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Old 08-25-2023, 09:09 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Texas gulf coast
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When I started out buying tools in the late 70s and early 80s Sears was selling the small companion sets for $19.99. Not too bad for a set of 3/8 deep sockets or combination wrenches. I bought up tons of tools from those small sets. And wound up with a pretty extensive set of tools.

When I started working at the GM dealership everyone gave the new kid hell about those cheap craftsman tools. So I bought a nice Snappy 3/8 socket set. It wasn't that much better and it certainly didn't make my work go any faster either, it just cost a lot more. IIRC it was @$20ish dollars a pay period and when I left the shop it took about half of my last check. Never bought another tool truck set after that.
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Old 08-26-2023, 08:25 AM
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460 Delta 460 Delta is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Southern Ohio
Posts: 70

Originally Posted by dubby View Post
My Dad's childhood best friend became a Mac dealer at some point in the late '70s, early '80s so dad had two sets of tools. He had a 'junk' box and the fancy Mac box. Growing up, the Mac stuff was always shinier and cooler so that's what I gravitated towards--and would subsequently misplace. The junk box would sometimes end up mixed in and vice versa, and I'd always get a butt chewing. He was never mean about it so much as just frustrated. I never understood that until I had my own kids. I still deal with it regularly now myself .

The first set of tools I ever got were in a kit from Craftsman that came in a wall-mountable box. He instead hung it on the side of his 'junk' box so that my stuff would be there with the others he intended me to use. It had a couple different saws, some screwdrivers, a hand drill, a finishing hammer, some random small wrenches and other stuff that I've forgotten. I still come across some of them sometimes and have the hammer stashed in my curio cabinet. He liked that little hammer so much he bought a few more over the years, but carved a W into mine. I don't remember any of the tools in the kit being "kids" versions or lesser quality but I can't find much info about it online either.

The second set came about the time I was in what they call the tween years now. I got an actual rolling bottom large-item box, with a standard top box. It was nearly identical to the junk box we had, but the red wasn't scratched off. Despite his efforts, I still managed to intermingle all the tools between all 3 boxes. We went through them when I first moved out and sorted as best I could, and he let me keep a lot of stuff that wasn't supposed to be in mine anyway.

When he had his stroke and I moved into this house, my tools ended up back "home" in the shop next door. I did a pretty good job of keeping things sorted but as my kids got to where they'd use them, everything once again got mixed up. After he passed, part of my grieving process was me going out to the shop and sorting things again. This time I put all the Mac stuff in the Mac box. I put all the Craftsman in my box. And I put anything else in the junk (still craftsman) box. Since then I've added a Husky top box for electronic and machining tools on a repurposed medical cart base I found.

So... I guess to say "I'm done with Craftsman" would be really hard for most any of us. This thread is proof that the brand had a huge influence in all our lives even if it's not what it once was to us. Some of it is sad, but most of my memories with them are happy. Even the frustration of going into Sears and them not having the replacement I needed in stock is a memory now.

I wouldn't mind taking a trip back over there, riding shotgun in my Dad's Chevy, wandering through the store looking for a salesman to replace the tool that broke and turned the afternoon's work/project to shit. And he'd walk out with a little bit of a smile. I'd like to see that.

I’m sure that you would never sell your dad’s tools for any price, but those Sabina and Washington CH made tools have serious value to tool collectors. When Mac pulled out of Ohio and set up in Texas was the beginning of the downward trend of Mac. The quality and volume after they moved wasn’t the same either. Truck salesman had serious issues getting stock to sell, and warranty calls went up. The rumors of the production machinery being damaged when they were shut down for the last time in the old facilities were likely true.

A Mac wrench, and a Vanadium Tools wrench made in Athens, and a Wright Tools
wrench made in Barberton from the 60’s to 70’s look strangely similar, coincidence, maybe.
Perfection is the enemy of good enough.
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