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Thread: Can I see some painted tools (axes, pike poles, etc)

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    Default Can I see some painted tools (axes, pike poles, etc)

    I plan on re-doing some of the tools around the station. I want to paint the "working" end of the pike poles a bright orange just so it can help see in the dark if you drop it.

    I've searched on the site and didn't find any threads about it and I was wondering if anyone has any pictures of some they have done or seen.


    Thanks in advance.

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    Ask the person in charge of maintaining and purchasing equipment for permission before you do anything.
    The problem is solved by not dropping your tools.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Ask the person in charge of maintaining and purchasing equipment for permission before you do anything.
    The problem is solved by not dropping your tools.
    Sometimes you have to drop your tools so you can get that perfect picture of the DRAGON to post on facebook!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DumbRookie View Post
    I plan on re-doing some of the tools around the station. I want to paint the "working" end of the pike poles a bright orange just so it can help see in the dark if you drop it.

    I've searched on the site and didn't find any threads about it and I was wondering if anyone has any pictures of some they have done or seen.


    Thanks in advance.

    Why? Most heads on tools are painted either Black for Engine Company or Red for Truck company. Axe heads should never be painted at all, but clean and lightly oiled. Before you get the paint out you should ask the Officer in charge of the company which you are associated with.
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    We painted the heads of the tools the same color as the color coding for that rig. Example E-1 is blue so all tools and appliances have blue on them somewhere to make it easy to return them to the right rig after the call.
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    6' pikes get red paint, 8's get yellow, 10's get black, and 12's get green. The pick head axes don't get painted, and the flatheads come with red paint and is allowed to wear off or be removed. Rust on the axe is a quick sign that maintenance was skipped.
    All tools are color coded for each apparatus with tape no where near the business end of the tool.
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    Tools get used and the people that have painted the tools before me either did a bad job or the handles of the tool get scratched and need to be re-done.

    I know to ask the other shifts/officer in charge to see if I can paint them.

    1) You aren't supposed to paint the head of the axe because the paint on the head can make it stick, even of you don't paint to the tip.

    I would just like to see some pictures please. Trying to get creative ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Why? Most heads on tools are painted either Black for Engine Company or Red for Truck company. Axe heads should never be painted at all, but clean and lightly oiled. Before you get the paint out you should ask the Officer in charge of the company which you are associated with.
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    We painted the heads of the tools the same color as the color coding for that rig. Example E-1 is blue so all tools and appliances have blue on them somewhere to make it easy to return them to the right rig after the call.
    I'm from a different part of the world guys.

    I do like the idea of painting them a different color to know which rig they go on but of course not everyone is going to do that. Thats why I want a cool idea for OUR tools so I can tell its ours at a quick glance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DumbRookie View Post
    I'm from a different part of the world guys.

    I do like the idea of painting them a different color to know which rig they go on but of course not everyone is going to do that. Thats why I want a cool idea for OUR tools so I can tell its ours at a quick glance.
    When I worked as a lab tech for the tech college I was tasked with doing something distinctive to the tools the school owned so we wouldn't lose them. I painted them barber pole style on the handle in red and yellow.
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    Aside from stenciling a company number on the handle of a tool, we've "wrapped" the gripping portions with rope to provide a little extra "traction" when using the tool. You have to temper this, however, with painting and/or wrapping the handle of a tool so much that it becomes difficult to inspect it for cracks, defects, and etc.

    I was taught to never paint the working end of anything - i.e. axe heads, tips of pike poles, halligan bars, and etc. A primary reason/rationale for this is that painting a working end, such as the head of an axe, can cause it to bind or "stick" into things when using it.
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    I am a fan of the business end of tools being clean, bare metal. No paint on axe heads or sledge hammers. No paint on the hook and pry bar ends of a roof hook. Ever since we got a few rook hooks the pike poles are just there for decoration so they can stay painted for all I care.

    Exterior mounted axes can carry paint too, mostly for decoration. They don't get used often.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    We painted the heads of the tools the same color as the color coding for that rig. Example E-1 is blue so all tools and appliances have blue on them somewhere to make it easy to return them to the right rig after the call.
    One of my mentors on the MFD (now long retired) kept a can of spray paint with the color code for his Engine whenever he was on duty. Any tool that was left lying around after a fire was quickly painted with his Engine's color code. His Engine was the best equipped on in the Department!
    ffbam24 likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    When I worked as a lab tech for the tech college I was tasked with doing something distinctive to the tools the school owned so we wouldn't lose them. I painted them barber pole style on the handle in red and yellow.
    You my friend, had wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much time on your hands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Aside from stenciling a company number on the handle of a tool, we've "wrapped" the gripping portions with rope to provide a little extra "traction" when using the tool. You have to temper this, however, with painting and/or wrapping the handle of a tool so much that it becomes difficult to inspect it for cracks, defects, and etc.

