I don’t think of myself as “old”, but I admit to being somewhat “old school” when it comes to tools and working on cars. I shared a post a while back about my father and some of the lessons he taught me about finishing a job (you can read it here). My father also taught me the value of tools. When I was very little, watching him work on cars in the driveway, the tools I remember were the Craftsman wrenches and screwdrivers he would have me fetch, the big torque wrench that just looked funny, and my favorite – the wooden creeper with the funny slanted wheels in the picture here.
My father passed away a few years back and I have now inherited those tools still use many of them regularly. I had to put new wheels on the Craftsman toolboxes, but those Craftsman wrenches are as good as they ever were. However, I must admit that I have chosen to upgrade a few things as new technology has come available. I keep that old torque wrench for historical purposes, but I really like my new digital version for getting those bolts just right. And as much fun as I had on that creeper, being able to stand and work on a car on a hydraulic lift is heaven in comparison.
My father also had an old school organization system – a big shop desk where any and all paperwork got stuffed. When he passed away, I went through that desk and found some really interesting papers documenting engine builds, parts and repairs dating back 30+ years. Unfortunately, what I did not find was any documentation on the 302/351 he had just built and installed into the ’74 Ford Bronco that I also inherited. I am still trying to decipher exactly what is inside that engine – it is definitely not “stock”.
So that is another one of my father’s tools that I have upgraded – moving to RideCache for a modern, digital solution to organizing, managing and documenting all of the work I do on my cars. This has some significant advantages over the stuffed desk drawer, the ever common 3″ binder, or even the more recent spreadsheet system I had started using. With RideCache I can easily search and find tasks, parts, papers and events across multiple cars, I get email notifications of tasks or paperwork that come due and all my records are securely backed up and archived – among many other advantages (read more here). And when the time comes, I can transfer it all to the next owner (likely my son) with one click.
What were some of your father’s or grandfather’s favorite tools?