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Hot Rods Old tools with memories

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by birdman1, May 12, 2020.

  1. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,048


    I have quite an assortment of tools myself. Some from my Dad and Grand Father. Most of my dads tools were U.S. Navy issue. He was a career Navy man and was stationed at a moth ball fleet area in the late 50s. They
    were stripping ships before sending them to the scrappers for cutting apart. Each ship had its own repair facility on board as well as machine shop etc.
    All of it was considered surplus and the base commander allowed the sailors to take items home as opposed to sending to the dump. My dad was not a tool fanatic like I tend to be. I have been collecting
    my own tools for fifty five years and still do. I had
    figured to leave them to my son and probably still
    will. His father in law retired from a career as an air frame mechanic and custom helicopter fabricator.
    Air ambulances and corporate custom crafts were
    his forte. He gave my son the most beautiful set of
    fabrication tools I have ever seen. Truly amazing, they
    filled up my 12 foot enclosed motorcycle trailer when
    we went to pick them up. Probably ten boxes of high
    quality specialty tools. Made my stuff look paltry by
    bobss396 and loudbang like this.
  2. Smiffy
    Joined: Dec 30, 2014
    Posts: 124


    The wife reckons this old tool is losing his memory (convenient memory more like it)
    raven, bobss396 and loudbang like this.
  3. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,025

    from ohio

    Speaking of tools, when I was in the Army in the early 70's my MOS was 63B20 which was a wheeled vehicle mechanic. When it came inspection time we were ordered to get rid of any thing excess that was not on our authorized list for what some officer that probably didn't know a lug wrench from a pair of pliers made up. It made me sick to have to bury new brand name socket sets, wrench sets and every thing else you could think of just because we had too many of them. There was no way to hold them back or get them out to send home as they always sent a officer with you to the grave site. Talk about your government waste:mad::mad::mad:
  4. charlesf
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 164


    The only tool of his trade my father left me was definitely O/T: his law library; but it served me well for over 40 years. More on topic is the engine hoist, which was left me by one of my very best friends when he was taken by cancer in '06. I've used it frequently since then, but not in the last couple of years. When I broke it out a couple of weeks ago to pull the motor from my O/T Mustang the engine sling which came with it was nowhere to be found. Had I loaned it to someone or simply misplaced it? Who knows? But it surely felt as if I had violated a friend's trust.
    loudbang likes this.
  5. I was 9 and crossing a main road in town to go to a hobby store (model cars...) and had to wait. I see a wrench sitting on the double yellow line right in the road. So I wait to cross, grab the wrench. It was a 9/16" Par-X combo wrench. I still use it to this day.

    A few years ago, someone I know whose dad had just died offered me his dad's tool collection, including an engine lathe and a chance to buy his old '48 Buick. I knew the Buick was in bad shape from sitting around exposed to salt air. I knew the deal would have strings attached to it, so I passed on it. And I'm talking about big Snap On rollaways, more than 1.
    loudbang likes this.
  6. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,496


    upload_2020-5-20_4-7-6.png Vintage Hanau Alcohol Torch. Patent #1755216. Buffalo, NY, USA


    The last remaining tool from our early hot rod days and model car building is still with me. My brother, when he was alive, did not want it and told me to keep it for posterity. (Whenever, that time is… is it posterity, yet? To our granddaughter’s kid’s kid, it will probably be just an old oddball tool from the early 1950 time period.) We can see it now, out of respect, our son would have kept this item as family history. But, who knows what the future generation would think of this odd ball tool and how it played an important part of our model car building days and hot rod days from 1953 onward.

    It quietly sits in an automotive drawer in our garage and if it ever gets cleared out in the future, hopefully it will remain in our family history.

    My brother and I used this torch for our modifications to plastic chassis to lower cars, make them sit higher in back, and fit inside of bodies that they were not made to fit. The flame was pin point to the exact spot that we needed to make a slight bend for the fit. Matches and candles could do the job, but they were not able to be controlled for the exact pinpoint heat. It was as if we had a gas torch and heated real car parts to hammer into shape or configuration.

    The other thing was an even flow of heat to make wax rods for headers and custom roll bars. We just had to know that on hot days of the summer, the heat sometimes melted the sturdy forms into worms. But for the headers, we used my mom’s extra needles melted into the backsides of the individual pipes to keep the shape.


    When we were connecting real electrical wires together, we used this torch to melt solder and then shink the coverings. It was perfect as we could control the heat and where it was pointed. It was a handy tool in model making and in real automotive uses.
    The wick lights up with a nice flame. When the trigger is pulled inward, then the air gets shot out of the small hole with a bent precision flame hitting the object in question.

