Old tools compared to new tools

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Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
Me too I but furniture from second hand shops etc and make them good again. They are made to last a lifetime like the old tools.

My sister does the exact same thing. Only her idea of making them good is stripping them down and giving them some wacky paint. Still, they sell okay (and she is happy enough with their new look!) so I guess I'm out of touch with my old fashioned varnish or Danish Oil ideas.

I get to see some of them when they need a joint tightened or some rounding off if they're chipped or damaged. That sort of minor repair work. I love doing that. I agree about old quality, in furniture and tools. Even the basic pieces are finished to perfection with castle and dovetail joints, beautifully grained mortise work and rebated sections which are just wonderful to see.... Then covered with something like Duck Egg Blue paint... :rant:
 

Dave Dickinson

Tenderfoot
Jun 28, 2017
53
0
Rochdale UK
That sounds like my Mrs.i came home to find our solid oak bed painted grey. I prefer oiled and waxed finish where possible but she has those dreaded home style magazine to guide her through so called fashion lol
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,484
498
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Some bumf here on DeWalt.

http://vintagemachinery.org/MfgIndex/detail.aspx?id=252

I vaguely recall, many years ago in a different lifetime for me, seeing a presentation holding up DeWalt as a successful example of a (re)branding exercise by a major corporate group.

IIRC, up to the 1960s DeWalt had made high quality tools for the trade (I think Mr DeW may have invented the chop saw?) but the company was sold and ended up just as a dormant brand in the huge US Stanley-Black&Decker portfolio much in the same way as most of the old UK edged tool makers were subsumed by Spear & Jackson.

In the 1990s Stanley-B&D wanted to launch a "pro" brand of tools and picked DeWalt as a name they already owned which had a strong, albeit historic reputation in the US for quality. The yellow and black colour for the tools was not (AFAIK) an original DeWalt colour scheme but was chosen by a focus group because of the association of the colours with site plant - Stanley tools and toolboxes are also yellow black - not sure whether this is a coincidence?

I may be wrong (my capacity to ingest corporate BS had probably reached its limit by this stage of the presentation!), but think that as originally relaunched, DeWalt tools were sold mainly direct to tradesmen by reps (like Snap-On Tools) but as the brand took off, the DeWalt name was applied to more and more tools and became just another brand (albeit with a real or perceived higher quality) in the Stanley-B&D stable.

No dog in this fight - the only DeWalt tools I own are a set of screwdriver heads for a Aldi own brand battery drill which gets used daily (mostly on wood) and both the drill and bits are holding up well so far.

:)

I realise that I might have seemed like a bit of a De-Walt Fanboi but like almost all manufacturers they produce some good tools and some homeowner stuff to a vastly lower spec.
I have a Hitachi drill driver and a impact screwdriver which I would say are good quality items but again they sell some right old tat as well.

The Elu powerplaner that someone mentioned above somewhere is a great tool. My brother has one of them but I have the much later De-walt version, same tool just updated with a round chippings port to fit a dust bag onto. Can take 4mm off in a single pass (although its more comfortable taking 2.5 or so off) and its a proper beast of a tool
Makita are a company of good repute but some of the tools they make and often sell in the Screwfix special offers are decidedly sub optimum.
Bosch Blue Versus Bosch Green anyone?

My point about this is that all these companies are competing for the same money, they produce some good tools and some not so good.
I couldn't say that one manufacturer only produces good tools (well, Hilti and Festool seem to be managing but they charge like a wounded bull) as I feel that people should have a good look at individual models instead.
Thats why I prefer to say a particular tool is good instead of just say a manufacturer, its too general.

I have a set of Marples rocket lolly chisels that I've had since about 2000, decent chisels but then I bought some Silverline ones to use as beater chisels when I'm taking windows out and so on.
Cost a tenner for four chisels and they are as good to use and hold an edge as well as my more expensive Marples rocket lolly chisels.

Silverline produces some right tat but there's some gems in amongst it.

If you follow the labels then you can end up being suckered when a company gets bought out and you blindly assume that label means quality, have a look at the tool and if someone you know gets one, try it out or ask them about it.

