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How do you handle people touching your tools.

As long as she's at least presentable, and doesn't have too many calluses, I don't usually mind ...

He said "tools" not "tool," you dirty old coot. Unless there's something you'd like to share about having an extra mutated pecker or two? :D

Couple of the places I used to work, we had a sort of community chest of good tooling and setup equipment; the one where I apprenticed was kept locked in a set of steel drawers with a rod down through eyelets and a padlock. Only a few journeymen who were accepted as conscientious of their work and tools got to have a key. I was pretty proud to get one as a 3rd year apprentice.
 
Thanks for the support and good advice.
The issue I have with locking the box is that I have a kennedy with the front plate locking mechanism. So sort of a pain to open and close it all day. Plus I like to have the box open to get what I need at a moments notice. Bio lock would be good for that but with kennedy style. Would always need to put front plate back on. I thought a large color print "Warning do not touch my tools". Staring at you on the inside top lid would give people the same idea as a lock.

Maybe I could rig something to shock someone if they touch the box. Then I could easily flip a switch to turn off shocker everything I need to get in it.

I did go to management with this problem and they did give some money to fill out that other cabinet that I mentioned for everyone to use. It is like they are just too lazy to take an extra 30 steps to go to the other box. But I will continue to escalate it with management. Issue with our management is there are way too many of them. So my boss will yell at his boss who may or may not care or who knows.

I guess my frustration is the fact that people would even ask. I guess I was raised different. In a professional setting. Where you need a tool. Either the company has the tool and you can use it. Or you need to bring the tool you need to use. I would never ask another employee. To me it is like asking a Co worker to buy me a tool. Why would anyone think they should do that.

It is like you said. I view my tools as an extension of my value. They view them as nothing.

Another thing they take is bench space. I am much less taritorial when it comes to work bench space. But the same point can be made. There is an entirely other room with work bench and toolbbox. Go in there and get out of my way. One man shop. My name is on the door. Barely enough room for me. But it is like they think I am there to help them.

It is like the old joke mechanic sign. It cost more if you try and help the mechanic.

My good customers stay out of my way and they wouldn't even think of touching my tools.
 
In car audio I made a rule and others stuck to it.
If a new guy wanted to borrow a tool, sure. but not that tool again after their first paycheck. After that your SOL, you knew you needed it, then you should have bought it.

Had a tech kept setting customers product in the top of my tool box, like it was his bench.
I yelled at him a few times, then told him, you do it again I'll throw it.
Sure enough, I grabbed customers brand new stereo sitting in my box, through it across the shop onto the concrete.
He never did it again.
 
Borrow it more than once, it's time to buy your own...
Probably I've been lucky to work places with guys who became friends. If it's a daily habit, sure, but let's say a pair of gear tooth verniers that you might want once every six months and cost $300 back in 1970. I didn't mind to borrow, friends didn't mind to loan.

Conversely tho, if I bought an etalon indicating mike, they were welcome to use it once in a while, happy to help.

Places where people get along good, is good. Might be less common in a big shop tho.
 
Probably I've been lucky to work places with guys who became friends. If it's a daily habit, sure, but let's say a pair of gear tooth verniers that you might want once every six months and cost $300 back in 1970. I didn't mind to borrow, friends didn't mind to loan.

Conversely tho, if I bought an etalon indicating mike, they were welcome to use it once in a while, happy to help.

Places where people get along good, is good. Might be less common in a big shop tho.

Yeah, in big shops it is way different. You've got really good machinists, and you've got the rest. In a big shop, there's generally a wider spread - I *never* loaned tools to guys I didn't trust with them, friend or not. And damned if I'm walking a tenth of a mile to go get one of my tools back 5 times in a day that somebody borrowed because I need it too... In a small shop there are usually less low quality guys, and they're a lot closer together.
 
Such discussions are strange to us. In this country a mechanician who works for a wage does not own any tools. Everything belongs to the firm. Screwdrivers, wrenches, millers, insert holders, measuring equipment, even the most modest rule is not my affair. We don’t have toolboxes.
 
Such discussions are strange to us. In this country a mechanician who works for a wage does not own any tools. Everything belongs to the firm.
China is like that too. You show up, you do your job, you go home. The job is just a job, it's not an expression of your life, your personality, your "self". You can still do a good job but it isn't how you define your vital bodily essence.

Good and bad to both approaches, I guess.
 