    So, future great, grand kids or whoever, please don’t chuck it in the trash. It was an important part of the two brothers growing up and using a funny looking tool to help us out in our mini customizing or in real hot rod mechanics.

    P.S. Besides this old flame thrower and the El Camino air gauge, the last remaining Craftsman Tool from the 1958-60 era is a small flat head screwdriver recently found in a stack of old tools ready for the recycle bin. It is a little worn, but still under a lifetime guarantee. The other complete Craftsman Tools and sets went to a new home at our niece’s house, where her hot rod/drag race husband has a zillion tools and stuff.
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  7. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,496


    Father’s Day memory:
    upload_2020-6-21_5-5-50.png This old guy is still around in our current garage drawer as a memento from those early film editing days with my dad. It was from 1957, a Craig movie splicer with a top plate 8mm bottom plate/cutter and a 16mm bottom track. It was a nightmare to use correctly, but it was the only available item to cut and edit films. My dad taught me how to use it and edit his films, as well as our own 16mm films.


    When my dad started his movie making projects, he had this ancient 8mm/16mm film cutter to splice all of his films together to show on one big 12-14 inch steel reel. He was tirelessly working on his tiny film project by himself. My brother and I felt sorry for him, but it was his thing to do in our neighborhood and in the social circles they were part of during this time period. He loved filming and doing things with the cameras in his collection.

    But, one day he asked me if I wanted to learn how to edit a 16mm film to make a longer film out of those little plastic 3-4 inch reels. His goal was to splice all of those small reels into several 8-9 inch metal reels. That way, the film lasts longer and there is no need for constantly changing and threading the small film reels.

    In the beginning he was using the above Craig Master 6 Movie Splicer for all of his little reels. He would roll out the film, look up at the bright dining room overhead light and try to get the good cutting point for splicing. Then put it in the slots and cut. That was the process and when both sides of a cut were prepared, the glue and final drying took place. While that was drying, he pulled out another small reel for other edits and cuts.
    The final goal was to put the multiple small 3-4 inch plastic reels onto a 8-9 inch steel reel spliced into a longer movie and put on those onto larger 12-14" reels for the big projector. All of the movie projector /AV experience helped in elementary school through college. It made me the “go to” guy if something happened to the projector in any class or lecture hall.

    The 1959-61 editing machine we had was a 4 inch screen and it was difficult to cut and paste to make a complete film. In those days, cut and paste was actually cut the film right on the holes, then sand or rough up the edge that is going to match the other films edge. Then using a photo glue, paste the two edges together. So, if we had 5 different days on one reel, but interspersed with my dad’s filming stuff, there was a lot of cutting and pasting going on during the editing phase.
    upload_2020-6-21_5-12-31.png similar set up
    Kalart-Craig 16mm movie film splicer with a screen. At least, the film was able to move back and forth to see where was the best spot to edit and make the cut. Looking at the tiny screen was better than looking at a half inch film into the bright light bulb overhead. This cool machine was a time saver and made editing fun. I took the job and it paid off handsomely. It was the last remaining editing stuff for portable editing on the go. The editing machine with the 4 inch screen unit has gone to movie making heaven years ago.

    In today's comparisons, it would be watching a movie on a cell phone vs watching it on the big screen TV on the wall. The little 16 mm film was bigger than the 8 mm (twice the size). But, it was only 5/8 ths of an inch without any help in viewing. That is a thumbnail compared to the projection movie on the roll down movie screen.

    But, this little guy still hangs around in our garage drawer gathering dust, today.
    upload_2020-6-21_5-18-12.png the purple paper shows the 16mm track and perforations for alignment.

    It is an old tool with a ton of teenage memories, sitting alone at the dining room table with reels of 16mm movie film spread out ready for editing. Oh yes, there were lots of drag racing films to edit as well as my dad’s family films. He liked to film parades in Los Angeles and Long Beach down Ocean Blvd. Also, any family event or extended family events. His films were on the editing list when I was finished with the drag racing stuff. But, it had to be finished, since that portion of the family film editing paid for the hot rod/drag racing portion of these valuable “tools of the trade.”


    Along with the support our dad gave his two sons in any endeavor, this portion has lasted all of these years. When I look at that small Craig Film Editor in the drawer, it instantly brings back memories of me sitting at that dining table cutting, sanding, gluing, drying and finally making a film on the large metal reels. At first, it was the 8” metal reels, then those reels into larger 14-16” steel reels for a longer movie presentation.

    The end benefits are present with those reels and film now digitally preserved for all to see on the HAMB. (also, J Naki on a You Tube channel.) and those that have the HD digital versions, too.

