Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics.......... #14: What's the oldest thing in your shop you bought new............?

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 03-09-2010 03:17 AM 1413 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Lumberjocks Mentored Projects Part 14 of Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics.......... series Part 15: I Cannot do Quick and Dirty a melody? »

There is no contest in my shop, and I have alluded to it before….......the oldest thing in my shop is a study lamp I went to college with, in 1959. Bought new.

Now here is a picture of that lamp…..........

......and I have said this before too, that was my study lamp, used throughout college, medical school, and beyond…....... still has the original bulbs. Either those are the best bulbs in the world….....or I didn’t spend much time studying…and that is not the case. Great lamp, great bulbs, used it today, over 50 years old! What is with this lamp and its bulbs…......anybody got an answer…..?

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

21 comments so far

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3034 days

#1 posted 03-09-2010 03:26 AM

It doesn’t use a starter and it doesn’t ust a rapid-start ballast. You do those jobs by holding the button down until the light comes on. I still use one just like it. Just older.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#2 posted 03-09-2010 03:39 AM


That’s great, and it is the case with the buttons. That must be the secret.

Thanks for coming by and viewing…..........I suspect we are in the same generation….......


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lew's profile


12055 posts in 3750 days

#3 posted 03-09-2010 03:41 AM

Newer is not always better.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3103 days

#4 posted 03-09-2010 06:46 AM

Funny how some things will last and last. Over 20 years ago, I received this Black and Decker Jigsaw for a present.

Black and Decker Jigsaw

Single speed, annoying screw to hold the blades in. I used it to cut things I should have used a reciprocating saw for. I have had two newer jigsaws since it was purchased, One died after only 3 projects and it had a dust blower, scrolling action, orbital settings, multiple speeds, blah, blah, blah. The last thing I used this crappy little saw on was at work. They had some tiles that were an inch thick that was part metal and part plyboard. They needed notches cut into it to run computer cables under the floor and I didn’t want to burn up a good saw so I put in a bi-metal blade and cut a dozen of them. This thing just will not die.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

#5 posted 03-09-2010 07:19 AM

the oldest thing in my shop is me

-- i wonder if obama stood in a wind storm with them big ears of his would he start spinning like a drill bit

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3185 days

#6 posted 03-09-2010 08:57 AM

I guess my dad’s hack saw, made in tiwane in the 1970’s. Never use it it’s junk!!!lol…

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View terry1769's profile


13 posts in 3172 days

#7 posted 03-09-2010 03:56 PM

I have that exact same lamp on my desk, handed down from my Dad. Used it just last night. :)

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3390 days

#8 posted 03-09-2010 03:57 PM

Good question!
I have an old claw hammer with the cushion grip missing. It might be a great candidate. It hangs where I won’t grab it when I want a hammer.
As Tunk Valley says, the oldest thing in my shop is me.
My 28 year old ShopSmith is the oldest power tool.

Ahhhh, so many old things, its hard to choose!


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3159 days

#9 posted 03-09-2010 04:46 PM

For sure Lew, there wouldn’t be any money in producing bulbs that never burn out.

David Craig
I have some old Skil stuff… Skil router I retired when part of the bit changing mechanism failed, although technically it still works, about 30 years old. And my Skil Circular saw and corded drill are about that age. The saw is in use, but don’t use corded drills much anymore, but it is the most powerful one in the shop.

tunk valley
The oldest thing in my shop is a brace handed down from my grandfather which is about 80 years old. But for things I bought myself, the lamp wins.

My grandfather gave me some junk hack saws also, I threw them away last year.

That is three of us then. These lamps will probably never die. Even the buttons, cord, and the arm mechanism won’t die. I think they were considered industrial items when manuafactured, and were suppose to suffer abuse and never quit.

My radial arm saw will be 40 years old next year, and I bought it new.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#10 posted 03-09-2010 05:43 PM

I guess the oldest thing in my shop besides myself and a few odd hand tools is my Sjøberg work bench which is about 30 years old. Most of my machines and power tools have been purchased over the last 14 years after I began woodworking.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3110 days

#11 posted 03-09-2010 07:48 PM

I have 2 Proxon socketwrench set one 1/4 and the other ½ some screwdrivers /saws/hammers/misc.
a bosch 400w drill a bosch sander and a bosch jigsaw the bosch in the cheap green serie
all off it has 34 years abused work and still going strong nothing have been reparet :-)
I buoght it right after my 14year party where the old folks say welcome to the adult world
and the tools have been with me trugh a dusin home renovation and misc. diy stoff
so I gess that they will be passed down to my daughter before they said enoff is enoff :-)
and that old drilling mashine with keychuck always seams to bunch right into my hand every
time there is a hole there has to be done even thow I have newer bigger/smaller and better mashines
there can do it faster they just don´t have the same appeal to my hand I gess

I have older tools but most of them have beeen gift to me so I believe they don´t caunt


View unisaw2's profile


209 posts in 3030 days

#12 posted 03-09-2010 10:10 PM

I have that same light over my drafting table, and funny, I can’t remember ever changing the bulbs either. The light is made by Dazor. I’ve had mine for over 30 years and who knows how old it is. Dazor is still made today, they make an awesome circular magnifiying light, that would be great for my bad eyes, but it’s $250.

click to enlarge

-- JJ - Northern Illinois

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3035 days

#13 posted 03-09-2010 10:19 PM

Stanley Socket set, had approx 16 years new, never even broke one yet.

Ryobi 1-1/2HP Router approx 14 Years new

of course I have bought older tools not new to me.

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3128 days

#14 posted 03-10-2010 03:23 AM

I have a complete set of Craftsman mechanics tools my dad gave me when I bought my first car (1957 Chev Belair $50 – I’d bet the tools cost him much more) about 45 years ago. I also have a 1950 Craftsman 8” table saw in good useable condition from my father-in-law, and several misc. hand tools my grandfather passed down to my father, who passed them down to me, most of them occasionally used today. The Craftsman wrenches and sockets still have their chrome finish in great condition.

Probably the oldest tools are a pair of house raising jacks from my grandfather. He used them in a house moving business in his early twentys, so they would be about 80 years old if he bought them new.

By the way, I think I still have one of those lamps I got used 45 years ago, And I know I have never changed the lamps or ballast!

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View eccentrictinkerer's profile


38 posts in 3023 days

#15 posted 03-10-2010 05:39 AM

I have a chunk of railroad track about a foot long that my great-grandfather used as an anvil in his machine shed on the family farm starting in 1894! My grandfather gave it to me when I was 14. That was 50 years ago.

It is one of my most prized possessions. My grandpa showed me how to straighten nails and I still ‘recycle’ nails from time to time.

Whoops, I just saw that this thread is about NEW items, my bad!

My wife gave me a Craftsman 3/8” REVERSIBLE drill for my 18th birthday. That was 46 years ago!

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