Tools that Have Gone the Distance
From contributor M:
My favorites are a Powermatic 66 table saw, Powermatic 5hp 2 bag dust collector and a Ritter in line borer on 2" centers. I bought all three 20 years ago when I started. I have put a capacitor on the Ritter motor and a capacitor on the table saw motor. That's it, other than blades and bits. Still using all of them every work day. On a smaller note, I still have and use five Porter Cable routers that I bought at the same time. Replaced brushes and bearings along the way, but they are still doing the job.
From contributor P:
I bought a sharpening stone at a Chinese grocery store in 1985. It seemed to be bigger than I needed, so I snapped it in half and have one half at home at my sink, and the other half is in a bucket of water at the shop. After 25 years it still isn't completely worn out - not because I never sharpen anything, just because it's a dang good stone. I also have my first hammer and a Milwaukee drill (with plug and cord).
From contributor J:
Back in the late 70's I bought a new Senco K gun. Still use it every day; just oil it and go. If it ever goes out I have two more. One is still brand new and is never used. The old K gun is perfect for 5/8" staples for 1/4" backs. My 1951 Rogers stroke sander works like
new, and I use it quite a bit. My rarely used Conover wood lathe is so well made I'm sure someone will be using it 100 years from now, or looking at it once in awhile as they walk by it. Great machine. Bowl turner's dream.
From contributor V:
Back in the day when I remodeled, 1980 something, I found the head of a framing hammer with the stub of its handle tossed in the woods on a job site. Big 32 oz. smooth faced framer. Put a hatchet handle on it and called it Goliath. The old boy could tear up anything. Hangs with pride in my shop today like an old friend. Next to my retired Shopsmith Mark 5, first big-time power tool.
From contributor D:
I have a Skil drill from 1963 that I bought new at 13 years old - complete with cord. It doesn't get much use since it is now semi-retired at my home shop. Single speed, non-reversing, but the battery never goes dead.
I have a 1940's era Rockwell shaper that just had the original motor replaced last year. I redid all the spindle bearings for its 4 interchangeable cartridges about 15 years ago. Works every day.
Also a 1962 Powermatic 2-A tenoner, all original except for the 21st century heads with interchangeable carbide tips. It works like a champ as long as you know how to hold your tongue when dialing it in.
From contributor C:
I have an old Hermance single end tenoner (a fantastic machine). We hadn't had it long before I installed mechanical digital counters on the elevating screws. This has saved tons of time in the years since.
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