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It's amazing what you find

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sat May 23, 2020 10:16 pm

Continuing my crusade to reduce the garage contents, ready for our house move, I came across a drawer containing three old fashioned pencil type tyre pressure gauges. All three beautifully made, solid British 50's engineering. One was in a custom made leather wallet, another had a pen type clip on it for securing in a pocket and two had rings at the end for hanging on a hook. Amazing redolent of past times, but what on earth would you do with them?

Then there's my old dad's chain saw, not a motorised modern saw, but an evil looking item with chain type links, each with a saw tooth. At each end there's a hole to slip a wooden handle in. You wind the chain round a trunk and pull it back and forth. It does work, I remember using it with my dad, back in the '70's. It's not been used since and is in a beautiful leather pouch. 

Such items have a strange pull, as they were my father's, but if I've not used them in the 30 years since he passed on, I doubt I'll ever use them again. Meanwhile it just seems wrong to throw away such functional, well made items.
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Post by kaspian on Sat May 23, 2020 10:29 pm

My father worked in electronics /  circuit board repair for 40 years. I inherited his Avo meter , Fluke ,  Weller soldering gun etc  . I have several of my own but would  never part with any of them.  In fact used the Weller only yesterday to repair a  Lidl oil extractor pump.  Andy the gauges are useful if still working and take up little space , dont through away what you may later regret.
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Post by Paulmold on Sat May 23, 2020 10:35 pm

Do any of the gauges read to 80psi?, Very rare to get ones above 50.

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sat May 23, 2020 10:36 pm

But I've got two digital tyre pressure gauges, why would I need three pencil type ones?
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sat May 23, 2020 10:38 pm

I'll check tomorrow Paul. I do know they have various inscriptions on the barrels, I suspect some were hospitality items from garages.
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Post by kaspian on Sat May 23, 2020 10:48 pm

Simples Andy , Because the pencil ones work without batteries and will be working long after your digital gauges are in the bin ! . Yes Paul, have one I inherited does up to 100 + odd psi and is extra length so you dont need to bend or will access inner wheel on double wheeled axles no problem.
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sat May 23, 2020 11:02 pm

But Kaspers, three of them!!!! And do you think the digital gauges will go in the bin relatively soon, I'm over 70 you know.
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Post by kaspian on Sat May 23, 2020 11:09 pm

Family heirloom?   hugegrins
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Post by groundhog on Sun May 24, 2020 9:22 am

steamdrivenandy wrote:But I've got two digital tyre pressure gauges, why would I need three pencil type ones?
One in the glove box of your car, one in the wife's and one in the van, then you wont have to look when you need one. Just an idea allthumbz
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Post by Paulmold on Sun May 24, 2020 9:32 am

I have a pencil one in car (it must be 50 years old) and a pencil one in van (that one took some searching for, it goes to 100psi). I had a digital one which was dead when I needed it and was a sealed battery, it went in the bin.

As for having multiples, you should see how many pairs of pliers I have virtually all same size. Also spirit levels. Most came from my fathers shed.

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 24, 2020 9:45 am

Ditto spirit levels Paul. 

I have my aluminium one from circa 1980, plus a little one that came with our Tapley 33 wall furniture back in the '80's too. Then there's an old small torpedo one, origin unknown presumably my father's and his hefty mahogany and brass one. The latter is going to the tip unless someone wants it.

Then there's hammers, I think I must have a dozen, several being duplicates.

And later today I'll post pics of my granny's Belling electric fire complete with coloured bulb driven flame effect and 'Formalite' logs that have seen better days. I dusted it off yesterday and considering it's been in various of our garages for 40 years or so and is getting on for 70 years old it looks quite good. I switched on the lights and all worked but I I daren't try and run the elements. All the wiring is cloth covered and various bits of surface rust in places, but what's the point of keeping it?
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Post by bikeralw on Sun May 24, 2020 10:15 am

I think it takes a downsizing house move to force us to confront the reality of the amount of useless and duplicated stuff we either inherit or collect over the years.
I'm more guilty than most, and when I decide to clear out the attic, most of the stuff gets moved to my workshop/garage/shed. When I come to clear out one of those, stuff gets moved back into the attic..
Things I do get rid of are more than replaced by the things I've accumulated/had thrust on me since my previous clear out..
 My son says when the wife and I croak he's going to accidentally set fire to the house and claim on the insurance..

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 24, 2020 11:18 am

The three pressure gauges and the one on the left that lives in the rather moth eaten leather holder reads to 90psi, whilst the other two only read to 50psi
It's amazing what you find 20200512

This is the chain saw. Note the wood dust, apparently some rodent has been gnawing at the end of the left hand handle. 
It's amazing what you find 20200514

Granny's Belling electric fire. Made at their factory in Enfield. A characterful piece, but it surely needs a full electrical overhaul. The Formalite logs look fine in the picture but closer inspection shows a lot of the surface layer in the middle has broken away, leaving just the backing material. One for the Repair Shop?   
It's amazing what you find 20200513
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Post by rgermain on Sun May 24, 2020 11:22 am

I used to love before lock down going to the Wednesday boot fair on Hayling Island, so many cheap second hand tools. My wife used to say" why do you need anymore you have a garage full of tools" my answer was yes but I cannot find them!  hugegrins
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Post by rgermain on Sun May 24, 2020 11:24 am

bikeralw wrote:I think it takes a downsizing house move to force us to confront the reality of the amount of useless and duplicated stuff we either inherit or collect over the years.
I'm more guilty than most, and when I decide to clear out the attic, most of the stuff gets moved to my workshop/garage/shed. When I come to clear out one of those, stuff gets moved back into the attic..
Things I do get rid of are more than replaced by the things I've accumulated/had thrust on me since my previous clear out..
 My son says when the wife and I croak he's going to accidentally set fire to the house and claim on the insurance..

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I told our two, one day all this will be your's wave wave
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Post by Paulmold on Sun May 24, 2020 11:25 am

That Belling fire reminds of my dad. He worked for Berry Magicoal fires, Bellings biggest rival, for 30 odd years, I still have his long service gold watch.

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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 24, 2020 11:35 am

It's amazing what you find 20200515
And another item from the annals. My father's Black & Decker Lawnraker. He passed away 27 years ago and I think I've used it twice since then. It works fine and still has its grassbox or should that be leaf or moss box? Any keen lawn addicts around?
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Post by Beetee on Sun May 24, 2020 12:00 pm

My daughter belongs to an amateur dramatic society and when setting the scene will often ask my husband if, in his various sheds, he has.........   and the answer is often:yes if I can find it.   an old fire, round Bakelite wall switch, telephones have all had their day on stage.   Trouble is we get them back again!
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Post by kaspian on Sun May 24, 2020 12:28 pm

steamdriv wrote:And another item from the annals. My father's Black & Decker Lawnraker. He passed away 27 years ago and I think I've used it twice since then. It works fine and still has its grassbox or should that be leaf or moss box? Any keen lawn addicts around?
 Takes me back Andy , father in law insisted I take his B and W lawnraker to sort out a moss infested  lawn when we moved in to our current house. It was several years old at the time and the plastic tynes had gone rather brittle.......At the end of the first strip it stopped picking up moss and on examination  all the tynes had disappeared! Cost me £20 at the time to repair with a  new drum and it was returned unused for fear of more damage!
      Next plan was copper sulphate but the label was worn on the bag recommending concentration dosage etc  so being young and gung ho  I just bunged the whole bag into a watering can full of water. I sprayed about 10 yards  before turning round and seeing that already the grass moss mix was jet black! It took a year to recover but within 4 years moss was back thick as ever!   hugegrins
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Post by Lancy on Sun May 24, 2020 2:12 pm

I can understand keeping old tools as they take up little space....well depending on the amount! As for the fire...you don't want your new house burning down!
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 24, 2020 2:40 pm

There are several layers of emotional connection to that fire. I can remember it in my grandparents front room when it was new, probably around the mid 50's. Then we were given it to help heat our first house when we married in '76and we used it until we had central heating installed in 1978.

My thought was to disconnect the heating elements completely, leaving it as just a warm form of light. It has two Fireglow bulbs, with some patterned glass above, that refracts the light up the back of the fire, plus two small lightweight fans that are turned by the heat from the lamps. This creates a flickering effect within the 'fire' area. 

From looking at internet pictures I've discovered that the same fire came with a different 'cover', probably made using the same Formalite system, but looking like burning coal, rather than logs. Overall I think the logs looked the more realistic of the two.
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Post by Cymro on Sun May 24, 2020 3:10 pm

steamdrivenandy wrote:It's amazing what you find 20200515
And another item from the annals. My father's Black & Decker Lawnraker. He passed away 27 years ago and I think I've used it twice since then. It works fine and still has its grassbox or should that be leaf or moss box? Any keen lawn addicts around?

Not being a lawn addict (merely one who is obliged to choose periodically between cutting the grass or buying a goat) I too have the identical Lawnraker hanging up in my garage. I have also found 3 tubular tyre pressure gauges. etc etc!
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 24, 2020 3:42 pm

Cymro, I'll bet you haven't got a mouse chewed chainsaw or a half roll of lead flashing or even a dozen inch thick terracotta cill tiles though?
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Post by Cymro on Sun May 24, 2020 4:43 pm

SDA:   I do have the lead flashing ,  but no tiles (only Welsh slates).
Our cat, and the steel of the Stihl chainsaw, prevent rodent gnawing !

Shan’t mention double bass shell case, squash court floor strips, pharmacy bottles, and a crate of unidentifiable home made wine from pre 1985 when we moved here!
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Post by IanH on Sun May 24, 2020 4:56 pm

Try downsizing from a 67 acre farm into a 3 bed bungalow!!! That concentrates the mind.
We have a strict rule, if anything has been in the loft for a year or more you simply don't need it
Still have a workshop full of "stuff" and more tools than I use though!!
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