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My father and an old tool box Empty My father and an old tool box

Post  rsv1cox on Tue May 05, 2020 10:53 am

Dad was a tall good looking guy, Mom was short and dumpy.

I took after my Mom.

Dad was good natured and happy go lucky, popular in town as a small business man. His name was Essex which he disliked so he went by "X" or "Jack."

Mom was serious, you didn't mess with Mom. A school teacher she kept school there and at home.

Despite not liking his name Dad bought a 1932 Essex visible to the left in the picture.

My father and an old tool box Scan_237

When I was 15 I bought a 1937 Ford Coupe. Flat head V8, 60 hp that required a lot of maintenance. That Christmas Dad gave me a tool box full of tools. Probably as a defensive measure so I wouldn't use and often break his. He had a jeweler friend in town that engraved a plaque that Dad put on the box. I didn't think of it then but Dad must have had a lot of pleasure drilling those mounting holes and affixing it.

That old box spent it's early years in the trunks of Fords, Plymouths, and Studebakers. Later, mostly forgotten and unused on shelves in various garages as we moved around.

Today, tired of working in the woods I was looking for something easy to do.

I have been thinking about cleaning up that old tool box and decided this would be the day. Dug it out. Stuff in there I hadn't thought about for years. Emptied it, washed it out, dried it with a hair drier, and applied a layer of Howard Feed-N-Wax. The tools that came with it remaining are 1/2 drive sockets, breaker bar, speed wrench, offset wrench set, and an open end wrench set. The rest are missing, probably in the engine compartments and trunks of those Fords, Plymouths, and a Studebaker. A know the original 1/2" drive ratchet is around somewhere, but I can't find it. The sockets are all marked "Penens." I will be searching for replacements. Only tools original to the box will go back in.

Thought about not washing it out, I know there are residues from those old cars in that box somewhere. But I will settle for old Ford and Plymouth grease inside those old sockets which I just lightly cleaned.

My father and an old tool box P1010258
My father and an old tool box P1010260
My father and an old tool box P1010259
My father and an old tool box P1010262
My father and an old tool box P1010261
My father and an old tool box P1010263

Anyone else got an old tool box story that you would like to share?
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Post  Levent Suberk on Tue May 05, 2020 12:32 pm

Great memories sometimes can come to mind by little things. Thank for this.
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Post  Kim on Tue May 05, 2020 12:56 pm

What a cool set of parents!

Yep...your dad definitely looks like he's got it all going on!!!!!!!
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Post  Ken Cook on Tue May 05, 2020 2:47 pm

I see the plumb bob , who manufactured it?
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Post  Mark Boesen on Tue May 05, 2020 2:56 pm

Cool post Bob, i wonder if the box is a Snap-on? Here's my first toolbox (from early 70's) got it used, stamping on handle bracket looks very similar?

My father and an old tool box 20200510
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Post  DrCox on Tue May 05, 2020 3:40 pm

What a wonderful story and image of your mother and father. One just never quite knows how many memories will be carried within that toolbox from your father.
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Post  rsv1cox on Tue May 05, 2020 3:51 pm

Ken Cook wrote:             I see the plumb bob , who manufactured it?

You have a keen eye Ken.

Mom gave that to me many years ago after Dad passed away. It had significance to her.

I can't see a manufacturer on it, but there must be a number 633 that I recorded when I wrote this note. My eyes have never been that great, I will get out a glass and check closer. Note and plumb bob have been in that tool box for the last 19 years.

Dad may have been dapper, but he never minded getting his hands dirty. A builder, I have never seen a man work so hard pouring concrete, laying stone, building anything. After his second heart attack, he and a teen age helper built them a new house. The plumb bob was a part of that. Mom would chastise him for "bulling it". I can hear her now. We lost him in 1977 at age 69. Mom went on to live until almost 105.

My father and an old tool box P1010265
My father and an old tool box P1010264

Found the rock in there too. Have no idea why.
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Post  OhBee on Tue May 05, 2020 5:47 pm

Have my dads old toolbox just like that! Was working out of it today! My two tall roller cabinets from being a mechanic for 42 yrs. are in storage!
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Post  Ken Cook on Tue May 05, 2020 6:07 pm

Bob, it's a beautiful piece. Being a carpenter, I have a passion for them. The same goes for block planes.
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Post  rsv1cox on Tue May 05, 2020 6:32 pm

OhBee wrote:Have my dads old toolbox just like that! Was working out of it today!  My two tall roller cabinets from being a mechanic for 42 yrs. are in storage!  

