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What is the oldest tool you own for modeling? (Not your hands!)

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What is the oldest tool you own for modeling? (Not your hands!)
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Thursday, January 19, 2023 1:53 PM

We all have a bunch of tools for modeling. Even if you're just starting out in the hobby, you almost immediately begin to acquire a collection of tools. So, I thought it would be interesting to see what are the oldest tools we have in our scale modeling tool sheds. I'll start:

So, yes, this isn't a single tool, but I think this represents the oldest tools at my workbench. I can't pinpoint their precise age, because they were always around from the time I was a little kid. I've been using them (except for the slightly meatier silver handle which I think was swapped in some time later for the original) since I started modeling and they became officially mine, along with all of my dad's other modeling tools when he died in 2006. I suspect there might be a pair of smooth-jawed pliers made in Sheffield, England, that may predate this toolbox, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I'm comfortable with saying this probably dates back to the early to mid '70s, and were certainly always around from 1980 and on.

So, how about all of you? What's the oldest tool in your tool shed (and you can't count your hands, feet, or you in general!)? And for you newer or just returning modelers, don't be ashamed to proudly announce your oldest tool, even if if it's mere hours, days, months, or a couple of years. 

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Posted by Tcoat on Thursday, January 19, 2023 2:17 PM

Funny you brought that up!

I found this last night while looking through a box of very old model bits and pieces.

It is my 1967 vintage glue tube cleaner/stopper pin that has 55 years on it and still looks shinny new after a bit of polishing.

Now that it has been found it will return to service in a super glue role.

 

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Posted by Real G on Thursday, January 19, 2023 2:37 PM

I have a cut-down popsicle stick from the late 1970s.  Back when I ate popsicles.  I have used it to stir my paints until a friend gave me nice, new, shiny metal ones.

My airbrush stand dates back to about 1980 or so, as does the Badger 200 airbush!

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Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, January 19, 2023 4:10 PM

Hi TIM!!!

 Are you sure Tim? I could've sworn it was your picture? Well, let's see, that would have to be the work surface itself. My Corian Work top(A stove cutout from a countertop) Was obtained in 1981. All else was replaced in 1982 after the Tornado(The cut out was at a friends house being modified by his dad, A difference of 26 miles).

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Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, January 19, 2023 4:21 PM

Something like what Tim has. I wouldn't know where to look but I do remember getting that set or one like it, probably to keep me from borrowing Dad's Swiss Army Knife.

 

Bill

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Posted by Cadet Chuck on Thursday, January 19, 2023 4:26 PM

I have two wooden yardsticks, one yellow and one fluorscent orange, advertising the new 1960 Pontiacs, from a dealer in Racine, WI.

Also a wooden carpenters' level, marked $1.50.

And I have a lot of metal hand tools, like various pliers, needlenoses, wrenches, etc that belonged to my Grandfather, I think they may be close to 100 years old. 

And an old, red plastic, soldering gun made by Wenn, which I bought in about 1955 when I started monkeying with electronics.  (Way back when....Wink

Gimme a pigfoot, and a bottle of beer...

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Posted by keavdog on Thursday, January 19, 2023 4:27 PM

I've got a Binks Wren airbrush I bought when I was 12 or 13 - back in the mid/late 70s.  Haven't used it in years, but I still have it.  I'd post a pic but it's in storage until we finish our move.

Thanks,

John

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Posted by Tim Kidwell on Thursday, January 19, 2023 5:30 PM

Tanker-Builder

Hi TIM!!!

 Are you sure Tim? I could've sworn it was your picture?

 

Ha! No, although that is pretty old now, too. That's circa 1995. I started using that photo when I started with FSM the first time in 2011 cuz no one believed I had once had long hair. The really interesting stuff is what's cropped out!

I'd update it, but it's part of my persona now. 

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Posted by armornut on Thursday, January 19, 2023 6:07 PM

    Mmmmm, the only thung I can think of that jumps out to me as " old" is a purpose made indy track link rail. Flat bottom with a 1/4 square bar welded on the end, my left, and another 90* to act as a straight edge along the back. Works pretty good for panzer 1 up to Tiger tracks. Not as slick as Mengs provided jigs but still very useful. I had it made by our maintenance dept. back in '07 or ' 09.

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Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, January 19, 2023 7:18 PM

In 1986, I saved up and bought my first airbrush, a Paasche H, when I was 15.  I still have the same one, and still use it every day.

