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Posted: 8/22/2017 4:32:38 PM EST
I'm currently a Pipefitter apprentice (absolutely love it btw) and I'm running into a small problem in the field. According to our contract my employer is supposed to provide all power tools and most hand tools other than a small list we have to purchase on our own (they are supposed to replace these tools if they break or are lost though)
For the past 3-4 weeks I've been carrying my own personal tools because the shop is currently "cash poor" and foremen in the field aren't able to get tools from the shop as easily as they used to.
I've been allowing my brother fitters to use my tools/work out of my bag, but it seems they're losing them/or accidentally pocketing them. I took inventory Friday and I'm missing ) $150-$200 in tools, I'm pissed. I take pride in my work and I've invested over a grand in this tool bag and hand tools alone. I can't afford to keep replacing them as an apprentice. Having these tools is very convenient for me personally, I'd hate to stop bringing them in. Maybe I should downsize to a smaller HVAC tech bag, though it won't hold nearly everything I need. Suggestions?
Current bag
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Smaller bag that doesn't really meet my needs.
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Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:34:57 PM EST
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:37:00 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
View Quote
This.

And I'll refrain from bashing the union guys and how professional they are out of respect for your new career.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:37:04 PM EST
Assholes will steal your tools. I put my initials on all my shit, and if you borrow it, you bring it right back.
Sometimes I write out my whole name (on bigger tools, like say, a level, for instance) Tim S Foad.
(This is mine so fuck off and die.)
Good luck.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:37:15 PM EST
Cheap bastards can buy their own tools.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:37:17 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
View Quote
FPNI and all that.

Are you asking the these guys for your tools back after they borrow them?
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:37:33 PM EST
Mark everything with a color (floresent green, pink, etc.). Maybe even etch a number.

Also, try to minimize lending tools.

When you do make it a point to note who what and when you loaned it on your phone. Make sure the borower knows your doing this.

I''ve seen some mechanics with cutouts and spots for every tool. It looks great, but you take up allot of storage space.

This is a common problem, allot of the loss is likely just forgetfullness not outright theft.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:38:10 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
View Quote
This.

You are an apprentice that bought you're own tools. Why can't the others do the same?
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:38:35 PM EST
Paint them a bright color . When someone wants to borrow a tool collect the drivers license from them. I have never had a tool not come back after I started doing that. Also it reduces borrowing of tools.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:39:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:40:20 PM EST
spray paint all your tools hot pink.

I'm not even kidding.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:41:25 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By whiskerz:
Paint them a bright color . When someone wants to borrow a tool collect the drivers license from them. I have never had a tool not come back after I started doing that. Also it reduces borrowing of tools.
View Quote
I was going to suggest painting an obnoxious color, but collateral works too

Don't have a DL? Your cell phone will do
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:41:36 PM EST
Ask for their drivers license in return. Makes it easy for them and you to remember who borrowed something.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:41:53 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By whiskerz:
Paint them a bright color . When someone wants to borrow a tool collect the drivers license from them. I have never had a tool not come back after I started doing that. Also it reduces borrowing of tools.
View Quote
^ This

If they don't trust you to enough to hand over their driver's license, you shouldn't trust them enough to lend out tools.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:42:23 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
View Quote
Absolutely THAT!!

If your fellow workers need tools, they can do what you did and buy some, (rather than steal yours)...

Being a Nice Guy doesn't mean you have to be a Sucker...
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:42:26 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:42:56 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bigtard:
spray paint all your tools hot pink.

I'm not even kidding.
View Quote
This is how we handle things.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:43:39 PM EST
Hazing.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:44:18 PM EST
Rule #1 of the trades: NEVER loan out tools. The only exception to this is for guys that you trust to not "forget to bring them back" and they stay in your sight the whole time. 
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:44:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
View Quote
This. When asked, just sincerely explain that you've lost a couple hundred bucks in tools loaning them out and just can't do it anymore. Believe me, they know. I bought a stamp that I used to pound my initial into the grip end of the screw drivers and electro-pencil'ed everything else. Shit still goes missing on site.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:46:02 PM EST
Print out an excel inventory of your tools, and literally sign them out.

At first people will laugh and you'll get a reputation for being thorough that will pay off in spades.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:46:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 4:49:20 PM EST by shootstraight93]
I'm assuming most of the guys borrowing from you are journeymen and not apprentices? Why the hell are they borrowing from you when their scale is so much higher than yours?

Call me a dick but my coworkers aren't my "brothers" or my friends typically, and if they are taking your stuff they sure as fuck aren't your brothers......I don't loan out tools other then to a few guys I trust, if someone needs something I'll just go do it for them rather than not getting an expensive tool back.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:46:15 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ih8hilldog:
Mark everything with a color (floresent green, pink, etc.). Maybe even etch a number.

Also, try to minimize lending tools.

When you do make it a point to note who what and when you loaned it on your phone. Make sure the borower knows your doing this.

I''ve seen some mechanics with cutouts and spots for every tool. It looks great, but you take up allot of storage space.

This is a common problem, allot of the loss is likely just forgetfullness not outright theft.
View Quote
We did this at my shop and nobody wanted to be caught with a hot pink tool in his box.
It worked beautifully. Did that with all company owned tools.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:47:14 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bigtard:
spray paint all your tools hot pink.

I'm not even kidding.
View Quote
My dad does that, in excavating for 42 years
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:47:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 4:48:49 PM EST by Tbr1806]
I know a guy who use to spray paint his tools bright pink, they never went missing.

