My Vintage Tool Collection... by Roy Mackey
Here is some pics and bs about my vintage tool collection.
If you enjoy or appreciate old tools you will like this...
I think it was about 2010 that I started phasing out all my new radioactive, carcinogenic plastic tools. It was one of the best things I did and cannot believe the difference it has made. Often it is not really the performance of the tool but the feel. Accountants, lawyers and robots just can't build tools the same. Not that it matters because not many people make things with tools anymore anyway. Even a lot of people who buy up these old tools rarely make anything. They just gather up the tools and restore them and stash them in their overcrowded shops. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as they are preserving a part of history. It is people like that who are responsible for all the amazing antiques we now have in our possession to enjoy. Visionaries really.
All my old tools though I buy to use and pamper. I like the old original patina's if at all possible. A lot of people don't realize there are nuts out there who want these old beasts. Thus they heave them out when cleaning out their dads old shop or what have you. This is every old tool buffs nightmare. I have noticed these tools rarely actually sell for much money but the value is still there.
Strangely most women don't know this but very few guys love their tools. What they love is buying them, strutting around kms tools comparing the size of their cordless drivers and drooling over the newer "larger and higher performance" drivers. (I swear cordless SCREW drivers are the most common item on craigslist under tools) Once they have used them a couple times they get tossed around, left in the rain, kicked and abused like no tomorrow. After all tools for most guys are just for doing work they hate so they can make the money they want in order to quit what they do and start living the life they always wanted.
Anyway if you have some old vintage tools and other junk you want to get rid of let me know. Though I have pretty well run out of space I can give you some advice and in the worst case deal them off you if it means saving them. I have cash... or if you have taste as bad as mine I have art I could trade.
At some point in the future I am planning to start a shelter for vintage tools in order to save them from the inhumane treatment that landfills offer.
Late 40's early 50's Lincoln Welder
Here is my last score. A vintage Lincoln Lincwelder AC180K. A real beauty to say the least. A big thanks to Del for this one since he accepted my starving artists offer. They just don't makem like this anymore.... laws and safety reasons. It even has a six volt battery charger hookup on the front!! This would date it prior to 1955 I would say but not sure. That was about the last year for six volt batteries as the number one battery choice. I did pick up one previous to this but was not in quite as nice a shape as this one. Plus I had doubts the previous worked as the back had been removed and the screws were not put back in. Not to mention the plug in had been removed.
Anyway I did a little bit of clean up on this one and sparkeder up for a test run. Not too bad for something that old. I admit I don't use stick much but good to have for those times I just want to make some good ole smoke and sparks. I have noticed that finding vintage welders in good shape is a bit of a challenge. If an old timer still has it then it could be in good shape but often by now they were handed off to their heathen sons, who hated tools and other things that led to work thus they beat the hell right out of them. I have found the older to tools owner is the better shape it is in. At least most times anyway. This is mostly because way back then they respected the tools they had for a couple of reasons. First not everyone had good tools since they were so expensive. Anyone who did have them looked after them. Plus the tools themselves were made by companies with more pride than profits in mind. Unlike the throw away tools of today. The the owner of this one was not that old he did have common sense and thus it was still in fine shape.
As you can see I can still lay down a nice bead like I used to years ago.
1947 Black and Decker 16 Gage Shear
Here is one of my recent scores. Scooped this off of George from Columbus OH a fine eBay seller. Not to mention an appreciator of real tools made back when "Heavy Duty" actually meant something more than just a marketing ploy schemed up by accountants. This one was a bit of a gamble since I could not try it out but have had good luck with eBay and had a hunch George was an honest seller. Well my hunch paid off and thanks to pure luck my "starving artist budget" was not beat out by other bidders. Thus here is another thing of beauty to add to my "keeper" collection. I have wanted one of these for a couple years now but you rarely see them. In fact you don't often see newer ones either. I have a plastic Makita, I mean "Masquita", here that I will be glad to see go into storage for back up. The buzzy little thing is so annoying it is unreal. This vintage one is quieter, easier to handle by far, cuts and runs butter smooth and not made of plastic!!! I used to not mind Masquita tools but ever since they sold their soul to the devil they are not the same. I only got about a year of shelf time and a few uses out of my last Masquita grinder before it was blowing sparks and smoke as it squealed loudly to a stop. Most new tools are like goldfish and often die well before you get a chance to get attached to them. My guess is this classic beauty will be around and working for a long time yet.
Actually I just found the approximate year of this thing. I recently picked up a 1947 Black and Decker tool catalog and the exact same shear is in there. Now back then they did not change a tools design every six months so they could sell more "New and Improved" models. Thus it could be a little newer.
You know I have found that when using vintage tools it is as much about using the tool as it is getting the result. Same as high end or custom cars. Any car can get you to town after all it is just something you hop into and go from here to there. But when you drive a custom or exotic car it is more about the drive than the destination. The feel and roar of the engine, the shifting gears, the g-force, the tires gripping the road etc etc. It becomes such an experience in itself that the destination becomes secondary.
The same applies to food... any old thing will kill the hunger pains but if you are a foodie or someone with finer tastes then the experience of eating with all the separate tastes and textures comes way more into play. It is not just about poking back a soggy big mac and waiting for the hunger to stop. A lot of "eaters" don't realize this as is made apparent by the success of McDonalds.
Well the same thing applies to using vintage tools. There is an experience that most fabricators would or could miss. Especially these days when "production and profits" is all that matters. That is why most factory made junk these days lacks the spirit or soul that hand made stuff has. If you can't feel the difference then it would mean nothing to you and thus have no value. Though if you can feel the difference then nothing else will do. Vintage tools were made back when companies took pride in what they made at least most anyway. Sure they were looking for profit but that was not the whole story....
For a comparison today think of Apple and what comes to mind? Ultra high quality cutting edge products that work right out of the box. But once again if you cannot "feel" the difference between an iPhone and the competition then you don't likely need an iPhone. It would appear though that a lot can "feel" that difference. How do you tell? Sales... it's all in the sales... after all people are not stupid like the competition seems to think. But it is pretty obvious that a lot of companies are. After all what happened to big companies like RIM? Oh yea right... I forgot... they had some bad luck.... oh... and then the other company did them wrong... and then oh yea the owners mother would not look after the grand kids.... bla bla bla.
To summarize quality is not dead these days it is just getting harder to find with so much cheapo competition. Sure I may go on and on about vintage tools but remember I do have and love my robotic cnc plasma table. Very cool and quality stuff is and always will be available if you know where to look. One good sign is companies that are doing well as they innovate cool new and exciting stuff. When I say this of course I am not referring to dumb new add on's to tired old products. You know gimicky little stupid things that often break after a bit of use. This things are all innovated by accountants trying to keep share holders happy.
1947' ish Black & Decker 3/4hp 8" Bench Grinder
Here is my latest score, a vintage 1947' ish Black and Decker 3/4hp, 3500rpm bench grinder. Special thanks to Clarence for holding this one for me until I could gather up enough pop cans to pay for it. I recently picked up an original 1947 Black and Decker catalog that shows this exact one in there. Mind you it could be later as they did not change designs every six months like they do now to speed up the obsoleting process. It also appears the stand is a B&D original of the same year!
I had been looking for a larger vintage bench grinder for awhile now to mount my belt/disc sander I got from www.tricktools.com on. Finally Clarence decided to leter go just as I had gathered up the last pop can so a deal was made. I ended up changing off the obsolete stones and mounted the belt sander on one side and a cut-off blade on the other. Don't use that blade much but what a score when you have some grinding to do in a tight spot. This setup his hugely safer than my previous mackey mouse setup I had before.
Now most of these old grinders run very smooth and also run on forever when you shut them off. This one though is unreal how long it runs on for!!! The 3/4hp makes the belt sander work even better which is hard to believe. There are even lights in the face guard things that actually work like they are supposed to. As you know if you bought a new imported grinder with a light the light likely quit on the way home from the store or if not a few days later. Amazing... years later and these still work fine... now if I can just think of something to sand down!!!
