position of regretting that I don't have a lanyard whistle handy.

- - -

A Small Mason's Pointing Trowel

Quite a nice one -- made in England; the manufacturer's name is chipped and unreadable.

Masonry is something I do very little of, but I do have a few tools for it. I'll stash this with them.

- - -

A Wrenchable Screwdriver Bit

The hex is 3/4" A/F. The screwdriver tip is 3/8" wide. It's beautifully made, but there's no manufacturer's name on it. I've never seen one like it.

It can go in my stubby screwdrivers drawer.

- - -

A Tubing Cutter

It's a "274-FC GOULD IMPERIAL". Gould Imperial appears to no longer exist.

I have a very similar cutter, a "HI-DUTY 274-FB IMPERIAL EASTMAN". Imperial Eastman is still with us; their equivalent cutter model is now the "TC-1000".

Anyway, they're both quite fine tools, and now I have a spare.

- - -

A Glass Cutter/Knife Sharpener

There's no manufacturer's name, it just says "MADE IN U.S.A." on it.

There are two knife slots, a scissors slot, and at the end it says "MOWER" -- 'reel mower' I suppose is what's meant. I'm not sure how effective the sharpening feature is; I suspect not very.

It's been a long time since I've done any glass cutting; it's a tricky business. When I was a boy, every hardware store had a rack of window glass and a glass cutting machine. That's pretty much gone the way of the typewriter.

This item can share the same nail with the Acme 2029 spanners.

- - -

A Two-Edged Pruning Knife

On the ferrule it says "MADE IN U.S.A."

The blade steel looks decent. It could stand a wire-brushing and a sharpening. (I should try out the preceding item on it.) It can reside in my wife's garden tools drawer.

- - -

A Soldering Copper

No, you haven't misread, and I haven't miswritten -- it's a soldering 'copper', not a soldering 'iron'; there's no 'iron' to it.

This is the smallest one I've ever seen. The solid copper tip is about 3/8" in diameter by 1 1/4" long. It's heated by a flame. Does this ever bring back memories.

In my junior high school's metalworking shop, we used similar coppers, but they were huge compared to this one. Attendant to each copper was a little cast iron, natural gas fired 'oven' in which the copper was kept hot.

One of our sheet metal projects was a holder/dispenser for paper table napkins. The material was light gauge, tin plated steel. (The tin plating made it readily solderable.) Final assembly of the box-like construction involved soldering two seams at its base. I can still hear Mr. Makings, the teacher, saying, "Hold the work so that gravity works with you." [I've been itching to quote Mr. Makings[1] in a post.]

It may seem like a clumsy way to solder, but it's not. Remarkably fine work can be done with such tools.


[1] Mr. Makings was a big, barrel-chested Scotsman who brooked no nonsense in his shop. His grasp of the subject matter and ability to communicate it were superb. (The woodworking shop's teacher was excellent as well, although I can't recall that man's name.)

Those two years of formal metalworking and woodworking instruction are about all that I treasure of my 'education'. That it's no longer provided to kids at that age is a crime. Those responsible for that ought to be in Guantanamo, or perhaps someplace similar, but with a less benign climate.

- - -

A 9/32" Square Drive Sliding T-Bar

I thought this drive square looked a bit odd. I put a caliper on it and read 9/32".

It seems that Snap-on introduced this size around 1925. This tool's bar carries the ID 'Snap-on-M-5'. Here's a link to some more information.

I guess it's safe to say that 9/32" square drive fell by the wayside. I didn't know it ever existed.

- - -


New Blog

It's the nature of this post for it to grow ever longer, and an ever-lengthening blog post is fraught with peril. I've decided to make a full-blown, indexed blog out of it. It's called "The Whole Garage Catalogue".

I'll leave this post here as it is so far, but I'll reproduce and index all the above items as individual posts at the new blog. New material will appear at the new blog only.

# # #

# # #

No comments:

Post a Comment