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Thread: Your first real tool?

  1. #1
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    Default Your first real tool?

    Here's a nice story.
    http://middlething.blogspot.co.nz/20....html?spref=fb

    Mine came by way of a combined Christmas and 12th birthday present from parents, grandparents ( both sides) and an uncle who was a furniture maker.
    A Stanley no 4 plane, chisels ( Marples) 1/2in and 1 1/2in, a Disston crosscut 10 tpi saw, another Disston crosscut, 6 tpi and a Disston ripsaw, a good hammer, and a tenon ( back) saw.
    I still have all of those, 56 years later, still in use. Much loved.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    When I became a Cub Scout in first grade, Dad gave me my first knife, the first tool that was really mine. Dad then began demonstrating his genius for making almost anything a community event. Since Mom could not sew, Dad (who could sew but wasn't letting on just then) sent me to a neighbor who taught me how to sew my badges on. And he coopted the local sharpener (chef's knives, tailor's scissors, reel lawn mowers, machine drill bits, saws of all sorts) into teaching me and my den brothers how to maintain a proper edge.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    in the 2nd grade i got a CASE pocket knife w/ yellow scales, gifted to me by my dad and i got to pick it out from the display in the local hardware store down on the square

    keeping it sharp was just part of life and i have carried a pocket knife ever since(don't ask how many laws/rules i have broken along the way by having it on me)

    feel nekkid w/o it

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    I used my Dad's tools as a boy but at 28 I was a father myself, had bought 20 acres and needed a house. I bought a basic hand tool kit, a Sandvik handsaw, 1'' and 2'' Stanley chisels, a hammer, tape and square and went for it. I didn't have power on either.

    I'm still living in that house 40 years later.
    Last edited by PeterSibley; 08-01-2017 at 06:04 PM. Reason: add comas!
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Back in the '60s I bought myself a riggers knife with spike in stainless. Similar to this in form.

    I still use it.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    In those halcyon days of my youth so long ago, through grade and junior high schools we who were Cub or Boy Scouts were supposed to have our knives with us at school. Those days are gone.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Can't possibly remember my first personally owned tool. But I do remember that my dad was consistent in always letting me use his tools from a very early age. But the rules were that I was expected to take care of them and being young it took more than a few severe scoldings and groundings to learn to not leave tools out in the rain or not properly cleaned and put away. But he NEVER revoked my permission to use them even tho he lost a few tools in the process. I still have and use his old steel toolbox full of wrenches and sockets.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    I was in Kindergarten during WWII and into making ship models. I really wanted to have an Exacto Knife to carve with since the model kits usually consisted of a block of hardwood and a set of drawings. But I did not have the money for such and expensive item so I had to do with double edge razor blades that I broke in half with pliers. I then wrapped the jagged part with adhesive tape for gripping the blade. Tough stuff. When I was six, a found an exacto knife set in my Christmas stocking. I really got into making models then!
    Jay

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I was in Kindergarten during WWII and into making ship models. I really wanted to have an Exacto Knife to carve with since the model kits usually consisted of a block of hardwood and a set of drawings. But I did not have the money for such and expensive item so I had to do with double edge razor blades that I broke in half with pliers. I then wrapped the jagged part with adhesive tape for gripping the blade. Tough stuff. When I was six, a found an exacto knife set in my Christmas stocking. I really got into making models then!
    Jay
    I'm going to sit quietly in the corner now and watch the Masters of Life at work.

    My dad is 92, born in '25, he has(had-- Alzheimer's) told many similar stories. I'm always cowed. There's never any comparison.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Now we won't let our kids play with butter knives so we don't set a bad example and they end up moving on to the hard stuff, like a sharp kitchen knife.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    I think my first real tools were the pressed steel spanner, and screwdriver that came with my Meccano kit. I was eight or nine.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Got my first 'very own' pocket knife when I went into Cub Scouts.

    As far as woodworking tool, my dad had a full suite, which he graciously allowed me to use, and taught me to care for.

    It wasn't until I decided to study woodworking - which started with a 2-year course in Cabinetmaking & Furniture Design - that I started assembling my own kit. 1972. My first splurge was a hammer, tape measure, hand plane, combination square, apron, chisels, and Black&Decker drill motor. Been adding and subtracting ever since.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Its not a real tool if it doesn't have a power cord.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Ah, first borrowed and ruined tool. As a kid I always used Dad's stuff. I've always been a bit of a sloppy workman and tools tend to remain where I last laid them down.

    Mom and Dad did not approve of corporal punishment but I was the exception. As Dad explained it when I was about six, my offenses - not cleaning my room, not putting things away, ducking chores, not doing homework, sneaking out of the house at night, you name it - were so repetitious that it was obvious that most forms of getting me to correct my behavior simply had no effect. So a measured spanking would also do no good in changing future behavior but at least it was over quickly and the secondary goal of punishment, restoring a community balance of paying for a crime, was done quickly and visibly. So I was often spanked. And Dad was right. My motivations have always been so egocentric that external consequences mean nothing to me.

