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Old 04-13-2019, 10:35 AM   #1
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Uncommon vintage tools


Many of us have tools handed down to us from out fathers or even grandfathers. These are mostly hand tools used in the most common vocational trades, carpentry, woodworking, automotive etc. I myself have planes and hand saws that are literally older than I am (I am well into my 50s).

There are a plethora of websites that exhibit these tools.

What about the more uncommon tools?

Part of my working life, I was in telco. Today we see phone people running around in bucket trucks using the latest equipment.

I have always had an interest in what my predecessors used. I am not sure what constitutes vintage but some of my own tools are over 25-years old.

Here are examples of some of what I still have and they all still work.

The butt set is a Harris Dracom TS21 model.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


Here are some vintage telco butt sets.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


Here are a couple of vintage meters.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


Safety belt and gaffs.

Even 25-years ago, those safety belts were a marvel of design. The belt that went around the pole was so strong, you could pull a vehicle with it (we had an old unused belt with which we did this on a number of occasions).

I have spent many an hour on gaffs. This is a skill that seems to be waning in the industry with the move towards buried cable and more affordable bucket trucks.

When I was in the trade, if a pole was not stepped or you could not get a ladder to it you strapped up the gaffs.

Gaffing a pole was considered so important a skill that during the four weeks of telco training, we spent the last three hours of every day climbing and maneuvering on poles while wearing gaffs. This extensive training was as much for our safety as it was the skill. A gaff kicking out 30 feet in the air can ruin your day.
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:21 PM   #5
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


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Originally Posted by Drachenfire View Post
Safety belt and gaffs.

Even 25-years ago, those safety belts were a marvel of design. The belt that went around the pole was so strong, you could pull a vehicle with it (we had an old unused belt with which we did this on a number of occasions).

I have spent many an hour on gaffs. This is a skill that seems to be waning in the industry with the move towards buried cable and more affordable bucket trucks.

When I was in the trade, if a pole was not stepped or you could not get a ladder to it you strapped up the gaffs.

Gaffing a pole was considered so important a skill that during the four weeks of telco training, we spent the last three hours of every day climbing and maneuvering on poles while wearing gaffs. This extensive training was as much for our safety as it was the skill. A gaff kicking out 30 feet in the air can ruin your day.

Cool! I had to look up "gaffs" to confirm my guess. I haven't seen anybody climb a pole (or seen a pole with "steps") in years. Foresters and arbourists, yes. I suppose it died out because of the mixture of poles made from wood, concrete, poly resin, etc., but I'll guess the biggest driver was occupational health and safety rules.
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:33 PM   #6
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


I have a few jointer and moulding planes I got from my dad and F-in-L. I mostly just keep them around a collectables. An uncle was a carpenter and he gave me a brace and set of bits in a leather pouch.
My dad was an accountant so not much in the way of fun hand-me-downs. When we were cleaning his place out I found the old manual 'adding machine' that I remembered as a kid. It weighed about 25lb, I had no use for it and had a whole house to dispose of so off to the scrap yard it went. My F-in-L was a doctor but a very good woodworker (boats, etc.). He had some really neat stuff that I dearly would have loved to get my hands on but I'm really limited for space and his own sons got first dibs.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:03 PM   #7
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


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Cool! I had to look up "gaffs" to confirm my guess. I haven't seen anybody climb a pole (or seen a pole with "steps") in years. Foresters and arbourists, yes. I suppose it died out because of the mixture of poles made from wood, concrete, poly resin, etc., but I'll guess the biggest driver was occupational health and safety rules.
Still used and guys are still trained. I was a lineman for ATT about 9yrs ago. Climbed a few times a week. Hell of alot easier than halling a ladder. I see the power company uses it when there is no access for a bucket truck.

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Old 04-13-2019, 09:31 PM   #8
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


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Still used and guys are still trained. I was a lineman for ATT about 9yrs ago. Climbed a few times a week. Hell of alot easier than halling a ladder. I see the power company uses it when there is no access for a bucket truck.

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Maybe different jurisdictional rules or company policies. We have an electrical utility guy down the road - I'll have to ask him next time our dogs are exchanging greetings.


Around here if they can't get a truck in they use one of these:


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Old 04-13-2019, 09:58 PM   #9
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


Quote:
Originally Posted by Drachenfire View Post
Safety belt and gaffs.

Even 25-years ago, those safety belts were a marvel of design. The belt that went around the pole was so strong, you could pull a vehicle with it (we had an old unused belt with which we did this on a number of occasions).

I have spent many an hour on gaffs. This is a skill that seems to be waning in the industry with the move towards buried cable and more affordable bucket trucks.

When I was in the trade, if a pole was not stepped or you could not get a ladder to it you strapped up the gaffs.

Gaffing a pole was considered so important a skill that during the four weeks of telco training, we spent the last three hours of every day climbing and maneuvering on poles while wearing gaffs. This extensive training was as much for our safety as it was the skill. A gaff kicking out 30 feet in the air can ruin your day.
I have a set of Gaffs, that I acquired some 50 years ago.

Was climbing old abandoned poles as a teenager, to retrieve the old Purple insulators from.

Ever had the gaffs start slipping down the pole, ripping a long splinter as you slip down, damned near Castrated myself, luckily, I saw it coming, and moved back just enough that the splinter was at eye level, when I stopped sliding.

Scared me enough that I created a better safety belt, and secure harness for myself.



ED
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:48 PM   #10
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


We used a Buck Squeeze it's probably standard issue now for safety.

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Old 04-14-2019, 08:35 AM   #11
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


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Ever had the gaffs start slipping down the pole, ripping a long splinter as you slip down,



ED
We called that burning a pole. I was fortunate in that I never had it happen to me.

When I was in telco, creosote poles were bring replaced with poles treated with other products which made the wood hard and in turn harder to gaff. I was a big guy so I did not have to much trouble as all I had to do was put my weight on the gaff and it would dig in.

We had a young guy on the crew. Hard worker, even though he was all of 5'6" and weighed less than 120 soaking wet. When he climbed, he had to really jam his gaff to get it to dig in.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:51 AM   #12
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


I worked at ATT for about a year. I was hired on when U-verse started to roll out as a F2 conditioner. Along with about 100 other guys. We were hired as RLTs (regular limited term). They said that's how everyone was hired. Then after the term was up they they **** canned almost everyone.

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Old 04-14-2019, 04:15 PM   #13
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


Looks like my first butt set; metal diaphram for the speaker went "PINNNNNG" if you weren't in Monitor when you connected to the line.


I could go up and down a pole, but couldn't work. If I took my eyes of my knees, they would drift in toward the pole, which pulls your spurs out of pole. Having no desire for a belly full of creosote splinters, I gave up the gaffs.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:04 PM   #14
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Re: Uncommon vintage tools


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I could go up and down a pole, but couldn't work. If I took my eyes of my knees, they would drift in toward the pole, which pulls your spurs out of pole. Having no desire for a belly full of creosote splinters, I gave up the gaffs.
When I was on gaffs, I lived by the mantra "butt out".
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