Oooops !

July 6th, 2009

Someone was in a hurry and stuffed their vintage draftsman’s rule in a suitcase.

I got the dent out and straightened it as best I could but as you can see its still got a curve to it.draftsmansrule

Parker No. 249

June 14th, 2009

What happens if your bench vise breaks, your backup vise isn’t quite perfect for what you’re doing and neither is your other vise ? There could be terrible consequences, which is why every workshop should have at least 4 bench vises, preferably 15.

I saw this one at a garage sale and just new if I didn’t get it home it would end up as a lawn ornament, rusting away in a circle of Home Depot garden center petunias.


There are 2 patent dates on the side. I looked them up and one ( patent number 808,960 ) is for the slide. Specifically, reinforcing the slide with a steel bar in such a way that no air pockets form between the reinforcing bar and the slide itself.

The other patent ( 976,521 ) is for a swivel base handle that is adjustable for either left or right handed worker.

This vise was made by The Charles Parker Company of Meriden Connecticut.

They also made lamps, coffee grinders and shotguns.

Combo square.

June 8th, 2009

In 1877 some guy named Laroy Starrett invented the combination square.

Where would we be  without them ? Probably right where we are now but  making things would be a lot harder. Where would this L.S. Starrett Co No 94 combination square be without me? Probably rusting away in the bottom of  some plastic container. The blade was bent, it was rusted and the level  was .. not level.


I de-rusted it, removed the level vial, reset it, and straightened the blade. Lastly I gave it a fresh coat of paint.



Picture above is the square all set for work.

The No 94 was made for carpentry work and the graduations are in 8ths and 16ths, unlike most combination squares with graduations as fine as 64ths. As precision tools stain, rust and are then polished, the graduations wear down making them harder to read. The graduations on the No 94 were cut extra deep to overcome that problem. I prefer to keep tools from rusting in the first place so before going into my tool shed it’ll get a coat of oil or wax.

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