Tool Talk

Classic Auto and Motorcycle Tools => Classic Auto and Motorcycle Tools => Topic started by: bonneyman on June 23, 2014, 03:54:08 PM

Title: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on June 23, 2014, 03:54:08 PM
HeelSpur sold me a BlueBird #14 pliers he picked up in a lot. That now goes with the company's #20 spreader pliers and #21 terminal puller I had. And Papaw was kind enough to make me a hard copy of a Bergman tool catalog he had, so, now I know what Blue Bird made.

Here's the centerpieces of my battery tools, with the other odds-and-ends I have.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: HeelSpur on June 23, 2014, 04:05:27 PM
Nice job on the pliers, sure am glad they straightened out.
Great start on the Bluebirds, I'll keep an eye out for others.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Nolatoolguy on June 23, 2014, 06:07:54 PM
Nice start, keep us posted if you get more.

Thanks for sharing,
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Lostmind on June 23, 2014, 06:19:23 PM
Unusual collection nice start , thanks for sharing the photos
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Ken W. on June 23, 2014, 06:49:40 PM
BlueBird were made here in Buffalo.I've been finding more and more of them recently. Nice set there.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: lbgradwell on June 23, 2014, 06:52:22 PM
Very cool!  :smiley:
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on June 23, 2014, 08:08:38 PM
BlueBird were made here in Buffalo.I've been finding more and more of them recently. Nice set there.

Thanks all!

More of a collector thing. Though useable on my 80's truck, these top-post battery tools are kinda obsolete on today's side-post batteries.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: oldgoaly on June 23, 2014, 08:28:57 PM
Nice tools! Have you a battery service tray (carrier)?
Something to look out for make a neat display with the tools

but I have to disagree on the top post battery, I just replaced my 2001 e150 Ford motorcraft battery, almost a full 13 years with out a problem, the Wife's 1999 f150 went out in 2011. both are top post batteries made in the USA!
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Chillylulu on June 23, 2014, 08:36:42 PM
BlueBird were made here in Buffalo.I've been finding more and more of them recently. Nice set there.

Thanks all!

More of a collector thing. Though useable on my 80's truck, these top-post battery tools are kinda obsolete on today's side-post batteries.

My 2005 Ford F150 is top post, as is my sons 2010 Chevy.

My experience is that I rarely see side post on contemporary vehicles.  My last one was a 1972 Chevy van. 
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on June 24, 2014, 08:00:33 AM
Really? Both my 04 van and 02 Buick have side posts.
Very little room to do anything on the van. i tried cleaning and repainting the battery cradle while it was out. Just couldn't get all the fasteners off to do that outside the truck, so, I taped off stuff and sprayed it while still in the truck.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Chillylulu on June 24, 2014, 08:59:55 AM
Are the side posts the type where s 3/8" bolt us threaded in?  Supposedely a GM thing, that is what was on my van.

In 1987 I was on a jobsite in the middle of winter.  It was bitter cold.  We had a scissor lift that was giving us problems.  One of the guys took the top of the battery off to check the acid level.  He couldnt see inside, so instead of grabbing a flashlight this guy goes for his lighter.  The big battery exploded. He's lucky he didnt burn his eyes because the acid was all over his face.  We got it flushed off immediately,  and the burning ended up being minor. He really dodged a bullet.

Chilly
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: oldgoaly on June 24, 2014, 10:24:40 AM
s/s clamp terminals I only cleaned them once,  When I did service work the vans ate batteries! I got 4 years out of a lifetime battery and was happy! 
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on June 24, 2014, 02:18:28 PM
Are the side posts the type where s 3/8" bolt us threaded in?  Supposedely a GM thing, that is what was on my van.

In 1987 I was on a jobsite in the middle of winter.  It was bitter cold.  We had a scissor lift that was giving us problems.  One of the guys took the top of the battery off to check the acid level.  He couldnt see inside, so instead of grabbing a flashlight this guy goes for his lighter.  The big battery exploded. He's lucky he didnt burn his eyes because the acid was all over his face.  We got it flushed off immediately,  and the burning ended up being minor. He really dodged a bullet.

