Hand Tools: Thrift Stores, Hock Shops and Garage Sale acquisitions

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Blog series by Lee Barker updated 04-25-2011 05:39 PM 7 parts 15037 reads 22 comments total

Part 1: Clamps and Pliers

04-22-2011 11:35 PM by Lee Barker | 4 comments »

Used tools: Often a great bargain, occasionally a spectacular bargain, sometimes a puzzle, rarely but delightfully a chance to acquire something with soul and a story to go along with it. Clamps are certainly about the least glamorous of all our toys, er, tools. But you can’t have enough, as the adage goes, and because they don’t make noise or sawdust or plug in, they don’t have much emotional draw. I’ve managed to bridge that and make it a passion to find an...

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Part 2: Squeezers and Measuring Tools

04-22-2011 11:54 PM by Lee Barker | 5 comments »

Everybody needs a leather punch. Don’t leave your shop without having one there. And if you need leather, like from a belt, try a thrift store. Usually a buck. The other three tools are for sheet metal work. I don’t know what they’re called, but the last one is a clever notching tool. I have used all three when I’ve had to add to or modify my dust collection ducting. They don’t lay well in a drawer, but when you need them, yeah, way cool. The middle...

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Part 3: Screwdrivers, Nutdrivers and Handley Things

04-23-2011 12:12 AM by Lee Barker | 1 comment »

Here’s where your knowledge of quality can really work in your favor. Most (used goods) stores dump all these together and put a single price on them. I look for Craftsman, XceLite and other name brand nutdrivers; I don’t trust the cheapies. The long shank black handled screwdriver uses 1” tips which can store under the white cap. I have a Snap-On one just like this (only shorter shank) which was given me new in 1966. This is a Cleco brand, but dead solid identical....

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Part 4: Things That Cut, or Someday Make Their Mark

04-23-2011 12:34 AM by Lee Barker | 6 comments »

Yep, it’s a Victorinox, and I paid 50 cents. It’s the pruner knife. And a beauty. A Swiss Gardeny Knife. The shears are “electricians scissors” but my former neighbor the journeyman didn’t know how he’d use them. Handy, small, and stout. Sharpening scissors is quite simple if you take your time. The wire stripper is no mystery. I like having both the smaller ones and the larger ones. The smaller pair gets a lot of use in wiring musical instr...

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Part 6: Two Cut List Holders from Lamp Parts

04-23-2011 01:57 AM by Lee Barker | 2 comments »

This is over the Chopsaw Over the Table Saw

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Part 7: Two More Task Lights

04-25-2011 05:39 PM by Lee Barker | 2 comments »

On the 4×132 edge sander, a two-tube fluroescent: These were stylish in dining areas what, 40 years ago? I went looking for one, and finally found it. It’s up out of the way most of the time, but when I need to sort through screws or bolts or brackets or hooks in the ten drawer cabinet below (originally I think for technical drawings in a classroom; I bought it from the school district at a surplus sale), I just pull it down. It’s a clever design and highly prac...

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