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Old 08-04-2019, 02:07 PM
Johnny L.A. is online now
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The old socket set


Dad bought a new Toyota Corona Mk II wagon in 1972. He also bought a metric socket set. As a teen, I used it to work on my motorcycles (mostly changing spark plugs in those two-stroke engines). I don't know when I, erm... 'appropriated' it; but dad died in 1998. I've had it at least a couple/few years before that. It's been my go-to socket set since the mid-'70s. I have no idea what the brand is. Dad usually bought Craftsman tools, but this set isn't that. The only markings other than the sizes are the JAPAN stamps.

The paint was wearing off, and there was a little bit of surface rust on the box; so I found as near to the original colour I could find in the hardware store's limited selection of Rust-Oleum spray paint. It's very, very close.

Socket set, open
Socket set, closed
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:14 PM
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Huh. Looks like my dad's. Is the red lining kind of flimsy plastic?
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Huh. Looks like my dad's. Is the red lining kind of flimsy plastic?
Yep, vacuum-formed plastic.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:44 PM
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wow, that tool set is a unicorn.



the 10mm socket isn't missing
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Old 08-04-2019, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Huh. Looks like my dad's. Is the red lining kind of flimsy plastic?
Where did he get it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
wow, that tool set is a unicorn.

the 10mm socket isn't missing
I thought about 'shopping the 10 mm out.


Still wondering where dad got this one. Could he have bought it from Toyota? You'd think it would be branded. Maybe it had a Toyota sleeve? Or, he shopped a bit at Western Auto. That seems a likely candidate.
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:29 PM
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Ya know, I think I have that same set. The blue is definitely a match (but my plastic insert is black).

I'll take a look and see if it's the same layout.

And yes, Dad gave it to me. Probably in the late 1970s.


mmm
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:15 PM
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Incidentally, this is what his car looked like (only, without the rack).
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:37 PM
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Where did he get it?







I thought about 'shopping the 10 mm out.



.
Going to check and maybe get a picture.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:00 PM
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I already commented but once again it was deleted. I had that set. It was cheap (made in Japan back then was the made in China of today (well the made in China of 20 years ago), but a serviceable set. Better not to pound on it, I broke the ratchet though I broke more expensive ratchets over they years as well. I replaced it when I could with a more name brand - Craftsman. In short it is not a great tool set.

Last edited by kanicbird; 08-05-2019 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:47 PM
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In short it is not a great tool set.
This one has lasted 47 years so far, so...
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:00 PM
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I can't post a picture at the moment, but that looks identical to a socket set that I think belonged to my maternal grandfather. (I don't recall seeing it in our garage until we cleaned out his house after he passed away.) He never owned any foreign cars, but he also wasn't very picky about the brands of tools he purchased, so that's probably how it showed up in his tool collection.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:08 PM
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I can't post a picture at the moment, but that looks identical to a socket set that I think belonged to my maternal grandfather.
You should post a pic.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:43 PM
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Not exactly the same configuration, though I see why my memory saw a resemblance :

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12D9...w?usp=drivesdk

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12BV...w?usp=drivesdk
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Not exactly the same configuration, though I see why my memory saw a resemblance :

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12D9...w?usp=drivesdk

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12BV...w?usp=drivesdk
I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same manufacturer. The contour on the ratchet handle looks the same. Is the 'switch' (whatever you call the thing that changes directions on the ratchet) a single 'bar' down the middle, and do you have to align it with a 'slot' in the vacuum-formed base so you can close the lid?

Your box looks like it has more of a metallic finish than mine did. The paint I chose was very close. With a bit of steel wool and a browse down the paint aisle, you can refinish that nicely. (Oh, is yours metric, or SAE?)
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:31 AM
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Is the 'switch' (whatever you call the thing that changes directions on the ratchet)
Spinner? Ratchet?
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:23 PM
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Mine is a light green box, both SAE and metric and made in Taiwan. But the exact same looking pieces. And the nut driver broke 30 years ago. I think it was my first set of sockets, which means I acquired them in 1972 or thereabouts.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:47 PM
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I had the same set and another equally cheap-but-serviceable set for metrics. Almost everything I did was SAE; almost. But it wasn't until the mid-80s to late 80s that I finally broke down and got Craftsman metrics (with a few Snap-on for some specialized stuff).

