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  • Old days

    Im 36 and my dad wasnt much of a DIYer or have it done for me type. I remember him doing a few small projects but I never knew where any lumber came from. I am curious where did people go before the DIY store really took off. My kids have always known Home Depot and Menards, and the younger boy is realizing that the Ace Hardware has more stuff than Home Depot does. I can remember having a few small hardware stores around, but theres no way these places couldve had the amount of stuff the modern retailers have.

  • #2
    Re: Old days

    Tru Value Hardware, Hechingers was a huge one...and Ace

    For lumber we always went to 84 lumber for wood....but Hechingers was the place my dad usually got things from....like Home Depot is now

    Greg
    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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    • #3
      Re: Old days

      Stores were more specialized. Hardware stores had hardware,not pots and pans. The good ones usually carried builders hdwe. plumbing supplies, electrical, tools, etc. Lumber yards carried the constuction materials--brickyards the concrete and masonry stuff. Most larger plumbing items came from the plumbing wholesale house (through a plumber) same with electrical. In the fifties the DIY stores started to show up in Mn. We had Johnson Cashway and then came Knox.

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      • #4
        Re: Old days

        Originally posted by Orange Apron View Post
        Im 36 and my dad wasnt much of a DIYer or have it done for me type. I remember him doing a few small projects but I never knew where any lumber came from. I am curious where did people go before the DIY store really took off. My kids have always known Home Depot and Menards, and the younger boy is realizing that the Ace Hardware has more stuff than Home Depot does. I can remember having a few small hardware stores around, but theres no way these places couldve had the amount of stuff the modern retailers have.
        Local lumber yards, wherever they happened to be. Depending on the time period , let's say thirty years ago there weren't many if any cordless tools in use. Pros were able to justify corded power tools whereas homeowners like your Dad used hand screw drivers, hammers and hand saws. How many guys under thirty have cut 2X4's with a hand saw? There's an eye opener. Selections of many electrical and plumbing fixtures back then were extremely limited by today's standards. Now we have walls of flashlights, thirty years ago it was a two D Cell Rayovac or nothing. You have witnessed an explosion of tools, building materials, fixtures and technologies. Thirty years ago I had one tool to cut that 2X4 a simple hand saw, now I have my choice of corded circular saw, reciprocating saw, same with battery power. Drilling a hole today is a complicated problem for some of us, do I use the hammerdrill, regular drill, compact drill, corded, cordless, nicad, NIMH, Lithium ion? Times have changed.

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        • #5
          Re: Old days

          We also had an 84 lumber. They sold doors, windows and locks..not much of anything else. No wait they had 2 or 3 kinds of paint. Now how many kinds are there?

          I was 5 or 6 when dad brought me into Mills Lumber Company in Silesia, Md. They had a saw with a blade taller than me. I still remember how it smelled. I love the fresh smell of wood

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          • #6
            Re: Old days

            Drain

            Did you have any Hechingers home centers up in your area? I had one near me that today is a Home Depot. It was a very nice place until HD made a big mess of it. We have Lowes here too.

            In the older times we went to real lumber yards, building supply places, industrial supply houses, real hardare stores and more. We also had to learn that most were 8am-5pm (many closed at 4pm!) Mon-Fri and limited on Sat with NO stores open on Sunday as MD had the blue laws back then. Only small businesses, restaurants and places that could run with just a few employees could open on Sunday. When malls came into the area they had to stay closed on Sunday but soon that all changed. I bet before long we will have 24/7 malls. Look at Walmart. The ones in my area aren't 24 hours, but not far off they have Super Walmart that are monster places and they only close for Christmas. Times have changed and not all if good. Some is, but not all.

