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packmule1911
01-29-2015, 11:04 AM
Folks here have been very nice, helpful, and encouraging. Thanks for that. It might be a bit cheesy, but I feel like it's a decent enough place to share a story about tools.

I was replacing a steering stabilizer last night, and a stupid power steering pump. None of it was going all that well, I was tired, the floor of the garage to cold, but it all ended well. At the tail end of the process I used tools that my dad inherited from his, and how I have started to receive some of them. My Grandfather ran Graham Garage, Hubble Nebraska, Phone 4. Small town that isn't even classified as a town anymore. He did this until he lost his sight, and one leg, from diabetes. As a little kid I was a bit scared of him. He was a quiet fellow, blind, and missing a leg. I wish his age and mine, his capabilities and my interests, would have been able to better align for more time and talk together. Regardless, I'm proud of who he was, and am honored to have some of his tools.

So, in order to try and encourage my own father, I sent him this e-mail below that captures the tale of last night with the steering stabilizer, Grandpa Graham's tools, and why it matters.

"Dear Dad,

So, Grandpa Graham and his old mechanics tools = awesome!

I was changing a power steering pump in the Jeep last night, which completely sucks and I never want to do it again. I was also changing the steering stabilizer. It's a horizontally affixed shock that ties in to the steering system. Well, it was the original one, and one end is press fit into a cross member. It would not come out.

I used penetrating oil, a big ass hammer, a torch, a bigger-assed hammer, more oil, more torch. While Budweiser and I were spending some time together cussing the whole situation at around midnight, a thought came into my mind. "Didn't Dad give me a Plomb box with an ancient Plomb puller in it?"

Why yes, he did.

I tried it with the little jaws. No luck. I tried it with the medium jaws. No luck. I tried it with the big jaws. BOOOOOOOM! Stabilizer, puller, wrench go flying, and I try to get out from under the Jeep as quickly as possible. Scared the heck out of me, but laying there, removed from the vehicle, was the factory original steering stabilizer.

Popped on the new one for $38 and we're done.

Dad, it matters a great deal to me where I came from. Who my father is, and who his people were. I am proud of all of it, and I think about you, Grandpa Graham, and the Graham clan in general whenever I work on a car. That is partly why I continue to want to do so.

With love."

4.3LXJ
01-29-2015, 11:55 AM
I hear ya Bill. Unfortunately I had to buy all my own. I had an "uncle" who really wasn't really a relative who boarded with my Grandmother for probably at least 40 years. I used to go out into his machine shop and talk to him when I was little. He didn't have any children so he decided he liked me. He left me his entire machine shop, including a gun barrel lathe. But there was a fight over his stuff when he died and I wasn't a blood relative so I lost it. Sure wish I could have had all that stuff

packmule1911
01-29-2015, 12:38 PM
Sorry to hear about the hard parts in your story, and it's great that you had the relationship that you did with your "uncle", even if the outcome was ugly after he was gone.

4.3LXJ
01-29-2015, 01:22 PM
Thanks. It all happened when I was young. Also there was a replica of an antique double barrel shotgun which he made and said he would give it to me when old enough to shoot it. but I do have the Colt 45 replica he gave my father

XJ Wheeler
01-29-2015, 06:13 PM
That's a great story. Sometimes its really necessary to think on these things and show you're feelings. If we don't show them, no one will know.

I know i truly wished i would have known my uncle. He was a marine and a car nut when he wad young. He put a 800hp v8 in his 65 malibu and did a wheelie. Sadly he was killed three years before i was born. Sometimes i think about how different my life would be if he was around.

Sent via messenger pigeon - i talk, he types.

Brasscatz
02-01-2015, 11:33 AM
This is a great story, packmule. Thanks for sharing.

I inherited several tools from my dad's father, as well as some from my father himself. I do regret that I never followed in their footsteps with woodworking though. My great-grandfather was a master with wood. I've seen several of the things he's carved and crafted. My grandfather was amazing as well, built most of the furniture that was in my grandparents' house. My father dabbled a lot with it, made some very nice things, but hasn't done much with wood in the last 20 years or so. I just wish I would've expressed more interest in it and joined the line of woodworkers.

My mother's father died when she was 14, but over the years I've learned that he had a huge love for cars. Always washed and waxed his every weekend and tinkered on them constantly. I sure wish I could've met him... he was a great man.

autotech98
02-09-2015, 07:55 PM
Packmule....i loved the fact you took thr time to send your dad the e mail. Mu grandfather passed when i was 16 and father when i was 19. I learned a lot about cars and cussin from grandpa and how to be responsible man and right and wrong from dad who learned from grandpa. Didnt get tools passed down but wouldnt trade the knowledge for anything.

packmule1911
02-12-2015, 01:19 PM
Thank you, All. I'm glad you've enjoyed the story. My Dad did as well.

bscg2000
02-13-2015, 01:00 AM
Very nice story. It is awesome that you got tools passed down to you and you actually care about the tools. My grandfather was a mechanic for 20 some odd years and a very good one at that. Hr is still alive fortunately. I have some of his tools but not many. Most of them are still in his tool box. I look up to him and do whatever I can to help my grandparents out since they were the ones who raised me. My pop pop taught me the majority of what I know and wouldn't trade it for the world and I still learn something from him every time I work on anything or when we are working since I work for his tree company.

packmule1911
02-25-2015, 09:45 AM
Here's a picture of the old Plomb tool that slayed the factory original steering stabilizer.

4.3LXJ
02-25-2015, 11:27 AM
Very nice

cpttuna
02-25-2015, 04:31 PM
Some food for thought: My grandfather died 10 years before I was born; my father died when I was 32. I would love to have conversations with them both, but that is not possible. To those of you who have one or both still living, take the time to connect as much as possible. We never know when it has to come to and end.

packmule1911
03-02-2015, 01:46 PM
Yes. Good advice.

The trick right now is getting my teenage son to still want to connect with his Dad.

4.3LXJ
03-02-2015, 01:49 PM
Just let him start driving, especially off road. There will be a connection. Tell him he can post the videos. :D

Red Octopus
03-05-2015, 10:30 AM
Great thread, really great stories!
I'd like to add some advise, something I had learned years ago from my dad and some of the older guys that had mentored me over the years.

NEVER - NEVER sell, give away or throw away a tool, any tool, even broken ones - you'll regret it sooner or later and if you loan one out make sure you get it back. (now I'm not sayin' don't loan'em but get 'em back)

. . . .'nough said.

ps/ if offered a tool - don't turn it down, you'll need it sooner or later

XJ Wheeler
03-06-2015, 12:53 AM
Great thread, really great stories!
I'd like to add some advise, something I had learned years ago from my dad and some of the older guys that had mentored me over the years.

NEVER - NEVER sell, give away or throw away a tool, any tool, even broken ones - you'll regret it sooner or later and if you loan one out make sure you get it back. (now I'm not sayin' don't loan'em but get 'em back)

. . . .'nough said.

ps/ if offered a tool - don't turn it down, you'll need it sooner or later

I use this methodology. Hence the reason I have a 3/8-1/2" adapter setting on the table with the end of a 3/8" rachet stuck in it. One day i'll extract that. :rolleye0012: