Sunday, December 16, 2012

Getting back to the basics

Everybody talks about prepping and invariably the subject is food, guns and ammo but how many of you own the basic hand tools?
In a worse case scenario there's not going to electricity or at best it'll be intermittent, yet we're going to have to rebuild and/or repair at some point. Kind of hard to run a Skil Saw or electric drill without power, ain't it? Think about it.
Hey, I'm just as guilty as most over this. Most of my tools are either electric or air powered - I think I own one hand saw (a crosscut), one axe, one ancient bow saw and a handful of files. This is not good.
Even those that own a drill brace, adze, and planers are rusty in their uses - shit, I don't think I've used a drill brace since 7th grade shop class.
As far as metal working goes, yesterday I told you how to use thermite to cut metal but I'll be damned if I know how to weld with it and unfortunately I don't have a safe area now to experiment with it. Nor do I know a single person with a forge to make metal tools and goods.
Just something to think about, guys.


hiswiserangel said...

They had primitive tools when you were in 7th grade?!
Poppy has all of his dad's hand tools and he tried to instill a basic knowledge of their use in me. I'll probably inherit them someday.

WiscoDave said...

IF I ever have the money/time:

Anonymous said...

Making a forge.

Of course, you'd want to try this well before anything goes wrong. Which is probably tricky for most to do, but I posted the link here to help. Personally, I want to learn some metal working, but have no idea how to start.


Anonymous said...

To WIII---Community college is a good resource to start with.
Welding etc. A good welding supply shop can lead you to guys who will be happy to teach you. If you are not an asshole and reciprocate with in-kind of services.
I show kids from our area basic stuff from time to time.
A great relation with the non asshole youth of today.

michigan doug said...

gardening.learn now. it ain't that easy.been doing it for 30 years and still learning.

angrymike said...

I thank god my father sold tools when I was a kid, I still have hand drills, saws and many HAND tools, it was the way he was trained, so that was the way I learned ........Thanks Dad.......;)

RegT said...

If you get the chance to learn any blacksmithing from a real blacksmith, concentrate and learning how to make tools. Then learn how to make hardware (nails, hinges, hasps, door handles and latches, etc.) Don't waste your time learning to make decorative wrought iron and art shit - at least until you've got a good grounding in tool making. Don't forget knives, hatchets and axe heads. I plan on making forged knives for barter, too.

I've got a coal-fired forge - one of the last of the US Army portable forges they carted around for hot-shoeing their cavalry horses, along with an anvil, hammers, and assorted smithing tools. It's big enough for doing most of what I want to do.

Those of you who can weld can also fabricate some of the things you may need later - racks, trailers, harrows and plows and other farming/gardening implements, etc.

Neil A Russell said...

Yard sales, flea markets, auctions, and estate sales are still a pretty good resource for old hand tools and farm gear.
You can find all kinds of cool old tools from way back when and it's a good educational experience to find out what all of that old stuff was used for.
Your house may end up looking like a Cracker Barrel but more than likely no one will steal any of that "old junk".

Anonymous said...

Good points made, I own MOSTLY hand tools, I just wish I had more practice with the skills to use them. I've used the brace to drive in screws - you can control how far you drive them and you can carry on a conversation. No electric extension cords needed. Many tools carried at same time (5 gallon bucket in my case) so I don't have to hunt for this or remember that tool was lent out to whosis. Making a measured piece of wood that JUST fits takes practice. Don't forget a good measuring tape or olde school folding ruler (not a lot of those in use anymore).

You will feel the after effects as you get older. Cutting branches with bow saw, splitting wood with maul, screwdrivers for a lot of different screw driving - next day, your joints feel it. I'm close to 50 though so thats probably a big part of it. 4 - 200 mg Ibruprofen take care of that.

RegT said...


Take your ibuprofen _before_ you exercise. It's more effective that way, and will save you the pain. Taught to me by an orthopedic surgeon I used to know, and it really does make a difference.