            I remember a very good lumber yard from long ago that knew what customer service was. Some time back they had a very bad fire and now they are long gone. I miss that place more than people will know. I also miss their big attack dog that became friends with good customers but would really go after trouble makers. He was a mix mutt that happend to walk in one day and got adopted. He was the only dog I ever knew that would carry things to cars for people once you got to know him and made friends. Now if only I could remember his proper name....
            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Plumberscrack,
            Do you remember the OLD Strosnider's Hardware back before the ACE days? Back when Mr. S was there running the place? I remember it and him well. Not far away was Community Paint & Hardware that had an old wood building that had to be built back in the 1800s sometime. It's long gone but I have fond memories of the place. Now the really wild hardware store that I remember is still around, but they are out in WV in the middle of nowhere land. You need a HUM-V to get to it down the dirt roads. Really
            ================================================== ================================================== ==
            Part 2
            Once upon a time long long ago there wan't Woussko the howling hound and things were far less noisy. Then Woussko came along and anymore 24/7/365 all he does is bay howl. ARRRRR ARRRRR ARRROOOOOOOOOOOOOO ... If only for once I would remember how to shut up and just do it.
            Last edited by Woussko; 11-06-2007, 10:03 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Old days

              We had Central Hardware years ago.


              There's a lumber company that still rough cuts all the lumber where it's not smooth and larger than the dimension it's considered. I believe the place is called Bailey's Lumber yard and the old timers still build outdoor buildings and barns with that rough-cut lumber.

              Gets hauled in on huge timber trucks and you'll find bark on some of the wider boards every now and then.

              I was born in late 60's but I really wish I was born earlier to enjoy what developed in the years prior.

              It just seems that in that era of the 40's through 60's was an awesome time to watch the culture become what it was.

              The eateries, the boom of all those great vehicles, music, along with a slew of other things.

              If you told people back in the 40's that in today's age that you can sit in a chair and look at a colored square and communicate with others across the world, they would of taken you as misguided and futuristic, talking space age stuff.

              Can you only imagine what 65 years will be like in terms of technology from now.....


              I wouldn't mind plumbing tele-saucers. Only plumbers allowed the right to float in the free space and no more dealing with traffic on the roads, just shuttle from one job to another, land safely right in the driveway.


              Who cares if they filmed it in a bathtub!
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Old days

                Welcome to the forums Lisa. Do a Google search for farm supplies. Companies like Tractor Supply carry those old type bells and the hangers for them. Here is one online souce. http://www.krupps.com/Farm-Bells/9850-1-9850
                Last edited by papadan; 11-06-2007, 07:32 AM.
                info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

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                • #9
                  Re: Old days

                  Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                  How many guys under thirty have cut 2X4's with a hand saw? There's an eye opener.
                  Me! Me! I have! While framing my shower, I did a whole bunch of them with a mitre box and a hand saw.

                  Then my buddy brought his chop saw over and we finished it off in record time. heh. It was a good way to kill an hour here and there though.

                  After using his saw though, now I've gone out and got one. No more hand saw for me!!

                  *sigh* I remember back to being a kid in my home town. We had a place called Beaver Lumber, and that's all they had. Lumber. It was before the big box stores came along and it was neat to drive by it and see the piles and piles of wood.

                  Of course, back then it wasn't just a matter of access to materials that kept people from doing things themselves. People didn't have as easy access to information either.

                  I mean... where would I be without you guys?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Old days

                    If you think cutting a 2 x 4 with a hand saw is fun, try cross cutting oak 2 x 12s with one. I've done it and am thankful to not have to do that today. I really have feelings for the carpenters that had nothing but hand tools and the teams of horses that pulled heavy loads. That's how a house got built and many took several years to finish after much careful planning using only the brain. What's wild is how many houses are still in use after 100 years and how many of the new YUP-PEE fancy dump houses are blown to bits with one nasty storm.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Old days

                      Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                      If you think cutting a 2 x 4 with a hand saw is fun, try cross cutting oak 2 x 12s with one. I've done it and am thankful to not have to do that today. I really have feelings for the carpenters that had nothing but hand tools and the teams of horses that pulled heavy loads. That's how a house got built and many took several years to finish after much careful planning using only the brain. What's wild is how many houses are still in use after 100 years and how many of the new YUP-PEE fancy dump houses are blown to bits with one nasty storm.
                      Oak 2X12's by hand? Not on a good day thank you. I think I'd have a tough time cutting that on my Dewalt 12" compound slide!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Old days

                        Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                        Oak 2X12's by hand? Not on a good day thank you. I think I'd have a tough time cutting that on my Dewalt 12" compound slide!
                        It wasn't any fun sawing one of them by hand. Loads of grunting and groaning for sure.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Old days

                          Originally posted by Lisa_PA
                          New girl here

                          Do any of you know where I can find a nice cast iron farm bell and post? Think of life in the country and a way to call everyone for supper.

