S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Tools Page keywords = tool lock wrench plier screw driver lathe drill press Do-All Shopsmith Bernard Yankee BMC

Updated:   28 Apr 2015; 11:15  ET
[Page created 01 Jul 2011;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/tools.html

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Tools Page

INDEX to Tools Page:

Unindexed (scroll away) except for:
    BMC Precision Pressure Lock Wrench {Pliers}.


When I met my wife, I told her that I have "every tool known to man"!  Well, that may have been a “slight” exaggeration, but not by much.  Just for example, I have my grandfather's tools, my father's tools, a “liberated” WWII Air Force tool kit, my auto tools, my carpentry tools, my garden tools, my electrical tools, and, last but not least (by any means), a small plastic box with over 100 tiny, even microscopic, model RR tools.  Of course, I also have many miscellaneous machine tools, computer tools, electronics tools, etc., etc., etc. - ad infinitum.

In case you haven't guessed, I like tools.

Two antiques that are among my favorites are my grandfather's Bernard pliers, which have parallel jaws, and his Yankee spiral push screw-driver.  Happily, newer and larger versions of both were later made and, naturally, I have those as well:

Bernard BernardHandle

Those are picture from the web; I couldn't readily find my own.  Looking for something else, there they (5½") were:


Whoa!  Those may well be mine but they sure weren't my grandfather's!  For one thing, they are too "new"; for another, they are marked "SARGENT" on the handle, "Sargent & Co. / New Haven, Conn." around the pivot, and "Grip·Snip" on the other side at the wire cutter.  Now, where are Grandpa's?   rev (30 Jul 2011) Here's an early ad for a spring-return version of Stanley's famous Yankee #130A:


My grandfather's is so old that it had no spring.


My own big Yankee #131A is shown above it; I forgot to include a scale - they measure 9" and 19½" tip-to-tip, respectively, closed as shown.  Of course, I have a full set of push drills and the drill adaptor for the big Yankee, as well as a countersink and a custom-made adaptor for ¼" socket wrenches.

WOW! - I never noticed before but Gramps's Yankee is so old that it was NOT made by Stanley after all!  It was made by “NORTH BROS. MFG. CO.” of “PHILA. PA. U.S.A.” and the oldest patent stamped thereon is dated “APR. 16 88” (the latest was “MAY 4-15”)!  [Those dates are 1888 and 1915.]  Further, there's no model number on it.

Here they are fully-extended (to 12" and 27½", with 3/16" and 5/16" bits):


Two older favorite machine tools are my Cummins-ChicagoDo-It Shop” Model 440, the direct predecessor of the famed ShopSmith combination wood lathe and drill press, but powered by a removable Cummins Model 40 ¼" electric drill, and my little Sears Craftsman Benchtop Metal Lathe (109.20630 or similar - actually made ca. 1945 by Blaw-Knox).  A small X-Y Table recently acquired for my drill press for (very) light machining is another favorite.   rev (28 Apr 2015)

BMC Precision Pressure Lock Wrench {Pliers} - Mysteriously missing are a pair of “Plierench” {sp?} locking pliers; these were an alternate to the famous DeWitt “Vise-Grip” pliers but made quite differently, from brazed{?} and pinned steel plate, with forged jaws that remained parallel.  The same firm also made a pair of amazingly sharp scissors with removable blades.  Turns out (from a Net auction item), that they are (were?) “Precision Pressure Lock Wrenches” made by the BMC Manufacturing Corp. of Binghamton, NY.  The Model No. 9, shown, was (most remarkably) 9" long.   rev (26 Feb 2013)

BMCPlier1 BMCPlier2

[Speaking of remarkable, how much would you like to bet that "BMC" reduntantly stood for "Binghamton Manufacturing Corp."?]

Well, thanks to "TJ" on 25 Feb 2013, I now know that "BMC" originally stood (and still stands) for Botnick Motor Corporation, a prominent Binghamton, NY, Chevrolet dealership founded by Saul Botnick in 1922. This, and far more, is from Hemmings.  The dealership, still in operation, added a tooling shop in Oct 1944, specializing in making "Precision Locking Pliers", like the better-known Vise-Grips; the tool shop operation later became known as the "BMC Manufacturing Corporation", and also produced handcarts, scissors, bumper jacks and other automotive components.  In 1947, BMC began making pedal cars,"as well.  This was rather far afield from the Chevy dealership and the tool shop so Botnick spun it off as (no fair - you guessed) Binghamton Manufacturing Corporation, but that had nothing to do with the pliers [Botnick sold the pedal car business to bigger rival AMF in Mar 1954].   new (26 Feb 2013)

Now, where are my own 6" and 9" BMC pliers and the scissors?

I used to be Peck's bad boy with the 6" BMCs in my first year of college; we'd go to downtown Boston to the biggest movie theater when they were playing a gooey romance.  I pleated caps into small packs of four or six and, during the most agonizingly-heated scenes, squeeze the cap packs in the jaws of the BMC under the seat, resulting in a huge blast, with flame and smoke, thoroughly disrupting things.  Firecrackers?  Who, me?  Sweet, innocent, nerdy li'l ol' me?  I don't smoke; I have no matches or lighter, only this little pair of pliers.  :)


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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