My Fondness for Tools

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Day 352

Maybe it was my relationship with my grandfathers that gave me my love of tools. I remember roaming around our barn where my paternal grandfather had all sorts of tools in a relatively basic workshop. Everything was organized. I knew early on what hammers and wrenches were fits for a particular task. His nuts, screws, bolts and nails were sorted and stored in pint jars whose lids had been nailed so the jars would hang neatly from the bottom of a shelf once screwed onto the lid.

I played with his bench vise, chalk line, plumb bob, and yellow folding ruler as often as I did with any toy I may have had.

It was with great satisfaction I watched him fix the old push button lock on our front door by applying graphite from a squeeze bottle. I thought it was magic. At one time he had been a cobbler and we used his small anvils mounted on short pieces of 2x4s to crack black walnuts.

My maternal grandfather was a talented carpenter. I have a table he made from ebony he brought back from the Philippines. Almost all of the furniture in my grandfather’s house he made. His wood shop floor was covered in saw dust and he had more power tools than hand tools. When I wanted to learn to make a quilt, he cut the small quilt pieces in his shop using a sharpened chisel.

My father spent some time as a draftsman and my brother and I used his t-squares as guitars long before we knew their real purpose. Later, when I was a teenager, he often tinkered with our cars and it was not unusual for me to be sitting in the garage handing him the right sized crescent or socket wrench when he called out from under the hood of the car.

Today, I have my own collection of tools used in my jewelry-making. I remember these men in my life and am thankful I was exposed to the tools they used throughout their lives. More often than not, I am the person wanting to stop by Harbor Freight while out running errands.


19 thoughts on “My Fondness for Tools”

  1. I love your memories! Actually, this blog stirred up long forgotten ones, watching my Dad build a room onto our house and many other projects. He, too, had amazing tools…..electric and hand tools. My favorite was always his level! The bubble always fascinated me!! Lol.
    Thanks for YOUR fun memories and stirring mine!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved levels, too, Nancy. It is funny what memories are created by simply witnessing what others do. I am glad this sparked some memories for you.


  2. My dad was originally a carpenter after he left the Army. I never followed in his footsteps, and have no aptitude for working with tools. But I have quite a few, stored in a big cantilever tool box. I try not to use them unless I have no alternative. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Depends on the tool and the job to be done for me, Pete. In my jewelry work, most of the tools are small in scale. I am not fond of large power tools.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. such fond memories, Maggie. my maternal grandfather was a basket weaver and a carpenter. i have not seen many tools but what few he had were neatly stored in the barn. 🙂 🙂

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    1. What skills! My grandfather also ‘caned, chair seats and I learned he also used to tat lace. We have lost so many skills.


  4. Sadly in our everything-is-disposable consumption-centric society, making useful things that will last with our own hands is becoming a fading art.

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    1. You are right, Norm. I fear there will soon come a time when many will regret those decisions. People do not understand what work good craftmanship requires.


  5. I love your memories, and I have a similar set. I have some tools that belonged to my paternal grandfather, even though I never met him. I love tools and all the things tools allow you to do.

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    1. Dan, I am glad you enjoyed reading about my memories. I very much enjoy following all your projects. It is nice you were able to keep some of your grandfather’s tools. Hubby has a lot of tools from his dad. They mean a great deal to him.

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  6. I built a lot when younger, but the tools are now all in the hands of my husband and 9 year old grandson. They are currently building a little house for the backyard. As long as the garage and basement are full of tools, I am happy even if I am not the one using them. And I will always stop for a tag sale while my husband searches for a tool.


    1. Elizabeth, when we have our grandchildren, we always try to come up with something to make by hand. It ends up being a favorite activity. So glad to hear your tools are being put to good use.

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