25 Jun

>Finally starting to get my basement (radio/small machinery/small woodwork/leatherwork) shop set up. The “wall o’ tools” is maybe half done: Interesting note, on the left-hand pegboard, the middle of the three hammers is a small cross-pein hammer of the sort still known in the UK as a “telephone hammer.” Just the thing for those late-night calls, h’mm?

The screwdrivers on that same side that run from “gigantic” to “large” are cabinetmaker’s screwdrivers, with tips that are thin for their width compared to the usual mechanic’s driver.

The Yankee screwdriver at the top is the largest size made (or was, I think Stanley stopped making them last year) and is so large that it is unsafe to store it closed, with the spiral inside the upper tube, because the travel is so far and the spring so powerful that if you happened to be looking at the workin’ end and released the latch, it’d go right through your face. Dunno about you but I so do not wanna have to ring up 911 to tell ’em I have stuck a screwdriver into my head by accident. “…And had you been drinking? Had your tinfoil hat slipped?”

At the bottom of the right-hand pegboard is a set of genuine “Spintite” nutdrivers. Not only do they have nice wooden handles and proper hollow shafts, the outside diameter of the driver end is quite small for the size of hex-whatever they fit. It’s not that the old steel was that much better but that product liability was less of an issue; you can break them if you apply too much force –but they’ll fit tight places where Xcelite’s high-quality drivers or even the super-duper Klein ones don’t have enough clearance. (If you’re buying for yourself, IMO the Klein’s are first choice, Xcelite or Vaco second — and last I knew, you will own one of the latter if you need a full set ‘cos there is one size Klein doesn’t offer. Unless they’ve fixed that).

Note that these tools, while generally kinda pretty, are workin’ tools. Screwdriver tips are kept properly ground and tools too worn to be functional go in a box to sell to collectors looking for wall-hangers. It’s kind of fun to fix an old radio or whatever using pretty much what someone would have used when it was new!

Not seen, the workbench to the right of all this. ‘Cos it’s still a mess.


21 Responses to “>Workspace”

  1. Brigid 25 June 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    >Nice to see all the wooden ones hung up for display/use. They're really beautiful.

  2. Carteach0 25 June 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    >Kewl Tools! I admire your collection.

  3. Nathan Brindle 25 June 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    >Ah…wish I had a basement 🙂

  4. Anonymous 25 June 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    >Way to go, Bobbi.Now when I break guns, I can find the tools to fix them.Shootin' Buddy

  5. New Jovian Thunderbolt 25 June 2009 at 4:54 pm #


  6. Turk Turon 25 June 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    >Wow, nice!Especially compared to the photo you once posted of your OLD basement workspace.

  7. reflectoscope 25 June 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    >Two different bit braces? Gee whiz.Jim

  8. Breda 25 June 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    >isn't it funny that out of all the drawers on that tool chest, I had to gravitate to the one with a book in it?I'm glad you posted this, your collection is really remarkable and quite lovely.

  9. Ed Rasimus 25 June 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    >Such order is the product of a very sick mind. Will you be cutting outline stencils of each tool and spray painting the shape on the board so that people will always know the right spot to return them?

  10. perlhaqr 25 June 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    >Nice.Man, now my little corner of the living room looks like even more of a dump. ;)I should work on cleaning up a bit. 😀

  11. New Jovian Thunderbolt 25 June 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    >Give her a break reflectoscope. She'll get more braces over time. It takes a while to accumulate one for every bit.

  12. BobG 26 June 2009 at 12:01 am #

    >I like the old-style machinist's toolbox with the wooden drawers; you don't see those too often these days.

  13. HTRN 26 June 2009 at 12:23 am #

    >Bob G;Funny thing about those Gerstner style boxes: you seem them more in fine woodshops, then you do in machine shops these days. Kennedy boxes are cheaper, and seem to stand up better in an industrial environment(ever seen a well used surplus rifle? That's what those boxes inevitably look like after living in a typical machine shop for a coupla decades – oil soaked, and all dinged up).

  14. reflectoscope 26 June 2009 at 3:32 am #

    >NJT – I don't mean "what, only two?" I mean "two different ones? I'm impressed that you'd have one." I'm not surprised, mind you.Jim

  15. og 26 June 2009 at 5:48 am #

    >Well on your way to having your own studley toolboxhttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/_byWnRGXY8pw/STiUtEINdoI/AAAAAAAACpw/SpqPBUi_Vf4/s1600-h/henry-studley-tool-chest.jpg

  16. Roberta X 26 June 2009 at 7:10 am #

    >Og, ye cats, what a setup! –Piano-maker, no? And a Freemason. "Only two braces," wrong. Only two on hooks (home-made, btw). there's a third, Art Deco with a 10" sweep, that doesn't have a hook yet and a fourth, a tiny thing with a 6" sweep that uses hex-shank bits in the top section of the toolbox under the Gerstner. Hand drills on the other side, one "Yankee" push type and then three cone-gear ones, of which only the largest one shows, gimlets on hooks under them, and three more hand drills, nice old ones, from small to large and one huge chest or breast drill. all of them see use both for drills and driving; on a big project, I am like to have several preloaded with the drills or bits needed(braces use bits, while hand drills, drill presses and drillmotors just use drills). No messin' around changing them on the fly! …Still hunting my stainless bevel and 16" combination square… On handles: given my choice, I choose wood. We use a lot of Xcelite drivers at work. The handles are really strong plastic, but it smells just like barf. Yuck! HTRN, I would not have turned my nose up at a Kennedy, they're nice boxes. The Gerstner was bought used at a good price and I like it a lot!

  17. Roberta X 26 June 2009 at 7:11 am #

    >Ed, I love shadowed toolboards but I only rarely loan tools; I know where they go back and that's enough. 🙂

  18. Ed Skinner 26 June 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    >And you're gonna put the reloading bench where?

  19. HTRN 26 June 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    >Oh, don't get me wrong, If I could snag a clean one cheap, I would.I just wouldn't ever bring one to work – not when they cost upwards of a grand for "real" Gerstners(They now sell "International" models that are made in China).Between the environment and what it does to wood, and how much easier it is to break into a wood toolbox(a real concern, actually), the Kennedys just win out.

  20. Jim 27 June 2009 at 3:46 am #

    >New Jovian Thunderbolt writes: "Give her a break reflectoscope. She'll get more braces over time. It takes a while to accumulate one for every bit."Thus proving NJT is one of the very few humans to understand the true meaning of, "a set of tools."

  21. reflectoscope 27 June 2009 at 5:45 am #

    >I stand overwhelmed :)Jim

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