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I Forge Iron

New member with lots of tool-related questions


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Hello. I was referred to this forum from the Axe, Tomahawk & Hatchet section of BladeForums. I'm generally looking for some info, help, answers and advice with my tools. 

My parents recently downsized and sold their home. About that same time I bought a house so I took my father's workbench and a TON of tools that were owned by my dad or grandfather. Expecting my dad to take his tools to his grave, whenever a decent quality tool presented itself over the past many years, I had started to build my own set, consisting mostly of metric tools specific to cars. In addition, I recently bought two milk crates of tools at an estate sale (hammer heads, axe, sledge & maul heads, screwdrivers, straight edges & T-squares, scribes & punches, etc.). 

Because dad kept all the good stuff (vice, anvil, press, taps/dies/extractors, levels, clamps, saws & more) I now have a workbench in a ~50x50 2-story garage/shop that is in need of a few things. I'm not sure if I should try and purchase exact replacements (so all the holes line up) or where/how to look for good quality items that match my needs vs. what he had. Additionally, I now have a few new-to-me items such as two Coleman Powermate 5000 generators that run but the power heads don't make power, an old Hobart welder/generator combo on a trailer (don't think engine runs on that) as well as some giant thing with "Ingersoll Rand 125" on the side --that has a dead battery and flat tires. 

I'm looking for help to figure out exactly what I have so that depending on the intended use of these items, I can decide if I should keep or sell them as some of them may be orders of magnitude of overkill for what I need/use. Additionally, I'd like to figure out what would be my best option for a new (probably vintage new to me) vice, anvil, drill press, 10-20 ton screw or hydraulic press (for things like wheel bearings and auto parts), band saw and a bunch of other odds & ends. Last and one of the higher items on my to-do list is learning about and doing a refurb on my grandfather's bench grinder, which is an old Century Electric Co. "Kleen-Heet" unit that I know nothing about. I'd like to find out about its age, servicing it, when it will need brushes, etc. 

I hope this is an appropriate forum to be asking these types of questions. If it isn't, I'd welcome any suggestions of better places to go.


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Hello and welcome. Take a minute and add your location to your profile so we have a rough idea where you are at. We have members from around the world, and it helps when answering many questions to know where you are at.


As far as the Hobart Welder, Try asking over at Weldingweb. There are a number of guys over there who refurb older engine drives. Down side of that machine is that the "HOBART" or today is not the same company that made your machine, so parts on the welder/generator end may be tough to come by. Most times the engines were sourced separately and can be fairly common. They'd need picts and model details to be of much help.


Same goes for your Ingersol Rand. Sounds like a tow behind jackhammer compressor. A few of the guys over there may be able to help with that as well. Up side on that is that these are usually fairly common in construction, so you can probably still get parts if need be. If you need a LOT of air, these are great machines. They usually will put out something like 125 CFM at 90psi nonstop. If you need to drive big air tools they are great. They are also great for sandblasters. They are big and noisy for small occasional use though.

Post up picts and we can help you will what you might need.

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First question is Do you want to work with your Tools or Repair/Fix them?  Sounds like you have 2 scrap Coleman Powermate units, very common.  I have 1 with engine problem and 1 with power head problem I've been going to match up but found I can replace with newer better ones for not much money. 

You ever going to use the Hobart? Do you have enough time to hunt for just the right tool to fit the holes of the work bench?  Makes more sense if you are concerned about holes to put on a new top and get what you want!

I'm always bidding on boxes of tools or buying them at yard sales for $1-2 pick out what I want add the rest to a pile to take to a blacksmith event to sell, donate some to the auction, swap. 

I've decided that I don't have the time to repair and work my tools I use to enjoy fixing, have fixed enough time to enjoy what works. 

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Thanks for the replies! I'll edit my profile ASAP with location. I'm in New England if that helps. 

To answer some questions, some things are sentimental so yes, I will fix them and hope that my grandchildren get to use them someday --those are all hand tools. Most of the others, such as the Hobart, Colemans, Ingersol Rand, etc. are just things that were here when we bought the house. I've tinkered with them enough to somewhat figure out what I've got --but ideally I'd like to figure out what I really need and then either fix/use what I have, or fix and sell (or just sell) what I don't need or will never use. 

I have a small media blasting cabinet and would love to get a media blasting gun (but that is complicated as you need a dedicated space as well as a LOT of media) however for the price, when I'm restoring a car I can probably hire someone else for much cheaper than acquiring a setup of my own. Anything else I'd run requiring air will be standard pneumatic tools for mostly auto and metal fab applications. I'll probably never operate a jackhammer unless its on the front of a Bobcat (which also came with the house). 

I've been working on a post in the "design my workspace" section for a couple days now. I need to finish that because it may also answer a lot of questions as to what I'm trying to ultimately do... that four-letter word called WORK keeps getting in the way. Thanks again for the replies. 

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Does anyone know how to rebuild or replace the brushes and bushings/bearings on a Century Electric Co. "Kleen Heet" bench grinder? Not so much "how to" but where to get parts and manuals/torque specs? 


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Bearings probably have an ABEC number stamped on the side so should be easy to chase down.  If not, take excellent measurements and work backwards--bearings have been pretty standard for a long time.  Sometimes an orphan bearing shows up but not that often.

But...whether it's worth the work might be questionable.  Some of those old grinders were not really all that good in the first place.  Even though large, they were often underpowered.  Do a comparison to the newer/used quality grinders available before you dig in too deeply to see if it's better to head that way vs fixing the old one.

Some of those hobart welder-generators are nearly bulletproof and people still like them.  Depends on the model.

The generators that are dead not so much.  Some are worth fiddling with but many were never really built for more than the occasional use so wear out or burn out) quickly.  

Pics of what you are speaking of with specific questions would help...The better the info you give, the better the responses will be.

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Never saw a bench grinder that had brushes. It I did, I would pass on it just because.  Bearings are a snap. Pop the end bells off, press the bearings off, run down to the bearing house, press the new ones on, and reassemble. I have done tons of electric motor bearings over the years. The one issue you may have is worn out end bells. If they are not too bad you can pick punch them to grip the bearing better, same with the shafts. The shafts are a press fit, the end bells a slip fit.

Trade the towable welder for a stationary unit you can use, same with the towable compressor. They are nice to have IF you need them, but that may not be your case.

The generators, well they may just need brushes, or a lot more. Do you have the time, and skills to mess with them-you mentioned work getting in the way? Could you trade 2 for 1, sell them and buy one,  barter to get them repaired, do you even need a generator?  I would start looking at what new, or good used ones are going for in your area, then make a decision. Being in New England where you get that white stuff in winter, I believe you call it snow, you may need some backup power. 

The Bobcat would have a hydraulic jackhammer. Now I would keep the Bobcat if it is in good running shape.


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