Old tools salvaged from my Grandparent's houses

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

hughcollier

Established Member
Joined
28 Nov 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
9
Location
Cardiff, UK
My parents are currently in the process of clearing out my Grandparent's houses (both sets) as they are both currently on the market and will be sold soon and I asked for any tools to be sent my way before they got chucked out.

I am now in possession of an assortment of old tools, boxes and tins that I need to sort through and decide what to keep and what to bin. I'm going to need to be fairly ruthless just because I don't have space for it all (there are boxes and boxes of stuff) and lots of it is either low quality or rusted beyond repair - how many rusty old hammers and axes does one man need, after all! (See attached images)

There are loads of general DIY type items, plasterer's trowels, crowbars, spanners, pipe clamps, rusty old pulleys, gas stoves and god knows what else - but also a few specific wood working type tools as well.

Photo 06-08-2021, 16 58 31.jpg

Photo 07-08-2021, 09 08 28.jpg


Some stuff is I think really old and belonged to my Great Grandfathers and other stuff is much newer. I'm hoping that I'll be able to clean the saws up a bit and get them working nicely again. The tenon saw seems to cut really well already. The square is out of square but the brass reference edge screws out so I'm hoping I might be able to sort that out. The leather mallets look very old indeed (I wonder if there is any hope for restoring one of them?) There is also a couple of hand drills and bits too.

Photo 07-08-2021, 09 53 29.jpg


There is also this box, which although fairly rough in finish bares the name of my Great Grandfather and so has sentimental value and must be pretty old. The key is present and the lock still works. It definitely needs some attention and I definitely want to keep it but unsure what to do with it really. Maybe just some wax?

Photo 06-08-2021, 21 17 32.jpg
Photo 07-08-2021, 10 27 13.jpg
Photo 06-08-2021, 16 58 15.jpg


There are also a couple of planes, both feel low quality and are in terrible shape but I discovered something interesting about the one with the odd handle while trying to find out a bit more about it.

Apparently, despite its name, "The Boston" was made in Bridgend, South Wales by Thomas Machine Co Lt and distributed by “Welsh Industries” (Bridgend)”.

After WWII Llandow airfield was used to decommission many no longer needed aircraft, one of which was the Boston Bomber. So it's likely that it got it's name from the fact that the raw material (aluminium!) came from smelted down Boston Bomber aircraft! Given that I'm from South Wales myself and yet both my Grandparent's houses were in Liverpoolol I find it fascinating that this little old plane has made it's way back down here and although I doubt it will ever make much of a useful tool (aluminium!?), I may try and clean it up anyway just because I like the story behind it.

Photo 06-08-2021, 16 58 53.jpg
Photo 07-08-2021, 09 11 24.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Photo 06-08-2021, 17 02 10.jpg
    Photo 06-08-2021, 17 02 10.jpg
    203.5 KB · Views: 65
  • Photo 06-08-2021, 16 58 00.jpg
    Photo 06-08-2021, 16 58 00.jpg
    214.5 KB · Views: 63

clive griffiths

Established Member
Joined
12 Aug 2020
Messages
87
Reaction score
13
Location
south wales
Hi.

Interesting about llandow as I live near Pontyclun, the saw next to the black knight used to come as a kit with various blades , some of them tools would still be usefull.
Clive.
 

robgul

Barry Bucknell is my hero
Joined
13 Feb 2020
Messages
838
Reaction score
513
Location
Stratford-upon-Avon
Don't bin the stuff you don't want - there is a market for old tools, it may be low-ish value but it keeps them from landfill and gives someone pleasure (I too have some tools from my grandfather and father that are in use almost every day)
 

Bod

Established Member
Joined
18 Nov 2013
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
102
Location
Wiltshire.
The "egg-beater" type drill, looks interesting, it's a Suffolk Iron Foundry (SIF) made item, and dated 1943.
If it's not too badly worn, then there may be a little collector value. But worth keeping if you have a use.

Bod
 

swb58

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2014
Messages
351
Reaction score
3
Location
Cowbridge
I'd be interested in the axes/hatchets, hedge laying season is just around the corner.
Also close to Llandow, closer than Pontyclun.😉
 

Stuart Moffat

Established Member
Joined
3 Apr 2019
Messages
62
Reaction score
39
Location
St. Neots
I wish I had a few of my grandfather’s tools too. His workshop was just down the road in Bonvilston. Although I did inherit a Billhook from my next door neighbour a few years ago. Really great for hedge laying
 

TheTiddles

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2007
Messages
2,937
Reaction score
771
Location
Wiltshire
It’s always interesting who has what old tools, we have a mixture of two sides of the family’s old tools, it’s clear which side had the money, those are the tools that are still working a century later.