Now my prized possession is two very old Craftsman sets - 1/4 and 3/8 drive - with 8-point sockets for the old 4-point/square nuts used in furniture. From back when they made some really good cabinet tools. Those, like my double-deep sockets for doing the tension adjustments on car trunks, stay in the safe and not in the toolbox.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:27 AM
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This reminds me of my long lost first socket set. Metric.

Got it when I got my first car: 69 VW Beetle. Used it for years. And then it wasn't there.

Also around the same time FtGKid2 was working on a "fort" or some such off in the woods with friends. And a hammer disappeared, as well.

Still miss it.

Kids, right?
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:08 AM
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My dad and I went together and bought a couple shipping containers full of tools, this was in the early 80's. It contained a couple hundred socket sets just like that. We set up a space at my dad's used car lot and sold the tools. We sold out of the socket sets like that pretty quick, I think we were asking $5 each for them. I still have a few items that load of tools, a bench grinder, a couple impact wrenches and 3/8 inch flex head ratchet with a 20 inch handle. All still work great.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:23 PM
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I've just ordered an SAE one, in a dark green box for $8 (plus $8 shipping). It has the original sticker inside; so I'll just get the rust off, and paint, the outside. It should be just the thing for working on the MGB.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:59 PM
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Does anyone else remember Buffalo brand tools? As I recall, they were the first widespread tools from China. Big Lots and Big R stores sold lots of them. They always had a ridiculous price labeled on them, such as $19.99 for the socket sets mentioned in this thread, but "marked down" by the store to $3.99 or less. They weren't the best tools, but how bad can a claw hammer be? I got one for 75 cents marked down once, and I still have it. It's 30 years old now.
  #22  
Old 08-06-2019, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
Does anyone else remember Buffalo brand tools? As I recall, they were the first widespread tools from China...
That reminds me... From what I can see, I'm guessing that the reason the tools aren't marked with a brand is that they were sold as 'generic' sets that U.S. companies would buy and put their own names on the box.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Dad bought a new Toyota Corona Mk II wagon in 1972. He also bought a metric socket set.
Apparently that was the thing to do after buying a foreign car in the 1970s. My dad also bought a metric socket set after he bought his Corolla in 1979. Not the same as yours, though. His is in a yellow metal case. I assume he still has it.

My dad did get me my own socket set for Christmas when I was in my late teens. It's a good Craftsman set, and very complete with both standard and metric sockets plus a spark plug socket, large and small ratchets, and a pair of screwdrivers. I still use it to this day. I did lose one of the sockets after it fell into the engine compartment of my old Saturn and mysteriously vanished. It did not come out the bottom, so I can only assume it ended up on top of some part of the engine or the car's frame where I couldn't get to it. I have no idea if it was still there when that car went to the junkyard as part of California's Vehicle Retirement Program, or it it fell out in the middle of the street somewhere while I was driving.

On the subject of "appropriating" (I like that term) parents' tools, I appropriated my dad's lug wrench at some point when I was a teenager. I think I just threw it in my trunk at some point thinking it would be handy to have with me if I ever had to change a tire, and it just stayed with me even after I moved across the country. He noticed it in my trunk once while here for a visit and was like "Hey... is that mine?" Not that he really minded.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:37 PM
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I appropriated my dad's lug wrench at some point...
This is my lug wrench.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:39 PM
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My dad also bought a metric socket set after he bought his Corolla in 1979.
I've often wondered why Toyota discontinued the Corona, and kept the Corolla. I liked the Corona.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:30 PM
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I've often wondered why Toyota discontinued the Corona, and kept the Corolla. I liked the Corona.
Yeah, I had a Toyota Corona Mark II. Say it real fast and it sounds Spanish. And in 1973, I was living in Baltimore, and I bought a ratchet set at an auto parts store for about 5 dollars or so, so I could work on my Toyota Corona Mark II. I just retired that set about 6 months ago. The ratchet finally just couldn't handle the pull I was going for. I got my money's worth.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:34 AM
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The mention of nut drivers reminds me of the one left in my Beetle by the previous owner. (Under the back seat where all sorts of things tended to wind up in Beetles.)

