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Forum topic by Jerry posted 09-26-2018 07:07 PM 1569 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

80 posts in 3569 days


09-26-2018 07:07 PM

Something unusual and thought provoking happened to me recently…I wanted to share my little story with some like minds who may appreciate the significance of the find.

I had a little project going and needed a small straight edge. I had a machinist box that had a few small machinist squares and straight edges in.

I saw an old smaller one and had always known that the previous owner had his name engraved on it, lots of my older tools have prior owners markings on them.

On this day, the light just so happened to catch it right and I noticed something engraved below the name. It was a date, looking closer and with the help of a little OOOO Steel wool I clearly saw a date, 4-23-18.

It dawned on me that the little straightedge I was holding and now the steward of was over 100 years old. The then owner cared enough to engrave his name and the date on it.

I can only hope America can get back to making tools and products that can be handed down like this one. It is still as nice in the hand, nice to use and functional as it was back in 1918.

I sometimes think I was born in the wrong century as much as I appreciate quality work, tools and methods.

God help us as our landfills overflow with disposable crap that is obsolete before you finish reading the owners manual.

Here are a couple of photos of the aforementioned.

By the way, In case someone happens to know or is related to Myron Sherwood, I got this somewhere in Connecticut when I lived there. Best regards to all.

Jerry

-- "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should be a Store, Not a Govt. Agency"


11 replies so far

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John Smith

1873 posts in 579 days


#1 posted 09-26-2018 08:28 PM

well – the tool on top is a surgeon’s scalpel.
I don’t see it connected to wood or metal working,
but you know that we all use different tools for different things.

I have a few scalpels from the 1970s (not 1870s).
as you can see, when I started using X-Acto knives, the scalpel fell to the wayside.
comparing yours to mine, it looks like the style hasn’t changed all that much (if at all).

excellent find !!!

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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corelz125

745 posts in 1392 days


#2 posted 09-26-2018 10:45 PM

I don’t think it will ever get back to the way it used to be. People are just to used to throw it away and just get a new one these days. Most of us on here appreciate old tools but we’re a small crowd.

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clin

1038 posts in 1412 days


#3 posted 09-26-2018 11:53 PM



I don t think it will ever get back to the way it used to be. People are just to used to throw it away and just get a new one these days. Most of us on here appreciate old tools but we re a small crowd.

- corelz125

I agree. I think it is simply the price. Most people would rather pay a fraction of the price even knowing that they’ll just have to buy it again soon. Sort of “I can buy crap today, or save up and buy quality tomorrow.” Or they can see they can buy this one high quality thing, or these ten crap things. We know what wins in most cases.

It is frustrating though. I tend to buy quality when I can. But, the fact that most do not, means that quality is even more expensive due to low demand and needing to make profit off a relatively few customers.

It ultimately has nothing to do with our ability to manufacture high quality, It has to do with meeting customer demand.

There’s also a lot of confusion and it can be hard to tell what is and isn’t quality. So many just say screw it, I might as well buy the cheap one becasue the last time I bought the expensive one, it turned out to be crap.

However, keep in mind that a lot of junk was made back then too. It however has not survived. So there is a lot of selection bias in judging the quality of things from years ago.

-- Clin

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Jerry

80 posts in 3569 days


#4 posted 09-27-2018 01:19 AM

My Grandfather told me something many years ago that I still remember when it comes to tools…

Buying Quality, the best there is… Only hurts once…Buying Junk, crap you know is crap..Hurts you over and over and over..

-- "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should be a Store, Not a Govt. Agency"

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Jerry

80 posts in 3569 days


#5 posted 09-27-2018 01:24 AM



well – the tool on top is a surgeon s scalpel.
I don t see it connected to wood or metal working,
I keep a scalpel lying around my woodworking table, my mill and lathe also. They are imminently handy for anything that requires cutting. Cleaning up a small inlay, trimming around a newly fitted hammer head..A micro sized scraper, opening packages, splinter surgery, cutting cigars, I could go on but will spare you :)...
but you know that we all use different tools for different things.

I have a few scalpels from the 1970s (not 1870s).
as you can see, when I started using X-Acto knives, the scalpel fell to the wayside.
comparing yours to mine, it looks like the style hasn t changed all that much (if at all).

excellent find !!!

.

- John Smith


-- "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should be a Store, Not a Govt. Agency"

View MrRon's profile (online now)

MrRon

5560 posts in 3659 days


#6 posted 09-27-2018 06:37 PM

Scalpels are mostly not used anymore; replaced by disposable knives. I believe real scalpels are only used during operations.

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

3758 posts in 2668 days


#7 posted 09-27-2018 07:33 PM

My dad had a sign in his men’s clothing store that read “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of cheap price is forgotten.”

Jerry — I LOVE your signature line!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View smitdog's profile

smitdog

433 posts in 2521 days


#8 posted 09-27-2018 08:29 PM

I bet Myron never thought he should have carved the 19 on there just in case someone down the line wasn’t sure which **18 that was from! I agree with what Clin said – there was probably plenty of junk bacl then and the few things that we find now are the ones someone spent a lot of money on and kept in good shape because of it. I’m not sure you can make a blanket statement like all tools 100 years ago were heirloom quality. And I’ll bet someone 100 years from now finding an engraved Starrett straight edge or LN plane might say, “They sure don’t make tools like they used to!”

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

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therealSteveN

3058 posts in 990 days


#9 posted 09-27-2018 11:13 PM


I don t think it will ever get back to the way it used to be. People are just to used to throw it away and just get a new one these days. Most of us on here appreciate old tools but we re a small crowd.

- corelz125

I agree. I think it is simply the price. Most people would rather pay a fraction of the price even knowing that they ll just have to buy it again soon. Sort of “I can buy crap today, or save up and buy quality tomorrow.”

<snip>

- clin

I have started to view tool acquisitions as either long term, or one of, and short term, it plays perfectly into this, with a twist. If I need a tool to do. ZYT.. then I think will I ever need ZYT ever again? If the answer is no, I’ll head over to Horrible Fright, and spend my 23 cents, to get ZYT done.

Now if it is a 1/4” roundover bit, that I know I am going to use a lot. I go over to Holbren, and plop my money down, and buy a Whiteside bit.

-- Think safe, be safe

View John G.'s profile

John G.

21 posts in 1622 days


#10 posted 09-28-2018 04:55 PM

I depends on the quality that is needed. If you have a mean time between use of a specific tool that’s measured in months, then a HF tool will likely give you a mean time between failure on the order of years. I have several of those :)

On the other hand , if your MTBU is measured in minutes, then it makes sense to pay out for a tool that still has a MTBF on the order of years. I don’t have many of those :(

But then again, I’m a hobbyist, not a professional and I don’t have the opportunity to engage in my hobbies to the extent that I’d like.

So, cheap tools can be useful and expensive tools can be economical. Both have measurable quality based on need and expectation.

You can also dive down a really deep rabbit hole if you consider quality to be a subjective measure. It’s like common sense, which is not at all common.

-- The next brick house on the left. Montgomery AL

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theart

102 posts in 970 days


#11 posted 09-28-2018 05:17 PM


I depends on the quality that is needed. If you have a mean time between use of a specific tool that s measured in months, then a HF tool will likely give you a mean time between failure on the order of years. I have several of those :)

Years if not a lifetime. The worst cheap tools are the ones that seem to work badly and last forever.

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