1. Welcome to Homesteading & Country Living.
    We are glad you came to visit.
    Dismiss Notice

Machine Tools

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Peanut, Oct 30, 2019.

Help Support Homesteading Forum by donating using the link above.
  1. Oct 30, 2019 #1

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,095
    Likes Received:
    17,700
    I’ve been waiting for years for my elderly dad to go through and oil some of his tools. He was a Tool & Die maker for 30 years. For most of it he had a crew of 25 working for him. Today I just let dad talk, didn't interrupt. He talked about the way he remembered his tools, what was important about them... stories he remembered.

    I worked at his shop for a year or so. I’d been an industrial welder for Pullman Std building train cars, box, tankers, hoppers etc. I believe in ’80 the US steel industry died over the course of a few months (thanks jimmy carter for putting 40K other guys and I out of work just in Birmingham).

    I did a lot of welding at the shop. He had contracted to rebuild a long wall miner out of West Virginia. Yet dad invariably made sure I got a month or so on every machine in the shop, CNC, presses, milling machines etc.

    Most of dad’s tools were made by Brown & Sharpe during their post WW2 heyday. The company was around since 1833 and helped establish many industry standards used today, like AWG wire standards. They also made quite a few tools used in the US weapons industry since before WW1.

    He had cases (and more cases) of metal blocks and pieces with holes drilled in, radii cut in blocks etc.… All were built by my dad, finished to within 1/1000th of an inch and heat treated. These were all used to facilitate building Die’s. He had a very nice selection of purchased tools also.

    It was nice today to see and handle a few of these. Haven’t seen them in years, a nice walk down memory lane. I thought some of you might enjoy seeing a few of these old tools.

    These tools weren’t used for gunsmithing way back when but… doesn’t mean they couldn’t be.

    First up are Mic’s… For measuring any size up in 6 inches in diameter. The mic in the black foam/blue case is special. It can measure 100/10,000ths of an inch or measure 1/10th of 1/1000ths of an inch. My mind is a little slow today, maybe someone can check my math or put this in terms comparable to a human hair.

    p dads tools ( 6)_v1.jpg p dads tools (13)_v1.jpg

    This tool I used quite a bit years ago. It was for scribing a circle in a block of steel up to 24 inches in diameter, of course, within 1/1000th of an inch in accuracy. Actually, I could scribe 2 different circles at the same time.

    p dads tools (14)_v1.jpg

    This caliper measures inside or outside thickness/diameter up to 24 inches, again a precision tool.

    p dads tools (14)a_v1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    hiwall, Bacpacker, Sentry18 and 2 others like this.
  2. Oct 30, 2019 #2

    backlash

    backlash

    backlash

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes Received:
    12,414
    Location:
    Dry and sane side of Washington
    Tools like those are worth their weight in gold and the people that know how to use them are priceless.
    My Dad was a machinist for a few years back in the late 50s early 60s. He worked at the Olympic Foundry in Seattle. I can remember going there as a kid and I was amazed at the place.
    They are still there and I would see them every day when I rode the commuter train to work.
    http://spg.olympicfoundry.com/
     
    Peanut, phideaux and Bacpacker like this.
  3. Oct 30, 2019 #3

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,977
    Likes Received:
    13,401
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    I have and do own a few precision measuring tools. Micrometers up to 6 inches although I have use micrometers that were up to 12 inches in a shop I worked at. I have depth micrometers bore micrometers and dial indicators that read to .0001". (tens for 1 ten thousandths of an inch) vernier and dial calipers, snap gauges and more. I still use them occasionally but they mostly sit in a drawer until I am doing work that requires precision. I have just one optical comparator left out of a five piece set. I have an original Brown and Sharps wire gauge that later became the AWG standard and a similar aged sheet metal gauge.
    Those tools are a necessity when doing work that require that level of precision.
     
    phideaux and Bacpacker like this.
  4. Oct 30, 2019 #4

    Bacpacker

    Bacpacker

    Bacpacker

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Messages:
    3,161
    Likes Received:
    13,422
    Location:
    East Tn
    Nice tools there Peanut. Being a certified tool whore I enjoy seeing those. Even the brown Kennedy tool box.
    I got to do a little machine work at times in a couple of past jobs. Mostly self taught and wasn't near good enough for that kind of tolerance. But it was enjoyable. Folks that can make items to that tight of a spec are few and far between anymore. Now it all programmable CNC machines, or even trending more to 3D printing. I haven't saw it yet, but suposedly our machine shop at work has or is getting a printer that will print stainless steel parts. I just can't imagine.
     
    Peanut and phideaux like this.
  5. Oct 30, 2019 #5

    phideaux

    phideaux

    phideaux

    Spectator of Life Neighbor

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    6,587
    Likes Received:
    35,822
    Location:
    West Ky
    @Peanut , those are very nice tools.
    Very expensive to replace my
    Don't ever let them getaway.

