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History Do you remember the 1st tool you ever bought?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Plasmaman, Oct 28, 2022.

  1. andyh1956
    Joined: Aug 30, 2021
    Posts: 113


    Cool Thread!
    In 1968 I did three paper routes, baby sat & worked at a hardware store in Falls Church Va. They sold Thorsen tools so I bought a red tote around & a set of 1/2" drive sockets & some open ended wrenches only good for building bridges...o_O
    Oh and I have a lot of my grand daddy's Snap On tools that he purchased used as a young man- still going great!
    Interesting to note how many tools we all own & what they cost us but in reality they have no value except for what we can do with them. You can't sell them for a fraction of what we paid for them, I paid more for all the tools I own than was the purchase price of my house but yet I can't borrow any money on them!
    I'm always looking for tools at the junk stores & swap meets, never know what you'll bring home next!
    Ima a Sucker for a used tool, a .22 Rifle or an old Chevy Pickup!:D
  2. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,467

    dan c

    a craftsman half-inch socket set. still use them all the time!
  3. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,734


    No. I can barely remember my neighbors name. I paint cars, which kills a lot of brain cells.
  4. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,668

    blue 49
    from Iowa

    I also got a Fleet 3/8 socket set as a gift from my parents. It came from a farm/fleet store around 1970.The ratchet and plastic box are long gone, but the sockets are my "go to" ones that I use the most.

    deucemac likes this.
  5. Latigo
    Joined: Mar 24, 2014
    Posts: 716


    My dad had nearly all the mechanics tools my buddies and I needed for our projects. I started apprenticing with a local carpenter working summers when I was about 14. He had all the right tools but I though I needed my own so after my first paycheck I invested in a good hammer. Showed up for work and Oscar looked me over and said “ So, got yourself a new Stanley I see.” Each check I bought a tool. A tool belt, a tape measure, framing square etc. Nearly 60 years later I still have that Stanley and I still don’t borrow tools.
  6. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 2,307

    from Napa


    June, 1973- first "major" purchase of my own stuff, at a little parts store in Bath, NY. Still the original box, but hardly any originals inside- the S-K 3/8 ratchet got legs many years ago. I can see Craftsman, New Britain, Snap-on, even a Pittsburg. Gets updated often
  7. What's all this talk about the first stool you ever bought? I've never bought one in my life.... my intestines manufacture them! ...... Oh, Never mind...
    (Credit Emily Latilla)
  8. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,405

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    I was a pre-teen. I had already been given some tools. But the first thing bought with my own $ was a small wrench set made by Globemaster. They were one notch better than useless, but I learned.
    Crazy Steve likes this.
  9. jimpopper
    Joined: Feb 3, 2013
    Posts: 312


    Other than mowing lawns, my first job helping a carpenter required I buy a nail hammer and a tape measure. The hammer I still use almost daily.
  10. S-K open end wrench set, Mac screwdriver set.
  11. My dad had a set of old combination/end wrenches in a red roll. I have never seen the brand before or since, they were stolen during one of his many Florida moves.

    It started with a C or a D, may have had "tex" in the brand. The wrenches were an odd shape, not like Craftsman or Snap On. Anyone have a clue?
  12. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,867

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    Interesting that we all remember what the 1st tool(s) we bought with our own money. But how about the 1st tool we ever acquired? I still have it. It's a folding carpenters ruler, Lufkin, given to me by a carpenter working on my parent's house, to get me out of his way. I was 4 or 5 years old. Still have it, and it somehow never got broken. And the little brass sliding ruler part still slides!
    Budget36 likes this.
  13. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,751


    A combination square for making straight lines to cut wide flange beams with a torch.
  14. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,564


    "It started with a C or a D, may have had "tex" in the brand. The wrenches were an odd shape, not like Craftsman or Snap On. Anyone have a clue?"

    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 8,311

    from SIDNEY, NY

    A spoke wrench from Western Auto to fine tune the wheels on my bicycle. It looked like a guitar pick with a square cutout on one end, and cost ten cents.
    loudbang likes this.
  16. 4ever18
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 531


    I, too, bought that tool set. I was 14 years old (in 1967). The sockets were pretty good, but the screw drivers & wrenches were crappy (yes, of course, I still have them. The 1/2” drive ratchet finally wore out, but the 3/8” ratchet still works fine today.
  17. Nah, thanks anyway. Cen-Tech was sold by parts stores and were junk. I do have some of those.

