Cobblers and clog makers measure.


clogger sizes for making clogs

I came across this very old foot measure when I was having a clearout.  I have so many boxes filled with tools that I haven’t seen in years but occasionally have a look see. I was just about to give it the heave when I noticed that it had English Sizes marked on the top scale and Inches on the reverse but on the side it had Cloggers Sizes.


This immediately took me back to my first job. I left school in 1967 and got a job with Lairds Forge in Irvine Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland. The company at that time made pipe flanges for the oil industry but was better known as the “Block Work” having made block and tackle for many naval vessels most of their work being for the Admiralty. The footwear still prefered by the Lathe Operators were clogs. The blue “U” shaped cuttings that came of the lathes were so hot that they would immediately burn any exposed skin.  I’ve seen many an operator burning his finger when trying to remove a cutting from his face or neck. The reason that the cuttings came off as “U” shaped was that the cutting tools had chip breakers, this was to prevent long pieces of coiled razor -sharp metal coming off the piece being machined.

If the operators had worn normal plastic soled footwear the cuttings would have burned straight through. Old Willie McKinstry’s (Snr) neck had many a “U” shaped scar, caused by 40 years of machining, not too much health and safety in those days.

Anywoo, back to the tool collecting. This is why I collect. The history and the memories that items can bring is so strong that you can almost touch them.

Collect for ever, stop when you die, let your kids worry about what to do with your tools.

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