I went on ebay Mark looking for an exact duplicate, couldn't find one but came close. Yours' is very close but mine does not have the crease on the handles bases.  

I think they were generic made then sold to businesses that put their name on them.  Tombstone, SK, Craftsman, Kennedy and others.  Mine has a distinctive triangle shaped handle on the tray rather than round and no corner protectors.  Mine has no markings at all, but maybe there is one under the plaque that Dad put on.  May take a look there someday.  

Went through 26 pages of ebay ads looking for "vintage tool boxes" before I finally gave up.

My father and an old tool box Tombst10
My father and an old tool box Tombst11
My father and an old tool box Sk_too10


Check out what's lurking just to it's right:
My father and an old tool box Sk_too11
My father and an old tool box Sk_too12

I'm sure this is the first time it has been inside an actual house since that Christmas morning in 1953.  Cars, garages, or storage has been it's home since then.

My father and an old tool box P1010266


Last edited by rsv1cox on Tue May 05, 2020 6:56 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post  rsv1cox on Tue May 05, 2020 6:48 pm

Ken Cook wrote:                 Bob, it's a beautiful piece. Being a carpenter, I have a passion for them. The same goes for block planes.

Thanks Ken, as you know, the steel tip keeps it (the brass) from getting beat up and provides a pin point indication. String is exactly as Dad used it.

I write notes for my kids so they understand the importance of these things when I'm no longer around to explain.
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Post  NEW222 on Tue May 05, 2020 10:20 pm

Very nice history and trip down memory lane there. Great to see pictures of those old tools, and sometimes I wonder if only things like them could talk and tell their stories. Nice to see you still have stuff like that around. WIsh I had something to contribute, but unfortunately I do not.
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Post  Admin on Tue May 05, 2020 11:08 pm

Great memories! I wish I had all the history of my grandparents tools and belongings. If only I had recorded all my grandpa's stories...


The toolbox may be a Penens or Fleet toolbox, sold complete with the tools. Penens registered the trademark for "Fleet Quality Tools" in 1947.

My father and an old tool box Fleet_11

My father and an old tool box Fleet_10

http://progress-is-fine.blogspot.com/2018/01/vanished-tool-brands-fleet-tools.html

Tray with what looks to have the same handle as yours:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-FLEET-METAL-MECHANICS-TOOL-BOX-W-TRAY/114207119540

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Post  MauricioB on Wed May 06, 2020 1:57 am

Hello Bob, what a great story you share here!
You have invited us to share a similar story, because here I share:
My grandfather was the one who always inspired me by doing work, in some way.
He generated my interest in the technical, some of you know that I lost my dad when I was only 5 years old, so my grandfather was like a father.
My grandfather made a tool box, from cutting sheet metal and riveting its joints, here photos in details of that box, I have it empty because my tools are on the board, when I need to transport part of them I put them in the box.
My father and an old tool box Dsc03838
My father and an old tool box Dsc03840
My father and an old tool box Dsc03839
My father and an old tool box Dsc03841
My father and an old tool box Dsc03842
My father and an old tool box Dsc03843

My grandfather also gave me a hammer and a caliber:
My father and an old tool box Dsc03844
My father and an old tool box Dsc03845

As you observed that I had an interest in the model, I make a very small drill for myself, and I use it continuously, it is fantastic and eternal. It does not need current and just by raising and lowering the central piece the drill is very efficient.
My father and an old tool box Dsc03846
My father and an old tool box Dsc03847
My father and an old tool box Dsc03848
My father and an old tool box Dsc03849

That's a picture of my grandfather at work, he was a "Caterpillar" heavy machine mechanic.
Here your photo accompanies me in my workshop:
My father and an old tool box Dsc03850

Here is a photo with my grandfather when I was 3 years old ...
My father and an old tool box Dsc03851

beautiful memories Bob brought to my mind ... Thank you!
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Post  rsv1cox on Wed May 06, 2020 7:17 am

Thanks all for your responses.

Jacob you nailed it with that Fleet/Penens ad and the two links. I saved them all.  The pictures will be a big help in letting me reconstruct the tool boxes contents as I received it in 1953.  Pictures reminded me that it came with a 1/2" drive 6" extension that I know I still have around someplace.  Will find it and return it to the box.

Also the missing 1/2" drive ratchet.  I turned the house upside down looking for it to no joy.  As I remember it would jump the lock in reverse, so I either tossed it out or put it away.  In the event I never find it I found an identical one on ebay and bought it for $10 BIN.  Several there going for up to $58,00.

My father and an old tool box Penens10

Also checked the angled boxed end wrenches.  Mine are just marked "Drop forged" but others on ebay show Penens markings.  I know they were in the box when I got it.

My father and an old tool box Penens11

I also found some Penens sockets with numbers that I don't have on ebay.  Bought them too.  They will help me flesh out the missing sockets.  

My father and an old tool box Penens12

My father and an old tool box P1010268


Mauricio, that drill is a work of art, thanks for sharing your story.

Bob
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Post  rsv1cox on Sun May 10, 2020 2:54 pm

Got in those four sockets and the 1/2" drive ratchet.  Amazing that none of the four matched what I had.  Just a few more to find and I will have a full compliment.  The missing ratchet never showed up.  Cleaned up the sockets, ratchet was clean but I oiled the ball and the ratchet mechanism.  Busted the original, pretty sure I threw it away.

My father and an old tool box P1010270
My father and an old tool box P1010271

My father and an old tool box P1010269

Edit add:

Ya know, anymore it takes me a real long time to catch on!!!

Just now, looking at Jacobs ad I noticed the 1/4" drive set just underneath the main tool box, and thought, I have something like that and the handle on the drive looks like the handle on the Penens 1/2" drive.  Did a search and found it.  Seldom used I have other grab and use sets that are newer and complete.  

Yes, drive and what sockets are left are marked Penens.  I have no idea as to how this box has survived all these 57 years considering our moves and travels.  

My father and an old tool box P1010272
My father and an old tool box P1010274
My father and an old tool box P1010273
My father and an old tool box P1010275


Have to look for 1/4" sockets now.  Returning it to it's rightful place in the tool box.

Had to copy and save that ad Jacob.  Been the best help putting this tool box back together.

Thanks - Bob

My father and an old tool box Fleet_10
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Post  Admin on Sun May 10, 2020 7:03 pm

Glad I could help Bob Beer Cheers

This is my Grandpa's toolbox he made.

My father and an old tool box Img_1612

My father and an old tool box Img_1611

My father and an old tool box Img_1610

I should organize it someday. I think much of it made it into the garage tool cabinets and other tool boxes over the years since he was retired.

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Post  rsv1cox on Mon May 11, 2020 10:14 am

That's nice Jacob, means much more when he made it himself.  I see things in there that could be in my tool box.

Suffer with me guys, I'm on a nostalgia tool box kick.

Restored the skimpy 1/4" drive kit back to the big tool box.  Got on ebay again this morning and bought some more sockets to flesh it out.  Probably will never use any of it again but I used a lot of the larger sockets on suspensions parts on my old MG rebuilds and should I ever do another...……...Used all of it on my 1959 Corvette restoration.  

My father and an old tool box P1010276

But for the last 20 years this Craftsman set has been my go-to tool set.  It's hung in at least three garages.  1/4" - 3/8" and 1/2" both SAE and Metric in 1/4".  But no large sockets.  This one I keep clean and organized, but I had to replace the worn hinge on one side with a piano hinge.

My father and an old tool box P1010278
My father and an old tool box P1010277

And while looking for more Penens tools I found this old Auger bit set that belonged to my grandfather, passed down from my father to me.  Got a surprise when I opened it.  I don't know when, but when I packed it I used dollies (is that the correct word) that my grandmother or aunt crocheted (had to look that one up) many years ago.  Guess I have more reverence for auger bits that I do dollies.  

My father and an old tool box P1010281


My father and an old tool box P1010279
My father and an old tool box P1010280

Nobody uses a brace anymore, and even for me air tools have replaced many of my speed wrenches and ratchets.
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Post  Ken Cook on Mon May 11, 2020 6:29 pm

Bob, when I was an apprentice, we were sent to a road side building. The building housed historical information and blue prints for the entire county. I passed this building hundreds of times and never even gave a hoot about what it was. Well, I was in charge of the chain gang so to speak and we had to go and build new shelving inside. This large structure made of stone and a cedar shake roof was built in the mid to late 1700's. New concrete floors were poured inside but the inside was just a bare shell having one window in each wall. This building belonged to the historical society which is still active today. I will never ever forget what we had to do. Inside was hotter than anyone could imagine. We had to use brace and bits to drill, handsaws to cut  and all dados were done by chisel and hammer. The supervisor was very impressed with all of us and it left a forever memory with me. I'm gaining on my retirement and I still think back on that day.

              I also see a bench plane hiding in the left hand corner of your roller cabinet. I assume a Stanley or Record?
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Post  rsv1cox on Tue May 12, 2020 10:41 am

Great story Ken, and I can sympathize.  I built in the loft above the garage on hot summer days, but I used power equipment not manual power.  I have used those augers and a brace because many times my drill bits were not large enough to do the job.  

But, you do have a good eye, most of that plane was hidden by plastic drawer separators.  And it is a Stanley "Handyman."

Gave me incentive to clean it up.

My father and an old tool box P1010284
My father and an old tool box P1010282
My father and an old tool box P1010283


My father and an old tool box P1010287
My father and an old tool box P1010286
My father and an old tool box P1010285

I bought it new in the 1970's I think and it helped me out of a lot of difficult situations.  Cleaned the bugs out of it, decked it on my belt sander and cleaned up the blade. Coated everything with Howard Feed-N-Wax before I put it back together.  Ready for another 50 years.

Oh ya, gave it a better home in my wood workshop:

My father and an old tool box P1010288

Fred has a bench like this.
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Post  fredvon4 on Tue May 12, 2020 12:29 pm

Bob...I know you seriously considered and vetoed a total "as new" refurb of that tool box and tools

but you are very very good at better than new remodels of stuff

my thinking is you most certainly willed your stuff to your children (son?)....would be cool to gift him as new like your dad did to you....just a nostalgic thought
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Post  rsv1cox on Tue May 12, 2020 3:22 pm

Yes, everything is divided equally between my three children.  The two daughters got the majority of Mom's personal things, so Mark will wind up with most of mine.  It will be in good hands as we share the same interests.  

But yes, first words out of Marks mouth were - Paint it Dad.  NOT!  First, it would be a heck of a job, would take a morning just to media blast it.  Then I would have to drill out the rivets that hold the fixtures on then pop rivet them back on and that would look cheap.  No way I could find exact replacement rivets and replace them as the factory did.

Besides I like it as is. One reason I left the plane mostly as found with patina and paint spray on the handle.
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Post  rsv1cox on Sun May 31, 2020 6:41 am

Just a final update.  

Added some 1/4" & 1/2" drive sockets and 1/2" drive extensions bringing the total to 29 pieces just like in the advertisement but not in the same order.  I have forgotten the length of the original extension so I bought both the 5 and 6 incher.  

All Penens/Fleet.  Stored safely in the basement but I don't rule out further use.

My father and an old tool box P1010312
My father and an old tool box P1010313

Dad would be happy.  Mark get's it after me, after that I don't know - his son isn't mechanically inclined.   I would like to see it's where-abouts in 75 years.

Bob

Edit add:

Just found an interesting picture of that Penens breaker bar trying to remove a stuck lug nut on my 1980 MGB-LE,  Went and got the air tool.

My father and an old tool box Mgb-le10
My father and an old tool box Mgb-le11

Bent it back into shape by reversing it.  Say what you will about Harbor Freight tools, but my HF breakers never did this.
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Post  Ken Cook on Sun May 31, 2020 9:38 am

Tools are similar to our collectibles. Unfortunately, many and I see it a lot have little respect for them. To answer your question in regards to their whereabouts in 75 years, I think you already know the answer. My neighbor for instance decided to work on his car. He takes after the caveman on the commercial and in fact he somewhat looks like him. He certainly has the same tools in his box, the sledge hammer and large rocks. I think that's all he owns. He asks to borrow stuff all the time and I offer the same response, if you have to ask to borrow it, you should probably buy it. I don't lend tools out.  He left several sockets and extensions on the ground which were SK tools ( I'm certain they were borrowed) . We share a portion of the driveway until it splits. I stood them up so that there was no mistaking where they were. Cutting the grass this morning, they're still there going on 8 months, very sad. If I did that and my dad witnessed that I think he seriously would've buried a foot in my rear end.
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Post  Cribbs74 on Sun May 31, 2020 4:53 pm

I’ve always put a little dab of grease on the wheel lugs. Now I know why I do it. Good heavens Bob! If you have an oxy/acetylene rig you can straighten that breaker bar out. Apparently it’s tough enough to save. All wheels lugs have a torque value assigned. Most people don’t know that and just horse them on thinking tighter is better. To include trained tire installers.

I am the jerk that ensures whoever replaces my tires uses a torque wrench to put the wheels back on.

My high school shop teacher was really strict, but he taught me a ton of info in those 4yrs of class. Best class in that school and the only one I looked forward to going to. Even though Mr. Allen was mean and smelled like cigar smoke, I really loved the guy! It took a lot of work to impress him so when he told you that you did a good job it really meant something. Now I am just rambling, plus that MG LE is gone now so....

Ron
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