1956 Wells 49A Band Saw
This was a cool score that once again I did not realize. I bought a bunch of tools off a guy and this one was part of the deal. Again I figured it was a piece of junk and to some degree it was. After tinkering with it though it now works pretty dang good. The bushings where it mounts to the body were wore right out so it made 45 degree cuts it you wanted them or not. The wiring was just short of shorting out, the blade was dull and it looked pretty rough. Right now I only have a little rewiring to do and it is off to the races with it. It now cuts virtually dead square. Strangely Wells still makes similar model to this one today, which I might add was made in 1956 according to them. Of course the newer one has more options and improvements but still. When I buy a new one I know where I will be buying it. A company that makes saws this long, in America, is obviously not run by accountants and is more interested in quality than it is profits. Herez there site if you want to check them out. www.wellsaw.com If you hit their site and check around you can even find the parts manual for this beast there. That right there tells you they are a quality company! Accountant run companies call this type of service "waste".
Here is a real score I picked up off Howard. It was his Dad's drill press. His Dad, realizing there were no intelligent life here on earth decided to move on to greener pastures beyond the great divide. Actually I am looking forward to doing that myself. Anyway in the meantime I was more than honored to get the privilege of owning it next. His Dad had obviously kept it in great shape. This gem is a 1945 Atlas drill press. As you can see I mounted this one on top of my Miller 180 Syncrowave. When I first tried this one I could not believe how smooth it ran. Way better than my 47 Walker Turner even. When I first bought it I did not realize how good it was so it sat in my storage for months. One day I decided to sell it so drug it out to clean it up and try it. That's all it took. It was definitely a keeper!! The motor does smell a little weak so will change it at one point. Hopefully I can find another cone pulley to go with the motor also. That of course will give me more speeds. Not counting on finding the gizmo to double the speed options but would be nice.
Now once I got really into vintage tools I quickly realized that I wanted everything in my studio to be vintage right down to the smallest details. At the same time though I did not want anything in here that I was not going to use at least eventually. Finding a few NOS cases of old Elephant Brand pencils was a real score. The erasers are dead but the pencils are fine! I scored these a few years ago at Midland Liquidators for two bucks a box. I figure I got enough pencils with the five or ten cases to last me most of my life. I would have prefered American made ones but even these were a rare find.
1957 Atlas 10" Band Saw
Here is a score I picked up awhile back. A mid fifties Atlas 10" band saw. When I got this it was mounted on a beat up old wooden frame. The motor was shot and barely ran but the thing cut like you would not believe!!! It was incredible and hard to believe so I opted to rig up the rig shown here. I had the base kicking around from some other dumb project and so that was a lot of the work done. I also have the dual shaft motor and disc sander. After a bit of work I goter set up and ready to work. To run the disc sander you just lift up the motor and pop the belt off the band saw and put the sander one on. The band saw itself still needs some tires but will get to that later. I don't use this much but when I do what a score
1947 Delta Milwaukee 24" Scroll Saw
Herez a 1947ish Delta Milwaukee 24" scroll saw. This is my latest "I don't really need it but had to have it" score. Even though I paid far more than I would have normally it had some features I really wanted. One was the light, two was the belt guard, and three was the base. Strangely even with wheels on the narrow base it is far more stable than you would imagine. I was just digging around in my storage locker and found a set of the old wheels that you step on to activate. I was going to bid on a set on eBay but they topped out at way more than I was willing to pay. Lucky for me as I already had a set. I still have got to clean this sucker up a bit but am lucky the original finish is still good. The motor is not original on this one which kind of sucks but hopefully I will find one at some point. I did have one exactly like this but gave it away in my free section awhile back.
1947 Walker Turner Drill Press
After having so much luck with the Brunner air compressor I picked up below I got hooked and started shopping around some more vintage tools. Next thing I picked up this old 1947 Walker Turner drill press. Someone had painted it metal flake green so it looked like hell. After getting the paint off and greasing up the bearings and new belts it works like a charm. After using it about five times I decided to unload my Brand New Ridged floor model drill press. I do admit the plastic on it was molded nice and it did look tough... kind of, but like most new cheap tools they are depressing since they just don't last and have a cheapy sound and feel to them. Hmmm this one is 64 years old and works like new. I just recently mounted it on this heavy plywood base with drawers. Normally I don't allow wood in my welding area but this was fast and easy... right up my alley. I did slap on some grey paint to match the era. Right now I would like to find an original Walker Turner motor for it. This one works fine but... I would also like to find an original switch and light at some point.
1956 Dewalt Radial Arm Saw
For the longest time I have been seeing these radial arm saws coming up for sale but never thought I wanted one. After spotting this mid fifties Dewalt though I decided to take a look. I could tell from the pic that it had a sweet vibe to it. I find that important when I am buying junk. Originally it belonged to the sellers grandfather who obviously kept it in near mint condition. At first I was ready to walk away since I really did not want to part with next months food money. Though after the the guy showed me a few things the saw would do I was a little more sold. Then after some cheap-skating on my part and a dose of generosity on his a deal was made. After getting it home and taking a closer look I realized this is one sweet gem. I likely won't use it much but the possibilities that it provides will definitely come in handy! Since his grandfather has already moved on I likely won't be talking to him for a little while anyway. When I do though I am going to compliment him on how well he looked after it. Luckily for me he must have taught his grandson the same thing about looking after tools. That rarely happens these days as a lot of guys hate their tools and treat them that way. Most only use their tools so they can make enough money to pay for all the facials they get.
1955 Beaver 15" Band Saw
Here is a genuine mid fifties 14" Beaver Band Saw! For it's age this one has been kept in pristine condition. A big thanks to Alan for this one. His dad originally bought it around 1955 or so. He got it after his dad was no longer using it and now I picked it up. Luckily for me Alan was reasonable with the price and let me hauler away for my counter offer. After a little clean-up I dug out the band-aids and tried it out. I am not much of a woodworker but sure seems to cut nice to me. In fact I am thinking of keeping it over by the fridge for cutting bread with!! Not sure Marta would go along with that though after all it is kind of noisy. A little wood dust on the white bread might even give it a little nutrition... or at least fiber anyway.
The cool thing about this one is it has the original cast iron base legs with the beaver emblem embossed in them. I am going to tweak this one for my purposes and use it until I find the exact one I am looking for. As an added bonus about two months later Alan sent me the original owners manual for this thing!!! A big thumbs up to Alan for that. Most would have just chucked it out. You can see more images of this and other similar band saws at:
1946 Beaver 24" Scroll Saw
1946ish Beaver 24" scroll saw. This is before I cleaned it up a little. The thing runs incredibly smooth, quiet and cuts like a hot knife through butter. I may upgrade the motor on this one to an older model as the motor right now smells a little funny when running. There is something really Zen about running these older tools. Solid as a rock and sounds like a babbling brook when running. Incredible. I have this one in storage until we find a larger studio.
Vintage Hand Made 15" Bandsaw
Here is one of my all time favorite old scores. A genuine hand made band saw. It is a one of a kind for sure. All made from old steel pipe and wood scraps. The top and bottom wheels are made from wood. Even the bottom v-belt pulley is wood!!!! The strange thing about this beast is the fact that it works like you would not believe!! It runs very quiet and smoothly. Takes mere seconds to change the blade. The tires are made from old belting. The fellow who built this used it to make over one hundred wooden boats!! See more photos and the story behind this by clicking on this link below.
Here you can see the bottom wheel and even pulley are made from wood!! This is one incredibly smooth running band saw and cuts like a dang.
1956 Delta Unisaw
Here is one of my favorite acquisitions, a 1956 Delta Unisaw. I have actually been casually looking for one of these for awhile now. Needless to say I missed some better deals price-wise on craigs but this one did have some perks. It took a fair amount of clean up but works like a dang. The nice thing about this one is the fact that the original blade guard is there, along with the original motor and cast iron motor cover. The only demon spot is where the hole was cut for the dust system. This I can live with now that doctors have made fine dust carcinogenic. Apparently it never was carcinogenic before which explains why my grandfather lived to 96 and did lots of woodwork.
Anyway a big thanks to Jennifer for letting me drag this out of her possession. It originally belonged to her Dad and he obviously took good care of it. He had moved onto the other side of the fence so no longer needed it. Once again though it has found a good home where it will be pampered for the next eighty years or so. After that I am going to dump the sculpture business and get into politics. What a job loading this beast. First we had to remove the door to the room it was in along with some trim. After that we had about 1/64th of an inch to spare. Later the we managed to drop the saw from not that high. Severely crushed toes were narrowly missed by both Chris, my assistant, and myself. Prayers of thanks to the God of Toes was given as we each wiped the sweat from our brows. These saws are heavy... no really heavy. The motor alone on this one weighs more than most cheap saws do today even with wood stacked on them.
