Monday, October 17, 2011

Retrotech in the Shop: Tools

I am not a handyman. Oh, I have managed to provide some home maintenance over the years. I even worked for a few building contractors from time to time. I learned a few things. But I am grateful that I do not have to put bread on the table today using the skills of carpentry, woodworking, masonry, plumbing or mechanics. I know enough about most of those fields to be a danger to myself and any inattentive bystanders; although I can drive a nail or a screw. I can measure a board and cut a pretty straight line.

My father was a craftsman. He could do more with a pocketknife and a pair of pliers than most guys can do with any tools that might be at their disposal. I let most of my dad's equipment go at auction, but I kept a few handtools, mostly for sentimental reasons. But I still use them from time to time.

I have a crosscut handsaw which may be the first saw I ever used as a child. It is small, easily carried in a handy-man tool kit. The upper ear is missing and has been ever since I can remember. I have a brace and several bits. These virtually never get used. I kept a pair of forceps (dental) which belonged to my maternal grandfather and which my dad used to pull teeth-- mine, from time to time, when I was a child. Squares, wrenches. I regret a little bit that I let all the hand planes go, but I hope someone is giving them the use they deserve.

The most modern of Dad's tools which I have is a 7" electric Skilsaw which I use in preference to my own much newer and very expensive high-end brand name saw.

This article was first published in the blog, Retrotechnocracy. I am trying to ease back into the blogosphere. I hope by Wednesday to be able to file a report .


Secondary Roads said...

I too keep a few retro hand tools. One of which is a small monkey wrench. It is not much use as a wrench, but after it was cleaned and lightly oiled, it looks kind of nice.

Anonymous said...

Good lord man, how many blogs do you have? I have enough trouble "feeding" the single blog I write!

I own a Craftsman radial saw. I use it sparingly, for I, too, am not a handyman.

Anonymous said...

All I ever needed was a hammer and eyebrow Tweezers...BTW - there is a new "conversation" today - you'll like it ;-)

Sharkbytes said...

I love using my dad's tools. I use the brace and bit for almost any hole larger than 1/4 inch. I just feel so close to him when I hold them in my hands.

vanilla said...

Chuck, I have a monkey-wrench, too. Some of those gadgets are better for display than they are for use as tools.

Jim, for one thing I have no time-clock to punch, no code to write, nor any people to manage. Also, quantity is no assurance of quality, although the blind-pig-and-the-acorn analogy might fit here?

Grace, tweezers are good. Yet, in my case, the requisite eyesight for the use thereof is lacking at the moment.

Shark, the old hand tools used by the parent are more than "just tools."