The Life And Times Of A Tool Addict

There is no end in sight.

I have been a tool addict for over 40 years now. There are some tools out in my garage that I have had even longer than that.

Tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools, tool boxes and related items have come and gone over the years.

I literally ran out of room and had to give away entire Roll Away tool boxes that were half full of tools.

That was before I even moved into this place.

When I quit working on heavy equipment and heavy trucks, I sold and gave away the Big Stuff.

There isn’t usually a call for two inch wrenches and sockets in a typical year around here.

I have also been the extremely fortunate recipient of other peoples generosity and have now had to go buy a smaller Roll Away just to put some of those very expensive tools into.

The biggie I have found was not paying heed to some sage advice a few years ago when I first got this little Chinesium Mini Lathe.

I was warned several times,

“The Tooling Will Wind Up Costing More Than The Machine”.

I scoffed at such nonsense.

How is that even possible?

Well I am here to tell you that the above statement is only partially true.

It should say that the tooling will end up costing AT LEAST double what the machine did.

I am on a first name basis with EBay and Banggood.

My Mail Man and I are also on a first name basis. I would be with the various delivery drivers but they just drop the package and run.

I had to completely stop going to yard and garage sales, it just got completely out of control.

In the last three weeks I have placed twelve orders on Ebay, at a minimum.

Two more just this morning for Morse Taper adapters.

Even Amazon is getting a hit once in a while.

A new Slitting saw arbor and a couple of saw blades are resting comfortably on the little stand next to my left elbow as I type. I needed one with a Morse 3 taper. I already made one with a straight shank.

Hopefully soon I will be able to make my own tapered tooling. I have turned a couple of tapers on the small lathe for practice.

The opportunities are endless .

My biggest problem has always been a lack of organization.

Where to put all of this stuff, along with the thousands of nuts, bolts, screws, hose clamps and virtually the entire contents of a small hardware store.

They sell things for that too.

Trust me.

Like I said at the beginning.

It never ends.

26 thoughts on “The Life And Times Of A Tool Addict

  1. It sure is amazing how much stuff follows you home, or shows up out of the blue when you have a machine shop at home. I’m conserving gravity over here now. After a while, I tapered off a little. I don’t need more than 150,000 drill bits. If you give them to me, I’ll take ’em. But buying more isn’t really a need now. Unless it’s a size I need….

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  2. I’m bad, but not that bad. I do have at least 5 10mm sockets though. Like Cederq said, for some reason those sumbiches have legs and wander off, even when I’m using them.
    But, a job is always easier if you have the right tool. My son gave me a set of PEX crimpers for Christmas one year (I was admiring them at Home Despot). Turns out, the house we bought was refurbed, all the plumbing PEX. So when I had an issue with the big freeze, I had what I needed.
    I’m not only a tool ‘ho, I’m a parts slut. I never buy just one part when it’s a consumable like plumbing fittings, pipes, whatnot.
    I’ll need them someday.

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    • I’m the same way. If I have to make a trip to get one freaking bolt, hose clamp or anything else like that I get several. Working nights means that you don’t just run down to the hardware store at 3 in the morning.

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      • When I go to buy bolts, I’m starting to buy the whole 50 count box.

        I moved my patio awning and made it a carport, in anticipation of a sunroom addition.(Another story of incompetence and frustration with contractors). I bought more channel aluminum, and box each 5/16 bolts, washers, and nuts. I also bought a box of 3/16 pop rivets. Long story, but I conserved the old bolts, used a rivet on non structural stuff, and didn’t need most of the bolts.

        But then I bought a steel raised garden. It came with 3/8″ holes drilled and a bag of what looked like #8 bolts, washers and nuts made of chinesium for sure.

        I put it together with the good steel bolts I bought. No trip to the hardware store.

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    • Same here, TechieDude. I always buy more than what I need. Saves my ass, more often than not. You should see the collection of exhaust clamps, wheel hub kits, and brake pads / hardware on my shelves. Hence why I keep buying Gen III Taurus’ , I have enough inventory on hand to almost never go to the parts store.

      Leigh
      Whitehall, NY

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      • My daughter’s first vehicle was a 85 F-150, with straight pipe exhaust. When no emissions are required any longer, apparently you don’t need any mufflers or whatnot in Texas. So I bought her mufflers for Christmas and installed them.

        Sitting on my shelf are still the extra clamps, and a flex pipe I thought I might need. In my tool cabinet are the pipe expanders I needed to do the job.

        I have a bin of extra stuff I really need to sort out. I should probably donate some of it to the habitat for humanity store.

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  3. In my 2yr period of making guns from blocks and chips, I tossed $15K Travers Tool’s way. Quite a bit of it was just carbide ‘tips’ for milling tools. At one point, I had a 2l soda bottle with about 10lbs of broken carbide, cobalt, et.al. That got a decent price at the recyclers, but nowhere near what I’d paid. $200 for a single end mill? Easy peasy. $130 for a 1 3/16×16 tap for buffer tubes? Sure, why not.
    I sold the mill for $18K along with all the tooling I’d gathered along the way. It became nothing more than an expensive drill press and cut off saw at that point. Plus, I have enough ‘spares’ to keep my cats great grandchildren shooting for a few decades.

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  4. There is a reason I do not repeat the many great stories here to my wife. She may start to investigate. you guys make my day. Yes running late today, headed to the garage shortly.

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