    My dad worked for Grumman and they could buy tools through the company. My guess is they were from maybe 1950 or so. The outside of the wrenches were not a smooth corner, these had straight cuts on them. I have to ask if my brother remembers.

    EDIT: They may have been made by DAK. I googled it and came up with nada.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
  18. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 8,206



    When my brother and I were little, we always had battles for what was in front of us. If it was the last drumstick at Thanksgiving, it was a grab and eat situation. Our parents did not like drumsticks, so it was one for each. But, sometimes, someone wanted two or the plate had the drumstick just sitting there, while the other parts of the plate were cleaned off.

    So, there was a constant “thing” going on throughout our early childhood. It may have been the time as a toddler, that he punched me in the face and ran toward our mom for safety. I grabbed a screwdriver and threw it at him like a knife thrower at those early circus performances. I have no idea how it traveled where it did, but it hit him behind his right ear and dropped him instantly. Now, my mom was aghast and trying to stop the bleeding ear.

    Needless to say, he was always angry at me for that incident, although he was the guy who punched me in the face, first. Of course, our mom did not care who started it, but the sight of an injured kid on the floor was enough to yell at me and make me feel bad. It only looked bad, but the bleeding was surface only and not a pouring out on the floor. The sight of a bigger kid on the floor screaming did more damage than the screwdriver.

    Ever since then, until we were pre-teens, it was a battle of sorts. Grabbing magazines, comic books, toys and other stuff from each other was a challenging game. Sometimes it was not as nice as it should have been. But, something changed in our pre-teen years. He had the upper edge and commanded what I had to do. When I did it, then a good result happened. I learned to roll with the punches (pun intended) and got what I wanted, but had to do the chore desired by my brother.


    When he started driving, well that opened up a whole new adventure scenario and it was another different set of commands and sharing, so to speak. We had tools given to us by our parents. But, at the time, we had to share those tools. As pre-teens, sharing was not always the thing to do, so there was a battle of sorts.

    I was tearing down an old 4 sided box that had screws holding it together. It looked like the builder, whoever it was, gave up and did not add in the fitted bottom. But, the lightweight metal box was a prize I found and brought it home. I was using one of “our” old screwdrivers to loosen the screws. My brother needed the screwdriver for his project and grabbed it away from me. So, now I was staring at my project and fuming. But, our mom told us to not argue or fight to solve anything or she+ our dad would get “serious.”

    The next day, I walked to our little hardware store that sold tools and there was a box of used tools people turned in to exchange for new ones. Rummaging through the box, I found a nice used, old screwdriver and the owner said it was exactly what I had in my pocket. So, now I was the “owner” of my own screwdriver. It was not as new and nice as the one that came with the tool set our dad bought for both of us to work with on projects. But, it was my own, purchased with what I had in my envelope savings.

    About 10 years ago, we cleaned out our small 2 car garage and I decided to give away my Craftsman tool box and tools to a friend. He needed some good tools and I was not using them like we used to, so time to “pay it forward.” Since then, I have purchased new screwdrivers as I need them for a specific project or need. So, I still have newer models, but the original Craftsman tools are gone, except for this old screwdriver with scratches and hammer markings on it. It spends its days in the back of the tool drawer for its final resting place, until called upon to do some work, if needed.

    “Old, but still functioning…” kind of like all of us older folks in this day and age of the pandemic experiences. YRMV

  19. fabricator john
    Joined: Mar 18, 2010
    Posts: 271

    fabricator john
    from venice fl.

    Dad was always crafty so there were always tools around and i was encouraged to use them from a very young age , model airplanes were a big deal at our house ( pop scratch built em and flew from his youth till his passing at 80) that's how i learned to cut and measure, i was building and flying by probably 8. anyways fast fwd ,, moved to the country , had minibikes and go-carts and was a bit hard on stuff ,so at one point i had 3 motors and 4 frames and nothing to ride because the frames were all broken ,, had a welder that lived nextdoor asked him for help he said "yeah 35 an hour" (a$$hole) will forever be his name,, dad had a solid ox brazing rig and lord i tried but brass has no structural qualities ,, it was a saturday dad was working i said "mom take me to the bank and montgomery wards " i told her for a tool,, i had xmas, birthday and haybail throwin money in the bank ,, i walked in and bought a 225 amp mongomery wards stick welder ,helmet gloves ,bunch of rods and a extension cord so i could plug into the drier outlet i had just turned 13 , a year or so later we built a tube chassis altered on the floor in the garage ( ran that 10yrs) i turned the hands given to me by my pop and fab skills into a life long career that i do everyday, at 55 yeah i can weld a weiner on a snowman have allways loved what i do as a fabricator/builder/restorer been 32yrs on the clock not stopping till they carry me out the shop ,,blaming it on a crafty dad and a 13 year olds trip with his mom to montgomery wards !!!
    miss you dad
    fabricator john
    p.s. that machine was at pops when i cleaned out his workshop (hardest thing a son will ever have to do) but its in my attic now could use leads but most likely still works!!!
    charleyw, Budget36, bobss396 and 2 others like this.
  20. This should be a easy question but after I thought about a while I have come to the conclusion that I honestly don't remember, my first tools was a small set of Husky tools that I got for Christmas when I 16 years old, I still have most of them.