Having it in nice original shape makes all the difference. Even though these look sweet all made up with new make-up and paint I prefer the original patina if possible. Some slopped paint, a little blood and skin bits, some wear spots here and there all make it what it is. These old ones had the cast iron bases. I have since built a better fitting dolly to move it around. If I own it then it has to have wheels...
1950's Craftool Dust System
Here is a vintage Craftool dust system that came with the saw above. At first I pretty well thought it was junk since it looked like hell and had been outside. After some clean up etc. It looks pretty dang good. Surprisingly considering it is only 1/3 hp it has a lot of suction. Not sure if I am going to use it or not but kind of a gem. I even noticed the garbage can it is on is Vintage and in very good shape at least on the outside. There is a cloth bag that is supposed to go on the outlet hole to filter the dust out. Not sure it would work all that well since it is not in that good of shape but I might adapt something better to it.
Here is a really cool old Walker Turner scroll saw I picked up. Not sure how I am going to implement it into my tool collection quite yet. I have done a little bit of googling on this and it appears it is 1936 era. Supposedly they stopped making The Driver Line back in 1938 or so. It has been cleaned up and painted so does not look that old. Personally I wish it still had the original patina but can live with this I guess. I am thinking that I am going to build a custom stand/base for it and mount it off a wall somewhere in our new 4000 sq ft studio.......
1938 Walker Turner Driver Line scroll saw
Here it is again now that I have kicked it around a bit. I found an old vintage electric motor at a garage sale cheap along with an old switch and cast iron pedestal. I first mounted the pedestal on a round piece of 1.25" plate steel I picked up in some junk somewhere. I added some wheels, five for stability. Then I cnc'd up some brackets and bolted the mess together. This saw runs very smooth. The last thing I had to do in order for it to match the decor in here was "un-restore" it by knocking off most of the new paint the previous owner had put on it. A bit of a shame since he did an incredible job. But I like my tools to have that vintage original look to them. Though the original faded patina is gone forever this is at least close.
1957 Delta 900 Radial Arm Saw
Here is another addition to my junk collection. this is a Delta 900. Apparently 1957 vintage thanks to Jeff J. Another fan of:
In case you did not know vintage machinery is priceless for anyone who is a fan of classic old tools! Hords of valuable info on there. Remember though if you use the site much don't be a cheapskate and donate a few bucks to support the cause. It is fast and easy with paypal even!! You can even download manuals there for a lot of these old tools. If you are low on cash you can't beat vintage tools.... beats getting Ben Dovered on cheap imported tools.
1948 Brunner Air Compressor
Here is the beast that got me started. Since this pig I have now switched almost all my tools over to the 40's and 50's era. My welding area feels ten times better not having all that carcinegenic and flamible plastic lying around.
Now I hate to get long winded but here is one of the best things I ever bought!!! A genuine 1948 Brunner 2hp compressor. I cannot believe I lived without this thing. Up until now I had a brand new Husky five horse. (actually it was only a 3hp but like most companies they use what I call Liar Marketing to bump the numbers.) It was a fine piece of landfill and great if you don't plan to use them much or at all for that matter.
I was using mine to run the plasma cutter on my CNC machine. The trouble was it just barely kept up and of course like all of the new compressors had that ugly little issue called "duty cycle". Duty cycle is the number of minutes you can run a machine every ten minutes. I found out from an honest... ok not honest but very drunk tool salesman that almost all cheep compressors have a 30 to 40 percent duty cycle. That means three to four minutes of running every ten minutes. They don't like to push those numbers though since it scares away buyers. If you exceed the tools duty cycle they get hot, the cylinder warps and next thing you know it is blowing oil. If you don't believe this watch craigslist and see how many "like New" compressor tanks come up for sale. The pump died they say and the compressor tank is still good... supposedly. You really gotta be rich to afford those landfill pigs... obviously not because of the price but because you are going to be buying it again and again likely far sooner than you think. Oh and a little tip if you are planning on buying one used. Ask the guy why he is selling it. If he tells you he bought a bigger one that translates into... "I ran the thing non stop for three days (remember duty cycle) and it could not keep up" He won't tell you that but often thats the case. This means extreme hard use until he realized he needed a bigger one. If you are going to buy cheep then for sure by new. It's the only safe way.
Check this motor out!!! Only 2hp
Looks like it should be 20hp!! A thing of beauty just the same. Not to mention still runs like new.
Another weird thing about this beast is it is heavy.... No I mean heavy like four guys are not even going to budge this thing off the ground!!! I used the screw jack out of my Chevy 1500 and it was all it would do to lift this thing up so I could bolt on the wheels!!!
Some of the perks to using this compressor I have found so far...
So far I have found this compressor puts out more air than my previous "five horse". When I drain the tank the water that comes out is clean and clear with no oil residue at all, unlike my Husky one. Even the air from the vintage one smells clean and fresh. The air from my Husky had a very strong oil smell. The vintage one does seem to bleed out more water which is great since the more water that is condensed out of the air the better life my plasma cutters consumables get!! A big reason for this is likely the cooling fins on the line from the compressor to the tank. Too expensive to put on cheap compressors. These are all great points but the best part I have saved to last...
This old compressor has the sweetest sound ever and actually runs ten decibels quieter than the new one. I often can't wait for it to kick in where I can't stand it when my cheap one would kick in. Those cheap suckers have an irritating sound that grates me right to the bone! Oh I guess the money issue should also be mentioned. The vintage one cost me about one quarter of what a larger cheap imported one would have... oh drat now I have more money for more classic tools!!!
Now any smart tool guy knows that dependability is more important than anything and yes they would have a point. I am taking a bit of a gamble with this old beast... But then again our brand new Ingersol Rand compressor in our shop down stairs is only seven years old and already has needed two new kick out switches installed, one valve set, two, one-way check valves and two lines from the head to the tank replaced!!! I guess I should also mention that when the $150. kick out switches went the compressor pumped up too high and took out the seals in all three of our regulators. Just a little side bonus there. Thank God it barely gets used!!! So as you can see sure there is a gamble but I am not sure which option is more riskier!!
If you are looking for a good dependable compressor you may want to do a little research first. There are a lot of the old beasts out there and if you find a good one you will be set. I have recently talked to a guy who has this exact same compressor. He was the guy who told me it was a 1948. He bought his 30 years ago and the day he bought it he put in a new set of rings. It has ran non stop since then and required absolutely no maintenance or repair since. One look and you can tell for sure it has had no maintenance!!!
I now have a collection of six old compressors. Needless to say I unloaded the Husky and feel a lot safer in here now.
In case you need parts or service
for your Brunner you may want to talk to
Richard at Berkley Compressors
in Red Deer Alberta.
403 - 309 - 7867
He bailed me out when mine needed reed valves. An incredible place to deal with!!! These Brunners are getting harder to get parts for all the time but they had what I needed.
Herez a real live motion picture of this one in case you are bored
Very Old Sioux 10" Bench Grinder
This here was a strange score I picked up off this cool guy out in Maple Ridge. It is a very old 3/4hp bench grinder. Weighs a ton. Not sure how old it is but by the look of the old light sockets it dates back there. Purrs like a kitten. When I first picked it up I was not confident that it was going to work that well or that long. Boy was I wrong there!! I use this thing sometimes twenty or thirty times a day. It's missing a few parts which does not matter all that much to me since I will likely be taking off the stones any way and putting on either wire wheels or buffing pads. After having my one bench grinder set up with a belt sander I cannot imagine ever using stones again anyway. The window glass used in the shields is laminated. This is not a grinder you want to get caught up in!!! No matter how hard I lean into the thing it does not slow down one iota!! You could not trade me a truckload of imported grinders for this one. Landfills are already getting abused enough.
Check the cool brass tag on it.
Here is a video if you want to check out more detail
Mid Twenties Black and Decker Twist Drill Grinder
Well all you have to do is buy one old bench grinder and before long more show up. This one is another real gem. I am amazed at how nice it sounds and runs. This sucker is really old. It even has oiler cups for the bearings. Missing the guards but I have always been a bit of a fan of danger.
Herez another video on youtube for your viewing pleasure.
Well here is another score I picked up thanks to Percy out in Surrey. I was surprised he let this beauty go. Though he would likely not admit it he is actually a bit of a wing nut artist himself. This was made apparent by his custom Austin pickup he built. I would have to say it has to be the coolest and definitely cleanest little Austin pick-ups I have ever seen! In pure artistic manner that sucker was covered from top to bottom in obsessive compulsive disorder!!! I swear you could have safely licked ice cream off any part of that beast, frame, engine and all !!! A real labor of love and work of art it was. I admit the patina on this bench grinder did not match that of his Austin even slightly. Which may have partly explained him getting rid of this gem.
