Vintage Roberts Smoothedge Junior Power Stretcher

Help Support Flooring Forum:

mkokanagan

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Okanagan Valley, Canada
I bought this Roberts Junior Stretcher in the late 1970's, when a young apprentice. Sent photo to Roberts recently and they kindly let me know is from the 1950's - 1960's. Wondering if anyone can give me more info on it. Hasn't been used in decades, but time to clear out the tools. Was thinking it might be of interest to a collector.
Stetcher Full.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Stretcher Nameplate.jpg
    Stretcher Nameplate.jpg
    333.3 KB · Views: 10
  • Stretcher Head.jpg
    Stretcher Head.jpg
    405.9 KB · Views: 12

highup

Professional
Pro
Joined
Mar 6, 2011
Messages
13,169
Location
,
That's the same unit my grandfather had when I was working for him. Even at a very young age all that plywood plus the tubes and the stretcher in one box was nuts. 😁
I'd work with Grandpa a bit before I got out of high school. The main fulcrum part of that stretcher was getting elongated. I took it with me to machine shop and they TIG welded it and redrilled the hole.
 

Laney

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
18
Location
,
I learned on an old wooden head Roberts as a little boy. I even had a wooden cottonhead.
 

mkokanagan

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Okanagan Valley, Canada
That's the same unit my grandfather had when I was working for him. Even at a very young age all that plywood plus the tubes and the stretcher in one box was nuts. 😁
I'd work with Grandpa a bit before I got out of high school. The main fulcrum part of that stretcher was getting elongated. I took it with me to machine shop and they TIG welded it and redrilled the hole.
It's a heavy beast to carry around. :)
 

Floorist

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Pro
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
14,088
Location
The free state of Missouri

Mark Brown

Professional
Pro
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
815
Location
Vancouver Island
That's awesome guys. I doubt this was even the first example, but 1928... but I still have drunken old crusty hacks tell me that "they never had those things in my day" to justify their butchery.

I had an opportunity to purchase an antiquated pole stretcher when I first started in the trade, more likely than not this same model/style. Wooden head, wooden case and the like and I damn near bit just to demonstrate that the thing was older than the hills back when I was younger than I am now. But, seeing as it lacked to utility of a ratchet lock and swivel lock and breakable tail piece, I went with my crain. I regret nothing.
 

Floorist

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Pro
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
14,088
Location
The free state of Missouri
I bought a new Crain in the early 80s. It had the square slider. In a couple months it would bind. I talked to a Crain rep. He said Crain knew they were defective but would not replace them. Never bought another Crain tool. That stretcher head is in a box somewhere. I kept the poles, they would work on my Roberts Jr.
 

Mark Brown

Professional
Pro
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
815
Location
Vancouver Island
Man, I have had my quick lock... I think that is what you mean?? for over 12 years and it still works like a champ... but then again, I do not know for sure that is what you mean and I am sure that they must have changed something in the 20 odd years that I bought mine from you.

Oddly enough, you couldn't pay me enough to own anything from Roberts. I am a crain guy through and through :p

.... ok I like, I have a roberts crab stretcher, but that was due to necessity. Mostly I just wish Gundlach made more tools.
 

Floorist

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Pro
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
14,088
Location
The free state of Missouri
The one I bought had a square rod that slid in and out of a square hole instead of the round rod and hole on a Roberts in the head.. The square one would bind really bad.
 
Last edited:

C.J.

Lifetime Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
931
Location
Over here now
You had to lube the square rod which then meant you could possibly get that lube on the carpet. The Robert’s stretcher has a plastic Teflon ring that squeaked when you stretched but I’ve never had to lube it and it didn’t get the carpet dirty.

I left my Crain stretcher in the case in the warehouse for some months and during that time someone switched it out for a Robert’s head that they didn’t like. Best thing about that was I couldn’t stand the Crain head so I was happy to have a new to me Robert’s head.

Now as far as actual working differences the Crain head got more stretch per lever pull than the Robert’s head but if you know how to work a stretcher that’s a non issue. That and I really like the swivel action of the Robert’s head as well as the locking mechanism was so much easier to operate than the Crain.
 

highup

Professional
Pro
Joined
Mar 6, 2011
Messages
13,169
Location
,
Man, I have had my quick lock... I think that is what you mean?? for over 12 years and it still works like a champ... but then again, I do not know for sure that is what you mean and I am sure that they must have changed something in the 20 odd years that I bought mine from you.

Oddly enough, you couldn't pay me enough to own anything from Roberts. I am a crain guy through and through :p

.... ok I like, I have a roberts crab stretcher, but that was due to necessity. Mostly I just wish Gundlach made more tools.
My Robert's swivel lever lock hasn't broke yet. 1997 vintage. Love it.
 

Floorist

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Pro
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
14,088
Location
The free state of Missouri
You had to lube the square rod which then meant you could possibly get that lube on the carpet. The Robert’s stretcher has a plastic Teflon ring that squeaked when you stretched but I’ve never had to lube it and it didn’t get the carpet dirty.

I left my Crain stretcher in the case in the warehouse for some months and during that time someone switched it out for a Robert’s head that they didn’t like. Best thing about that was I couldn’t stand the Crain head so I was happy to have a new to me Robert’s head.

Now as far as actual working differences the Crain head got more stretch per lever pull than the Robert’s head but if you know how to work a stretcher that’s a non issue. That and I really like the swivel action of the Robert’s head as well as the locking mechanism was so much easier to operate than the Crain.
I tried lubing the rod, it would still bind. Crain's solution was to remove the lock, but that did not help. Their rep admitted that it was a design flaw, but said they would not replace it. When it failed, I bought a Roberts, Jr at a pawn shop for $100, and have used it since. I did have to make some parts for it a few years ago because they no longer make parts for it and the Crain poles work. Heck, I gave $4 for a Roberts seaming iron at a flea market that I used for years. I have a Kool Glide that Roland gave me, but it was only used for repairs.
 
Top