    I was taught to never paint the working end of anything - i.e. axe heads, tips of pike poles, halligan bars, and etc. A primary reason/rationale for this is that painting a working end, such as the head of an axe, can cause it to bind or "stick" into things when using it.
    If a tool is properly prepped, painted with good quality paint, and doesn't have 40 layers of paint on it, it is unlikely to "stick" to anything. An axe likely "sticks", because it is wedge shaped, not because of paint. The most likely start of the "don't paint the business end of a tool" rule, was probably to provide busy work for probies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You my friend, had wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much time on your hands.
    Nope, efficiently using my time I would mask off several tools and paint the yellow stripe. Then I would go about my business of cleaning and maintaining SCBA or other equipment. When the paint was dry I would remask for the second color and paint and go about other business. Considering that it generally only had to be done once on some tools and maybe tice a year on others it worked out okay.

    It was what the boss wanted LA and since I liked the job and the pay I did what he wanted in this case!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    If a tool is properly prepped, painted with good quality paint, and doesn't have 40 layers of paint on it, it is unlikely to "stick" to anything. An axe likely "sticks", because it is wedge shaped, not because of paint. The most likely start of the "don't paint the business end of a tool" rule, was probably to provide busy work for probies.
    I humbly take umbrage with some of your comments. First of all, I remove ALL of the paint when I paint any surface on a tool. Why? Because it looks like a dog turd if you don't and I want my tools to look good as well as perform good. Secondly, I agree with the shape point you made. Too many people sharpen a fire axe in the same manner that they sharpen a wood splitting axe and that is DEAD wrong. A fire axe is a crushing and cutting tool, not a splitting and cutting tool.

    The rookie comment thing is wrong though. I was first taught not to paint the head of axes and sledge hammers to be more easily able to inspect them for damage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Too many people sharpen a fire axe in the same manner that they sharpen a wood splitting axe and that is DEAD wrong. A fire axe is a crushing and cutting tool, not a splitting and cutting tool.

    The rookie comment thing is wrong though. I was first taught not to paint the head of axes and sledge hammers to be more easily able to inspect them for damage.
    Co-signed.

    When I dress an axe, my last stroke with the file is flat against the edge of the blade.

    I was also taught to never paint forged impact tools as well, axes in particular. The reason is that paint will hide fractures in the metal. I wouldn't want to be near one when a chunk of shrapnel flys off.
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    Our tools are left how they come from the manufacturer. We put a label marking our company and that's it. We used to have some painted ones, but they have been replaced with non-painted. Haven't seen a need to have any of them painted again.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Don't forget to label the hose too.
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    For the most part, none of the business ends of are painted. Makes cleaning and inspection much easier; wire wheel, a good eye and a coat of light machine oil for rust.
    But handles may be, especially on pike poles. Most of that is a type of rhino liner for grip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I humbly take umbrage with some of your comments. First of all, I remove ALL of the paint when I paint any surface on a tool. Why? Because it looks like a dog turd if you don't and I want my tools to look good as well as perform good. Secondly, I agree with the shape point you made. Too many people sharpen a fire axe in the same manner that they sharpen a wood splitting axe and that is DEAD wrong. A fire axe is a crushing and cutting tool, not a splitting and cutting tool.

    The rookie comment thing is wrong though. I was first taught not to paint the head of axes and sledge hammers to be more easily able to inspect them for damage.
    As for removing ALL the paint, it depends on the quality of the original paint, and the reason for repainting it. If the original paint just needs touched up, there's no need to completely strip it. But if it's a matter of pride for you, drive on.

    I have never in my life seen a defect in a hammer, axe, or any other striking tool that was not glaringly obvious. By the time one of those tools gets a fracture in it, it will have been greatly abused. Paint isn't going to cover up a loose handle either. You can choose to not paint the head of a tool, I just can't see where it makes a difference. The paint shouldn't be that thick that it hides it. I'd be more worried about a wood handle being painted, especially near the head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Our tools are left how they come from the manufacturer. We put a label marking our company and that's it. We used to have some painted ones, but they have been replaced with non-painted. Haven't seen a need to have any of them painted again.
    If nothing else you may want to at least look at tuning your halligan bars. A few improvements will make a world of difference in useability.
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