Chilly

I think it was a 5/16" hex bolt attachment. I pulled out an old DUNLAP ratcheting box wrench so I could get the swing I needed.
And where the battery sits, everything that drains off the windshield collects in this side channel which funnels all the leaves and crap right on to the top of the battery! I should probably make a "cover" of sorts out of a piece of plastic tarp or something.
Though I might like to, I don't think going to a top post would really be any better - the NEG post is buried back in the fender area.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: HeelSpur on June 27, 2014, 02:32:38 PM
Bluebird NO. 52

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/wvabe/001-49.jpg)
(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/wvabe/002-54.jpg)
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on June 27, 2014, 05:15:17 PM
I believe those are the "high-leverage" pliers? Not knowing much about BlueBird tools leaves me guessing.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Papaw on June 27, 2014, 08:19:02 PM
I used my BlueBird pliers today, but not for the intended pur[pose!
I was putting tubes in some dolly wheels and I needed something that would grab the tubeless valve stem and rip it out of the rim. Worked a treat they did.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: amecks on June 30, 2014, 05:45:52 AM
My '58 Cub LoBoy wouldn't start Saturday - there was a bad connection at one of the terminals.  Probably because I read this post I reached for my Bluebird puller.  I could have jammed a screwdriver in there and popped it off but it's good to use the proper tools.
I had to paw through the toolbox to find 'em - gotta sort my battery tools into a tray.
Al.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on June 30, 2014, 02:39:15 PM
I've got all my car battery tools stored in a metal box. Since I now have a BB logo, I'm thinking I'll repaint this box hammered blue and hand paint the BB logo on it. Make it my dedicated battery tool box.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Papaw on June 30, 2014, 06:12:30 PM
I've got all my car battery tools stored in a metal box. Since I now have a BB logo, I'm thinking I'll repaint this box hammered blue and hand paint the BB logo on it. Make it my dedicated battery tool box.

 That's the ticket!
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: turnnut on June 30, 2014, 07:24:01 PM
question for the battery tool collectors;

do you have any booklets & tools for rebuilding auto batteries ?  they made a special plier to
pull the plates out.

during WW2 that was very common. as a lad, I remember a fellow that would visit to have
my dad machine or weld someting for him and he would always ask if we had old batteries.
he mentioned that one of the dangerous parts of rebuiling batteries was pulling out the plates
with pliers. (yes, even batteries were hard to buy then.)

a long time back, I had seen a booklet on this trade and the tools needed.
 
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Papaw on June 30, 2014, 09:03:11 PM
This tells a lot, but not about the tools so much.
http://www.thebackshed.com/windmill/articles/RebuildingBatteries.asp (http://www.thebackshed.com/windmill/articles/RebuildingBatteries.asp)
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on July 03, 2014, 03:15:26 PM
OK, here's my battery tool box as it was a couple years ago, and with it's new hammered blue paint. Not too much of a difference as the picture isn't really showing off the blue. But the tacky masking tape label is gone!
Just have to hand paint the logo now.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: rusty on July 03, 2014, 07:23:28 PM
Battery repair circa 1918. Shows many weird tools and fixtures.
Only mentions the use of 'long thin nosed pliers' for manipulating plates.
Does show a plate press, and describes slotting tools for splitting them.
also burning equipment etc..

http://books.google.com/books?id=H8dEAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA142#v=onepage&q&f=false

(Scroll down 2 pages to see the press.
scroll up 1 page to see why you should give your battery a nice warm steam bath...)

Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on July 12, 2014, 11:00:28 AM
Here's a vintage BB tool that cam up on ebay. A battery lifter! So cool!
Maybe I should try and make one?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Blue-Bird-Battery-Carrier-Adjustable-8-1-2-Max-TL-/251054276768?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a740040a0
Title: Today's score!
Post by: bonneyman on July 23, 2014, 03:41:08 PM
Rummaging thru the tool bin at one of my local pawn haunts, and I come across a virtually NOS BlueBird #11 pliers. The teeth look unused!

