Having used a lot of my hand-me-down tools for work on the trucks in the last couple of years, I’ve put some serious hours on them, and like everything else, they need maintenance. I’ve got a drawerful of Craftsman gear from back in the days when it was made in the USA and Sears actually backed up their unlimited warranty; recently a couple of my 3/8″ ratchets began slipping under load, which points to a lack of lubrication. Given that I’ve never serviced them, it’s been 30 years since I got them, and they’re older than me, I think it’s about time they got some love. Doing some research, I was able to easily disassemble one ratchet, clean and lube it, and put it back in service, but I’ve got another which isn’t coming apart as easily. It’s a cartridge-based design where one retaining clip releases the entire mechanism, as opposed to two separate clips on the front and back. My issue is that the retaining clip ears broke with the clip outside the channel—and the cartridge still hasn’t released. There are replacement cartridges available for this wrench but I’d rather keep it as original as possible, so I’ve got to do some more research to figure out how to release it without wallowing out the handle.

Meanwhile, I’ve been building out a basic toolset for the OG-V and supplementing the one I keep in the Scout. Jen got me a trio of Tool Rolls for Christmas, and the universal roll I put together has gotten a lot of use so far. I like it better than the canvas roll I had previously, which tended to spit tools out the side at the worst times. If I had the choice again I would have asked for the larger version, which would hold a better assortment of larger tools. Meanwhile I’ve tried to make the one for the OG-V inexpensive, scabbing together some metric sockets I had laying around and other tools from Harbor Freight.

Something I need to invest further in are another set of screwdrivers; mine are a mix-and-match assortment of inherited sizes and shapes, and it always seems like I’m missing the ones I need. I bought a Milwaukee set a couple of weeks ago and put that to use on the green truck but I need another big set to round out the collection—and so I can finally retire some chipped and rounded junk in the garage and basement.

My other avenue for tools has been a bust. All of the local yard sales have been terribly disappointing this year: a folding table covered in glassware and fabric, boxes of kids’ clothes, or piles of books and toys. I used to pack Finn up in the backpack and roam the streets on Saturday morning, and almost always came back with at least some good tools.

Date posted: May 6, 2024 | Filed under tools | Leave a Comment »

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