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Hot Rods what were your first tools

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by boo, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    First job I ever had, saved up and bought a Sears Craftsman 208 piece mechanics tool set to start.This was about 1968. The old man sold me a second hand Snap On tool box for $25 to put them in. I was making $40 a week pumping gas. The tool box is so old Snap On can no longer supply a lock for it, and they have locks for boxes back to the late 30s. Still have the tools, and the box.
  2. Sonny48
    Joined: Jan 12, 2011
    Posts: 131

    from Mo.

    It looks like all old hotrodders came from the same mold. when I was 14 I got a 30 model A sedan with a hemi and torque flite trans. For Christmas I got a set of Craftsman tools, box and all. and now 51 years later (is that possible?) I still have em'. I keep wondering if I will ever grow out of it. I hope not.
    Happy holidays to all !
  3. Boatmark
    Joined: Jan 15, 2012
    Posts: 308


    I guess I've gone full circle.

    When I was 12 and started in boat racing my parents bought me a Craftsman set, and a box, for Christmas. In high school one of my part time jobs was at Sears, so I built up my tools on the employee discount.

    When I was making a living with them I bought SnapOn (like the cool guys!). When I worked for a team with Mac Tool supplying the tools in a sponsorship deal, I sold the SnapOn stuff to raise some cash.

    Now as a desk jockey, I'm working in my garage with that same box of Craftsman I started out with. Which I kind of like.
  4. My very first tool I got from my dad about 1959or60. It was a Vlchek brand open end wrench, ½inch one end and 9/16 on the other. Still have it and use it regularly. From there I accumulated a wall full, mostly one or two at a time. I never could afford to buy one of those complete sets until after I had already collected them. I have never gotten rid of a tool except by loss or breakage. A real man never gets rid of a tool...
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  5. Pops1532
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 544

    from Illinois

    Not sure what my first tools were. Dad was a carpenter. I remember having (and knowing how to read) a tape measure when I was 4 and got a hammer shortly after that. By the time I was 9 or 10 I knew I was going to be a mechanic (I'm a carpenter) and asked for mechanic tools for my birthday and Christmas. I bought 1/4" and 3/8" drive SK socket sets when I was 11. I still use them often. When I was 12 I saved up my money and bought a 10 drawer Craftsman tool chest. Took my Dad's hand truck and walked over a mile to the Sears store. Piled $72 in singles and change on the counter. Got my new tool box and wheeled it a mile home. Still have that box.
    i.rant, das858 and seadog like this.
  6. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,128


    My first tools were some old cheap no name tools grampa gave me to work on my bicycles that I put in a tackle box,I still have them in that same tackle box and almost gave them to a 10 year old that lived next door but I was not sure he would have done anything with them so they are still in the attic in the garage.
  7. My first tool I actually used extensively was what I referred to as a dog bone wrench. It was a multi headed tool that I got from a friend and later his hacksaw, hammer and vice grips to take my 50 Plymouth apart. I owned nothing back then, 1961.
    I ruined the dog bone and the Plymouth.
    A year later I was into my 40 Pontiac and transplanted a 53 Oldsmobile 303" into it.
    For my birthday present my dad took me to the hardware store downtown and bought me a Thorsen 1/2" drive ratchet and 12 pt. socket set. I still have it to this day, 53 years later.
    The 1/2" and 9/16" 12 point sockets are fairly rounded out now. I've owned a lot of Chevy's.
  8. My dad and mom got me a Snap-on top chest tool box for Christmas when I was 5 (1986).

    I already had a handful of Snap-on hand tools to put in it.

    I still have all of them and the tool box, It will never be for sale!
  9. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,210

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Since my father was a farmer he probably gave me a hoe and showed me how to use it, I did start driving the Farmal A at 6..
    gmhillbilly and falcongeorge like this.
  10. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 775


    My first tool was a 1/4 "snap-on combination wrench that my dad gave me at age 5. He was a mechanic and I used his tools till I graduated high school when I got a 3/8 ratchet and a short and deep 3/8 sockets a few extensions and a set of 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch combination wrenches, at that time I also bought a snap -on top box to put them in. I still have them all and use them everyday.
  11. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    my first tool was a Snap-on valve spring compressor. I used my dads tools when I was a kid, but when I tried to install dual springs on my 351W heads, the handle on his little sporty car valve spring compressor bent. I straightened it out and carefully put it back, and called the local Snap-on guy. Still have it, and it has installed some whoppers since then.
  12. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I was using a mattock about that age...We had acreage out in the bush.
  13. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,129

    from California

    first tools I ever bought was a 3/8 drive socket set in a metal box from Grand Auto. still have it somewhere but it is not in my tool box. then I discovered the Sears catalog.
  14. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 566

    from stuart,fl.