My recommendation is don’t keep things that aren’t immediately or going to very soon be useful, or before long you’re dedicating your life to curating a collection of useless items covered in gunge. Ten wonky old hammers are also less use than one good one, old or new.
 

Keith 66

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2013
Messages
678
Reaction score
244
Location
Benfleet Essex
My Grandad worked on the railways all his life & was an animal with tools, But he had a beat up old handsaw in his shed, he used it for cutting breeze blocks & then painted it in thick railway points grease. Many years later I had a look & under the dried filth was an old 1890's Diston rip saw. I cleaned it had it recut & still use it occasionaly.
I am a sucker for nice old tools especially if they have a known history to add to their interest.
 

dannyr

Established Member
Joined
12 May 2019
Messages
500
Reaction score
216
Location
Sheffield UK
Whatever you do - not to landfill or scrap - after you've made kits for your grandkids (whenever that be), there are several charities eg Tools for Self Reliance which refurb and make up starter kits for craftsmen in Africa and India, or if you prefer, UK support groups such as Men (Women?) in Sheds and similar which would enjoy refurbing and using or passing on.
 

HamsterJam

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2018
Messages
389
Reaction score
180
Location
Warwickshire UK
The "egg-beater" type drill, looks interesting, it's a Suffolk Iron Foundry (SIF) made item, and dated 1943.
If it's not too badly worn, then there may be a little collector value. But worth keeping if you have a use.

Bod

I have one very similar in regular use. Much better quality than my much younger (but still old) Stanley branded hand drill.
 

Filament

Established Member
Joined
23 May 2021
Messages
50
Reaction score
63
Location
Surrey
If you have siblings/kids how about mounting some of the interesting-but-not-so-useful ones in deep frames to hang on the wall. I did it with a pair of pleasingly used wire cutters for my partner (her grandad worked for BT and would have used this pair a lot). She loved it. Her aunt did similar with her mums knitting needles I love tools that you know have been used and worn by the hands of a relative. Gives a real sense of connection.
 

hughcollier

Established Member
Joined
28 Nov 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
9
Location
Cardiff, UK
Thanks for everyone's input. I'm still slowly working through it all!

Hi.

Interesting about llandow as I live near Pontyclun, the saw next to the black knight used to come as a kit with various blades , some of them tools would still be usefull.
Clive.

I grew up in Llantrisant so no Pontyclun really well. Spent many a happy night in the Brunel in my youth! Thanks for the info on the saw, I will keep an eye out as I go through the boxes in case any of the other blades show up, although I have a feeling they may have been lost long ago!

Don't bin the stuff you don't want - there is a market for old tools, it may be low-ish value but it keeps them from landfill and gives someone pleasure (I too have some tools from my grandfather and father that are in use almost every day)

Yeah, the only stuff going to the bin will be the truly useless stuff (biscuit tin full of random rusty nails and seezed hinges etc) :ROFLMAO:

The "egg-beater" type drill, looks interesting, it's a Suffolk Iron Foundry (SIF) made item, and dated 1943.
If it's not too badly worn, then there may be a little collector value. But worth keeping if you have a use.

That's interesting! Unfortunately, I don't think it's in very good shape at all. The side handle is missing and the turning action is very stiff indeed. I have since found another similar drill that appears to be in much better working order.

Photo 08-08-2021, 15 11 08.jpg
 

hughcollier

Established Member
Joined
28 Nov 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
9
Location
Cardiff, UK
I'd be interested in the axes/hatchets, hedge laying season is just around the corner.
Also close to Llandow, closer than Pontyclun.😉

I'll let you know - I'm going to try and clean up one for nostalgia's sake and I've offered first refusal on anything I'm not keeping to my father-in-law and brother in-law.

That's surely gotta be a 7lb ELWELL behind the other axes ? :cool:
Those Boston planes are an acquired taste......
Cheers Andy

6lb'er it would seem. Dare not swing it in anger because the handle is coming loose. :ROFLMAO: Will definitely be trying to clean this one up though.

Yeah, the plane looks quite hideous and doesn't feel much better but I like the story behind it.

I wish I had a few of my grandfather’s tools too. His workshop was just down the road in Bonvilston. Although I did inherit a Billhook from my next door neighbour a few years ago. Really great for hedge laying

There is definitely something really nice about owning and using a tool that you know has a history prior to you owning it. I've a few nice bits I've picked up at car boot sales and the like but it's even nicer to know that it was owned a forebearer, I think.

It’s always interesting who has what old tools, we have a mixture of two sides of the family’s old tools, it’s clear which side had the money, those are the tools that are still working a century later.

My recommendation is don’t keep things that aren’t immediately or going to very soon be useful, or before long you’re dedicating your life to curating a collection of useless items covered in gunge. Ten wonky old hammers are also less use than one good one, old or new.

