Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

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Cubist
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu 24th May, 2018 3:53 pm
Location: Shropshire/Herefordshire Border

Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by Cubist » Sat 5th Jun, 2021 12:03 pm

Whenever I see a new addition to the Top Tools thread I have to take a look to see what particular piece of kit has prompted someone to contribute. In that sense the thread can be rather like a shop window in which I might find new some solution to a problem I may or may not have right now. But... as the boy scouts among us will advise - its good to be prepared.

It also brings to mind the time my brother threw himself down on the floor kicking and screaming because he was being dragged away from the shop display of all the - as he put it at the time - shiny things! by his very embarrassed grand-daughter. :oops:

The real thrust though of this post, and maybe the thread of members tales that follows, is the tools we have acquired over the years that, for many of those years have lain around in the shed gathering dust and rust having only ever been used once - or maybe not at all - but we have never got around to donating to a charity shop or otherwise consigned to the clutter collections of friends and family.

Truth be told there have been many occasions on which, as I have hunted through the infrequently inspected boxes, drawers, shelves and other handy receptacles, for some, at the time, much needed implement, I have come across an old - and irrelevant to the immediate mission - acquisition of mine that has somehow defied further opportunity for use but has somehow survived my rare purges.

On occasion though my determination to hold on to such apparently useless treasures is vindicated and that long ago acquisition gets a new chance at glory and comes to my rescue in an hour of need for precisely the purpose for which it was intended. The most recent example is a tool that has inhabited the nether regions of my much abused 'engineering' tool box for the best part of 40 years having been used only once when it was brand new. Having helped me then to complete an essential repair to a Mark IV Cortina it found its way back into the tool box to gather dust. Very recently though it came riding over the hill when I managed, rather effortlessly, to seize the engine of my ride on brush cutter which resulted in a full engine strip down and re-build.

The tool in question?

A simple device consisting of a length of turned hardwood with a sucker on each end - a Valve Lapping/Grinding Stick.

Sadly, I have not found a use for its mate, a valve spring compressor, purchased at the same time. :(

Anyone else with a 'shiny' or one use tool thats haunted their tool box?

Flyfisher
Posts: 9925
Joined: Sat 14th Oct, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by Flyfisher » Sat 5th Jun, 2021 12:22 pm

Cubist wrote:
Sat 5th Jun, 2021 12:03 pm

The tool in question?

A simple device consisting of a length of turned hardwood with a sucker on each end - a Valve Lapping/Grinding Stick.

Sadly, I have not found a use for its mate, a valve spring compressor, purchased at the same time. :(

Anyone else with a 'shiny' or one use tool thats haunted their tool box?

I have one of those (and a matching tin of valve grinding paste), though in my case it falls into the category of never used - or should that be 'not yet used'?

I bought it while assembling the things I needed to replace the failed head gasket on my vintage tractor and thought that while I had the head off there might be other things that needed attention. It turned out to be a far simpler job than I anticipated and the valves required no attention at all. Even the tappet clearances were OK after nearly 50 years.

So it remains in a workshop drawer, patiently waiting for its day to come :D

a twig
Posts: 745
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Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by a twig » Sat 5th Jun, 2021 12:56 pm

Oooh vintage tractor you say? I have recently accidentally become the owner of a Gunsmith - although potentially one with gearbox issues so I probably paid too much for it.

I’m also wondering how much I would upset the purists by grafting a proper 3 point linkage on the rear :twisted:

Flyfisher
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Joined: Sat 14th Oct, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by Flyfisher » Sat 5th Jun, 2021 6:03 pm

I'd not heard of a Gunsmith but a quick search revealed it to be from the 1950s. An interesting looking machine though and possibly more closely related to my Wrigley Truck, which is in dire need of restoration. Makes my 50-year old Massey Ferguson 135 a bit of a youngster.

I wonder how many other PPUKers are also hoarding old machinery?

Feltwell
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Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by Feltwell » Sat 5th Jun, 2021 7:43 pm

A valve lapping stick? Yep, got one of those, not used it for a few years but have used it - in conjunction with my valve spring compressor! It's one of those tools that when you need it, you need it, but that could be once in 20 years! I always like the fact that my double-ended tin of "Chemico" valve grinding paste seems to have escaped the clutches of a marketing department since the 1930's.

https://www.toolstoday.co.uk/grinding-p ... gJ3KPD_BwE

Tools not used - hmm, quite a few, or more accurately not used any more, it tends to be things that get superseded but then I never get rid of the old one! Plus, about 20 years ago I worked at B&Q's head office, which was a good source of free samples....

1/3rd sheet sander - not used since I bought a random orbit sander. Now I've bought a better random orbit sander, I should get rid of them both.

Corded circular saw - hardly gets used since I bought a cordless, plus I've got a track saw.

Hot glue gun - just never seem to have a need for it.

Powered scraper someone gave me - just never used it, and I've got an oscillating multitool now that would do the same job.

Corded drill - cordless are so good now, just never have a need.

TCT core drills - bought a diamond core set which is vastly superior! Only keeping it just in case I ever need an odd size.

An old clothes iron, kept for iron-on board edging - but I never use iron on board edging!

i must have loads of little gizmos that haven't been used in a long time. Trouble is though, get rid of something that you've not used in 20 years, I guarantee you'll need it within 6 months......