I work as a carpentry subcontractor doing everything from Barfitting through roofs to making shutters for concrete. I work with a lot of other people through the years so get to have a good look at a lot of tools.
This is why I try not to generalise about them.
 

mrcharly

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
3,246
33
North Yorkshire, UK
so get to have a good look at a lot of tools.
This is why I try not to generalise about them.
That's a really good idea and good to hear from someone who gets to use a range of tools.
I have a Ryobi cordless drill that is great. reverse/forward switch still smooth and positive, chuck solid, everything apart from battery is like new and slick to use despite battering and years of use for drilling wood, walls, steel, driving screws etc.
Last weekend was at son-in-laws assembling a sandpit with 85screws for granddaughter, he handed me his Black&Decker cordless drill. It was so bad I gave up and used a screwdriver. Honestly it was like a really cheap kids plastic toy. The reverse/forward switch only worked if you jiggled the chuck around, the chuck was loose on the shaft (or the shaft bearings were loose); the whole thing was crap. It was brand new and not fit to drive screws.

But then I paid £100 for my Ryobi over 10 years ago. Bet my son-in-law paid £25 for his B&D last week and thought it was a bargain.
 

Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
I got a Black & Decker Powerfile a few weeks ago. It was to help with shafting my Gedore Hickory handles as there's a limit to how much hand-filing I can be bothered with on such a hard wood. To it's credit, the arm runs firm and it has plenty of power. Even when I put the tough Hickory down to it firm, it never pinked or shook about. The only negative I would say is that the outer assembly is like a toy with brittle feeling plastics.

The sandpaper held up very well and I only used two bands for a sledge handle, two club hammer handles and a hatchet handle. I think that's impressive but then the B&D branded ones I got are not cheap, and they'd need to be good.
 

Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
I was cutting out two undersink drawers yesterday and using my Kress jigsaw a bit. The blade was well done but I only had a couple of really rough fast wood cut ones spare and finished off slowly with the blunter blade as it has finer teeth.

Anyway I went down to the local hardware shop, which is excellent for bits and pieces, but I couldn't get any of the U or Universal shank blades, just the new bayonet or T or whatever they're called new ones. I came home again and it wasn't a problem because Amazon has hundreds of older blades from good firms.

This is an example to me of old v new. My Kress jigsaw is easily thirty years old and running silky smooth. The metal label proudly says Swiss Made! I was so, so tempted by a new jigsaw while buying the older blades but held off and only ordered the blades.

I went out after that and cleaned down my Kress and gave it a few runs after oiling the head and bolt. Running beautifully and I thought for the sake of loosening and tightening an Allen key bolt, rather than swinging a keeper, why would I change to a new jigsaw? I'm happy that I decided to stay with the old one... :)
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,567
2,286
McBride, BC
"That old thing? Nobody makes parts for that, any more." How many times I have heard that.
Almost tempts me to buy a second one for parts.
Bought a Skil 3/8" variable speed, reversing, electric drill in 1975 for $100, a lot of money in that day and time.
Have yet to warm it up.

Old hand tools are experiments to me. Clean it up, carefully sharpen if needs be and give it a trial.
Thats half the fun. The other half is to use it for the next 25 years.
 

Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
Old hand tools are experiments to me. Clean it up, carefully sharpen if needs be and give it a trial.
Thats half the fun. The other half is to use it for the next 25 years.

Sounds good. I started here mentioning the Yankee screwdriver and that's an example of quality. My big 131 has put in thousands of screws and hundreds of them have been down to the screwdriver closed, tightening off with both hands firm and sweating. And as anyone who's went back to a tough Yankee driven-in screw will tell you, that's a lot of pressure! And the mechanism is as smooth and good as when brand new. I always clean it down and oil it but it has done an incredible amount of work and is in tip-top condition... now that's quality!

I still cannot get my head around why they stop making such good things.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,484
498
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Sounds good. I started here mentioning the Yankee screwdriver and that's an example of quality. My big 131 has put in thousands of screws and hundreds of them have been down to the screwdriver closed, tightening off with both hands firm and sweating. And as anyone who's went back to a tough Yankee driven-in screw will tell you, that's a lot of pressure! And the mechanism is as smooth and good as when brand new. I always clean it down and oil it but it has done an incredible amount of work and is in tip-top condition... now that's quality!

I still cannot get my head around why they stop making such good things.

Err, Yankee Screwdrivers, new from Rutlands.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,484
498
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I thought they were dead after Stanley stopped making them. That's great to see :cool:

.... and they must be selling too as they're currently out of stock. Maybe the 1/4" drive fittings are helping them become popular again?

Dunno mate, I own one but never use it. Pretty much like all the other site carpenters I know.
Doubt I've seen anyone using one since about 2003.

For me cordless combi drills and an impact screwdriver rule and nowadays impact screwdrivers are shorter than any screwdrivers other than the shorty ones so they even fit inside 300 wide kitchen units with ease.
There are a few folk who claim they are too harsh but any normal person with even the faintest whiff of trigger control can be surprisingly gentle with them*.

I do have a beautiful little Snap On hard handle shorty ratcheting screwdriver (found it in a scrap Transit) that I use for those little grub screws in door handle kits and to adjust things like door closer damper screws that require a very delicate touch.


*Well apart from an old guy I know who strips the cross out of every hinge screw he tightens and sets every plasterboad screw so deep that the board has pops but I reckon thats cos his eyesight is shot and he can't see the difference between Pozi and Phillips bits or if the screw is just set or quarter of an inch under the plasterboard paper.
 

Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
Yeah, they're a thing of the past as far as a day's work goes. That's understandable!

I couldn't agree more, I got the impact drill to match up with my 18V 5Ah Makita combi drill and for all my ideas about the combi drill being a bit big and overkill for some stuff, the impact drill drew my attention the other way round, it's so short and light but mountains of power. I used it when I was building a pair of gates and side rails for my sister's house and can see why they have such a following. A wonderful tool.

Edited to add.... I just measured them there now;

The combi drill is 206mm long and weighs 1845g. The 640g 5Ah battery makes a total weight of 2485g. Another 315g & 60g for the optional handle & depth gauge would take it to 2860g.
The impact drill is 118mm long and weighs 910g. The 640g 5Ah battery makes a total weight of 1550g.

There's a 20g weight difference in my two batteries. The other one is 20g lighter at 620g.

But the main thing is, you could say the impact driver is around half the weight of the combi drill!
 
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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,484
498
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Yeah, they're a thing of the past as far as a day's work goes. That's understandable!

I couldn't agree more, I got the impact drill to match up with my 18V 5Ah Makita combi drill and for all my ideas about the combi drill being a bit big and overkill for some stuff, the impact drill drew my attention the other way round, it's so short and light but mountains of power. I used it when I was building a pair of gates and side rails for my sister's house and can see why they have such a following. A wonderful tool.

Edited to add.... I just measured them there now;

The combi drill is 206mm long and weighs 1845g. The 640g 5Ah battery makes a total weight of 2485g. Another 315g & 60g for the optional handle & depth gauge would take it to 2860g.
The impact drill is 118mm long and weighs 910g. The 640g 5Ah battery makes a total weight of 1550g.

There's a 20g weight difference in my two batteries. The other one is 20g lighter at 620g.

I got my first electric rattle gun (impact screwdriver) a few years ago thinking I would hardly use it but its a rare day when I don't use it and its used more than my combi drill.
Noisy though.

Some stand out favourites amongst my handtools are my Veritas low angle blockplane, my Stanley 5 1/2 jackplane (got a Veritas iron for that one) and one thats the first time I saw one was like so simple but effective it was magic... Chalk line.
I have one of the Tajima ones with the very thin but strong line, knocks spots off the one's I've had in the past.
I didn't pay that much for it mind.
 

oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
2,761
1,331
80
Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
I get a buzz out of seeing some of my father's tool still being used by my son. Some probably belonged to my grandfather who was a marine carpenter. Since my son is 50 next month it seems likely that some of the tools may be well over a hundred years old. I wonder how many of todays tools will last as long.

There used to be a yankee screw driver but it seems to have gone missing.
 

Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
I was ordering some impactor bits earlier today and decided to see what the new ratchet screwdrivers are like. I've went with the Wera one which I thought was okay at £20 something.

It's only when you search around a big shop like Amazon for 1/4" screwdrivers and bits etc. that you realise just how much stuff is on the market nowadays.
 

Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
First looks over the Wera ratchet screwdriver and it seems good. I tried a couple of screws and the mechanism appears sound.

It comes as a handle only with a 1/4" socket at the bottom and you can either attach the bits straight into there or add any 1/4 drive adaptor to make a screwdriver shaft. I went for the 4" one. There's the usual amount of play in these connections but it's plenty secure and makes for a good sized screwdriver.

The handle is big enough for a strong grasp, well shaped with the mechanism ratchet in/out/locked collar at the bottom and it is comfortable with a plastic & grippy rubber feel double material finish.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,484
498
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I have a US made Stanley 5 1/2 jackplane which I reckon was made in about 1930, I'm 45 now so hope to use it at 100 years old during my career.
Currently it's got a Veritas PM-V11 iron (or blade, depending on your terminology) but I have a few laminated irons (one Stanley Sweetheart laminated and another that just says Stanley plus a Samurai brand) so have lots of choice as far as irons are concerned.

I've not tried a Wera ratcheting screwdriver yet but I think their quarter hex bits are pretty much the best out of the current crop.
Gearwrench make a nice ratcheting screwdriver as well.
 

Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
I've not tried a Wera ratcheting screwdriver yet but I think their quarter hex bits are pretty much the best out of the current crop.
Gearwrench make a nice ratcheting screwdriver as well.

Must look up Gearwrench :)

I used an old sliding tray bit set from C.K which were gold finished. They were brilliant and it had a PZ1, 2xPZ2, a PZ3 and a PH2 along with a magnetic holder which was brass. I cannot see the set anywhere for sale but it was fantastic and the PZ2, which got the most use, I only wore one of them and that was great going.

Now, I use the Wera Diamond gold finish ones. They're good. I used a PZ3 in my impact drill with 6x80's and it stood up well to that. Granted, the gold finish is away the spines are all back to the shiny steel but it's only showing a tiny amount of wear and is still usable which I thought was fantastic for maybe a couple of hundred heavy screws in an impact drill. One thing which did calf was an Addax (they're a brand from TimCo screws) magnetic holder which rounded just enough to make the bits stick in the holder and always needed the pliers. I changed over to my C.K brass bodied magnetic holder and it's still doing grand. I have the Wera Impakor bit set coming in the post and I hope it does okay. From browsing around I see there are some lukewarm opinions on these Impaktor bits, and they're definitely not as well thought of as the gold Diamond ones. I have some 50mm Pozi & Phillips coming along with the similar holder so I'll try them out and see for myself.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,484
498
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Must look up Gearwrench :)

I used an old sliding tray bit set from C.K which were gold finished. They were brilliant and it had a PZ1, 2xPZ2, a PZ3 and a PH2 along with a magnetic holder which was brass. I cannot see the set anywhere for sale but it was fantastic and the PZ2, which got the most use, I only wore one of them and that was great going.

Now, I use the Wera Diamond gold finish ones. They're good. I used a PZ3 in my impact drill with 6x80's and it stood up well to that. Granted, the gold finish is away the spines are all back to the shiny steel but it's only showing a tiny amount of wear and is still usable which I thought was fantastic for maybe a couple of hundred heavy screws in an impact drill. One thing which did calf was an Addax (they're a brand from TimCo screws) magnetic holder which rounded just enough to make the bits stick in the holder and always needed the pliers. I changed over to my C.K brass bodied magnetic holder and it's still doing grand. I have the Wera Impakor bit set coming in the post and I hope it does okay. From browsing around I see there are some lukewarm opinions on these Impaktor bits, and they're definitely not as well thought of as the gold Diamond ones. I have some 50mm Pozi & Phillips coming along with the similar holder so I'll try them out and see for myself.

The worst of the supposedly OK makes for screwdriver bits was Milwaukee. I was putting a few thousand decking screws in a while ago and wasn't even getting an hours use out of each bit.
That was in my 110 volt drill with SDS to quarter hex bit holder as I was sick of the noise my rattle gun was making and the corded drill was faster.

Bit holders wear after a while and I sometimes just tap the bit from the side which loosens them up usually but after a while they are ready for the bin.

I don't specifically like old nor new tools, what I do like is Good Tools and as I'm pretty fussy about putting them back into my van toolsafe every day I don't lose many, that means I can get good ones cos I'm not having to replace them every few years if they got nicked.
Obviously vans aren't 100% safe (even in a toolsafe bolted to the floor) but its a LOT better than left lying around on site. It does take a little more time putting them away but I keep track of them better that way.
 

Eighteen12

Forager
Feb 5, 2017
150
6
UK
After much looking around, I found the old C.K bit set that I'd mentioned earlier. It was called 6 in 1. I remember now that I changed one of the PZ2 bits over to PH2 because I noticed that it is a Wekador and that reminded me.

There's a new C.K set similar but it doesn't have a brass finish bit holder.

My Wera Impaktor bit set arrived and I've tried a few 5 & 6 sized screws into a plank of wood to try it out. The PZ bits are still perfect. I'm not too fussed on the big bulky Impaktor bit holder though. I can see the slide out magnetic collar being handy for holding a screw on the drill to reach an awkward place but for general, especially repeat, screwing I think it would soon be a nuisance.
 

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