ETA: I guess I'm late to the party
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:47:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By whiskerz:
Paint them a bright color . When someone wants to borrow a tool collect the drivers license from them. I have never had a tool not come back after I started doing that. Also it reduces borrowing of tools.
View Quote
Came here to say that.....   hot pink tools will not walk off, and you are going to get shit for something, give em an easy target and laugh it off.   
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:48:10 PM EST
Btw how do you like those Veto bags? I have been looking closely at the smaller ones. I typically need very few tools on site and want something I can zip up instead of the bags I'm using currently.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:48:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
View Quote
FPNI always
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:48:35 PM EST
As already stated by everyone. Don't lend your tools to your scum bag coworkers. 
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:48:45 PM EST
I used to collect stickers....


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Also, you need a better bag..check snap on for tool bags...and tell your coworkers to buy their own tools..period...
worse comes to worse, buy a small job box and chain it down at the job sight....although I would bag my tools and carry in and out with me...
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:48:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 4:51:19 PM EST by McGuy]
Another vote for painting them up double ugly. And remember, these assholes are making a hell of a lot more money than you are.


eta- they're just taking advantage of your apprentice status. the longer you let this go on the worse they'll treat you in the future.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:49:13 PM EST
I know nothing of pipe fitters apprentice rules or eddicate but is their any fall out from not leading them out?
Myself, if they are taking my shit given in good grace and stealing or "not returning" then I am not lending my stuff out -- damn the consequences
Other option is to not bring your stuff that's supposed to be provided and just say fuck it.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:49:48 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bigtard:
spray paint all your tools hot pink.

I'm not even kidding.
View Quote
This right here. Some of my tools still have the remnants of the pink Krylon paint, with the yellow and green stripes, from 20 years ago.

The "macho" guys made fun of them, but they stayed put.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:49:59 PM EST
Painting stuff pink usually stops it from walking off.  Your choice though.  I am dead serious.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:53:28 PM EST
Paint, plastidip and deeply initial all your tools.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:53:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 4:58:07 PM EST by geekz0r]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
This.

On my second Navy ship, I hated using the workshop ethernet crimpers and bought my own. I only let one other person use them because he was the only person I trusted to return them to me. Everyone else would have just stuffed my crimpers in with the ship's crimpers and who knows where they'd end up.

Your tools, your money, your right to tell others "no" and to "get their own".

Originally Posted By SurfAnimal:
Assholes will steal your tools. I put my initials on all my shit, and if you borrow it, you bring it right back.
Sometimes I write out my whole name (on bigger tools, like say, a level, for instance) Tim S Foad.
(This is mine so fuck off and die.)
Good luck.
Yeah, I've had some coworkers who tried to claim - to my face even - that my gerber multi-tool was theirs. The last time I got a new one I had it engraved at the factory even.

Another time, I was in Radio (first ship) and saw a flashlight in their toolbox. When one of their E6s saw me leaving with it he tried to stop me from stealing their tools... until I showed him where MY name was engraved on it. Thing is.... the flashlight had previously been wrapped in thread, so someone had taken the trouble to cut all of it off, thinking to claim it as theirs, not realizing it had already been engraved.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:54:23 PM EST
I generally answer the question of "can I borrow your ___________?" with "go fuck yourself".
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:55:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 4:55:33 PM EST by hosphemer]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Redcap:
I generally answer the question of "can I borrow your pen to sign over my inheritance to you?" with "go fuck yourself".
View Quote
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:56:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BeardedDude:
Paint, plastidip and deeply initial all your tools.
View Quote
Number stamp the last 4 numbers of your SS# works quite well and is simple to do....
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:58:03 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bigtard:
spray paint all your tools hot pink.

I'm not even kidding.
View Quote
it works... don't have to cover them... just lay them all out and dust it all
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 4:59:49 PM EST
Ha, chump change.
Mechanics be like:


Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:00:28 PM EST
Stop providing tools to coworkers.
You aren't responsible for them.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:00:52 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:01:41 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pokernut:
Those tools are an investment in how you make your living, stop loaning them out.
View Quote
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:02:06 PM EST
Wait wait, he's bitching about 1000 bucks worth of tools.
Ha oh boy, I don't know if I gave myself a hernia laughing so hard.
When I was a young mechanics apprentice making minimum wage after trade school, I have almost 10,000 invested.

OK, seriously, don't loan your tools unless you have an apprentice under you and you can take it out of his ass.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:03:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 5:04:45 PM EST by SamuelAdams1776]
Learn to use the shoulder strap and zipper. Demand more money if you are the only one showing up with tools or leave your tools at home for a week.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:04:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2017 5:05:52 PM EST by cbr954]
Sorry dude but that is ass backwards.

The older Journeyman generally help a kid out with a tool here or there, NOT the other way around.

Let the director of your apprenticeship program know what is going on.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:05:33 PM EST
I engraved my tools the first time around, then I painted mine an safety bright orange. Some guys I know paint their tools in unique colors, one guy I met had his powder coated candy purple it was the purple that no one wanted to be caught with.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:06:02 PM EST
I did the pink paint bit for company owned tools in a shop i ran, too. No more theft, and if someone left a hammer at the far end of the warehouse you could see it.

On other jobs I'd say, sure, you can borrow it.... give me your wallet, you'll get it back when you return my gadget.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:08:30 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bigtard:
spray paint all your tools hot pink.

I'm not even kidding.
View Quote
Came to post this.  
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:10:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bigtard:
spray paint all your tools hot pink.

I'm not even kidding.
View Quote
20 years ago, I worked at a lumberyard while I was in high school. One of our regulars was a roofing contractor that had damn near every loose item on his truck painted hot pink. When asked about it, he said that tools stopped walking off from job sites the day he did that.
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