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Patty's Little Bench with old tools

Not near as fancy as a lot of others- but I have a couple of interesting tools to show.
I’m fortunate that my husband likes to restore tools and he’s done a couple for my bench

This is the center of my bench & my main work area. You can see the exhaust hood over my soldering area. The pipe has 2 internal fans that pull the exhaust through a charcoal filter that is up on the shelf.
You can also see the torch holder with my old Prest-o-lite torch, which allows me to securely clip the torch while it’s still burning if I need to set it down to re-position something. Basically it’s just a metal broom clip fastened to a piece of steel strap & angled to keep the torch tip under the hood.

You can see I have a lot of hammers & pliers. The pliers are mostly old and refurbished.
But also some new ones.

One tool that I recently acquired is a thin flexible file from @RioGrande Ultra thin micro flex file

It’s not quite as thin as the old type ignition files that I like - but better quality.

My Red Wing buffer is heavily used machine. And the photo shows a wheel that I like from Rio Grande.

I have a review of this wheel on Rio Grande’s site that explains what we did to modify the hub for a good fit on a tapered spindle .

One nice thing that we did was make a hinged surround for the buffer from old plexiglass display shelves. What that does besides helping keep the bench clean, is that you can take the whole surround to the sink after using compounds & just wash it off. Highly recommend that.

My scroll saw is a Walker Turner from the 1930’s, that was re-built by my husband & it has very good clamps for pin less blades- the same type for the hand saw. He also made me a zero clearance for it form Masonite.

I also have an aquarium air pump to gently blow the clips away from the cut line.
The saw is geared down to run at a lower speed & it’s very controllable with a foot pedal on and off switch.

The north end of my bench shows my drill presses , rolling mill and throat-less shear (among other things)

The big drill press is a leather belt driven, “Burke” from the 1920’s ( another husband restored tool ) . I guess you can tell I really like old tools :slight_smile:

The little drill press is a Chinese one ( I think Rio Grande sells this one also ) - it’s good for very small drill bits, since it runs at very high speed & pretty portable to move around the bench - but it doesn’t have the power for larger holes like the Burke does.

This old tool is a prize and I’m probably one of the few kids on the block with one- and sort of commandeered it from my husband. It’s a Pratt & Whitney " Keller Flex" Flex shaft, that my husband rebuilt with all new bearings & adapted a Foredom shaft to it , so I can use modern hand pieces. It lives on a shelf above the bench, and I switch it on and off with a brass pull rod.
One nice feature is that I can set it for a specific speed to use with certain flap wheels, etc that shouldn’t be used beyond the design speed.

My last and possibly most favorite is my old jewelers saw - a present from my husband.
That I think he found completely rusted many years ago in New England.

I don’t know it’s origin but it’s very old and made of very high quality steel. And it has a feature that is sadly lacking on what seems like most modern saws - the upper blade clamp is adjustable with a wing nut for perfectly tensioning the blade.

It also means I can use any length blade.

That’s my show and tell - thanks for looking,

Live Oak Studios


Nice set-up, Patty!

Question: Are your hammers being held by a magnetic strip?

Jeff Herman

Yes, my hammers , pliers & stakes.
I’ve found that the cheap ones from Horrible Freight work the best.
I started out with nice wood ones - but got sick of things falling of.
$ 3.99 at HF and they work great.
Thanks for asking.

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The only thing I would be concerned about is the hammer heads picking up minute strands of stray steel wool or other ferrous material.

Jeff Herman

Interesting thought Jeff- you had me checking hammer heads at random and I found none that were even slightly magnetic. Maybe because the magnet strips have a strip of plastic over them ?
Anyway, no magnetic hammers here - or pliers either.
Thanks for bringing up an interesting point.
Live Oak Studios

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Hi Patty,

Can you remember how long those tools have been stored on the magnetic strip?

Great post, Patty! Really cool


The strips with the hammers & the pliers, I’d estimate 4 or 5 years.
Some of the other strips I installed more recently.

Live Oak Studios

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Seriously cool vintage tools.


Nice setup. I have magnetic utensil strips on the shelves above my bench which I have my go-to hand tools stored within grasp. I did not even think about my hammers. I think I will add a few of my most used hammers to those strips. Thanks.

I used a clear plastic storage container turned on its side in which I placed my small buffing machine in. It does the same as your plexiglass surround and is easy to clean too. Sure keeps the dust contained.

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Very cool. I love old tools as well. I really like the variable speed
scroll saw. What is that right next to it with the air hose on it? Die
grinder? Your rolling mill is kinda hidden though.

Thanks Jim for the great chuckle - glad you like the old tools .
And the nice words Seth.

Shannon - I’m not sure which photo you are referring to - next to the scroll saw (which is not variable speed, just slow speed - the motor & pulley are below the bench) is my Prest-O-Lite torch in it’s clip .
If you mean the central picture- you can see the Keller Flex up on the shelf & the " hose" is from a second flex shaft machine with a quick change Pfingst ( sp? ) hand piece.

One thing I have , that you can see is a pipe running above my bench - it’s just a piece of EMT that I use to hang things on - and the hand piece nicely hangs in shower curtain clips with little rollers on them.

The Rolling mill is portable - and I store it in the back of the bench. Since space is limited that’s the best I can do . What we did was to make the handle removable with a large thumb screw- so I can stash it easily, and then I clamp it to the bench & pop the handle on when I want to use it. Normally it’s covered with one of the little " cozies" I made for it & the dangerous sheer. But I removed them for the photo. Otherwise the bench is pretty much the way it normally is.

Since the 2nd half of the room is my husbands little machine shop - my allotted space is pretty limited,so I’ve learned to be creative :slight_smile:

What I did not show was the storage mess on the shelf under the bench - but a girl has a right not to show everything :relieved:

Thanks for asking -
Live Oak Studios

Re Patty’s old tools: Wow! If I were a Rio Grande judge, this is the entry I’d vote for. I love old tools and I’m gratified to see the care you’ve lavished on them.


  • Lorraine
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Thanks Lorraine - I do like the old tools , they just feel better. But it is my husband Tom that has put all the work into restoring them. It’s one of his hobbies.

For fun here’s my " Burke" drill press in all it’s glory ( and the before photo as well ) - he " made" the calendar a year or two ago in an Old Tool Forum he belongs to .

Live Oak Studios


That Burke No.25 restoration is officially the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Does Tom do this for other people on a commission basis, or is it just a family/hobby thing? @JimGrahlDesign would love this… he restores old cars and other such things…

Thanks Seth,
On the whole, I’d say it’s a hobby for him, and our house & shop spaces have a number of his restorations.
I think Tom would love to do such things for pay - but quite honestly the amount of time put into such restorations is such, that I doubt anyone would be willing to pay ( but you’re welcome to ask him, if that interests you ) .
I do know he’ll appreciate the compliment, which I’ll pass on to him - so thank you.

Tom says that if Jim can restore an old car , he can restore anything - don’t ask me how HE knows :slight_smile:

Live Oak Studios

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Oh my gosh! That’s beautiful!

three cheers,


Awesome setup! Thank you so much for sharing with us.

Thanks Vicki -
I was glad to get the push to post.
I have always enjoyed looking at others Bench Exchange posts -
lots of good ideas out there.

Live Oak Studios

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WOW! Fantastic job by both of you!!! :heart:️:heart:️:clap:t3::clap:t3: