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Plomb WF-38


Conductor562

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This is a stock pic I found online and may very well be a 9/32. However, the one I have is a 1/2 in. Found it on eBay for $5 and figured what the hell. It's a conversation piece if nothing else.

Is yours a WF model?

I grew up not far from a Wright airport, Curtis Wright by then actually, one of the old mechanics there had these Plomb ratchets as parts of sets. I was always impressed with his tools. He had an impressive cart he used to drag around, wish I would have had a thought to document it with pictures.

Hope you'll post some pictures of your ratchet. I love old tools.

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Yes it's a WF-38 I always heard that the WF stood for "War Finish" but it doesn't. As you were saying WF stood for Wright Field as it was a major contract destination during WWII. However, there are Plomb tools from that era that do say "War Finish". These were apparently civilian models and while the did have the same dusty cadmium finish as the military models, it was intended to mean that due to the shortage of materials associated with the war effort they were not up to the typical quality standards of the company and therefor not covered by the Plomb lifetime warranty.

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Yes it's a WF-38 I always heard that the WF stood for "War Finish" but it doesn't. As you were saying WF stood for Wright Field as it was a major contract destination during WWII. However, there are Plomb tools from that era that do say "War Finish". These were apparently civilian models and while the did have the same dusty cadmium finish as the military models, it was intended to mean that due to the shortage of materials associated with the war effort they were not up to the typical quality standards of the company and therefor not covered by the Plomb lifetime warranty.

The Old mechanic that I used to be friends with told me they were company issued tools from his days when Wright was doing jet engine testing. I never really got to into the finer points of his tools because airplanes....

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My understanding is that the non-wartime tools made for the Wright Aeronautical corp were stamped "Wright". Plomb typically stamped contract tools with a specific code to signify the contract purchaser. The codes are available online.

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Some include:

A-E

Possibly Allison Engines (A/C engines) now Rolls Royce

AN

U. S. Government Army Navy Specifications

B&G

 Unknown

Douglas

Douglas Aircraft Co

GB

 Unknown

Kinner

Kinner Airplane & Motor Corp. Los Angeles area 1919 - 1937

N

 Unknown

PWA

Pratt & Whitney Aircraft (Aircraft Engines)

Ranger A. T.

Ranger Aircraft Engine Division of Fairchild

US

Plomb special tools designed for the Aviation Industry

USN/NAF 1110

U.S. Navy and Naval Aircraft Factory

Victor

Victor Equipment Co. (manufacturers of Welding equipment)

WF

Wright Field - WWII Government contracting location

Wright

Wright Aeronautical Corp (aircraft engines)

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I only remember WF stamped tools, I don't recall him having any tools stamped Wright or Wright Field. He also had some Prat and Whitney branded (not Plomb) tools but as I remember they were specialty one purpose wrenches, like crane necked cylinder wrenches. They also had a Prat & Whitney lathe in their machine shop.

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I think the rich history is one of the reasons I love Proto so much.

I feel the same way about some of my old tools. It is a sad fact that many of the old brands are no longer what they once were after being bought out by larger corporations who have a differing philosophy of what the end product should be.

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It's like they want to cash in on the reputation for awhile until everyone figures out all that remains of the once quality tool is the name.

All to common these days. I don't like it when they buy the competition to knock them out of business or scoop up their patent portfolio either or just stop production like what Gardner Denver did with Thomas Airpac compressors .Thomas was the company that pioneered oil less compressor technology and was the only company that offered really good quite oil less compressors.

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My favorites are the Pebble Grain Plomb and Proto's. Just don't see that kind of art in a production tool any more.

I had heard at one time, I don't know if it was true or someone was trying to pull one over on me, that the pebble finish tools were cheap version that used shot peening as the method of case hardening the tool rather than the more traditional heat treatment. This was told to me by someone who was known as a fine BS artist, though it does have a slight ring of truth to it.

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No idea on that one. I'd think I'd have ran across something like that though. I do know that most of the War Finish tools carry the lifetime warranty.

I thought it was th opposite, the war finish tools were supposed to be a comodity item and as such were not warranted for life.

I don't have the link handy, one of the plomb history pages spelled it out. It was not on alloy artifacts but some other site.

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