Anyway If I remember correctly I think he said he got this bench grinder off his dad. Man they just don't makem like this one anymore. What a sweet looking thing of beauty. After an hour or so online I have nailed it down to be a 1/3hp 3400rpm Baldor from the mid forties to mid fifties era. The tag was missing so could not say for sure. Not to mention sometimes old tools like this were tagged by different companies.
Now if you think this thing looks good you should hear it run… you would need to have good hearing though. She runs butter smooth without even a slight vibration. This is actually what makes working with these vintage tools such a pleasure. Not to mention it having a priceless patina that only time and hard work could ever make. Now if I can figure out where and how I am going to fit it in I can then put it into service here. Of course I first have to giver a coata wax and a little clean up first before the sparks can fly.
Unfortunately it is not the 1740 rpm that I was looking for but will still get used here for something. Any chance you got one this size that runs 1740? If so let me know...
1954 Ideal Electric Etcher
Here is another cool score I picked up. A genuine 1954 Ideal Electric Etcher in nice shape. This is one of those useless things that you just have to have but will likely never use. Ok I might get some use from it since I make a lot of stupid things. Actually that was one of the reasons I got it in the first place. That and of course it appears to be from the fifties at first glance... though not totally sure about that at this point. It works like a dang and can now write my sin number on everything I own just like they used to do in the olden days. OK maybe not... but it will get used for something eventually. I even got the original papers with this sucker.
1960's? Rockwell Belt Disc Sander
Here is a belt disc sander I picked up a couple of years back. Not really sure how old this one is. It works fine and took awhile to get the disc trued up but seems to work fine. I would like to find the year on this one. I saw something online once that could have put it mid sixties but not sure. I still looking for a straight direct drive disc sander. I do use this one a lot. I ended up taking off the belt as it runs quieter without it. I don't use the belt much anyway. Therez no plastic on this one either which is how it was able to get into my studio in the first place
GMF 3/4hp 3450rpm Reversible Bench Grinder
Here is my reversible GMF 3/4hp 3400rpm bench grinder. Now I am pretty sure this one is not quite old enough for my liking but am not that sure on how to actually date it. Now even though as I understand it this one is made in Australia I still don't mind having it. My tool goal here is to have only vintage era tools when possible from Canada or the US made around the late fifties back to the mid thirties. I am not that much interested in older than that. The nice thing about this one is you can give your toes a bit of a break from flying bits of metal. When you reverse this sucker you can send bits of metal you are polishing out the roof or nearest window. Makes for more danger and excitement!!
Here is a cool old polishing motor. It has tapered shafts so was likely used by the dental industry. Though it is hard to tell in the pick it has two speeds and the switch shown here is ceramic! Not sure how old that makes it but I am sure it goes back there quite a ways. I have to find some of the attachments for it at some point in the future. This motor runs so smoothly and quietly that it is unreal. I am guessing that the taper on the shaft is the same as the newer ones so hopefully newer attachments will work on it. I have been told that I can get a flex cable for it and other things so will keep my fingers crossed and eyes focused.
Vintage? Webster Portable Air Compressor
Here is an old vintage portable Webster air compressor I picked up before I cleaned it up and tried it out. One fitting was loose and a couple of minor tweaks and now works like a dang. The nice thing about it is how quiet it is. It also pumps up to pressure very fast. I have used it a couple of times already so it has already saved the day. Goes well with all the other vintage junk I have also which makes it even better. Martha Stewart would be proud. 3/4 hp Tamper motor. It also rolls around nice and easily. I snagged this one just as it was getting lopped into the dumpster full of other vintage tools and junk. One of those "right place at the right time" situations. I amazes me how much cool vintage tool junk lopps off to the landfill here in Vancouver because most people don't know better.
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Here is an old antique 1/8th hp Century Electric motor I scored awhile back at a garage sale. It was crudely hooked up to some rickity old home made bench grinder. They were heaving the whole mess in the dumpster so I lucked out on this one. Saved another rare piece of good ole American made history from the wrath of the landfill at least for a little longer anyway. This things purs pretty dang smoothly still. I think I have about thirty old motors now ... not sure why but if you look close they really are a thing of beauty. Once again I am hoping to find someone who can tweak this up and make it safe to run again. I am not worried so much about shocks as I am about burning it out.
1947 Black and Decker 7" Angle Grinder
Here is a genuine Black and Decker muscle builder. Like I have said earlier I found this exact model in a 1947 Black and Decker tool catalog so they year could be give or take either way. It is almost exactly like the one I scored earlier below.... The one below spit out some sparks and smoke after all these years proving that even old quality made tools can die or at least get sick and need rebuilding. Well strangely the next day some guy advertises the above one on craigslist!!! I could not believe it since I loved the one below and the next day I find a replacement. This one here runs a lot smoother than the one below which makes it even better. Sure these pigs are heavy for a lot of girls out there to use but if you got more muscle than brains like me it is no problem. They also turn a lot slower and thus don't scream so much. Strangely I swear turning slower takes off more metal anyway. Either that or it is the weight of the tool that makes the grit dig in more. Anyway scoring this one was a real bonus. Now when I get some extra time, probably after I die, I will take a look at the one below and see if it can be fixed. It did give me one heluva shock but there nothing like a good shock to kill off any bad parasites a guy or gal for that matter may have.
1945 Black and Decker Angle Grinder
This was another fun score I picked up somewhere... though cant quite remember where now. Anyway it's a genuine muscle builder angle grinder. Can't quite figure out how old it is but does it ever run smoothly. It does have a tricky switch though. If you set it down on something the switch can get bumped and that turns the thing on.... ok not the safest by today's girly standards but a gem just the same. Not sure if it could use some brushes though as it seemed a little sparky the one time I used it. What is really weird about it is the cord!! All these years later and the cord is still flexible. Now if science could figure that out we would be talking a real Giant Leap for Mankind!!!!
Two Vintage P.E.T. Sanders
Here are two more of my favorite scores. The one on the left I picked up first for cheap at a garage sale or somewhere. It is another one of those tools you have to feel in your hand. If you got no sense or feeling you would not notice but these things feel so comfortable to hang onto it is unreal. They have tons of power and seem to actually sand far faster than my plastic mastercrap sander I had. Not to mention they don't scream nor do they seem to put that high pitched irritating vibration into your hand. I was so amazed at how good it worked I started to panic. What if it died I would be hooped as I could never go back to that plastic junk again. Then by shear luck I scored the top one from a guy who clearing out his Dad's estate. Lucky day for everyone involved. His Dad got to go on holidays beyond the great divide to meet up with old friends etc. The son got a small bit of cash and I got another gem for my collection. The pads on these are a little worn and I have still not figured out where to get replacement pads. If you got any ideas I would love to hear them. These two sanders should last me for the next sixty or seventy years. Hopefully by then I can find a couple more.
Vintage Bakelite Dremel Sander
Here is an old vintage bakelite Dremel sander that works like a hot dang. Apparently from the forties or so. Even has the original steel case it came in. Goes well with my other Dremel above. Pretty cool that something this old can still work so well.
1947 Vintage Black and Decker 1/4" Drill
Here is another cool score I picked up awhile back. A vintage Black and Decker 1/4" Heavy Duty Drill. Now normally old vintage drills suck big time. thank God they don't makem like that any more. At least that is what I have normally found. Now it could be partly based on the fact that I am too cheap to pay anything or that most of them are just wore out. I am not sure but this is one powerful sucker if I ever saw one. The guy I got it off of said he put the heavier chuck on it since it had so much power. I was thinking "yea right... the other chuck broke and this was all you had" Well son of a gun if he was not telling the truth. This sucker really does have power. Now I admit the new drills are pretty slick with their quick chucks etc but all that flammable, carcinogenic plastic is just too dangerous to have around. Especially with kids living on the same block. So maybe it's a little slower when changing the bit but better to be safe than sorry.
1948'ish Black and Decker Grinder
Here is an old Black and Decker grinder/sander. It is not dual action but works like a dang and has huge power. I don't use it much but when you need something just right for something just wrong this is the one. I am now guessing that it is older than I first thought and likely goes back to the forties like a lot of my other power tools here. Partly because the tag is the same as my metal shear and other tools I have dated.
Vintage bakelite dremel moto-tool
Here is an old vintage bakelite dremel moto-tool. The bloody thing still works!! Not only that but the cord is flexible!! Now counting my new dremels I have about 9 and them of course two foredoms. I always wanted one of these to go with my vintage Dremel sander. Ok Ok... maybe the newer ones are better in this case. Just the same this one still works which will not likely be the case with most of the newer ones forty years from now.
Vintage Kett Panel Saw
Now here is an unusual beast that I never knew existed. A Kett Panel saw. You could not scratch your finger on the blade yet cuts like a dam. I will likely never use this thing but if I ever did need it then there it is. One only needs to use a tool like this once to pay for it. Especially when you get a deal on it like I did from George. It belonged to his Dad who stepped beyond the great divide. George figured he was not going to use it so gave me a deal I could not refuse and yet still afford. Thus it now hangs on my wall ready for that moment when it will be just what I need. Actually they still make'm like this today.... a little more plastic though.
Vintage Black and Decker Jigsaw
Here is a cool old B&D heavy duty jigsaw. Not sure what year it is but was made back when "heavy duty" meant something other than just a sales pitch. The switch is variable... you have two variables... on or off. Once again the feel of these tools is what makes then so great. Not only that but have a far nicer zen like sound compared to the soul scratching sound plastic tools make. Oh sure the toggle switch is kind of dangerous but I don't mind. My life is so dull I could use a little danger to get my adrenaline going.
19 somethingish Big Ugly Grinder
Here is one big ugly grinder. Not something mostly girly cowboys would want to use these days. Too heavy. Heavy maybe but powerful yes. I scored this beauty off my friend Casey, from Casey's Custom Upholstery. He decided it was easier to get by on his good looks than muscles thus decided to let this heavy beast go. I myself could use a few more muscles so grabbed it up on a dime. No powering this one out and will kick you like a horse if you are wimpish about it. Just the thing for those real tough jobs.... that I rarely do mind you but if I do then there it is!!! My Dad always told me to build up the muscles in my arms it will make up for my lackabakbone I had. I guess it ran in our family cause I heard Dad often say my brother had it real bad.
Vintage Power Drill and Guide
Here is a pretty useless item that I will likely never use but when I do need something like this I will have it here ready to go. Actually now that I think I have needed it a couple of times so far and what a score it was to have. I think I picked up both the drill and guide at garage sales for next to nothing. At that price it well worth having around. Soon as you need this odd ball then there it is ready to go. To me it is odd tools like this that make my processes go far more smoother. The time I would normally waste trying to innovate is just not worth what this cost me.
Vintage Dremel Scroll Saw
Here is a Vintage Dremel I picked up awhile back off craigslist. Not sure how old this one is though. It seems like it must go back there a ways since there is not much plastic on it. Runs smooth as butter also. Shez a model 57-2 in case you are familiar with these things. Sure another one of those tools I will rarely if ever use but again for what I picked it up for it is well worth having around.
Vintage Garbage Can
Being a bit obsessive when switching over to older vintage tools I tried not to miss a beat. Even my garbage can had to be vintage. From what I can tell it seems this one is from the late forties and early fifties also. This is an almost impossible item to find. Most got beat to hell from being used and left out in the elements until it was beyond use and thrown out. Very strangely the two handles on the side have been stapled on!!! It must have been one big stapler. It took me about three hours to clean and polish this one up so that it would be useable here in the studio. It came out with a nice patina though. I set it on a cheapo wheel base that I will upgrade once I get some more vintage wheels that are small enough. In the meantime though it works for rolling around the studio.
Antique Book Press
Yes more junk to the collection. I owe a big thanks to Jack Atkinson for this one. Very cool guy with a very cool house he built himself. It was one of those situations where his price and my budget matched... life as an artist. Anyway this is a handy dandy chipmunk or squirrel press. Apparently some people used them for book binding also. Actually that is just what I plan on using it for. After all there ain't many squirrels or chipmunks in the area. I have been planning on putting together a series of hand made books at some point if I can ever figure out how to do it. Not sure how old this sucker is but the more I look at the more I am thinking it is quite old. Not sure if you have any ideas about it or not?
Here is a unusual tool I picked up in a box of old junk. The one ribbed piece moves on a off center shaft. I got a couple of hunches but not totally sure what the hell this was intended for. Let me know if you know.... A big thanks to Brian for cluing me in on this. It is a inside pipe wrench and yes the bloody thing actually works!! Man could I have used this thing a year or so ago. I never even knew they existed! Now I just have to find the other sizes....
Vintage Graphite Dispenser
Here is a cool old graphite dispenser of some sort. The base is thick black rubber and the top appears to be bakelite. Not sure what the idea behind the spring that inserts up the brass tube. What is cool about this is the original little cap is still there. Being a bit of an odd ball item and in such good shape is pretty cool. I always wanted something like this but not quite sure why...
The name on it is H. HOFFMAN CO. CHICAGO 45, ILL. PAT. APPLIED FOR
Vintage File Cabinets for Parts Storage
Here was the score of a lifetime. Except it was actually a few scores. The first was the grey cabinet on the right. I got that off a cool guy out in Coquitlam or that vicinity.... I don't get out of town much but it was in that direction. When I bought it the guy said we better take out the drawers... I laughed to myself as I flexed the muscles in my brain but did go along with him. Holy hanna banana even with the drawers out we barely got it in the truck!!! A month or more later I went back and bought the green one off the same guy. Then sometime later another guy I know told me about the white one in the middle. It was at a garage sale that I had been at and never saw it. He phoned and told me the seller had stuff for sale upstairs also!! I raced back there and sure enough picked it up. He also had a steel dolly with what appeared to be good wheels so I bought it. After getting it home I put this together. It works like a dam!! I am guessing that over all this thing weighs 1500 pounds or more!! Each drawer is full of old bits of rusty steel, tools, and other heavy junk. Surprisingly I can still move it around!! I was first worried about these wheels so changed them for wheels rated at 200lbs each. Before I loaded the cabinet drawers it would barely move!!! Thus I went back to these wheels and it still moves with relative ease.
As you can see here the grey cabinet has the drawers full of old rusty junk.... the bottom four anyway. The upper ones have tools I don't use that often. The white cabinet has all my bolts and misc hardware. My plastic sorter bins I got at Wally's mart. They are the Plano ones. The drawers are deep enough to hold three of the shallow ones or one deep one and one shallow one. Basically each drawer will hold nine nine of the plano bins. In order for them to fit though I had to remove the lids and cut off the protruding hinges. I am planning on using the green cabinet to hold my money mostly the fifties and hundreds.... course I gotta find some first.
Vintage Dremel Bits from Switzerland
Now as you have noticed I am not one to go on and on about stuff just because I have an axe to grind or whatever. These bits though are a bit of a story. You see I went to one of the local jewelery supply stores here to get some replacement carbide dremel bits. I had bought them their before and even though they cost ten times as much they lasted fifty times as long. Well the supply place must have hired an accountant since when I got there they told me they were no longer stocking them as they were too expensive. Actually the truth was their accountants figured out they were too cheep since they lasted so long. Of course accountants being as smart as they are they stopped selling them and got in the the useless and cheaper ones in instead. This is how accountants work. So after fighting traffic, then digging for a parking spot paying good coin to park only to find out they have decided whats best for me,... for me..... I was pissed off... which if you are not an accountant and have the slightest amount of business sense then pissed off customers is not a good thing.
Now the time before when they did have them I spotted a hundred and some dollar mini torch there that I just had to have so drug it home with those carbide bits and pretty sure some other stuff also. They had a lot of nice stuff in that place I was eyeing in fact but I have not been back since and of course won't likely be going back soon. Why? Well mostly because it is just not worth the hassle going there to find out they are out of stock or quick stocking this or that. My time is worth more to me that risking the time it takes to frequent a dying business. Sure if you got a lot of time to waste nothing wrong with going to places like that but not worth it other wise. Thus I won't be shopping their again just because they could not afford to stock a couple extra carbide bits if only as a gesture of "Customer Service"
So as an option I have been buying more and more online and loving it. Talk about handy. Sure you have to think ahead a bit and there are shipping charges but hell that is nothing compared to spending half a day driving around town. The Dremel bits here I actually picked up on eBay for twenty dollars delivered!!! There are 18 little boxes with six in each box. That's a hundred and eight bits!! That should last me for years. Plus they were delivered right to my door. I don't know about you but I value my time... in fact check out my prices if you don't believe me. If you value your time you may want to consider online shopping a little more often. Actually now that I think of it I should thank the accountants at that jewelery supply place!!
