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tools with memories

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mick7025/08/2016 22:18:13
524 forum posts
38 photos

been doing some work on car with kids today and used an adaptor my 8 yr old made when i was still married and had workshop.

he remembered making it and we spent ages talking about fun we had in workshop.

anyone got tools that bring back good memories?

Mick Henshall25/08/2016 23:04:13
559 forum posts
34 photos

I inherited my Gramps tools when he died in 1982, lathe,bench drill, and loads of handtools, added to by myself over the years, hardly a day goes by when I remember lovely evenings in the shed with Gramps especially when using his tools my grandparents brought me up and gave me the interest in practical stuff, I have a old brylcreem jar that has some mixture of polish/thinners in it one sniff and I am back in the 1950's, it will never be thrown away happy days indeed


Windy26/08/2016 00:44:35
878 forum posts
185 photos

An old tap wrench my Uncle gave me as a young person brings back memories of him he was a keen gardener not connected with engineering.

Many tools I have that effect my Dads eclipse saw blade setting tool brings back memories of him his rabbit snares and other country lads pursuits come to mind when remembering him.

Hopper26/08/2016 04:12:40
5505 forum posts
137 photos

I'll say. I inherited Dad's old Drummond lathe, on which I learned to turn at about 8 years old making wooden bowls and fireplace pokers with fancy handles as Christmas gifts for grandparents. Also many of Dad's old spanners and the like that were used in the shed to repair the motorbikes and cars of three teenage boys and all our mates for many years. It is special to still be able to use them after all this time. Kind of a second childhood!

I have a couple of my grandfather's old wood saws and carpenter's squares too. Wonderful old stained wood and brass items that I am sure he rolls around somewhere in mirth at every time I do a bit of woodwork. He was a master cabinet maker, and I very definitely am not!

I have most of my old apprentice toolbox tools too, left in storage in Dad's shed for decades and pulled out when I inherited the lathe. Some of them were self-made as training projects, others were bought but good quality from back in the 70s. Many a time when using one of them, even just a particular file, the hacksaw or a prick punch etc, I can remember to the word some old boy at the works telling me how to use it properly. Amazing how old tools carry that sense with them. And those old boys would have learned it in their youth from some other old boys who did their apprenticeships back in the days of steam ships and horse carriages.

Bob Stevenson26/08/2016 07:25:02
576 forum posts
7 photos

I have some of both my Dad's and my grandfathers tools that I still use along with some tools that I made when a lad...a hacksaw, calipers and punches etc that I made at school. My family all passed when I was in my early 20's so I have been using their tools now for longer than they did. When I was younger I felt loss of family acutely and picking up their tools still marked by the grip of their hands was a comforting thing to me. I still use my Dad's engineers hammer frequently but it's my hand pattern on the shaft now not his....but i still conciously 'put my hand where his was'.........

.....Many tribal communities around the world believe that tools and weapons take on the spirit of their users and who am I to dissagree? I know of several friends and practical people who reach for that favourite tool before doing a difficult task, I certainly do this and pick a particular tool because it has 'good vibes' when I have it in my hand and I'm about to start some nifty little job that needs to come out right.

Chris Evans 626/08/2016 07:40:17
1978 forum posts

My Dad was a good all rounder in the building trade so when he passed I kept all his tools. His saws and planes wood chisels etc. I still get special pleasure using them and remember the joint projects we did together. Building a boat or an ash body frame for a car restoration. When he was still alive he would always comment on what I had done around the house, checking the gap around a door I had fitted with a coin and disapproving looks if the coin was to tight or loose in one area !

Robbo26/08/2016 08:59:46
1504 forum posts
142 photos


A coin for checking the gap round a door is still in use - nowadays a 2p does the job.

Rik Shaw26/08/2016 09:00:30
1463 forum posts
396 photos

I still have, and use, my Moore & Wright engineers square which was presented to me at apprentice school in Port Sunlight fifty five years ago. It brings back mixed memories. The onerous task of using it together with file and hacksaw to produce a square in a square. On the other hand, I had hair in those days and no wrinkly bits. - Rik

Trevorh26/08/2016 09:10:02
303 forum posts
87 photos

Now that does bring back horrible memories, we had to produce that same square with in a square piece using 1" plate, they made us chisel 1 edge (to apparently teach us how to use a hammer and chisel) Hacksaw the adjoining edge to stop us using the hacksaw like a rocking chair (got to keep those elbows straight)

the 2 opposing edges where by hand file

all had to be square, then remove the centre and make a square hole again filing for ever and ever until as square as could be seen by eye

now make a square plug for the hole

lastly polish both sides and keep wrapped in an oil soaked rag for 4 years and promptly throw away


David Taylor26/08/2016 09:58:27
133 forum posts
39 photos

My dad was a diesel mechanic, ship's engineer, fitter and turner, and finally a draftsman. He wasn't particularly affectionate or hands on as a father but I enjoy using the few bits and pieces I took out of his shed when he died.

