Reader Tom Haley sent me this fascinating list of tools an apprentice carpenter should obtain circa 1970, with recommended brand names and model numbers. The list was a faded mimeograph that was almost unreadable. Through the power of Photoshop, I made it almost legible. I’ve decided to reproduce the entire list here exactly as written, typos and all. It’s simply too awesome to mess with.
Haley (in the photo above) completed his apprenticeship on Jan. 22, 1981, and has certificates of completion from The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and from The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
Haley was a member of Local 512 in Washtenaw County, Mich. He was a business agent for Local 512 and a Field Representative for the Michigan State Carpenters Council.
— Christopher Schwarz
The following is a list of tools in the approximate order in which they should be purchased. You should get in the habit of purchasing one tool per week even if it is a nail set. You will find this a very profitable habit simply because your trade will be no better than the tools you have in your tool box. It is a well known fact, tools are one of the best investments that can be made, however, you must remember a poor grade of tool can be very costly to you. You will soon learn that a cheap tool quite often becomes the most expensive, not only in more labor that will be used, but also in the repurchasing of the tool.
It is a poor policy to wait until the demand presents itself before you buy a specific tool. Always remember that for a man to become a success in life is to be ready for the opportunity when it presents itself.
During your 1st. 6 month period you should purchase:
Jack knife (good pencil sharpener)
Hammer (Champion “Our Pride”)
Zig Zag rule (Stanley No. 106 Finside)
Nail set (Miller Malls 1/32 and 3/32)
8 point saw (Disston straight back D-23 26”)
Ripping Bar or wrecking bar (Stanley)
Cold chisel (Stanley No. 74 5/8” x 7”)
Combination square (Stanley No. 122 12”)
Screw driver (Stanley No. 1006-8”)
Stanley chisels #60 (1/2” and 3/4” for now however, if you can afford it get set #69
During your 2nd. 6 month period you should purchase:
Hatchet (Stanley Broad Hatchet No. 32)
Steel square (Nichols No. 100-A)
Level (24” Sands) or (Stanley No. 313 24”)
Do not get a level with adjustable bubbles.
Auger bit brace (Stanley No. 923 10” sweep)
Screw driver bit (Stanley No. 26 1/4” and 1/2”)
Auger bits (Russel Jennings No. 100 double thread) No. 8 No. 10 No. 15 bits for now. If you can afford it, get set No. 32 1/2 Qtrs. (13 bits)
It is best to get No. Bx-D 32 1/2 includes box
During your 3rd. 6 month period you should purchase:
Block plane (Stanley No. 60-1/2)
11 point saw (Disston D-23 Straight back 26”)
Compass saw (Disston)
Saw set (Stanley No. 42)
Saw horse vise
Coping saw (Disston No. 10)
Hand drill (Stanley No. 624)
Index of drills (No. spec)
During your 4th. 6 month period you should purchase:
Hack saw (Disston No. 36 1/2)
Jack plane (Stanley No. 5C)
Celotex knife (Stanley No. 199)
Countersink (Stanley No. 139)
Scratch Awl (Stanley No. 7)
If not already complete, complete your chisel set.
Bevel (Stanley No. 18, 8”)
Yankee Push drill (No. 41)
During your 5th. 6 month period you should purchase:
Smooth plane (Stanley No. 4C)
Wing dividers (Stanley No. 58, 8”)
If not complete, complete your bit set.
Ripping chisel (Stanley No. 818)
10 point saw (Disston D-23 Straight back 24”)
Yankee screw driver (No. 130A quick return)
Rabbit plane (Stanley No. 78)
During your 6th. 6 month period you should purchase:
Butt gauge (Stanley No. 95)
Expansive bit (Russell Jennings No. 71B)
Line level (Stanley No. 187)
Extension rule (Stanley No. 226)
Jointer plane (Stanley No. 8C)
During your 7th. 6 month period you should purchase:
Trammel points (Stanley No. 4)
Phillips screw driver (Stanley No. 2752)
Spoke shave (Stanley No. 151M)
Bit extension (Stanley No. 180, 18”)
During your last period you should purchase:
Cornering tool (Stanley No. 29)
Disston Dovetail saw (No. 68, 10”)
Screw driver (Stanley No. 1009 close quarter)
Yankee off set ratchet screwdriver (No. 3400)
Screw driver (Stanley No. 1008-8”)
Hand scraper (Stanley No. 0, 2 1/2” x 5”)
Burnisher (Stanley No. 185)
It will be to your advantage to add to this collection whenever possible.