Misc. Shop Stuff #11: New Connections with the Past

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 11-05-2012 03:48 AM 2055 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: A Stanley #50 in the House! Part 11 of Misc. Shop Stuff series Part 12: Atkins 'Floral' Handsaw Refurb »

EDIT: UPDATED to correct PhotoSucket shenanigans, Jan 2018. Smitty~

Went to see my Aunt and Uncle over the weekend, and came home with a very small, but important, set of items.

The white ‘blob’ at the base of the picture is a sandbag. Doesn’t seem like much, but way back when, my grandad had a real cabinetshop, and the sandbag in the picture is a third of three that I now have in my shop, stamped with my grandad’s mark. My dad gave me two, and while I was talking with my uncle, I happened to mention LJs and a project post I made some time ago that had sandbags from the cabinetshop. He said, “I’ve got one of those, I think.”

And he did. :-) How cool is that? :-)

The eggbeater is a Millers Falls 2A, with bits in the handle. Uncle said it was his dad’s (my grandad). One problem: it’s missing one of the three ‘jaws’ within the chuck.

So if anybody has a loose one lying around… :-)

The 4-fold ruler is an excellent Stanley two-footer, and it’ll go straight into the tool cabinet. Also grandad’s.

The handsaw is really something. My uncle had it hanging above a workbench (yes, it’s got grandad’s stamp on it, too), and when I asked about it, Uncle said, “Oh, that was Grandpa’s saw.” Meaning my great grandpa’s saw. First a shot of the tote.

It’s painted brown, and has a missing medallion. The space where the medallion belongs has been carefully filled with water putty. I have a spare ‘badge’ and will match the parts up soon. Another couple pics to show the condition of the business end of this saw.

The teeth are very unevenly sharpened.

And the teeth seriously need jointing.

And the picture doesn’t capture how bad it really is. Which brings me to some opine time…

My grandpa and g-grandpa depended on tools like that saw that now sits in my shop for their livelihood. And one or both of them had to sharpen it. Without the benefit of the web, or DVDs, or weekend training courses. And they didn’t do it right. But even with the rusty blade, it cut wood just fine. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but to me having tools perfectly set up in my shop matters just a little bit less. I’ll halt progress in the name of excellence to some degree, but as my dad and I say, I’ll settle for excellent more often.

I don’t know what I’ll do to remedy this tool’s condition… It may get shortened to maybe 20”, just to make it more useable. And that’ll address alot of the ‘curve’ that’s present. Will I remove the brown paint? That I don’t know either. But it’ll sit on my workbench for the next several weeks while I get in touch with my family’s past, and I’ll love it for it’s imperfections.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

24 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


9280 posts in 2261 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 03:53 AM

Nice! I can certainly relate to getting tools from grandfather/great grandfather… I’ve got a few of them as well. It’s so cool to get them back to work again. Sounds like a good weekend to me :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View ShaneA's profile


6912 posts in 2567 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 04:11 AM

Nice, your collection of cool and interesting stuff grows. Hopefully the missing part for the drill shows up.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2825 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 07:17 AM

Smitty a nice reunion

Just set and sharpen the teeth

I know my Grandfather had some saws and

chisels that were kept for rougher work, those jobs

that could damage a good tool that was used at the

bench. I keep chisels that are ground not honed for

jobs that could cause hours of work on my regular

chisels. Enjoy.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2948 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 09:30 AM

Nice to have some tools which were once put to use earning a livings for an artisan from the past, even more so when the tradesman was your granpa.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Don W's profile

Don W

18686 posts in 2536 days

#5 posted 11-05-2012 11:43 AM

nice find Smitty. That MF looks in really nice shape. To bad its missing the jaw.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bhog's profile


2236 posts in 2659 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 12:35 PM

I really like that saying.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View harshest's profile


63 posts in 2373 days

#7 posted 11-05-2012 01:47 PM

Tools that have a family lineage are a real jem. I have a bunch of old tools (Stanley #6, #71, lufkin 2’ rule, try squares, saws, hammers, Montgomery Wards miter box and saw) that belonged to my great grandfather, who was more of a general carpenter than cabinet maker. A few of the tools I have I will never use, like a Stanley 95 butt gauge, but will take to my grave since it is stamped with his initials.

I tend to agree with what you said about having tools perfectly set up or a perfect micro bevel on a chisel (which I don’t subscribe to). One of the things I tell myself when working with old tools is “Good enough for HC is good enough for me.” Henry Cyrus was the name of my great grandfather.

Here is a pic of his stanley number 6 type 11 I used to flatten my work bench. It is hard to see but the marks are HCM, his initials that he stamped on everything.

View SamuelP's profile


793 posts in 2615 days

#8 posted 11-05-2012 02:07 PM

Thank you once again Smitty.

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View terryR's profile


7117 posts in 2277 days

#9 posted 11-05-2012 02:51 PM

A lucky score for the weekend visit, I’d say!

Vintage tools from your family are worth so much more than vintage tools bought off kneeBay!

just sayin’

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3120 days

#10 posted 11-05-2012 03:49 PM

Nice Scores Smitty! They are all jems, good luck finding the missing part for the drill.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2241 days

#11 posted 11-05-2012 04:05 PM

...tis the Season to be Jolly.

It seems as though you have been visited by the ghost of Christmas’ past, [in a good way].
Your decision on what to do with their tools is a personal one and will generate the history of your family’s past. Your legacy will be rich with memories of you and your ‘quieter’ tools shaping and building their rememberences of your past accomplishments.

I have a 32”x48” Pegboard dedicated to several hand tools which were my Grand and Great-Grandfathers’ ‘Users’.
I’ve not been able to bring myself to remove the patina of sweat, sawdust and finishes of my mentors. So they are proudly displayed prominently above the bench for inspiration, where plans are drawn and morning coffee is enjoyed. They will likely remain there to be dispatched by my sons and grandsons, hopefully to remain fond shop memories.
My Grandfather’s, Grandfather Clock, proudly displayed in my Familyroom, crafted with hand tools, many of which hang on that pegboard.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View AnthonyReed's profile


9670 posts in 2409 days

#12 posted 11-05-2012 05:36 PM

Outstanding Smitty. Congratulations on your opportunity to continue the chain.

-- ~Tony

View lysdexic's profile


5254 posts in 2592 days

#13 posted 11-05-2012 07:06 PM

Good for Smitty. Good for you.

A pic of the mark per chance? I love those things.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3084 days

#14 posted 11-05-2012 07:20 PM

there is nothing that can beat using old tools that is enherit from family
though selfmade/restored comes close :-)
the sandbags is great when working on od peices you canĀ“t clamp down

thanks for sharing


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15283 posts in 2587 days

#15 posted 11-05-2012 09:22 PM

Thank you to all for your comments, very much appreciated. I’ve asked my dad to take a look at the saw and give me his thoughts on what the right way forward might be re: cleanup, restore, etc. Len, I know exactly where you’re coming from. Jamie’s thought might be where this goes, too. There’s just not much left of the sawblade at it’s end, though. So, we’ll see what ‘pop-o’ has to say and go from there. :-)

Harsh – Awesome story, awesome picture!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

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