And she only cost me a $1. SCORE!
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Papaw on July 23, 2014, 04:13:11 PM
A very clean later model!
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Chillylulu on July 23, 2014, 05:07:17 PM
Nice find.  $1 is my favorite price for pliers, wrenches, etc.
Chilly
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: oldgoaly on July 23, 2014, 05:23:28 PM
I found some of mine, on the floor behind the shear! I didn't knock them off!
they need some time in the molasses tub!
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on July 23, 2014, 08:50:02 PM
Nice find.  $1 is my favorite price for pliers, wrenches, etc.
Chilly

Yep! A buck is my price!
Now, all I have to do is find 3 others, and I'll have their complete plier lineup.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on July 23, 2014, 08:51:33 PM
I found some of mine, on the floor behind the shear! I didn't knock them off!
they need some time in the molasses tub!

Ohh, that double-post model looks so cool!
You gotta post pics of that puppy all cleaned up and painted.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Charles Garrett on August 13, 2014, 06:37:13 PM
I have no idea the make as they are gone but were one of my favorites.  A pair of battery pliers that had hinged loops on the ends of the handles to slip over the battery posts to carry it.  Really dumb for if the battery wasn't totally dead you would get a very hot  hand real quick.  Chuck Garrett
Title: Two more B.B. pliers showed up in my mailbox!
Post by: bonneyman on August 16, 2014, 02:41:17 PM
A #11 plier from a forum member, and a #52 plier from a nice seller at ebay. Here are some pics of the newcomers and a family shot of the current members.
Now only need 2 others - #'s 12 and 25 - to complete the set.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on August 16, 2014, 02:42:34 PM
I have no idea the make as they are gone but were one of my favorites.  A pair of battery pliers that had hinged loops on the ends of the handles to slip over the battery posts to carry it.  Really dumb for if the battery wasn't totally dead you would get a very hot  hand real quick.  Chuck Garrett

Ouch - that does sound dangerous.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: HeelSpur on August 16, 2014, 04:05:33 PM
Hitting a flea market in the morning I'll keep an eye out the two missing.
They look great.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on August 16, 2014, 04:55:30 PM
Thanks!
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Papaw on August 17, 2014, 10:12:41 PM
There is a Blue Bird battery carrier on Ebay- http://www.ebay.com/itm/251054276768?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (http://www.ebay.com/itm/251054276768?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)

 (http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTE5OFgxNjAw/$(KGrHqZHJCgE-edmB9lLBPpBGjzsFg~~60_57.JPG)
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on August 18, 2014, 06:54:22 PM
There is a Blue Bird battery carrier on Ebay- http://www.ebay.com/itm/251054276768?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (http://www.ebay.com/itm/251054276768?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)

 (http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTE5OFgxNjAw/$(KGrHqZHJCgE-edmB9lLBPpBGjzsFg~~60_57.JPG)

I know, I've seen it. And it has traces of the original paint, and the logo is just readable. Sweet!
But, at close to $50 shipped, it's a bit too much out of my wallet right now.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on November 05, 2014, 08:31:43 AM
I just noticed that when I do an internet search under "Blue Bird battery Tools" this thread is at the top of the list! Maybe it'll generate some more visitors?
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: DM11 on November 05, 2014, 11:02:43 AM
Nice collection of Blue Bird tools Bonneyman! Hope you find the rest of the ones you need.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on November 05, 2014, 01:50:47 PM
Thanks to Oily, I managed to snag another plier (a #25) off of the bay this week. Very good condition. A little rust, but the teeth look really good.  Here are a few pics.