    Thanks, dad…

    1oldtimer and charleyw like this.
  8. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 343


    I still have the set of Craftsman wrenches and sockets I bought when I was a kid, paid for them with my newspaper route and used them to fix my bike. Used to be able to fit my entire tool collection in a plastic tackle box back then!

    I have some of my grandfather's wood working tools, including a miter saw from the 1950's that is dead nuts accurate. And my uncle has a bilge pump that my great grandfather made out of leather and brass pipe that dates back to the 1920's.
    Truckdoctor Andy and loudbang like this.
  9. 31 5w
    Joined: Aug 6, 2010
    Posts: 107

    31 5w

    Have Model t &a wrench that were my grandfathers, still use today. 1st set of tools for my16th B Day from my parents, powercrart from M Wards Have all but 1 original sockets! That was 52 yrs. ago. Still use also. My tool boxes are old Craftsman from early 70's.
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  10. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,222

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers


    My son still fools around with “filming” as he is still able to get some from time to time.

    To give some perspective, he was born towards the end of the of the shoulder video recorder days.

    I will share your post with him later today.
    jnaki likes this.
  11. I have my grandfathers Holiday 8mm movie editor still in the box and 8mm projector in the case. I don't remember them being used in my time at their house, I just found them in my grandmothers closet in my 20s.
    jnaki and loudbang like this.
  12. Zax
    Joined: May 21, 2017
    Posts: 84


    I have my grandpa's bench vise. Use it all the time. It was built to last.

    His early Snap-On tool chest is in a collapsed barn that a tree fell on. Been meaning to head down with my Jeep and use the winch and a chainsaw and try to dig it out.

    My dad bought me a Craftsman socket set for Christmas when I was either 15 or 16. Still my main set I use all the time.

    Just dug out my first tool box, a Craftsman, to keep in the trunk of my new '53 Ford project. Lot's of memories of lugging that thing through junk yards when I was a teen.
    loudbang and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  13. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,218


    My Grandpa was a carpenter and told me that when he was an apprentice he had to take his bosses horse home on the weekends and clean him. So you know how long ago that was. After all these years I still have the wood tote he made to carry his work tools in when on the job. Its 23" long, 9" wide and the handle is 13" high. Its on a shelf in my garage holding claw hammers, small level, nails and wood screws. Every time I see it I think of Grandpa. This tote must be over 100 years old and will be passed on to my Grandson.

    When I was about 15 we found an old mechanical jack in my Grandpas garage. It had a handle at least 6 feet long that was metal and had wood bolted to the steel handle. We used to joke that it was once used on stage coaches. I can't tell you how many times we used that old jack on our old cars as kids. To this day I don't have any idea of what happened to that old jack or where it went. I would love to have it back for sentimental reasons but am also sure it could still be used as a jack.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
    loudbang likes this.
  14. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,787


    Check to see if the county where your great grandfather built houses has a museum. Ask them if they would be interested in your great grandfather's tools. If do, make a nice plaque "Dedicated to the memory of....... These tools were used by ...... to build houses in .......". Attach the plaque to the tool box, and donate to the museum. Will be a lasting memorial to your great grandfather, and possible jog some enthusiast with your offspring.

    loudbang and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  15. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,152

    Rusty O'Toole

    I've still got a big heavy 1/2" aluminum drill my father bought when he started the electrical trade in 1947. It's worn out but I've got it. Also a couple of Snap On tool boxes that date to the 30s or earlier. And a set of Sears Craftsman tools (208 pieces) I bought in 1968.
    loudbang and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  16. mbaker
    Joined: Dec 25, 2009
    Posts: 4

    from So Cal

    I have various tools that were my fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers. Some of the most interesting are tools that belonged to a great uncle who was a jeweler/watchmaker.
    loudbang and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  17. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,696

    from California

    my tools only have monetary value.
  18. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,147

    from NKy

    I was just talkin to my wife about this “ stuff “ there are 2 welders , 2 plasma. cutters , a lathe , a mill , torch set ,4 sets of jack stands , 2 floor jacks , a press , a 72 in bottom and 56 in top chest full to the brim with Snap on ,MAC , Matco , every hand and air tool that seem to be produced and , my son is not a car freak . She asks “ what do you want me to do with these , your car and your bike ? “ I told her “ locate an up and coming honorable rodder and tell him today is your lucky day it’s all yours in my memory ! “
  19. Jagman
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 346


    That's a good idea, the town he helped build is Excelsior Springs, north of KC
    loudbang likes this.
  20. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 116


    At least half my tools were my dad and grandpa's, and many more they bought for me for gifts and things over the years. And I used to have to dodge um when I was a kid and ticked um off! Lol....
    loudbang and Truckdoctor Andy like this.

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