    my first tools i bought in 1960 i had in a friends car at a hunting preserve that i had a buggy at, tools to fix brakedowns. they were stolen and when we turned a clame into his uncle who was his ins. agent he said'' you guys better grow up'', never got ny tools.i dont think that his uncle ever actually bought a pollicy for him, he was taking a chance by self insuring him, didn't want to pay off for the tools. a lot of agents do that, then wont or can't pay off.....just punched a bunch of louvers today with a 1950's press that i bought in a junk yard in 1975 for $250, used my brake i traded for in 1983, grinder i bought at estate sale 1974,drill press and taps and etc at estate sale 1975-78, yard sales & estate sales great for tools. my wife & kids will have a ball w/sale....
  15. 1964 bought the Craftsman basic tool kit. Still use it to this day and have being adding to it for the last 51 years
  16. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,193

    from Berry, AL

    First set I remember was a Sparta 3/8" socket set in a small metal box from NAPA, given to me by a second cousin and her husband for high school graduation in 1977. I too used the old mans tools, but he bitched about it so I bought wrenches as I could afford them, one or two at a time. I was planning on going to trade school for auto mechanics, but got a good paying job and never went. Only set I have bought new since then was a Christmas present to myself, a 3/8" and 1/2 " Stanley set from WalMart, use it all the time. Everything else has been acquired by buying used boxes of tools and sorting through them, keeping what I wanted and reselling the rest or buying one or two at a time. I have a variety of brands, Craftsman, Stanley, Thorsen, Williams, Snap On, Matco, Husky, as well as some off brand stuff.
  17. Started out with a few tools my mom brought from the farm after dad died. The first tool
    I bought for myself was a vise from Wards, then I bought a Ward's basic 1/2" socket set. Still have
    the vise and most of the socket set. When I started working I bought a small roll-away box
    and a real set of wrenches again from Wards. Still have the vise and most of the sockets and
    wrenches. Don't know who made them; but they are pretty good tools. Also bought most everything else there; tires, car parts, appliances, lawn mowers, etc; they were that kind place then. When Wards
    started going belly-up and got out of tools and stuff; they would reimburse me for the cost of
    Craftsman tools as replacements for Ward's lifetime warranty tools. Couple years ago, was at a swap meet and I saw a Ward's 1/2" drive socket set box for $15, thought that was kinda pricy for a box, until I picked it up and found it contained a complete unused set along with a set of deep sockets. Passed those along to my kid. For many years I had a complete set of tools at work and another set at home, now I have everything at home and still find the need (want) to buy more tools.
  18. ...I have a lot of handtools that I've owned for over 40 years, they're like old friends every time you use em,...still have my first Husky socket first powertool was a used Skilsaw power saw, ...cut the cord in two on the very first cut I ever made,....that'll make you pay better with all tools ever since.
    I got my first hammer, only replaced the handle 3 times and the head twice.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  19. frosty-49
    Joined: Oct 13, 2014
    Posts: 118


    A Bonney 3/8 drive socket set 60 yrs ago. Stolen. Hope the guy caught the clap
  20. wedjim
    Joined: Jan 1, 2014
    Posts: 420

    from Kissimmee

    My dad bought me a craftsmen tool set at 12 years old. Basic 3/8 ratchet and sockets, two adjustable wrenches, pliers, side cutters and a small hammer.

    Today things are a bit different, let's just say Snap on Loves me and I'm easily past 6 figures as a professional.
  21. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,198


    My first tools were also a few cast offs from my dad, then I got obsessed with box end wrenches that I would hunt down in junk stores. This was a few years before even getting a car.
    After getting my first car I bought one of the Craftsman tool sets in the grey plastic folding box when they went on sale, this was around 1990. On the rare occasions when I lost or broke one I'd replace it promptly so I always had a full set in the trunk. That was probably a lesson learnt from my old man's Taiwanese socket sets which were always missing several pieces, (usually the most necessary items like the 1/2 and 9/16 sockets), and were invariably very poor quality with most of the useful sockets rounded out as they were of such poor steel.
    Then I bought a 15" Chinese "Iron Bull" adjustable wrench which actually is a nicely made tool, and a Canadian Tire combination wrench set.
    When I was an apprentice I made up a pair of tire spoons which I still often use, like just last week. One of the old timers was showing me the art of working with air hardening steel, and had extra bar stock for enthusiastic youngsters to mess about with.
  22. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,663


    The screwdriver and tin wrench from the Erector set I got when I was 5 years old. Still have it.
  23. Read the whole thread and this is the best!!

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  24. Raiman1959
    Joined: May 2, 2014
    Posts: 1,427


    I was given a plastic tool kit with plastic hammer, screwdriver, crescent wrench and plastic pliers...with a 2' foot tall sawhorse...I was about 5....I remember taking them out to my dad's shop, and pounding on his semi truck front tire....apparently, I was a 'good lil' helper' because he let me do it a lot I remember!
    wedjim likes this.
  25. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 1,162


    My 5th birthday present was a hammer and coffee can of nails. Not some toy hammer, but a regular 16-oz job. First thing I did was nail a hunk of 2x4 to the floor. Fun! Dad just laughed--he'd built the house, why sweat a few nail holes in the floor? Next year I got a saw, tape measure, pliers and carpenter's square. Still have the square, and think of Dad every time I use it.
  26. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    I started out using dad's tools. That didn't last very long! When I was 13, I would mow lawn to earn money. Dad took me to Farm & Fleet and bought me a Husky 1/2" drive socket set with a tool box. I had to pay him back, so much every time I got paid, until they were paid off. The good old easy payment plan at 13! I think mom & dad did buy me a set of box end wrenches and a set of screw drivers for Christmas that year. Still have most of that Husky socket set. Gene
  27. The screw driver and hokey little wrench in an Erector set.
  28. A crescent wrench, pliers, 2 screw drivers, a nail hammer, and a ton of common money!
  29. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,295


    Craftsman 108(?) set, high school workin' at the local Gulf station, after school & weekends. Decent starter set for a kid that didn't have shit. Still got the metal box & some of the original tools. Might have been $49.95, which was about a week's pay. I'm gonna upgrade one of these days. :D
  30. wedjim
    Joined: Jan 1, 2014
    Posts: 420

    from Kissimmee

    Man, I didn't think we were counting plastic tools as toddlers, lol.

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