    I think the first power tool I purchased was a small electric drill. HRP
  21. I remember buying an oil filter removal tool and when I got home dad just looked at it and then me and said good luck. I used it and of course it failed due to being made in China. "And what did you learn from this....." He didn't raz me about it but he did make sure I learned-and I did.

    bobss396 likes this.
  22. hotrodlane
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 330


    I started using Dad's tools as far back as I can remember. Learned to weld with an old Lincon buzz box stick welder when I was about 11 years old. The reason I know I was around 11 was it was just a few months after grandpa passed away. I boxed and worked on many early street rod frames in my Dads shop, The first tool I actually remember buying was a Miller 250 mig welder. I was 17 years old and sold my 4x4 chevy square body pickup that I was driving and borrowed the rest of the money from my grandmother to pay for it until I could get payed on a Chassis job I was doing on a 1937 Packard. Alot of guys told me I was nuts for selling my daily driver and pickup to buy such an expensive tool at the time but Buying that welder was probably the best investment I ever made. I still have it and it still works great!
    Budget36 and bobss396 like this.
  23. One of my 1st real tools was the oil plug removal tool I had to get for my '64 Olds 88. I was floored that it was something "special" but later realized that a huge allen hex key would work. I also bought a few filter wrenches that were little more strong than origami paper animals.
  24. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,466


    No but remember the first tool I found in a junkyard and still have it.
  25. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,867

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    Now this isn't a tool I bought, but it has an interesting story. My father was an orthopedic surgeon, and had his own office across the street from the hospital. He also had some interesting medical "tools". One was an all stainless steel saw, drill, multi-use thing that came apart for sterilization. The only part that didn't get sterilized was the motor, which had the switch integrated into it.

    He also had a small autoclave. And a new nurse/assistant who didn't know that the tool needed to be taken apart before cooking. Steam and high temperature don't do a lot of good for electrical stuff. It still ran for some reason but...

    So he bought a new one, as his was a few years old and the thought of using it where it's operation might prove critical was just not something dad was willing to do. He gave my brother and me the complete kit, with all of the bits and bobs. It was really neat! My brother didn't have any interest in it, so I claimed it. I used it for all sorts of assorted tasks. It would cut and drill wood just fine, steel not so much, so slowly I used up all of the bits and bobs and eventually it was just the main tool with drive arbors. Kind of a nice shiny Dumore grinder.

    It's gone now, but it was my first power tool.
    bobss396 and Fordors like this.
  26. big john d
    Joined: Nov 24, 2011
    Posts: 320

    big john d
    from ma

    snap,on tools have a mark on them to date code them look u snap on date code chart i ad many snap on tools for 50 years and never knew this
  27. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,976

    seb fontana
    from ct

    1/2" 12 pt 1/2" drive Sears socket to replace the one my brother said I lost from his tool set..
  28. lostmind
    Joined: Aug 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,005


    First tool I bought was a snap ring plier. I was working on a transmission.
    My Dad drove me to " Uncle Bills" department store to buy it.
    Probably 15 years old? My parents bought me a full Craftsman mechanics set when I was 14 . Still have almost a full set of the 1/2" drive sockets and the snap ring pliers,
    64 years later.
    I worked 47 years as a mechanic, the tools were a good investment.
  29. Mark Wahlster
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 75

    Mark Wahlster

    First tools I remember buying was on my 12th birthday. mom took me to a Hardware store and told me to pick out some tools I know I bought a 16oz Framing hammer, a cross cut hand saw, a pair of pliers and a couple other items. Pretty sure all are long gone some 53 year later.

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