There is a 0=1" micrometer which is useful. A small engineer's clamp sees a lot of use. I even used on old lathe tool he must have ground before I was born a few weeks ago because it was just the right shape for a tricky job. The drafting pens, compasses etc are good too.

So they don't really bring back 'good memories' but I do feel a bit of connection to him when I use them. I think he was glad I was interested in these things, as long as it stayed a hobby and I kept my day job which is a lot cleaner!

Brian Wood26/08/2016 10:54:50
2475 forum posts
39 photos

My biggest jolt was when I pulled out a dusty box from under the bench while looking for something else entirely. I had to look inside to see what was there and found my father's old Avo multimeter, the small one in their range.

​It brought back many memories of the smell of multi core solder, he was a keen radio ham and one of the pioneers of the hobby going back to 1929.

It brought a big lump to my throat; he died > 50 years before that discovery.

I still have and use his two 'war pattern' hacksaw frames with round wooden handles like file handles. One is permanently set for sawing down the side of things, the other has one of those useful tension saw blades for cutting round corners


Neil Wyatt26/08/2016 10:58:47
18809 forum posts
733 photos
80 articles

I have a tiny pair of very worn pliers that belonged to the grandfather I never met, he was a coppersmith.

I also have the steel rule given to me when I was a young teenager (in those days it was for measuring up card and balsa). I have one thirty years younger that appears identical apart from the unworn corners!


Maurice26/08/2016 11:06:02
469 forum posts
50 photos

I have a small hammer that my grandfather made. The head is a rectangular block of steel. On it, he had spelt out his name, Crouch, in centre punch marks. Over the years it has become a little pitted, and it now reads "grouch". He was a bit of a ratty old b....r, and it still makes me smile when I see it.

Geoff Theasby26/08/2016 11:09:28
613 forum posts
17 photos

My Dad used to be a car mechanic (Engine fitter in WWII) and he gave me his Britool socket set. Beautiful stuff, only parted with after many years because it was Imperial, not Unified or Metric as my cars then were. I gave it to a mate who repairs old British motorbikes.


Jon Gibbs26/08/2016 11:10:47
739 forum posts

I have a 4" M&W square in it's wooden box that was my maternal Grandad's (LMS/BR Draughtsman).

Not a tool but a rusty old tin box held closed with a slice of car inner-tube with fencing staples in it that was my paternal Grandad's (Dairy Farmer).

...and quite a few wood, metalworking and building tools that were my Dad's (Bobby & keen jack of all trades).

I wouldn't part with any of them - they all have good memories.


Brian G26/08/2016 14:17:07
797 forum posts
34 photos

I have the metric spanners and metric thread, feeler and radius gauges, all carrying broad arrows, that were issued to my father, together with a letter confirming that they were a personal issue, and to be his property. I wonder if the dockyard management thought it cheaper to give all fitters one set of tools when metrication came in than to issue tools and then have to replace any lost ones?

Fortunately he gave these to me when he retired as after he died my mother would not let me clear out his shed, and years later I found the roof had caved in and everything in there was ruined. It must have made a mark on me, as I am now busily buying AF and WW tools to give my son. Perhaps I hope he will think of me when he uses them?


MW26/08/2016 16:24:25
2051 forum posts
51 photos

I inherited nothing, you learn how the world works. Only ever found a 0BA tap that belonged to someone with an arrow marking on it.

Michael W

mick7026/08/2016 16:30:23
524 forum posts
38 photos
Posted by Michael Walters on 26/08/2016 16:24:25:

I inherited nothing, you learn how the world works. Only ever found a 0BA tap that belonged to someone with an arrow marking on it.

Michael W

doesn't have to be something you inherited.

got many memories of tools i got from grandad and stepdad.

but some of my best memories are tools i made with my kids.

Stovepipe26/08/2016 18:09:13
196 forum posts

An "Elephant" brand tenon saw my late wife bought me for our first wedding anniversary 40 years ago, Sad memories indeed,


HOWARDT26/08/2016 19:05:53
801 forum posts
28 photos

Inherited my fathers tool chest after his death. Full of pattern making tools, he worked for the same company his whole life except for his time as an RAF airframe fitter for most of the war. Loads of Marples gouges and Rabone Chesterman shrinkage rules. A few other smaller bits and pieces I find useful for model engineering. The chest still has that oil smell that he brought home with him. he used too wear a greasy raincoat riding his BSA Bantam. I remember him taking me out on the back of his bike a few times to a nearby airfield that the USAF operated from in the late fifties. We would stop at the end of the airstrip as the aircraft flew over us. Try and do that these days. He had a nice wood lathe but gave it to my brother in law, he never used it then it disappeared.


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