This is really good advice and one I have absolutely no problem at all applying to all other areas of life apart from, as my wife calls them "metal things"... I'm slowly getting better though. Recently got rid of a ridiculous tin collection I had built up and the cathartic feeling of freeing up space is so worth it!
 

hughcollier

Established Member
Joined
28 Nov 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
9
Location
Cardiff, UK
My Grandad worked on the railways all his life & was an animal with tools, But he had a beat up old handsaw in his shed, he used it for cutting breeze blocks & then painted it in thick railway points grease. Many years later I had a look & under the dried filth was an old 1890's Diston rip saw. I cleaned it had it recut & still use it occasionaly.
I am a sucker for nice old tools especially if they have a known history to add to their interest.

I'm the same. Doesn't even have to be nice old tools for me, just old tools fascinate me. I remember when I was a boy I would always nag my Grandad (Taid) to give me a tour of his garage where he has accumulated decades and decades worth of old stuff. Some of it old tools and some of it equipment left over from when he ran a commercial printers in Liverpool. An absolute treasure trove it was.

Whatever you do - not to landfill or scrap - after you've made kits for your grandkids (whenever that be), there are several charities eg Tools for Self Reliance which refurb and make up starter kits for craftsmen in Africa and India, or if you prefer, UK support groups such as Men (Women?) in Sheds and similar which would enjoy refurbing and using or passing on.

Didn't know about Tools for Self Reliance, thanks for putting that on my radar. What a great idea!

I have one very similar in regular use. Much better quality than my much younger (but still old) Stanley branded hand drill.

As mentioned above, unfortunately, the handle seems to be missing and it's very stiff and gunked up.

If you have siblings/kids how about mounting some of the interesting-but-not-so-useful ones in deep frames to hang on the wall. I did it with a pair of pleasingly used wire cutters for my partner (her grandad worked for BT and would have used this pair a lot). She loved it. Her aunt did similar with her mums knitting needles I love tools that you know have been used and worn by the hands of a relative. Gives a real sense of connection.

Love this idea! Can see this working really well for some of the old photography equipment my Dad still has in the loft from the pre-digital days when he used to have a darkroom in one of the spare bedrooms.
 

Trextr7monkey

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2020
Messages
87
Reaction score
29
Location
Cumbria
Not wishing to divert the thread but on the Tools for Self Reliance theme I spotted a video where some guys built a lathe from an old engine block and some washing machines bearings. Worked a treat, we sometimes forget how sophisticated some of our tools have become.
 

--Tom--

Established Member
Joined
16 Oct 2016
Messages
555
Reaction score
226
Location
Cardiff
There’s a good tools for self reliance set up in Crickhowell. They refurbish donations and either sell or ship overseas. Volunteers there seem to care about it too.

Interesting to see some more South Wales members, I’m Cardiff based and wondered if anyone else was local
 

TominDales

Established Member
Joined
21 Jan 2021
Messages
479
Reaction score
313
Location
Ripon
I am now in possession of an assortment of old tools, boxes and tins that I need to sort through and decide what to keep and what to bin. I'm going to need to be fairly ruthless just because I don't have space for it all (there are boxes and boxes of stuff) and lots of it is either low quality or rusted beyond repair - how many rusty old hammers and axes does one man need, after all! (See attached images)
/QUOTE]

As others have said, take your time to go through the collection and ebay or give on to those who will re-use them, old tools are quite popular. You have some good tools hear:

The hand brace and set of bits looks useful. My fathers old wooden handled brace works really well with sharp old bits. They may be imperial sizes, but for the larger sizes that should not matter. I find they boar through thick wood very well.

The saws look in good condition, the tenon saw and gentleman's saws should sharpen up well. You may need to buy a saw file, you can get them from Bacco for about £10. there is loads on this forum about numbering system for files. and lots of youtube on sharpening.

The chisels look good marples box wood handles - should last a lifetime
The box wood fold out measure looks like Rabone - I still use mine I bought 45 years ago, although tape measures are useful the large print is easy to see on the rabone. It may be a rabone tape measure.

Worth keeping a selection of hammers, the warrington pattern is used for panel pins so you don't hit your fingers - supposedly. Looks like a roofers hammer and loads of adnzes, worth looking up what the use of the specific hammers was before you cull the collection. Even old hammers sell even if not for much.

Your grandfather box, may have been an apprentice or school project. Many aprentiices had to make their own boxes. If you don't use it in your shop, it could be repurposed into the house for jewelry or toys etc. But worth keeping as he would have spend formative time making it. Even if you change the insides to suit your needs, he would be so pleased it continued to be valued.
 

Latest posts

Top