Never stand still for long… and go see your friends once in a while…

Aug 26, 2021 | Olde Tools

I stopped in Toronto a month or so ago to see my friend Ted Dawson and to drop off some complex (not like Laplace Transforms complex) molders to him. While I was there (and you should really stop by if you like seeing piles of old hand tools), I spied this fairly rare Stanley 888 tool box down on the floor – one of Ted’s “fresh picks”… instead of Ted handing me $…I ended up handing him $.
As I continued on to my moms at Oshawa, an idea sort of framed up in my mind… instead of piling this up with all of the original tools, why not make it my household job box.
With about 1000 square feet of tool space in various sheds I struck a deal with Joanne that I would keep tools out of the house… all that messy cast iron and floor load ratings and such… I don’t really have a great basement in the 170 year old house so, if I cleaned up the box, it could be a sort of decorative piece (keeping the whole “eye of the beholder thing in mind) sitting low on the floor.
The 20” long 888 was only manufactured between 1921 and 1927. I will have to make up a small sliding tray for it. It came in four different tool configurations. The problem with completing the chest is that the tool configurations are not always optimal for what you might use now.
But-what to put in my household job box?
First off, being a card-carrying Canadian, I put in a call to Mike Twiss to see if he might have one or two P.L.Robertson screwdrivers lying around in want of use. If you don’t know it, Mike has the most comprehensive collection of Robertson artifacts there is… like he even has P.L.’s top hat… Mike sold me the near perfect red/green/black screwdrivers below. These beauties all bear the Robertson name and patent dates on the shafts.
The little back saw is a Shurley Dietrich dovetail from Galt, Ontario… despite the tote repair, I’ve hung onto it for years due to the cuteness factor.
I figured that instead of my DeWalt 20VMax, I could get by with a Millers Falls No 2 Eggbeater… and I had one with a nice Cocobolo handle… so why not!
Of course, one needs a 19th C Davis 12” machinist level to straighten out picture frames… This one has some minor defects so, it worked for this application.
Nobody wanted to buy my Cheney patent hammer, so I’m keeping it… repent while you still can!!!
The No 3 Stanley Sweetheart plane is probably the only tool that would have been offered with this chest. I decided to put my low-angle 60 1/2 block plane with it.. it’s a good door trimmer.
There is no old tool I use more than my 6” Starrett machinist square…
The folding ruler is a Rabone 1190. It is a rule/protractor/level all-in-one.
I included a locking Stanley No 18 Tee Bevel – just because they are likeable.
I’ve got to throw in a couple of Stanley chisels and a pencil…
Did I forget anything?


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