Here is a quick pic of my Beaver floor model drill press. I scored this off a guy way out in Chilliwack or area. Also a fan of useless old junk like myself.... Actually maybe he came to his senses since he did sell me this one??? Anyway I don't use this drill much since I have my Walker Turner. In fact I have not even cleaned it up yet or done any tinkering on it. It needs a couple of minor details which I will do at some point. In the meantime I decided to use it as an adjustable stand for my bench grinder for now. Works like a dang and I can adjust the height. I have recently moved this over to my vault buried deep in a mountain somewhere until I can find a bigger studio.
You know sometimes the simplest tools are the most amazing. Sometimes just because you use them more often. Anyway here is a real score I picked up. I dug them out of an old box of tools I packed home and threw them right into my garbage can... no padded handles old and worn out looking, whats the use. Then as I was digging through the rest of the box it hit me that I should check these things out just in case I am missing something. I did this partly because I quickly and regrettably found out previously that when it comes to old tools don't throw out anything until you know for sure what the hell you are doing. Thus I drug them back out of the garbage can to try them out. Now I am not bragging but if you have seen all the artwork I have done and realize that most of the works are made from a lot of metal pieces (2,000 pieces in the man alone). All those little bits of metal were cut by hand using snips similar to these. Thus you can likely appreciate it when I say I am familiar with tin snips. Well I did one cut with these and was stunned. Cutting twenty gauge was like cutting butter. They cut smooth and clean as anything. I could cut pieces to so fine they could be used for needles. It was incredible. The brand on them is hard to read but they are made in the good ole USA. I would not trade this one pair of snips for a case of cheapo ones any day. These things even cut better than a new pair of Wiss snips I have here and they have been barely used!!! ??
Another neat thing about these snips is the little custom touch the previous owner did to them. As you can see in the pic below he rigged up a little wire catch to hold the handles closed when you are not using them. The cool thing is he was obviously not an accountant as it works remarkably. It is a one handed hooking and unhooking system. I have never seen this before. It looks a little crude up close but talk about a bonus feature. To open them you just hold the snips with the cutting end up and squeeze the handles together lightly. The little catch falls down and you are cutting. Then to lock them up again you just hold the snips with the cutting end down and the little clip falls back into place thus holding the handles in the closed position!!!
It is cool stuff like this that makes finding vintage tools such a score. To think that I almost judged this book by it cover. Thus if you get into tracking down old tools remember don't heave anything until you are really sure what you are doing. Especially if you like things that work and work well. Eventually you get away from the thought that bright orange plastic and fancy neon stripes don't mean a thing when it comes to real tools that work. Computer chips in new tools designed to save you 60 cents a year in hydro or some other dumb thing are just going to break and leave you forced into buying another piece of junk a year or so later. Unless you are rich you just cannot afford cheap tools!!!
Vintage Schrader Air Blower
Here is a cool old brass Schrader air blower. Works very well and goes nice with my old air compressor. Finding small details like this is a lot of fun.
My Best Find Ever
Here is a real garage sale score... in fact the best garage sale score I ever got!! In fact you could also get scores like this also if you read the book I have coming out at some point. It is all about the tricks to finding deals when it comes to vintage tools. This tin of "junk" was ten bucks.... most tool hounds would have skipped it over in search of the holy drill press or metal lathe. In fact normally I would have probably done the same had it not been for "hunch" yelling in my ear. Luckily I paid heed, paid cash and packed away this little tin of junk. Now if you are a home handy man that fixes the odd shelf etc then it might not have been that appealing but for me it was a score. The first and most obvious was the vintage metal gauge... more on it later. After I sorted this pile out I found about 40 high quality US made taps, from the smallest up to about half inch or more. All brand new never used. Probably could not buy this quality for less than five bucks each today. After all these are are real taps made of real steel not pot metal imported ones. On top of that I got a complete and then some set of high end drill bits. Again these are made of real steel and don't bend like the cheap ones do. Those three scores alone would have likely cost me over two hundred dollars!!! On top of that there were a pile of other things like two top quality US made feeler gauges, a complete set of allen wrenches, Three vintage high quality metal scribes etc etc. It was the funnest score I got to explore over a good cup of coffee ever.
Vintage Samson Metal Shear
Here is another real score I picked up by shear accident. At first I thought it was just some other piece of junk I was never going to use and if you know me if I don't think I am going to use it I don't want it. That is one of the reasons I don't want antique tools from way back. They are too old. I want vintage stuff from the forties and fifties. I also want stuff I am actually going to use or out the door it goes. The same applies with large power tools. When it comes to band saws for example I don't want or am impressed by some big 86" cast iron monster. Sure they are great but what the hell am I going to need it for??? I would rather have three smaller band saws set up for different stuff than one two ton monster in the corner taking up space. Now it's not that they are not impressive. Some ten foot long lathe might look cool and be way better but not for what I need.
Anyway I had this shear in storage and decided to clean it up and sell it. After cleaning it up a bit though I thought why not clamper todee bench and see I ever do use it. After seven days and using it ten times I knew it was a keeper!! Cuts ten gauge no problem. It is now one of my favorite non-powered tools. This thing is the real Mackoy... made in England out of real steel not in China out of melted down Toyota's...
Vintage Cast Iron Marking Gauge
Here is a vintage marking gauge I picked up somewhere. Unfortunately some farmer drilled two holes in it... at least that what appears to have happened based on what I can tell with my limited experience. Just the same it works great and has some history about it. Typical of my artistic nature I have gotten rather obsessive about having everything in here vintage.... Short of my TIG welder, CNC machine and a couple of hand grinders etc almost everything in here now is mid forties to mid fifties. My plastic content in here is almost down to zero!! Eventually I will get all plastic out.
Vintage Hand Made Steel Tool Box
Here is another score I just picked up for my private collection of junk. This is a genuine hand made tool box by Frank Miller. Now you may not have known Frank as I never did but I got the good fortune to acquire some of his cool junk now that he decided to step beyond the great divide. I also got the chance to see some of the amazing things he designed and built into the house he built. Not your average handy man by a long shot and years ahead of his time when it came to design and practicality. From what I could tell it appeared he liked things that worked and thus designed them into every thing he did.
Anyway I scored this gem to store my larger bills like fifties and hundreds in. The nice thing about it is the fact it has a lock for added security. As you know I hate plastic and love things that are original and hand made. Anyone can acquire some cheapo plastic piece of landfill but this gem is a one of a kind and hand made. If you have tastes for the finer things in life then landfill from wallys mart will not do.
The top tray I will be able to use for storing my diamond collection. Plus it lifts out for easy access to my bills when I want to count them again. Nothing beats the feel of something made with pride. If you own a Rolls then you know what I am talking about here.
Here is a cool vintage hacksaw I picked up out of a dumpster somewhere while looking for food. Solid cast iron... real cast iron... not the cheap cast iron that they make today. Not something you use often but handy to have just the same. God knows how old it is but will likely last another eighty years or so before it will need a little more wax.
Vintage Galvanized Gas Can
Here is a cool old vintage gas can I picked up at a garage sale for cheap. I never did grasp the sense of gas cans made out of plastic. Especially in a welding studio like I have here. This one I am going to use for solvent. The previous owner used it for that also. Classic nice patina that blends right into my welding area.
Metal Thickness Gauge
The other day I hit this garage sale and like the sucker that I am I dived on this tin box full of old broken drill bits and other seemingly useless junk. I always buy those bin deals hoping to find at least one tap or drill bit of something that is high quality vintage. I never waste time looking through the junk since for five or ten bucks who cares. I just grab it and keep looking. Most times I end up with a can of junk to try and give away in our free section here. This time though was a bit different. What a score of a life time... ok at least for idiots like me who actually want quality vintage tools. First off I counted out about thirty taps of all sizes up to 5/8" or so and mostly new and all top quality American brands. Next score was more than a complete set of high quality Walter drill bits. A couple of new Hilti cement bits, etc etc etc. I was almost floored!! Usually the only stuff in those types of cans are broken junk. Well the best score of all in that can was this gem. I had been looking for a vintage metal gauge for along time now and all you ever seem to see is the cheapo imported ones now. The best part is it slides right onto the sheet with no effort. It is heavy 3/16" plate steel that will not get lost easily. Plus it has got years of history behind it by a local sheet metal worker who's name I missed. Also because of the thickness it gives you a faster easier reading on the steel and it does not stick on the steel like the cheap imported stainless ones do.