One time the engineer brought in a plastic bucket of junk sockets he bought at a flea market .......most were busted ,so I dumped them ,next thing hes doing a big dummy spit accusing me of stealing them ...jerk.
 
When I was a young apprentice working in the “ tin shop “ ( sheet metal workers ) I asked to borrow some “ Molegrips “ ( British made copy of “ Vise grips “ ). I used them for a while then I put them down somewhere and left them un-attended. The owner of the grips must have seen them lying there un-attended so he took them back.

Later that day I realised I had to return the grips but I couldn’t find them anywhere. I had to go and see the owner and admit I’d lost them. He said “ Right, well you know what you have to do now Tyrone “. I knew exactly what he meant. I had to buy him a new Molegrip. This was on Friday afternoon, so on Saturday morning I trailed into town to the nearest hardware shop and bought a brand new Molegrip. They were quite expensive then and I was only on apprentice wages so that meant I had to stay in that weekend.

On the Monday morning I went over to the guy and gave him the new grips saying “ There you are Lennie, I’m sorry I lost your grips “. He replied “ You didn’t lose them Tyrone, I found them where you left them and took them back. Now you’ve got a brand new Molegrip. Let that be a lesson to you, If you borrow tools look after them ! “

It was a tough old world in engineering back them and I never forgot that lesson.

I had a sign from “ Snap-On “ on my box saying “ I make my living with Snap-On tools, please don’t ask to borrow them”

Going in another persons toolbox to take a tool was a real no-no , I’ve worked with lowly apprentices in the past and I’ve seen a tool lying there in their open box that I'd like to borrow but I’d walk 5 minutes into the shop to ask their permission to borrow it.

Unfortunately one of the guys was killed in an industrial accident. So we decided to auction off his tools for his widow. When we opened his boxes nearly every guy in the shop had a tool in there ! I recognised a little spirit level I thought I’d lost years ago. ALL my tools had my name engraved on them.

Regards Tyrone
 
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There was always a toolmaker that had various names on his tools, usually a drinker or druggie that preferred getting wasted to buying tools. After 40 plus years in tool room I have one tool with someone elses name. S.Charles on a Carl Mahr square that I bought at a flea market.

I have found threatening to break someone's fingers with the hammer they borrowed does help them understand my tools aren't to be touched.
 
It is like they are just too lazy to take an extra 30 steps to go to the other box.

Can the management invest in some wheels for the other box such that it takes fewer steps to reach than your own one?

Or push your own box 31 steps away from the workspace...
 
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Such discussions are strange to us. In this country a mechanician who works for a wage does not own any tools. Everything belongs to the firm. Screwdrivers, wrenches, millers, insert holders, measuring equipment, even the most modest rule is not my affair. We don’t have toolboxes.
Does the company supply the mechanicians with magic wands as well?
 
I used to have this problem at Dad's place.
I'd come in and find my Kennedy boxes wide open, drawers pulled out, stuff scattered on the bench or cabinet top, at least one tool missing.
Then it was a nice, little, 45 minute vacation walk around the shop to find the missing tool(s). All the while, getting yelled at because my setups are taking too long, the machine is idling, and the customer is "screaming for the part" - yeah, sure he is..

I'd put it all back, and lock the box, put the key in my desk. Next morning, key is sticking in the box, stuff gone, repeat. It was usually my lousy Uncle or the alky foreman, but, sadly, dad was guilty too.
One day, I had just gotten so damn angry, I bought all new boxes/cabinets, loaded them up with gorgeous, top dollar tools, and locked them when I wasn't right on top of them.
Hilarity ensued when I would come in and find the latches moved and they were unable to open the boxes.
There was no compromise, no agreements, no lessons, just locked boxes when I wasn't around.
Problem solved.
 
Its a problem that occurs every place I have ever worked.
Communal toolboxes are filled with tools that can walk with no feet.
Locked personal boxes have tools with no feet.
The ONLY exception was a place with a toolcrib manned by the crustiest retired Navy chief you ever met. You signed out a tool and your life was not worth spit if you did not return it at the end of shift.

Management needs to know that they should assign a person whose job it is to keep the communal box filled. This does NOT mean running around every day chasing tools. It means once a month or so. Doing an inventory and BUYING more tools to fill the box back up. Its a cost of doing business just like paying the light and AC bill.
They probably should buy a second box for your room for the engineers to use.
I got so sick of not finding tools I needed in the communal box, I bought box and filled it with the tools I wanted. That sucker was locked unless I was in it.
 








 
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