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Posted by missileman2000 on Friday, January 20, 2023 7:36 AM

I still have my original Dremel, vintage 1956. It is single speed, so I have not used it in decades.  It is just a keepsake.

 

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Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, January 20, 2023 8:18 AM

Yeah!

   I know what you mean Tim! The reason I don't have an avatar photo is the only one I could use would be either my D.L.Photo or my V.A.Card Photos. I don't want to ruin everyone's day, KnowhatiMean?

 

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Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, January 20, 2023 8:40 AM

Armornut, Eaglecash, and Missileman: Cool! Care to share photos of the lovelies?

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Posted by Cadet Chuck on Friday, January 20, 2023 9:34 AM

Oldest tool?  Well, sometimes my wife helps me at the bench.....

Gimme a pigfoot, and a bottle of beer...

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Posted by Greg on Friday, January 20, 2023 9:41 AM

Reading your initial post, my mind went to my answer. I was surprised when I scrolled down and saw that it was the same (fundamentally) as yours, Tim!

I'm not sure mine is the exact same kit, I'm thinking it has the 3 handles plus the timeless red-handled X-Acto so-called razor saw. Mine would be circa 1965.

I can't post a pic becuase I'm away from my bench for a while.

Fun thread.

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Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, January 20, 2023 9:42 AM

Cadet Chuck

Oldest tool?  Well, sometimes my wife helps me at the bench.....

 

Oh, Chuck. Surprise

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Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, January 20, 2023 11:21 AM

Greg

Reading your initial post, my mind went to my answer. I was surprised when I scrolled down and saw that it was the same (fundamentally) as yours, Tim!

I'm not sure mine is the exact same kit, I'm thinking it has the 3 handles plus the timeless red-handled X-Acto so-called razor saw. Mine would be circa 1965.

I can't post a pic becuase I'm away from my bench for a while.

Fun thread.

 

Four variations of those sets (we were an X-Acto household!) are now under my workbench, but they are definitely of a newer vintage than the one there. I remember Dad picking those up, specifically one for me. Nothing Excel or other companies have produced since have come to the quality of those X-Acto toolboxes.

I still have the remnants of an upright cabinet from X-Acto that included a soldering iron, wood burning iron, crank drill, and a bunch of other stuff that was raided  over the years, so most of the tools are gone. But the cabinet is still tip top. Not sure of its age--like so many of the things that were in our modeling workshop growing up, it was present from my earliest memories. Maybe one day I'll figure out what to do with it. 

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Posted by Greg on Friday, January 20, 2023 11:37 AM

That's good point about the quality of those old X-Acto sets. You're right about the wooden boxes (and in your case the larger upright storage cabinet). They are irreplacable.

 Only thing I can think of currently available along the line of quality wooden storage cases are the classic Gerstner machinists tool chests. Which made me look up this, which was my dad's old chest, probably from the mid 30's I'd guess, and I recently discarded. I guess that was a mistake, to say the least. Broken Heart

I wandered a bit off-topic, emotions took over there.

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Posted by the Baron on Friday, January 20, 2023 11:57 AM

Oldest tool in my toolbox?  Probably the metal file from the set of tools I got when I joined the Revell Master Modeler Club as a kid. That was around '75.  I think I still have some of the plastic pieces around somewhere; they were in a soft, red plastic.  But haven't used them in years.

The plastic putty spatula was good, but the tweezers and the clamps weren't really that good.

The tweezers were too thick in cross-section, even at the tip, to make for a useful tweezers; hard to pick up and hold pieces.

The clamps were shaped sort of like an "A" with an open top. The crossbar provided the spring to keep the tips together, but again, the soft plastic meant that they were too weak to clamp anything. 

Next oldest would be an X-Acto product, too.  A #35 razor saw, with the red plastic handle and Nr 2 blades.  I got that a couple years later, when I was 15.  I was just learning to reposition figures, thanks to Shep Paine, and I had to get a razor saw.  And the knife gave me a scar on a fingertip, that I have to this day.  Learned to be more careful when working with hobby knives.

Got some old paints, too.  Oldest is a bottle of Testor's gloss copper, in the little square bottle, which I've had since 1980? Still good. And a couple jars of Pactra's acrylic enamels, gloss colors, that are about as old, and still good.

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Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, January 20, 2023 12:08 PM

Greg

That's good point about the quality of those old X-Acto sets. You're right about the wooden boxes (and in your case the larger upright storage cabinet). They are irreplacable.