Vintage Wood/Metal Scribe
Here is a classic old scribe I picked up somewhere. Probably at a garage sale for ten cents. Works like a dang and feels great in your hand. I have a lot of vintage tools here that feel just great in the hand. I don't know how they did it without computers and fancy pants terms like "ergonomically designed" Obviously that term does not mean comfortable and if you don't believe me wing by my studio and I will show you some tools that feel comfortable. I got a hand saw here that is well worth the dollar I charge just to feel it in your hand. You seriously won't believe it!! Now like all the tools I buy if I aint going to use it then I don't want it. I don't collect useless junk.... at least not that much anyway... that I am not going to use. First we don't have room and second I can't afford to. Sure I have a few scribes and don't use this one a lot but when I need it for a specific purpose it's there. Besides it was practically free and the only difference between this and new one is this one holds it's point a lot longer....
Here is a vintage stapler I picked up out of some old timers basement. He had had it for as long as he could remember but not sure on the age. My girlfriend has a new one almost exactly the same as this one. The only difference is thinner steel and brighter red color. The only trouble is she has to use a hammer to finish tapping the staples in. This one after years of use still buries the staples?? Not sure why that is but this is just another minor detail that makes the vintage tools well worth the effort to track them down. I love stuff that works like it is supposed to. Makes life far smoother.
Vintage Oily Rag Can
Live/work studios are a riot to live in. Ok not that fun if you are a "sit in front of the tv, drinkinig beer and watching guys chase other guys around on a field type of a guy". But if you are someone who loves pounding things with a hammer and cutting boards in half with a dull blade then they are great. Of course I like melting metal with hot fires but the only drawback to that is the risk of touching off a bit of a blaze in areas that I don't want. This is where this godsend comes in. Finally I don't have to worry about catching the garbage can on fire. Or, do I have to fight with lids when I want to toss some flamible rag in the garbage can. It was tough finding one in the right condition that Martha Stewart would approve of but I found it. Paid through the nose but it was worth it. I think the guy noticed my idiotic wide eyed look and drool thus would not take my nickle dime offer. It also didn't help that I had to drive for half a day to get out to the guys place. Anyway it has been a godsend and my worry of burning garbage cans in my studio is no more. Not really sure how old it is but it does have a brass tag on it. Accountants would never allow that these days...
Vintage Adjustable Stool
Here is a cool stool I picked up off my friend Casey. Another appreciator of fine quality items. Not to mention fine upholsterer. Great guy to talk to if you have a cool car and want some plush for your tush. If you are blinded by marketing you would never notice the quality of this stool. This is one solid steel stool that actually functions. It is a heavy to ship beauty that will likely never see the landfill.... at least until the grease on the threaded stem is proven to be a hazardous material and needs to be cleaned up by some hazmat team. Cool design and is strong beyond belief. This stool is way greener than all that sucker bait at iskea simply because it will be useable for eons. It will out last thirty stools they sell and thus save the landfill in a big way. Yes don't be fooled by marketing designed to get you buying again and again and again. Nope... this one's not for sale but thanks for askin.
Here is an old pair of dumb scissors. Not something you use often in a welding studio but handy to have just the same. I find it strange but my simple mind is amazed at how well these work. Most would never notice as they tried to hack through some terry cloth towels will their cheap plastic version. With these you could not tell if you were cutting paper or thick terry cloth towels!!! How the hell is that? Made once to last a thousand years. I am only guessing here but am pretty sure the handles are not going to break off these in a couple of years or so like my Iskea ones did... I tell you these grubby old scissors are truly "green"... the ones at iskea may employ some school kids in foreign countries but are "black" as hell. Sorry to rain on your parade if you shop there. Compact, light and easy to ship is only part of the equation. Time before they trot off to the landfill is what really counts.
Vintage Mop Bucket
Strangely once you start on a vintage binge then you quickly realize how lifeless and cheap plastic is. Thus everything that is not real has to go. This mop bucket I managed to save from the landfill. It was like brand new but the previous owners got infected by the parasites that cause cravings for Iskea junk that is more disposable and bound to break. This was my lucky day so scored this for our studio. What a bonus and matches with all the other vintage junk. Now this may not be all that old and more commercial grade but the squeezer part I did not need actually had cast iron parts on it!!! Anyway this will get good use for years to come and will help save the landfill of plastic buckets in a big way.
Here is a cool old hammer I found. It looks like it could have been handmade but not sure. The handle threads off. It has a nice patina.
Vintage Wilton Vise
Check out this old Wilton vise I picked up. I have never seen one like it or used one that worked so nice. I am not even sure why it seems to work so nice but it does. I now just have to get it mounted on something... maybe the heavy steel pedestal I have below. This was built before they figured out how to make cast iron as strong as pot metal.
1950's Beaver Scroll Saw
Herez my 24" Beaver scroll saw. Though this aint the best shot it is a nice beast. From what I can tell it is an early fifties model. I have two of these one is older which I am using right now but have not taken a pic of yet. This one I have in storage. For some reason I like the look and feel of this one better but I think the bull gear jumped the hefer shaft since it makes funny sound when you rotate it by hand. I will have to open it up and see whats going on. I need to find a proper stand for both this one and the other one. They are nice well made machines. My other older one runs butter smooth and cuts like a dang. Actually that reminds me I should tape a box of bandages to the side of it also.
Cast Iron Bench Grinder Base
Check out the nice piece of scrap iron I scored for my studio off a fellow metal artist in Maple Ridge. Was a base for a huge 3 phase bench grinder. It had a lot of paint on it which I stripped off and then polished up the emblem. I am guessing at around 300lbs. mostly because that is max I can lift with one arm. I might use it to mount a big metal polisher I am looking at. Either that or my vise... or...
Rare Pop Riveter
Check out this cool antique pop riveter. I have never seen one like this before. What the hell it was used for is beyond me. A google search pretty well told me nothing. If you got any ideas about this would love to hear.
Here is a cool piece of useless junk I picked up off a fellow appreciator of fine but often useless junk. It is an antique plane for putting a point on sticks. Dad used one of these when we were kids. He would get a chunk of willow about one inch around and cut it about two feet long. He would then sharpen each end to a fine point. Then he would give them to use kids to play with. We would run all over hell and back with those sharp sticks. They were a ton of fun except for the time I accidentally poked our dog, Woody's eye out one time. After that we changed his name to One Eye since that suited him better. Ok I admit I won't likely use this one often. Especially these days since most mothers will barely let their kids walk on grass let alone run around with a sharp stick.
Vintage Dust Blower
This is a cool old electric motor that is hooked up to a cast iron squirrel cage blower. I have a cool idea for this piece. I can't wait to start on it. A real functional sculpture. I have to cnc some parts for it before I can finish it. Hope to get at this one soon.
Check out this beauty I scored at the same place I got the Wilton vise. Solid cast brass. Not sure what it was off of but likely made back in the days when people were still citizens and not just consumers. Good old General Electric... what a name!
Antique Dental Air Compressor
What is it.... that's what I thought and then immediately thought I had to have it. When the guy said "compressor"... I was sold. I love all compressors. Sure I paid through the nose for this one but hey when was the last time you saw a compressor this old. The guy told me Christopher Columbus used this on his boats. Being no dummy I was sold right there. After all you just don't find compressors that old these days.
I doubt it would run a sandblaster but might pump up a tire.
patented Mar. 22, 1887...
Well here is some more crap the "cat" drug home... Apparently this is not a bull gear grinder and heifer shaft polishing tool.... that explains why my Dad was grinning when I told him about it. Whatever it is I am sure it will be handy. If by chance you know what this is or have pics of it that could clue me into what it was used for that would be great. I have a few ideas for it but nothing that involves permanent modification. This is too classic to ruin. It is definitely not something that you want to fall on your big toe!!!
Antique Air Compressor
Here is a really old compressor I picked up. God knows how old it is but check out the flat belts!!! Pre v-belts?? 1/4 hp... the amazing part is it still works and pumps air!!! Check out the cast iron wheels which make it a snap to roll around. Riveted tank even! It is amazing this thing has made it this far.
