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Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station

Posted By: Alienbaby17

Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Fri Aug 08 2014 03:18 AM

I stopped at an estate sale last week. The estate belonged to a man that had been a Ford dealership mechanic since the mid 1950's.

I found lots of irresistible items while there and probably spent more money than I should have. But, I did get some good stuff so I guess it was OK.



The one thing I am most puzzled about is this item which was simply labeled, "work station" on the tag. When I showed up it was all full of old nuts, bolts and misc. Junk car parts. By the time I returned for it they had cleaned it out and I was actually a bit disappointed.

Here are some more details:
All metal construction with rounded corners. Approximately 42" wide, 30" tall and 20" deep. Despite looking like it is sitting flat on the ground it is actually mounted on four casters and has a small amount of ground clearance. The casters say "USA" on them. Two doors with full length piano hinges. Spot for lock in upper right door. Cabinets inside are separated and there is a small short step in the very back of each cabinet. Curious amount of wasted space on both sides between cabinet area exterior side walls. Has been brush painted blue but original color was white. Inside is smooth white. Outside is kind of a slightly textured speckle white. Had a thin (3/8") plywood top on it which is clearly not original. When top is off there is full access to the inside of the cabinet.

I've been racking my brain for almost a week trying to figure out what it is/was.

I assumed it was automotive given the previous owners career with Ford and many of the other vintage items he had saved from the dealership. I even thought it might have been the base cabinet for something like an old Gravo or Alemite mechanic's work station from the 1940's but I can't find any examples exactly like this. For all I know it's maybe not even automotive. I've searched many other areas from medical to kitchen but with no luck. I am really puzzled by the two brackets at the top back in each cabinet compartment. We had wondered if some part of a top might have dropped into those?

Hopefully someone here will recognize it and can fill me in.

Thanks in advance,
Jay



With top removed.



Paint removal in process.



And finally while doing a a Google image search of 'Alemite cabinet' I found this picture which looks kind of close. The link for the website the photo was taken from was dead so I have no other information or a confirmation the one in this photo was actually an Alemite.
Posted By: Dick Bennett

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Fri Aug 08 2014 03:37 AM

Possibly at one time had 1 of these sitting on top
Posted By: Alienbaby17

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Fri Aug 08 2014 05:21 AM

What is that? It looks like the top for a soda fountain.
Posted By: Dave's Garage

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Fri Aug 08 2014 06:16 AM

I have one slightly different then yours, but very similar. Mine is built of heavy gauge steel at least 3/16 inch thick. It has a crank handle that retracts a power cord. It has a built in power outlet and a clock.

I was told by an old timer; that, this is what bottom roller chests for tool boxes looked like back in the day.

Maybe others older then me can confirm this.
Posted By: Dick Bennett

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Fri Aug 08 2014 06:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Alienbaby17
What is that? It looks like the top for a soda fountain.

ALEMITE OIL BAR approx 1928-1930
Posted By: SKomatinsky

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Fri Aug 08 2014 10:57 AM

I own the cabinet which you found a picture of and it did have one of those oil bars on top. I am not sure if it was original or made locally by the station. The lube bar could be mounted on a cabinet or on a wall with lines going to oil tanks.
Posted By: Alienbaby17

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Sat Aug 09 2014 04:12 AM

Originally Posted By: SKomatinsky
I own the cabinet which you found a picture of and it did have one of those oil bars on top. I am not sure if it was original or made locally by the station. The lube bar could be mounted on a cabinet or on a wall with lines going to oil tanks.


Wow! Cool. Does yours have the white, textured, speckley exterior?
Any manufacturer brand on yours?

Great info so far guys. Thanks for all of the help.
Posted By: rd_signs

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Sun Aug 10 2014 05:50 AM

Looks like the "GRACO" I have, except the top and side cabinets are missing.
Posted By: Alienbaby17

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Sun Aug 10 2014 06:49 AM

Originally Posted By: rd_signs
Looks like the "GRACO" I have, except the top and side cabinets are missing.


Hmmm...now that you mention it there are three holes on each side near the back running vertically and spaced pretty evenly. I assumed something was mounted to each side.
I will have to research GRACO pretty hard now.

Here is a picture from earlier this evening. I finally got 98% of the old blue paint off of it,

Posted By: Cold Pizza

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Mon Aug 11 2014 11:07 AM

I don't think GRACO mounted the pull handles horizontally.
I've only seen vertically so far.


Posted By: Signs&Neons

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Tue Aug 12 2014 12:47 AM

I've cross referenced your picture against photos I have of at least five different brands of work benches and can't find a good match. The horizontal handles are unique as mentioned above. The brackets on back wall are also confusing! Not sure what it is? Keep us posted if you figure it out please.
Posted By: Alienbaby17

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Tue Aug 12 2014 01:59 AM

Thanks again for the time and effort fellas. I do appreciate your expertise and experience in this matter.

Yes, the horizontal handles and the fact that the doors meet in the middle without a panel in between combined with the full length piano hinges all seem to be unique characteristics to this cabinet.

The last picture in my first post (incidentally apparently owned by SKomatinsky on here) is the closest one I could find. It has the horizontal door handles and both doors meet in the middle like mine. I believe I found his while searching "Alemite cabinet" although I don't know that it was ever for sure confirmed to be that manufacturer and I haven't seen another like it by that brand.

Weird, but I'm no longer losing sleep over it. I've almost resolved to live with the mystery. If I do ever find a definite answer I will let you all know.

Thanks.
Posted By: johnnyreb

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Sat Nov 08 2014 03:44 AM

it's from an old bear alignment machine. i have a pic of one on my cell phone that i'm looking at buying. i'd post the pic on here, but i'm technologically retarded!:) but it is IDENTICAL to the one in my pic. the alignment "eyes" were ina box that was mounted on top. The same manufacturer could have made it for other products too i suppose...
Posted By: Alienbaby17

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Wed Mar 22 2017 06:11 PM

I know it's been about 2.5 years but I still don't have a 100% positive identification of this cabinet. (At least one with photos to support it.)

After a long winter away from the garage I'm finally getting back out there and doing some reorganizing. I've been looking at this cabinet again and wanted to just bump this thread back up to the top in the hopes some fresh eyes might read this and have some help for me.

Thanks,
Jay
Posted By: Unicorn1

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Wed Mar 22 2017 06:27 PM

I can't see any of the pics, can you post one? This is the Lincoln Engineering I picked up two weeks ago.

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Posted By: Alienbaby17

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Sun Feb 04 2018 08:53 PM

After about 3.5 years since my original post I finally have a definitive answer.
Johnnyreb was correct- it was part of an old Bear alignment machine from the 1940’s or 1950’s.

I ended up consulting Damon Crowe (I believe he goes by “Alemite” on here.) He confirmed that it was indeed part of an old Bear Telaliner 600 machine.

Here are some photos that originally were in this post of when I brought it home and after paint stripping and clean up.

Mystery solved!

Thanks for all of the help, everyone!

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Posted By: Alienbaby17

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Sun Feb 04 2018 08:58 PM

And here are a couple photos Damon provided from old Bear catalogs.

Also, for those interested and currently unaware of it, Damon’s website, servicemerchandisers.com is pretty awesome.

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Posted By: JimT

Re: Help needed ID'ing mystery mechanic's work station - Mon Feb 05 2018 02:26 AM

Thanks for the link-Damons website is really helpful and interesting.
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