 Only thing I can think of currently available along the line of quality wooden storage cases are the classic Gerstner machinists tool chests. Which made me look up this, which was my dad's old chest, probably from the mid 30's I'd guess, and I recently discarded. I guess that was a mistake, to say the least. Broken Heart

I wandered a bit off-topic, emotions took over there.

 

No need to apologize! A thread like this is bound to bring up memories and stories. I've always thought those chests were incredible, but have never had the guts to pony up the cash for one. 

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Posted by armornut on Friday, January 20, 2023 12:46 PM

  I would love to post pix....hey wait a minute I'm retired....I do have time to learn how to do it. Can't promise a photo for this thread but stand by.

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Posted by patrick206 on Friday, January 20, 2023 1:33 PM

I have the X-Acto wooden box set, three handles and the multi blade selection, no planes or otherwise. My wife gave it to me for a birthday present, (maybe 1970-ish???)

I bought my Binks Wren's, A & B, well over 50 years ago. Gave the A to a very good friend since I have the Sotar 2020 with three needle sizes, but I still regularly use the Wren B for larger projects, it can really lay down a lot of paint.

My most treasured tool is my Grandfathers channel lock pliers, (I've also heard them called water pump pliers.) They're about 5 inches long, three pivot gates for size adjustment, very narrow at 1/8" jaws width, 1/4" handles width. Grandpa came to America from Shannon, Ireland in 1880 something, became a small engine mechanic for a railroad and used the pliers for fuel system work. This tool has to be well over 100 years old.

At retirement he gave me a lot of his tools, this one is by far the favorite on my hobby bench. I find it so comforting when using it, knowing it was used for decades in the hands of Grandpa. It sees only very light use, in my airbrush tool kit. As is often the case, tools of this era were extremely well made.

A great thread, Tim. Thanks.

Patrick 

 

 

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Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, January 20, 2023 1:33 PM

Real G

I have a cut-down popsicle stick from the late 1970s.  Back when I ate popsicles.  I have used it to stir my paints until a friend gave me nice, new, shiny metal ones.

My airbrush stand dates back to about 1980 or so, as does the Badger 200 airbush!

 

I purchased my Badger AB in 1976 at Orange Blossom Hobbies in Miami. Still runs like new.

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Posted by Greg on Friday, January 20, 2023 1:43 PM

armornut

  I would love to post pix....hey wait a minute I'm retired....I do have time to learn how to do it. Can't promise a photo for this thread but stand by.

 

I'll bet I speak for lots of folks here by encouraging you to give it a go, and offering what help I (we) can if you have questions along the way.

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Posted by Greg on Friday, January 20, 2023 1:47 PM

patrick206
My most treasured tool is my Grandfathers channel lock pliers.......

That is extremely cool, Patrick. Yes

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Posted by wpwar11 on Friday, January 20, 2023 1:58 PM

Ive been modeling for only 3 years so everything is pretty new.  My work table is about 40 years old from my wife's family.  Now if I can just stop spilling paint on it.  

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Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, January 20, 2023 2:17 PM

wpwar11

Ive been modeling for only 3 years so everything is pretty new.  My work table is about 40 years old from my wife's family.  Now if I can just stop spilling paint on it.  

 

Congrats on three years! There are items you can use to help you not spill. On the other hand, we all spill paint. The important thing is not to spill it on your model, like Aaron did for a video we were shooting and will be out next month. Oh, the words that were uttered. If you have the time and are comfortable doing it, show us the table!

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Posted by GMorrison on Friday, January 20, 2023 2:22 PM

wpwar11

Ive been modeling for only 3 years so everything is pretty new.  My work table is about 40 years old from my wife's family.  Now if I can just stop spilling paint on it.  

 

Morrison's Second Law of Modeling:

"No matter the size of the bench; the available work space will always be exactly two square feet".

 

 

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Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, January 20, 2023 2:25 PM

GMorrison

 

 Morrison's Second Law of Modeling:

 

"No matter the size of the bench; the available work space will always be exactly two square feet".

 

LOL

You need to turn that into a sign.

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Posted by armornut on Friday, January 20, 2023 2:38 PM

   GMorrison is right...exactly 2square feet. Also spilling paint is a right of passage...keeps ya humble, helps ya remember when you were young and the 12in channellocks was the only tool to open that .79cent jar of Testors Gloss OD for the Mo ogram Sherman.

     As for spots....buy place mats...your better half will never know.

    Thanks Greg. Gonna work on it this weekend.

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