It was 1/8" drive with a 90 degree swivel plus a small number of sockets. Came in handy then and I still use it once it a while.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:30 PM
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I'm too young to actually remember that time, but as I understand it rear wheel drive was beginning to be viewed as obsolete in the 1980s. By then the Corona was possibly starting to be viewed as old fashioned, and possibly Toyota felt they needed a "modern" front wheel drive car to compete with the Accord, so they introduced the Camry and dropped the Corona. Of course they switched the Corolla to FWD around the same time and kept the Corolla name, so arguably they could have used the Corona name for their new FWD midsize car. Although they apparently still sold the RWD Corona in other countries, so that might have just created confusion.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:58 PM
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Pictures, as promised! It's not exactly like Johnny L.A.'s set, but it appears to have most pieces in common -- just a different arrangement.

Closed.

Open.

The spark plug socket.

And the nut driver. (A bit gross.)
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:16 AM
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Um... What happened?
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:03 PM
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Um... What happened?
I think there was some kind of reaction between the plastic in the handle of the nut driver and the plastic of the liner. (One of the two is made of acetate, judging from the slight vinegar smell.) The liner appears to be otherwise intact. I didn't touch the handle of the nut driver, but the part that's visible looked like it might have a slight coating where something has leached out. The set has been stored in a hot garage, which might have accelerated the reaction.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:14 AM
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I think there was some kind of reaction between the plastic in the handle of the nut driver and the plastic of the liner.
You are right; I've had it happen to me as well.

People have mentioned getting tools that had been their Dad's -------- I got a couple of those but not too many. I started working on beer trucks with an uncle of mine when I was 8 and fixing neighborhood cars in the back yard when I was 12 or so. I got an actual real job at a Harley shop bending wrenches when I was 15. So a lot of tools I bought myself 50 years ago.

But I have a few that are special to me if no-one else that came from Zeke ---------- Zeke's Auto Wreckers. Zeke's was one of those wonderful places where you could go and rip out the parts you wanted and save much money in the process. Since people often left tools behind (those adults just didn't appreciate good things like us kids did ) I always carried two tool boxes and made sure I had some room for adding any "foundlings". Since I always gave Zeke any cool non-tool things I found (like that sawed-off shotgun) he basically knew what I was up to and let it slide. I have some S-wrenches branded for Ford, a great little Packard jack, and I scored almost enough Snap-on to call a set of one kind or another. And some large open-ended wrenches (2"+) I can only guess at why people had them - maybe to use as hammers? All the Japan stuff I scrapped but the US ones I still have and use and I can tell you where many of them came from; what car I found them in. One of those meaningless things that mean nothing to anyone but me.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:23 PM
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Pretty sure that is a Western Auto set. We had one, too. Still around, somewhere, I think.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:30 PM
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Pretty sure that is a Western Auto set.
As I've been thinking about it, I'd bet money dad bought his at Western Auto.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:41 PM
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As I've been thinking about it, I'd bet money dad bought his at Western Auto.
The good Western Auto brand was Wizard. I have some (of course, they were dad's).
  #36  
Old 08-08-2019, 07:31 PM
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Yeah my dad had one of those very similar sets, and I am virtually certain still had it until downsizing for a home a few months ago. I think his was a dealer throw-in with a 70's-ish Subaru. It had a Subaru branded tool pouch, with the tools out of some some odd alloy, but I think the American dealers also threw-in a metric socket set, assuming people may not have one.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:19 PM
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I decided to get a similar SAE socket set to put in the boot of the MGB. I found one on eBay for $8. It's been used a lot, and I'll need to replace the ½-inch socket. I'll proactively replace the 9/16 and 7/16 too.

Outside, before painting
Inside, before painting
Outside, after painting, open
Outside, after painting, closed
Inside, after painting, with sockets

I got lazy and decided to paint the outside first, without masking the label inside. Some spray got in. Meh, whaddya gonna do? It's not collector's item. This set is going to bounce around in the back of a roadster.




.

Last edited by Johnny L.A.; 08-12-2019 at 09:20 PM.
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