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Old 08-02-2015, 09:23 AM   #1
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They don't make em like they used to

I recently inherited exactly half of my father's tools, toys, etc. He passed away recently and willed my brother basically everything his wife would never use. I was able to get a lot of really great and useful stuff which I will happily use in my new shop if I ever finish it. Luckily my brother isn't much of a woodworker or mechanic.
We met up at his house with trucks and enclosed trailers and both completely filled them. I'm happy to say I've got about everything Craftsman ever made from back when it was worth buying, including a lot of specialized woodworking tools, full size wood lathe, joiner, radial arm saw, etc. etc.

Dad really liked Sears stuff from when they sold the Hillary gear. I thought he had given me most of it already, or it had died a slow death in the attic, but I found two real gems when cleaning out his back yard shop.

Article 1: Hillary Field Gear 3 burner stove. It was high up on a shelf and covered with dust and dirt dobber nests. I expected it to turn to dust in my hands. When I opened it up I was blown away! The construction is amazing. It fired right up and after a good cleaning is now going to be my camp stove of choice. I still need to clean up the latch, the only thing that isn't pristine.







I've probably eaten a lot of pancakes made on this stove, I definitely have memories of it being around the campsite when I was a kid.

Article 2: I do NOT remember this thing, and I bet he forgot he had it. He knows I would've geeked out over it in the last few years since I favor a 'lighter' camp than most, as us SMB types typically do. It's called a Kangaroo Kitchen. There seems to be very little info about them online, but they were in Washington state somewhere maybe? Anyway, sold in the 60s/70s and hard to find complete. This one is complete and in phenomenal shape! It still had the old school propane bottle inside with gas in it. It fired right up and it seems to do just about everything and a small and lightweight aluminum package. I'll have to research how to clean up/recoat the griddle. Anyone know? Maybe I can just season it like you would a cast iron skillet?















If anyone has any more info on this thing or has seen one please let me know! It's really unique and I plan to use it and enjoy it. It is a stove, griddle, oven and grill.

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Old 08-02-2015, 09:43 AM   #2
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Re: They don't make em like they used to

Super cool!
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:46 AM   #3
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Re: They don't make em like they used to

Very cool. Now you have some good memories, and you'll be able to make some more memories with your wife and kids.


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Old 08-02-2015, 09:50 AM   #4
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Re: They don't make em like they used to

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Very cool. Now you have some good memories, and you'll be able to make some more memories with your wife and kids.


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Oh yeah, I wish they'd go make camping memories with me more often. Sadly, I'm not sure the modern camping stuff is going to be around for the next generation.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: They don't make em like they used to

Cool stuff for sure Eric, more importantly the memories that are attached to them. That being said, I know you were looking to re-coat it, but even then I would be wary of cooking on that aluminum griddle without researching a bit further, remember that back in the 50's/60's the coatings (or lack thereof) and aluminum composition suitable for cooking food were not what they are today on our cookware and you may expose yourself to some nasty stuff.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:26 PM   #6
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Re: They don't make em like they used to

Thanks REF. I'll definitely look into that. The griddle is actually the thing we would least likely use, but I still need to learn if I should use it or not.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:52 PM   #7
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Re: They don't make em like they used to

"They don't make em like they used to" I agree, things were built to last. I was able to find a copy of the original owners manual for the "Kangaroo Kitchen" https://ratcellar-public.sharepoint.com ... Manual.pdf As for the griddle ,I would scrub with hot soap and water to remove any grease / grime . then sand with a vibrating finishing sander to remove the oxidation and get down to fresh layer of metal. Get the finish as smooth as possible . wash again with soap and water to remove sanding residue .Then finally clean with a solution of cream of tartar and vinegar. rinse then heat griddle in the oven to drive out any moisture then while still warm coat with cooking oil . better than new
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Old 08-02-2015, 05:26 PM   #8
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Re: They don't make em like they used to

Man, I love this forum! Thanks a lot Jack. I just printed off a copy and read it of course. This thing is pretty ingenious, and really small and light too. I hadn't thought of the last tip in the manual, using the top and bottom for dishwashing tubs. That's brilliant, and they're just the right size for one meal's worth of dishes and the parts of the unit itself. Pretty novel stuff. Sad that they aren't around anymore. Still, it's hard for me to believe that my Dad never used this thing enough for me to remember it, and he never told me about it.

I'll update soon with a cleaned up griddle.

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