DJH
Posts: 1520
Joined: Tue 30th Oct, 2012 1:29 pm
Location: Co Tipperary Ireland

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by DJH » Sat 5th Jun, 2021 11:05 pm

Yep, I'm hoarding Flyfisher. Everything and anything. Most prized and useless being the 3 plastic bags of shaving brush handles :roll:

Gothichome
Posts: 221
Joined: Sun 13th Jan, 2019 12:35 am

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by Gothichome » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 2:16 am

DJH wrote:
Sat 5th Jun, 2021 11:05 pm
Yep, I'm hoarding Flyfisher. Everything and anything. Most prized and useless being the 3 plastic bags of shaving brush handles :roll:
Well that’s going to be a hard one to beat.
I have a self pumping paint roller on a stick sitting in the Basement. You put your paint can in a container and secure this pumping lid, it is supposed to pump the paint up to the roller for painting ceilings. What a waste of time.

a twig
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by a twig » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 7:03 am

Flyfisher wrote:
Sat 5th Jun, 2021 6:03 pm
I'd not heard of a Gunsmith but a quick search revealed it to be from the 1950s. An interesting looking machine though and possibly more closely related to my Wrigley Truck, which is in dire need of restoration. Makes my 50-year old Massey Ferguson 135 a bit of a youngster.

I wonder how many other PPUKers are also hoarding old machinery?
Yup mine is one of the real early birds - 1949 with a thumping Briggs and Stratton ZZ engine on. They basically took a walk behind Plowmate and grafted a third wheel and a seat on! If it worked it would be surprisingly practical as the turning circle is excellent with individual braking for each rear wheel. Was planning to use it for a bit of logging and to plough and harrow our vegetable “patch” but we are a way off yet. And needing 6.00 x 22 unobtainable tyres doesn’t help 😂

There is part of me that really wants to strip it back, remove the knackered running gear and just convert it to electric though :twisted: :twisted:

a twig
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by a twig » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 7:22 am

Getting back on topic I have quite a few rarely used tools:

I have far too many hatchets and axes than I could possibly need.

A set of core drills as I had to put in an extractor 8 years ago - did one 150mm hole and never used since.

Set of very large spanners to remove Land Rover viscous fans - used once 10 years ago - don’t even have Land Rovers anymore!

I have my great grandfathers brace and bit set - last used in the 90s as cordless drills etc came along - definitely won’t be getting rid though!

88v8
Posts: 2876
Joined: Wed 15th Jun, 2011 7:01 pm
Location: Glorious Gloucs

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by 88v8 » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 10:13 am

a twig wrote:
Sun 6th Jun, 2021 7:03 am
..... needing 6.00 x 22 unobtainable tyres doesn’t help
Mmm, and I see that even seven years ago that was a problem... https://www.vhgmc.co.uk/forums/topic/6- ... ner-tubes/
However, one can at least buy the tubes https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/tyres/600-22.html for only £77 each.

Tools... I always buy tools rather than hiring. I have an electric hoist, used for one job, then it went under the bench.

Recently I bought an air compressor, 50 litre tank, to do a job on the car engine, but when I was finished I sold it again, which was a first for me. Ebay both ways, net cost £1.

The most useless tool, I bought at a craft fair perhaps thirty years ago, an auto screw driver for use in a drill. It grips the screw in a sort of ball bearing arrangement, drives it to an automatic countersink without predrilling then releases.
Or at least, it did at the craft fair. And still would with a certain length of screw in precisely the right density of wood :? It also snaps screws off neatly where the thread joins the shank.
I came across it the other week and nearly threw it out.

Ivor

Flyfisher
Posts: 9925
Joined: Sat 14th Oct, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by Flyfisher » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 11:45 am

Feltwell wrote:
Sat 5th Jun, 2021 7:43 pm
I always like the fact that my double-ended tin of "Chemico" valve grinding paste seems to have escaped the clutches of a marketing department since the 1930's.

https://www.toolstoday.co.uk/grinding-p ... -ended-tin
Yes, I was amazed when I bought a tin of the stuff (still unused!) as I'd never seen a double-ended tin before.

Is it unique I wonder or has anyone ever seen other products packaged in this way?

Flyfisher
Posts: 9925
Joined: Sat 14th Oct, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by Flyfisher » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 12:26 pm

a twig wrote:
Sun 6th Jun, 2021 7:22 am
I have my great grandfathers brace and bit set - last used in the 90s as cordless drills etc came along - definitely won’t be getting rid though!
I can't do 'great', but I do have my grandfather's toolbox - a substantial wooden case, probably purpose made, containing various old screwdrivers, hammers, bicycle tyre levers etc. None of them particularly special and I can't imagine I'll ever use any of them but I also can't imagine getting rid of them because . . . well, they were my grandfathers, which is a good enough reason.

I guess this is how hoarding begins - any old excuse to keep something! :lol:

RBailey
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu 1st Aug, 2019 7:25 am
Location: Rutland

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by RBailey » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 8:24 am

I have a large* amount of car related tools.
(*enough to run race teams which I what I used to do for fun)

Sadly the to do list on the house precludes and time messing around with cars so sadly the tools all sit patiently in the garage waiting for the day.
I just hope I can get the house done before I am to told to drive :shock:

Cheers,
Richard B.

paulc
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat 22nd Oct, 2016 7:05 pm

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by paulc » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 10:10 am

Got a couple of lathes & mills in the garage that I haven't used for a very long time. Loaned the VFD (a single phase to three phase convertor) out to a friend which has prevented me from firing up most of the machines. The smallest lathe gets the occasional use trimming bolts & stuff to length, so not completely wasted.

DJH
Posts: 1520
Joined: Tue 30th Oct, 2012 1:29 pm
Location: Co Tipperary Ireland

Re: Tools or Toys or Useless Treasures

Post by DJH » Tue 8th Jun, 2021 9:36 pm

I have a walking stick which is quite useful both for getting around and, if you pull up the extension on the handle, for measuring the height of horses. Not much use to me though as I have donkeys...

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