Built to last by Curtis compressors
Herez another old beat. At first glance this is just an old beat up compressor. Closer inspection reveals a riveted tank, very old air pump and of course the newer electric motor and controls. From what I can tell the pump appears to be from the 30's or 40's I have to google this some more but what a beauty. I have found an old electric motor, below, that somewhat matches the era of this beast. Sometime before the mothership gets here I am planning to clean this beast up. As usual of course I would leave the "barn find" patina. I think I have around seven compressors now... I got this beauty off of a very cool guy named Ron out in Mission. Another appreciator of fine junk but like the rest of us, always dealing with space... the final frontier!!!
Antique Century Motor
I scored this old beast off my friend Geof. Hez another sucker for old iron junk. I am not sure how old it is but the patent date on it is 1915. I am looking for someone who rebuilds electric motors. If you happen to know anybody you could recommend that would be great. I have not tried it since the wires are frayed very bad where it goes into the motor. This one is going on the old air compressor above.
Vintage Eclipse Magnets
Here are a couple of cool scores... two old Eclipse magnets with original plates. I wondered what the hell the plates were actually for then realized that with the plates you can toss them into you tool box without creating a ball of magnetized tools!!! Someone welded up the t-handles which work great though I might modify the welds a little. These suckers got a huge amount of pull to them. In fact it is almost impossible to get the bloody plates off them!!
Here is an old tube repair kit I picked up in someone's garbage. This is a real hard to find gem since most of these old cans like this got tossed long ago. The top and bottom are metal and the sides are paper. The labeling back then had a real Zen feel to it. The problem with modern labeling is that it always has to say so much on the can. Things like "perfectly safe to use" right above the liability release warning waiver which takes up the rest of the label.
Vintage 1940's Lincwelder
Here was a cool old score I picked up. Not sure on the year of this beast but did find the exact image in a 1948 Popular Mechanics ad. This one is in pretty rough shape. A lot of its likely hard to find vitals are damaged. On top of that am almost certain that it does not work. Of course being a nut bar artist had to have it anyway. The main clue that it does not work were the screws holding the cover on were all loose. Translated that means someone took the back off... figured it was screwed and tossed it back on barely. Just the same it has a patina that only time could create. I am going to try and find an old plug in to replace the newer one that has been installed and then see if I can get it to make sparks. Not that I would use it since I have my 180 syncrowave. Just the same it will be nice to know. Either way it is going to end up as a functional end table. The guy gave me a fair deal on it and also threw in some other junk which turned out to be just what I needed for my one storage shelf that is almost empty!!!
Here is a really fun score... a 1948 parts and tool cataloge. I glanced at it and it is going to be a real riot. All sorts of the coolest tools ever. This book is in almost perfect condition. Absolutely fascinating. I will likely add some more inside pics later.
Here is an old 6" Black and Decker circular saw I picked up that works like and dang and has a very smooth and sweet sound to it. I need more blades for it but it has the large center hole so most newer blades don't fit. Not sure what the scoop is there. I have a few blades but no good carbide ones. Maybe they did not make them for this... not sure.
This is another one except in an 8" I picked up. Thanks to George for this one. Same era as my 6" but bigger. Runs really smooth and sounds good. The amount I use these saws they will likely be all I need until I get into politics in 60 or 80 years. I just started polishing this one and it should come up nice with a little work.
Vintage Gas Welding Goggles
Here is a really cool set of what appears to be vintage welding goggles. Not sure how old they are though. The straps are rubber and there are even bits of metal pieces on them. Got any ideas? Either way I thought they were cool so in my collection they go.
Here is an old clock I picked up that likely goes back to the forties. The glass is broke, the metal frame is not only bend but also rusted, the cord is cracked, the hands are all bent and rusty and yet it still purrs like a kitten. It tells me what time it is and never loses time????? WTF!!!! By the time this clock quits in another fifteen years or more twenty ikskea clocks will have come and gone off to the landfill!!!
Yes this here clock ain't green its f-in black and still working.
Here was a find and a half I picked up from this cool guy at a garage sale. One of those nutty artist's like myself. He also had an appreciation of older classic stuff. This piece had been in his family for years and he was a little reluctant to part with it but after some thought a deal was made and off it went with us. At first I thought it would likely not work. When I got home and tried it I was amazed at how smooth it ran and how much suction it had!!! Of course I shouldn't have been surprised since it was made back before landfills became a vital part of most modern products. I used to have one of those plastic dust busters and man what a disappointing piece of shit that thing was!! Of course it quit after six months so off it trotted to the landfill to rest in peace. Now here is this thing which sucks like crazy and still works fine, God knows how many years later!!! Unfortunately the brass tag was gone so I can't track it. If you have any clues I would love to hear from you.
What is really interesting about this thing is the fact that part of the end was broken at one time and someone actually took the time to fix it!!! If you look close you can see the weld. Of course since it was made from real metal fixing it was possible. Good luck with all the plastic junk made today. Anyway It will probably only last another fifty years if I use it steady so may only use it once in a while. Another fine piece of history. Thanks Dave for the bargain deal!!!
Here is a real unusual score... a ball bearing paper clip!!! Seriously this sucker has ball bearings!!! If you look close you can see it written on the front and yes it does have ball bearings in it. They are behind the black springs and separate the front and back piece of the clip. Talk about a smooth action. Made back when quality counted and accountants were not ruling the world.
Here are a couple of toys I had from growing up back on the farm. Last week when we were up there Dad finally said I could have them if I paid him back that ten dollars I borrowed when I was 12. Seemed like a fair deal to me so I gave him the ten. That's one of the nice things about having such a close knit family like ours. It was a miracle that they were still in good shape. Dad said the reason they were in such good shape was the fact that he never let me play with them until I was seventeen or eighteen. He said as a kid I was always putting my toys under the tires of his car so did not trust me. He figured I would try and do the same with these. I do remember breaking the lid for the battery box on the truck when I was eighteen. I was trying to squeeze a bag of candies in where the batteries go so my sister would not find them. I guess I forced it too much and it broke. Needless to say the truck no longer works but the loader still does!
Here is a weird old wrench I recently picked up. It is quite long... about 13.5" but strangely to me appears to be made of brass? It is not magnetic and a yellowy color... that was my first clue. I find it strange that a wrench would be made out of brass. So if you are smarter than me which is extremely likely maybe you know what the hell this is for? I would love to know. I just found out from Chris Nallick of www.nfabworks.com in Milton Florida that this is an old spud wrench! It is made of brass to be more spark resistant when working in or around explosive gasses... Now I am really keeping this!!! I have had a gas problem for ages!! By the way they have a cool site if you want your truck to have a great view!!!!! Check them out.
Here are two old ground top salt and pepper shakers. I scored these for cheap at a garage sale. They were in with a box full of old original Andy Warhol movies that Andy had made himself. They were done on that old film but I did not have projector to play them so really had no use for them. Besides my Dad had one of those old projectors and they are more work than they are worth. Luckily though I did manage to score these beauties. They even have the original carcinogenic pewter tops. Likely from around the 1880's according to one antique dealer.
It was fast thinking on my part that I managed to save these important bits of history as the second I paid for them they started throwing everything else in the dumpster. I can't believe what some people will throw away just thoughtlessly. When I told an art dealer I met recently this story he broke out in tears. I guess he was really moved that I had managed to save these antique beauties. I figure I am just doing my part whenever I can. Might sell them but not sure yet.
This is a cool little toy motor I picked up one time. It is a great little score with the original box. Not sure what the hell I need it for but if I figure out a use there it is.
Years ago I had an old pulley just like this one. I was buying some junk of some guy awhile back and noticed the exact same one hanging from rafters in his garage. So along with some other useless stuff home it came. The interesting part about this pulley is the wheel part is cast of of solid brass!! It has also got the nifty little star cast into it. The guy I got it from looked like he used to it lift dead bodies off the floor of his garage. My guess is most likely deer or elk bodies. Either way they made things out of real materials back then. Thank God for plastic came along otherwise everything we own would be a hell of a lot heavier.
Here is another classic band saw I picked up. It is an old Vincent. Made in Canada. It is kind of a gem but not sure what I am going to do with it. I wouldn't say it is the best machine but it does seem to work. It's got a hoover motor. I did a little research on this one but have not found out all that much so far. A post war tool apparently. It seems as if the color on the saw and even stand is original. I have not seen one yet that is this complete or original. Maybe I will start a band saw museum... after all I must have at least six or more?? It seems every time I pick up one of these I find a better one next month!! Actually awhile back I decided to leter go to another vintage tool nut. Now normally when it gets to this page on my site I am keeping it bar none but space was getting the best of me and I had all the other ones any way.