Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Feeling thankful, and sharing the booty

It's happened again - and I'm experiencing that familiar sensation of sad but fortunate feelings. Truly the definition of yin and yang, in my mind.

Back in 2011, I blogged about buying an entire ceramic studio from the family of a potter who had passed away. Going through all of her tools and precious half-finished pieces was hard; it's like looking through someone's sketchbook and seeing what they were thinking at the time. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel emotional. Her studio was packed with amazing equipment, and I've been using it ever since... mostly making tile for my pieces. I still get a little verklempt when I pick up one of her tools.

So the other day – when a woman called and told me she wanted to donate some of her late husband's woodshop to me, I knew it was good to be another one of those tough days. I mean, I'm thrilled to receive any thing that we can use at the shop, but it's always hard going through someone else's stuff. 

The big score was this electronic radial arm saw. It's in good condition, and when I put a new blade on - I think it's going to work well. I especially love the six drawers on the cabinet below - who doesn't need more storage space?!

But once I got the saw figured out, I had to tackle the boxes that she had given to me. It sort of reminds me of Storage Wars - 

you never know what you're going to get. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find this engraver,  

and this industrial drill.

Going through someone's tools is like reading their diary - you find little things tucked away that they must have deemed important.  Like this pen - with its stiletto top. Cool.

The screwdriver was massive, 

made for #4  screws, which I'm pretty sure I've never used in my lifetime.  Still, it's very cool to own one!

There were tons of miscellaneous screws, bolts, anchors, lag bolts, washers, nails, angle brackets - all sorts of weird hardware that you need from time to time. 

There were even a bunch of lead weights.  I'm not sure what to do with those!


 But some of the hidden gems included these dowel centers, which we use every now and then.

I may not ever need to buy cable ties again. Ever. 

Nor will I ever need to buy carbide masonry bits. Yup, I'm pretty set on those!

And while these clamps wouldn't be my first choice in the woodshop, you can't argue with free clamps. 

And as they say – you can never have enough.

My buddy Dan spotted these deep throat clamps and asked for them - and I'm happy to share my booty with him.  He's bailed me out more than once in the shop, and it's my turn to repay the favor.

There's still so much more to go through, but it's very comforting to know that this man's tools will help woodworkers for years to come. And of course– all of this gets me thinking about what happens with my tools, when I'm ready for my rocking chair on the front porch?

What about you - any plans for your precious tools down the line?


Vegas Lupe said...

We are currently going through a similar experience of people passing away and leaving their stuff for others to sort out.

Indeed, I can't emphasize how important it is to make your will and have plans for your items upon your passing.

Guess what? We'll probably put you in our will. You can't never have too many Saw Stops, drill presses or hand tools in your shop! ;-)

Richard Whitson said...

When you say you're sharing the booty; You're talking about the pirate kind, not the shake your kind, right?