    I wish I had some just to show off.

    Jim
     
    Bacpacker and Peanut like this.
  6. Oct 30, 2019 #6

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,095
    Likes Received:
    17,700
    @phideaux Nope, not going to let them go for any reason. He only went through 2 tool boxes and one small cabinet today... still quite a bit to go yet...

    A few of the tool boxes and cabinets have paint peeled/knocked off in spots. Tonight I bought sand paper/primer/paint to do some touch-up work. A nice winter project.

    @Bacpacker I worked with the first CNC machine that shop had, fast, quick, none of the old machinists liked it...
     
    phideaux and Bacpacker like this.
  7. Oct 30, 2019 #7

    hiwall

    hiwall

    hiwall

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    12,122
    Location:
    White Mountians AZ
    I still have all the tools from when I was gunsmithing. I use very few of them now. I bought way more tools than I ever needed.
    It's always great to see someone else who likes good tools.
     
    phideaux, Bacpacker and Peanut like this.
  8. Oct 30, 2019 #8

    backlash

    backlash

    backlash

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes Received:
    12,414
    Location:
    Dry and sane side of Washington
    I have a Sterrett dial micrometer that was used to align X-Ray tubes on GE CT scanners. It also included the magnetic base and mounting arm.
    The shop supervisor had marked it for the trash and I saved it.
    I have used it on a couple of occasions.
     
    phideaux and Peanut like this.
  9. Oct 30, 2019 #9

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,095
    Likes Received:
    17,700
    @backlash I have a few starretts from my CT days also. Funny I found them today in tool cases I was going through... One was sticking, always had.

    Dad with his gift with tools had it working fine in about 10 minutes...

    I've gone through about half my tool cases, cleaned/scrubbed them good... then left them out side for the rains to give them another good washing yesterday and last night... (got the carpets in though).

    I don't remember who I went to work for when they gave me a top of the line Xcelite tool case. Late 80's early 90's Xcelite's were top of the line for professional electronics tool kits. This case was leather, inside and out, all metal parts were brass plated, it was the prettiest tool case I ever owned. It was even nicer than my leather brief case and I spent $150 on it! Here it is in all it's ugly glory. I'm saving it for last. It'll take me a week to clean the leather! :(

    I some how ended up with 3 Xcelite tool kits, the other 2 were hard shell cases... The dark one on the left in the second pic is an Xcelite.

    Yes @Bacpacker I'm a certified tool whore also...

    More cleaning for me... 3 more cases, 2 of the more modern canvas cases and a cabinet... And ALL the tools that I have... Big cleaning project just in time for winter! :)

    Xcelite_v1.jpg z tool box_v1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    Bacpacker and phideaux like this.
  10. Oct 31, 2019 #10

    Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon

    Malinois' are awesome. Neighbor

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,439
    Likes Received:
    5,715
    Location:
    The Wolverine
    I too am a tool whore, lol. I have a few precision instruments, although I struggle to use them sometimes. Mine are used mostly for engine building, so that I can blueprint the process.
     
    Bacpacker, Peanut and phideaux like this.
  11. Oct 31, 2019 #11

    VirginPrepper

    VirginPrepper

    VirginPrepper

    Awesome Friend Neighbor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    1,736
    I served an 8,000 hour apprenticeship to become a Journeyman Machinist back in the 60's. It was a useful foundation for the rest of my life.
     
    Bacpacker and phideaux like this.
  12. Oct 31, 2019 #12
  13. Oct 31, 2019 #13

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,095
    Likes Received:
    17,700
    It must have been a market test run by region… My Xcelites had full sets of screwdrivers (10 or 12) and about that many nut drivers. Say they were a subsidiary of Jensen? A couple of sites I had were stocked with Jensen named kits, good tools. We had two large "gang boxes" for installations or major upgrades, they were stocked with Jensens. The engineer would be shipped a gang box containing any thing they could possibly need. (tool boxes like the picture below w/casters). I had a company account at graingers in my name. I had to keep field service, tech support and installation crews stocked with tools and keep all of it inventoried, a big paperwork pain. o_O It also meant I was the first to get my hands on the really neat tools. ;)

    The inventory stuff was added duty, they finally hired a pencil pusher to take care of it... It had it's perks while it lasted.

    Funny thing going through all my tool cases and boxes at home now… I found tools that were missing so long I forgot about them, figured they were lost so I replaced them many years ago… Guess that’s what I get for moving from state to state so many times… Tools get packed up for a move but not all are ever unpacked.

    I do need to consolidate boxes and cases. I only need one portable case set and bag sets for my vehicles. I need a quality lockable cabinet for all the rest, those things are pricey. Maybe I can find an auction, about the only way I can afford one.

    Joy box....jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    Bacpacker likes this.
  14. Oct 31, 2019 #14

    backlash

    backlash

    backlash

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes Received:
    12,414
    Location:
    Dry and sane side of Washington
    When I worked at the airport another company had one of those job boxes delivered. It had everything they needed to do an install of some equipment.
    Nobody had a key, not even the guy that locked the box. They had to use a cutting torch to get in. They found the key inside the box.
     
    Peanut and Bacpacker like this.
  15. Oct 31, 2019 #15

    Bacpacker

    Bacpacker

    Bacpacker

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Messages:
    3,161
    Likes Received:
    13,422
    Location:
    East Tn
    Not sure what kind of boxes your looking for Peanut, but for a mechanics type box Harbor freight sells some decent cheap boxes from 26" up to 72". Wife got me a 44" bottom for Christmas a couple years ago to replace my old Craftsman I got in 1973. I also like these boxes a lot.
    https://www.strictlytoolboxes.com/extreme-toolboxes.html

    If I used my tools everyday, that's probably what I'd go with.

    TV shop I worked at had 2 Xcelite leather cases for the service trucks. They were outfitted very nice. When I left I ended up getting a Plano tackle box to use as a electronic box for the house. Still use it 30 years later for personal use.
     
    Peanut likes this.
  16. Oct 31, 2019 #16

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,977
    Likes Received:
    13,401
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    Here is the only picture I have of the two roll cabs and one of the top boxes. The press was mounted to the bench I made after building the shop
    Arbor Press.JPG
    I built a total of eight benches. The drawers were added later.
     
    Bacpacker likes this.
  17. Oct 31, 2019 #17

    Bacpacker

    Bacpacker

    Bacpacker

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Messages:
    3,161
    Likes Received:
    13,422
    Location:
    East Tn
    Nice old boxes you have there SD. My current top box is a MAC circa 1979. Still a good box, just kinda outgrown it now.
     
  18. Oct 31, 2019 #18

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,977
    Likes Received:
    13,401
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    Bacpacker,
    That MAC box was purchased before 1996 because I bought it while working at the Caterpillar dealer. I was there for 9 years. Some of the tools I've had since I was 16 years old. I bought my first set of Snap-On universal sockets to remove transmissions at the shop I was working. I had to get a work permit to go to work and I rode my bike to and from work every day.
     
    Bacpacker likes this.
  19. Nov 1, 2019 #19

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,095
    Likes Received:
    17,700
    I put combination locks on out gang boxes. :D
     
  20. Nov 1, 2019 #20

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,977
    Likes Received:
    13,401
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    Peanut, do you do any gunsmithing?
     
  21. Nov 1, 2019 #21

    Bacpacker

    Bacpacker

    Bacpacker

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Messages:
    3,161
    Likes Received:
    13,422
    Location:
    East Tn
    I've still got what Snap on and Mac tools from back in the day. Other than snapping a 10mm socket and a rachet failing, they have been flawless. I really like their wrenches, nothing else felt quite as good in the hand. I worked at a Lincoln and Datsun dealership at different times, then a couple of independant garages at 18-20. Married my ex during that time and listened to her way too much and changed fields. The skills helped in my career in industrial maintenance.
     
    phideaux and Peanut like this.
  22. Nov 1, 2019 #22

    Spikedriver

    Spikedriver

    Spikedriver

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    1,908
    Likes Received:
    7,953
    Location:
    Midwest
    @Peanut we mount those "Jobox" coffin boxes on our track maintenance machines at work. They're worth every penny...
     
    Bacpacker and Peanut like this.
  23. Nov 1, 2019 #23

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,095
    Likes Received:
    17,700
    @Spikedriver Jobox wasn't the brand we used back then but the general style was the same. I bought them from Graingers. They were just a big lockable box that held everything but the kitchen sink. Ours had casters on them and channels for a forklift and were a bit bigger if I remember correctly.

    During that time my company was opening a series of "Heart Scan" Clinics around the country to promote our technology, which was a CT designed for scanning the human heart noninvasively. We had to go in before the contractors were finished with the clinic itself who would usually leave us an electrician for a week or so, then we had to work out the punch-list with the architect. ($%#^ architects)

    After that I (or coworker) would get to the real business of installing the system, might take 2 months.

    Funny, I'd even stock the gang box with a fax/phone as real phone service didn't get turned on until right before the clinic opened. We needed a phone and fax from day one so we were adept at tapping unused phone lines in a building. ;)

    This guy was in serious need of a by-pass... calcium everywhere.

    ImaCAS03.jpg

    @SheepDog My only concern for this thread were quality tools that might be used in gun smithing among other things. I have no time for a new skill like gunsmithing and no wish to learn. I'm sure there are other threads already on that topic.

    Edit... Shocked! I was just on the web checking tool prices... A good Jensen kit like we used to carry goes for around $1K, the prices for professional kits started at $800 and went up to $1300...

    Are they gold plated now? o_O
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
    Bacpacker likes this.

Share This Page