                          By the way I'm sure not old but I remember my dad taking me to the old hardware store and they had washboards, tubs and steel trash cans. They also had an old antique square tub wringer washer I would love to have now. What a shame things change. Now the old hardware store is several row houses with law offices in them.
                          Lisa,

                          Try this link to auctions in your area, http://www.auctionzip.com/pa.html
                          plus there are a lot on eBay right now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Old days

                            Most of the old time lumber yards (at lest around here) used a barn type building that the lumber was hand stacked into "bins" on each open sides, of it, many had upper decks where the better none construction grade lumber was stored,

                            If you were a regular you would pull into the yard, and load up your self and Hand pick ever 2xX and then walk into the office and tell the manager what you had got, and he would write it down, and it was not sold by the board or the length it was sold by the board foot, so when you went in and asked what was lumber it was like 32 cents a board foot, on 2' stock or $320 a thousand, and you had to know how to figure board footage, and so forth,

                            If you would order a bunk of 1x stock it was cut to standard widths but it was mixed bunk of different sizes and lengths, many times and they would (since it was all hand stacked), would then sort the bundle and restock there bins,

                            The lumber was dry and one could see if it was twisted as it had finished drying, and much of the lumber was 1 5/8" as that was the standard of the day not the 1 1/2" stock of to day, twisted lumber was re sawed up in to stakes most of the time, most had in the center of the barn some where a huge 16" dewalt radial arm saw, (all the guards missing) a pile of saw dust 3 feet deep behind the saw, the saw was never square, but they would saw down a piece now and then for you if need be.

                            If some one brought in a drawing on the back of a calendar or roll of butcher paper, they would figure up the lumber you would need and the lengths and write it out and go load it up so you could start to build your new dream building. and they would load you up, and the way they would go, if they did not have 14' lengths they would sell you 16' for the price of 14' lenth's. if the number needed was not to great, and if it was they would order in a bunk of 14' for you or for what you needed. you would buy a 16' 2x4 and re cut it into studs, as there were no pre cut studs, there came in about the time they change the lumber dimensions, from 1 5/8" to 1 1/2" thickness, that was a mess during that change as some times you would have some of the thicker and then some of the thinner and you really had to watch it on plates and mixing up wall studs,


                            Hard wood was always sold random width and length, and it was a special order to 2s or surfaced on two sides,

                            and some had coal bins, and some times other small building, for finish grades of plywood, or insulation rolls,

                            Most sold some line of paint, few tools and only normally had a few displays, if you wanted something special you would order it, and wait a few weeks for it to come in, they carried a few doors that were common, there was a box usually where you could put your hand saw in or blades, and the local sharpener guy would stop by and pick up and sharpen them and then return them to the box and you would pay the lumber yard for the service.

                            Usually there were three or four chairs up by the counter, and two or three older gentlemen would be setting around waiting for some thing or jsut shooting the breeze, and you were always welcome to join in the conversation, and was considered impolite if you did not and just hurry off on your business.

                            IF you were hurting and needed some work, you could ask the manager and he could usually hook up up with some work, for some one. The only requirement was you took the job, if you asked for one, big small easy or hard. (he knew the skills of the workers and would choose wisely for the home owner as who could handle the work). the other great place to get work was the coffee shop, jsut go in and drink a coffee, and usually some one would come by and say are you busy, I need XXXX done some time here.

                            We still have a few OLD time lumber yards in our area, but there being squeezed hard by the box stores, but the thing that keeps them in business is service, you can get some real service, and if one needs some help in decision making or product decision, they know what is good and what will work, yes you still order and have to wait for you items, but you have choice if you want it,
                            a whole different experience than a box store, (no there is not the product on display to touch and handle), but it is normally a warm and friendly very neighborly
                            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                            attributed to Samuel Johnson
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Old days

                              Farm bells

                              EBay search farm bell, school bell, dinner bell,
                              a link I found know nothing abut them. http://www.brosamersbells.com/post.html
                              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                              attributed to Samuel Johnson
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                              Comment

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