    So, I was seven when I borrowed Dad's brand new Ditson (Dad being away on an Africa flight which in those days meant he was away for three weeks) to go out and destroy a perfectly good pine sapling. I could not drag the tree out with the saw in hand, so I left the saw by the stump. And forgot about it.

    Dad came home and wanted his saw.

    I, of course, denied all knowledge. Which was true in the moment as I'd really forgotten all about it.

    Some weeks later, maybe even months, Dad was dragging a tarp load of leaves into the woods and happened on the saw. Now just rust.

    He was unimpressed by my tearful denials and sent me off to get the paddle that was a keep sake from his cadet days in the Pershing Rifles.

    But when I handed him the paddle, he just said, "Son, go to your room. I am so angry at you right now that I am afraid that if I paddle you I will hurt you. Just go."

    I still set all-time records for childhood crime but that particular moment of Dad's incredible self-discipline was a profound lesson.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    A good story Ian, one to remember .
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Now we won't let our kids play with butter knives so we don't set a bad example and they end up moving on to the hard stuff, like a sharp kitchen knife.
    When I was six years old back in the late 1950's, my uncle came home from a trip and brought me and my brothers each a pocketknife from wherever he had been. My Dad, being a wise man and knowing what harm I could do to myself and others, sent me down to his shop for his sharpening stone and oil. It took the knifes and "sharpened" them for us. Holding the blade at 90 degrees to the stone, he dragged the edge over it a few times, forever dulling the very cheap knife and keeping humanity safe. We didn't know the difference at that age between sharp and dull, so we were very impressed by the demonstration.

    I didn't have any tools of my own when young but was allowed to use my fathers. I took good care of them and only screwed up once in a whole.
    At age twenty, I bought my first real tool, a Craftsmen 10" radial arm saw. I still use it constantly 43 years later.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al G View Post
    Its not a real tool if it doesn't have a power cord.
    Milwaukee 10 amp 5000rpm grinder that I traded for a weeks work helping to frame a house. I was 26.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    How'd I know that !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Exacto knife set for Christmas. One handle several blades all in a fitted wooden box. I did not remember until I read Jay's post.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Circle saw. A Skil brand. I was sixteen and building skateboard ramps.

    When you're sixteen, you don't know you can't cut curves with a circle saw, so you do.

    Peace,
    Robert

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Like many, my first tool was a nice little Case whittling knife...given to me on my sixth birthday and long since used up. My dad was a dental technician (he made false teeth...bridges, etc) and always had a certain "tool anxiety" though he was certainly competent with them. My first real woodworking tools didn't come 'til I had kids of my own and acquired a set of old Stanley planes and chisels that were my wife's grandfathers. I had to re-grip most of the chisels, but they're still working fine 45 years later. One of the planes had been broken across and re-welded at the mouth, so it had been converted into a scrub plane and is a "go-to" for knocking the high points off rough stock. I have other tools I've bought, but those are the treasures of my kit.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Ah, first borrowed and ruined tool. As a kid I always used Dad's stuff. I've always been a bit of a sloppy workman and tools tend to remain where I last laid them down.

    Mom and Dad did not approve of corporal punishment but I was the exception. As Dad explained it when I was about six, my offenses - not cleaning my room, not putting things away, ducking chores, not doing homework, sneaking out of the house at night, you name it - were so repetitious that it was obvious that most forms of getting me to correct my behavior simply had no effect. So a measured spanking would also do no good in changing future behavior but at least it was over quickly and the secondary goal of punishment, restoring a community balance of paying for a crime, was done quickly and visibly. So I was often spanked. And Dad was right. My motivations have always been so egocentric that external consequences mean nothing to me.

    So, I was seven when I borrowed Dad's brand new Ditson (Dad being away on an Africa flight which in those days meant he was away for three weeks) to go out and destroy a perfectly good pine sapling. I could not drag the tree out with the saw in hand, so I left the saw by the stump. And forgot about it.

    Dad came home and wanted his saw.

    I, of course, denied all knowledge. Which was true in the moment as I'd really forgotten all about it.

    Some weeks later, maybe even months, Dad was dragging a tarp load of leaves into the woods and happened on the saw. Now just rust.

    He was unimpressed by my tearful denials and sent me off to get the paddle that was a keep sake from his cadet days in the Pershing Rifles.

    But when I handed him the paddle, he just said, "Son, go to your room. I am so angry at you right now that I am afraid that if I paddle you I will hurt you. Just go."

    I still set all-time records for childhood crime but that particular moment of Dad's incredible self-discipline was a profound lesson.
    You sound like my boys. I tried mightily to instill the notion of putting things back (at the very least) where they got them.
    Success rate was 'spotty'. Lots of enthusiasm, less follow-thru.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    Exacto knife set for Christmas. One handle several blades all in a fitted wooden box. I did not remember until I read Jay's post.
    There seems to be a trend here! Got mine at age 8 or 9. Mine was a 3 knife set in the wooden box- still have the knives (60+ years later), don't know what happened to the box!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    If anyone else uses one of my tools, I insist that it be returned to it's former place of residence. However this rule when applied to myself... not so much. I'm forever wandering my shop looking for whatever because it's not where it's supposed to be. Sometimes, not often, I'll catch myself about to absently minded set a tool down on whatever horizontal surface happens to be convenient. After a brief internal scolding, I'll put it away proper and be proud that this old dog can change. Sure......

