You know there is always some tool or such that you have always wanted but
just could not bring yourself to buy one. Well, I've wanted one of those
nice leather tool belts with the tape pocket centered over..... uhh ... and
the two hammer loops....JUST like Norm wears. I've priced some like those
framers belts with the Occidental name($230+ price tag) and really cool
burgundy leather...would anyone really show up on a job site with one of
those strapped on??? Those garish Dewalt belts with black and yellow
leather for around 90 bucks?? I didn't really want a new belt because
anyone looking at you wearing a new belt would think "Look at that dumb---,
I wonder if he can find the right end of the nail to hit?" Come to think
of it Norm's belt looks a little too unused. I decided what I needed was a
VERY used leather tool belt and have been perusing the local pawn shops for
about a year now. The ones hanging on the hooks usually have some odds and
ends of screwdrivers, tape and just junk in the big pockets and the pawn
shops put a price anywhere from $30-$50 on the ones than meet my
tape-pocket-two-hammer-loop criteria. I've tried some on and the belt is
generally too short to fit around my fat(but shrinking) a--. Well today I
went by one of the local pawn shops...the one that will usually bargain with
you. I found this belt...well used with adhesive smeared over the large
pockets and the belt could be adjusted to a perfect fit and it had the
leather tape pocket and the loops.... There was a $32 tag on it. I
gathered up some 3 Taiwan(Popular Mechanics label) wood chisels in good
shape($3 price on each) with plastic cutting edge covers and a China brand
clamp. I carried my little trove up to the counter to the guy I usually
deal with(not the owner). I asked him "what would all this be?" . He
looked at the price on that tool belt and exclaimed "God, who would pay that
much for this.?". I replied, "Yea, that belt is really crummy and look at
all that adhesive smeared all over it." He said "How does $15 for all of it
sound?" "ok." I counted out $13 and asked,"Is that enough?" "No, it was
$15."........ I got home and put a tape in the tape pocket and hammers in
the hammer loops and strapped that thing on.... Whoa, hey, do I need to get
some kind of suspenders or harness to hold this belt up?
I paid around $130 12 years ago for my occidental. You can still buy the
same one for $150 today. Yep, they are the burgundy colored ones. Of
course today, they represent a more weathered brownish tone from years of
Pacific Northwest liquid sunshine. I hung them up a couple of years ago
because my business needed an owner and not a carpenter. Would I buy them
again? In a heartbeat. Hands down, Occidental has the best tool belts
made. Period. YMMV.
Yeah, I have a set from the late 80's, they last forever but they are a bit
heavy. They don't stay burgundy for more than a few months if you are using
them. If I ever buy a new set I think the nylon bags might be a good idea.
I like mine but they sure are heavy. I even got the Occidental
suspenders and that fleece/leather thing that's supposed to distribute
the load a little better.
I still end up the day about two inches shorter than when I started.
Still, I've had them since the mid eighties and they wear like iron -
even if they weigh like iron.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
Almost beat you to those chisels, Larry, but decided against.
My old (pawnshop brand) toolbelt is still going strong after about
five years use in roofing, framing, and other carpenter-like
activities, but the suspenders bit the big one about a year ago and I
haven't found any I like. Anyone got a suggestion for good
Early Smothers Brothers send-up of "Streets of Laredo"--
Dick: "I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy."
Tom: "I see by your outfit that you're a cowboy, too."
Both: "We see by our outfits that we are both cowboys,
If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy, too!"
--John W. Wells :-)
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