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These Classic Tools

Have Stories to Tell

These Classic Tools Have Stories to Tell


Do you have one really special tool? It might be considered a classic in your trade, or a family heirloom, or it could be one that's been beat up, fixed and revived a few times but remains your personal go-to. If you’re like the Grainger customers featured here, you might have one or more of these in your arsenal.

Randy Rarick turned his passion for surfing into a career that includes starting and managing the first worldwide pro surfing tour and building custom surfboards for the sport’s elite. Perfecting his craft was made possible with the help of one classic tool that he says changed everything: a long-discontinued power planer that can still fetch hundreds of dollars on the resale market — the SKIL 100.
Read the full story.

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“Awesome! Randy was a huge influence in my improvement in surfing. Back then I had about 50 surfer magazines.”

“Best planer for anyone or anything Skil 100! Only one I ever used!”

“I have 4 in my warehouse. Used by me, my dad and grandpa and many others to build bowling alleys. I need to find parts to fix them.”

“Friends of mine built 169 surfboards using that kind of planer back in the early ’70s on Galveston Bay, for Gulf of Mexico waves. They got pretty good at it before heading off to college.”

Submitted on The KnowHow

"I found it very interesting to hear the strong demand still out there for this coveted piece of equipment. I’m proud to say I’m a holder of this treasured tool. One lucky day on the Jersey shore, I looked in the dumpster and couldn’t believe my eyes! Buried amongst the debris of building materials, I see the tail end of the Skil 100 planer. I really couldn’t believe it."

I tried other tools that worked ok, but there’s nothing like the feel of the Skil 100. The balance, the cut and the way you can adjust your cut. Proud to be a shaper and surfer from the Jersey shore. Surf on!


Vintage Tools Keep 110-Year-Old Farm Running

Reinventing a Trusted Partner: The 1951 Ridgid 400

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"My favorite tool is my Stanley Number 65 low-angle block-plane adjustable mouth, knuckle joint cap. It’s likely over a hundred years old, and still is working every day on the job. I bought it about 50 years ago at an antique store in Camden, Maine. I’ve used it in the trade ever since. Newer planes in a similar format are much heavier, bulkier, and not as easy to use as the 65. I’ll never part with it. Nothing today can compare.”

Just out of high school in 1971, Dave Damroth moved from mainland Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard, where he began his career in construction, working with a small set of hand tools for a demanding mentor. One of Dave’s tools was a Black and Decker Super Sawcat, which he still uses. This circular saw helped build his family’s first home, literally and metaphorically. And then it helped him build their second home.

Damroth considers the saw an engineering marvel that’s as powerful and reliable today as it was in the early 1970s.“It's been a part of my body, really in a literal sense,” Damroth said. “It's an extension of what I am.” Read the full story.

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“After 45 years of using the same saw, it’s the one that feels most comfortable in my hand. That’s my story. I am not saying it’s the best, but it’s the best for me.”

"Got mine used in 1966 and except for a new trigger and me cutting the cord in half resulting in a short cord, it still runs fine.”

“I've got one my dad bought in the late ’50s and it still works good.”

Working and maintaining a farm takes a lot of love and hard work. And when one tool consistently delivers, it can save significant time and effort. Even though they've tried more modern implements, there's one classic tool Brian Luedtke relies on every year to plant the vegetable garden—their family heirloom plow. Read the full story.

Reactions on Facebook About This Story

“The plow pictured was drawn (pulled) mostly by mules, horses, donkeys and oxen!  Those darn hardheaded donkeys were more aggravating to me!”

“Daddy had a plow just like this.”

“I have three and I use them every spring.”

“I remember my dad using one a lot like that. Helped feed a big family. Those were tough days. Finally got a tractor. God bless his soul.”


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The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.