    As far as my first tool, I really haven't a clue. But I do remember purchasing a Craftsman hammer as a young adult as well as an inexpensive set of plastic handled screwdrivers. Still have the hammer and a couple of the drivers. One is still a favorite. The hammer is just a hammer although I wouldn't want to lose it. I have a somewhat cavalier attitude toward tools. I have many and I take care of them, but they are merely a means to an end. An attitudeI think I acquired from my dad who seemed to have the same philosophy. He was an old school patternmaker who had a full shop of great tools and machines with which he produces some stunningly accurate work. But when it came to accomplishing a specific task, if he didn't have just the right tool, he'd make it. And this sometimes meant a severe modification of a perfectly good tool designed for some other task. Screwdrivers were reground, scrapers cobbled from files or chisels.... you get the idea. He's gone now and I have his tools in their chests. The perfect ones, and the re-mods. I use them daily and would never modify one as he did. At least I haven't yet.....

    Jeff

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    I grew up with my father's shop full of tools but in 1961, bought a four inch Union Tool Co. double square. I still use it everytime I'm in the shop. It cost $6; Union is out of business but Brown and Sharpe now get $65 for the same tool.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    I found my first pocket knife in a jar full of old bolts. I think it had been my grandfather's. I carried it for 2 weeks before my dad noticed. "Rob, I'm not sure you are old enough to have a knife yet..." "But Dad, I'm six, and last week, you told me I was a big boy now. And besides, I have been using it for 2 weeks, and haven't cut myself yet!"

    I got to keep the knife.

    Dad showed me how to sharpen it a few months later. By the time I was 8, sharpening knives was my job around the house, as Dad just didn't have the knack to get a good edge.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    My friend and sailmaker, Skip Elliott opened his first sail loft in West Newport Beach CA in the loft that had been occupied for decades by Omar the Tent Maker.
    His two young sons were not old enough to attend school and the loft was their playground. A sail loft is a mine field of sharp items so Skip and his wife Stephanie fitted out each of their sons with a tool belt consisting of a sharp knife and a marlin spike. This is kind of the same way Eskimo children are educated.
    Skips sons learned fast, never cut themselves and one of them is now running the loft!
    Jay

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Mora knife, sloyd type, when I was about 9. If I don't still have it I have 3 others. How I got it in Tanganyika in 1955 I don't know.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    I just picked up a Stanley #52 spokeshave, it feels like it is my first real tool.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    "You sound like my boys." [#22]

    Makes me think of John Wayne's line in "True Grit." "Reminds me . . . of me."

    When Dad joined me for sails on my schooners, he always remarked on how much better care I took of my tools than ever I did of his.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Mora knife, sloyd type, when I was about 9. If I don't still have it I have 3 others. How I got it in Tanganyika in 1955 I don't know.
    A Mora knife at 13, when I posted earlier I was thinking of carpentry tools.

    I still have that knife, 54 years later.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    One thing that really sticks in my craw is the fact that no wood or metal shop classes are taught in Hi Schools any more! In Germany the system splits those who are more achedemicaly inclined from those who have the ability to work with their hands. When I was in Germany I met many wood carvers and builders of classic furniture. I found them to be very bright and even using trig for problems dealing with angles in construction. That was in Oberammergau where wood carving is joyfully rampant! I often wish I had stayed longer there!
    Jay

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    One thing that really sticks in my craw is the fact that no wood or metal shop classes are taught in Hi Schools any more! In Germany the system splits those who are more achedemicaly inclined from those who have the ability to work with their hands. When I was in Germany I met many wood carvers and builders of classic furniture. I found them to be very bright and even using trig for problems dealing with angles in construction. That was in Oberammergau where wood carving is joyfully rampant! I often wish I had stayed longer there!
    Jay
    you are targeting an issue that ramped up with a policy that said EVERY CHILD GOES TO COLLEGE and courses not felt to promote that goal were deleted from the curriculum

    to go beyond that comment would put this post in THE BILGE if it didn't get me ousted from the forum

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    I didn't do any wood work at school but have earned my living at it ( except for a few years growing market garden ) for 40 years.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Your first real tool?

    We were able to wonder around the farm shed and use whatever tool was hanging around. Most were rusty antiques from the horse drawn farming era. With dad's tools it was always "not till your 21" but of course 21 never came. He was not very hands on practical my dad.

    As an adult and father I have the usual assortment of tools bit my first real tool is by far my Laguna 14sx bandsaw with a resaw king blade. This thing males me think and strive for excellence every time I use it. I am about to splurge on a set of Japanese chisels and being much anticipated these may be my next favorite tools.

    I have recently given my boys some good quality whittling knives in an effort to not be like my father.

    Mark

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