That means I'm only lacking the #12 to complete my set. Help me out, guys. Looking for a nice condition (I'm spoiled with all the NOS ones I have) #12 that doesn't break the bank.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Yadda on November 06, 2014, 10:40:04 AM
Great collection!  The original paint really sells the name.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on November 26, 2014, 07:16:38 PM
Well, still lacking one last plier. In the mean time, I got a shaker can of the proper color blue and repainted the tools. Now they look closer to factory.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on December 09, 2014, 04:07:04 PM
Happy day, folks, we've done it!
With the help of a forum member I was able to acquire a #12 plier that was in fairly decent shape. Cleaned her up and painted her to match the others. Here's some pics of it and the complete set.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Papaw on December 09, 2014, 05:50:13 PM
Great job! A very nice collection.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: OilyRascal on December 09, 2014, 05:56:59 PM
Very nice family portrait.  Thanks for sharing.  Any additional background on Blue Bird tools you might share?  Their scope limited to battery tools?  Ditto the "great job".
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on December 09, 2014, 07:13:16 PM
Very nice family portrait.  Thanks for sharing.  Any additional background on Blue Bird tools you might share?  Their scope limited to battery tools?  Ditto the "great job".

According to a catalog Papaw has, they did slip joint and adjustable pliers. Tinners snips, and adjustable wrenches too.

I seem to have more tools of theirs represented than AA shows. If the site owner ever comes back live I'll offer to send him hi-rez pics to add to his Blue Bird section.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Papaw on December 09, 2014, 07:54:33 PM
Bergman made the Bluebirds and other tools and wrenches.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on December 10, 2014, 08:39:21 AM
Bergman made the Bluebirds and other tools and wrenches.

Noel, I have a question on my latest plier (the #12). You have one of those, right?
According to the catalog, it is a nut wrench (for the clamp nut), a terminal lifter (for prying the clamp off) and a post nut wrench. What is that? Did old top terminal batteries have a nut holding the post in place? And you could remove it for cleaning or replacement? The catalog graphic is a bit small and I can't make out what it does.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: amecks on December 10, 2014, 01:19:56 PM
Some tractor batteries have top posts that are screws. I am guessing from memory that they are 3/8" coarse thread, so the nuts would be 9/16" across the flats.
Al
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Papaw on December 10, 2014, 06:16:30 PM
It is for the normal nuts on the regular battery connections, I think.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: turnnut on December 10, 2014, 06:53:59 PM
I believe Papaw is correct, the nuts on the connection attached to the cable, yes, the
 ones we used to butcher with water pump pliers.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on December 10, 2014, 07:24:05 PM
10-4
I needed to disconnect my truck battery to do some relay repair, and used the different pliers to see how they worked and how they felt in the hand. The #12 plier really worked nice! Provided plenty of torque to undo the nuts, and the fulcrum shape of the head made prying the clamp off quick and easy. In fact, most of the pliers worked very well and were comfortable to get around the engine compartment.
Wonder why all these designs were dropped and all we have is the "standard" battery plier (#14) design left?
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: OilyRascal on December 10, 2014, 07:39:24 PM
There is the matter of this battery carrier (nudge):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blue-Bird-Vintage-Battery-Carrier-/261665945923?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cec817943
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: Yadda on December 11, 2014, 08:32:10 PM
There is the matter of this battery carrier (nudge):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blue-Bird-Vintage-Battery-Carrier-/261665945923?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cec817943

Nice!
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on December 12, 2014, 02:00:08 PM
$40 total, if the bid doesn't go up. Not bad.
Too bad I'm broke! :cry:
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on September 16, 2018, 01:56:42 PM
Just added another Blue Bird item - their battery carrier. Got it in a trade. Spiffed it up a bit and put some fuel hose on the handle to make it a little more user friendly.
Now only missing two tools of theirs.
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: skipskip on September 16, 2018, 07:59:14 PM
which two are you missing?

Skip
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on September 16, 2018, 09:32:46 PM
which two are you missing?

Skip

The spring-steel cleaner/reshaping tool (#22) and their version of the two-brush post/clamp cleaner that just about everyone makes today (their #55 IIRC).
Title: Re: My growing set of Blue Bird battery tools
Post by: bonneyman on May 23, 2019, 03:13:32 PM
fatfillup has a Blue Bird battery carrier if any body is interested.