My Old Tools...!

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Blog entry by Cozmo35 posted 08-09-2010 02:23 PM 7823 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first “blog” and I am not sure if this is even the right place to post it because I am not real clear as to what a “blog” really is! I made it to this rock we call earth just in time to be considered a baby boomer. I just caught the tail end of it (my life story). Any who,…I was cleaning up my garage/shop the other day (my wife says it’s about time!) when I started taking a closer look at the caliber of tools I have and have had for many,…many years. I got to thinking back to how I made due with a fraction of the tools I had when I first started out in wood working. As most everything we experience, it is a building process. Like many other wood workers, I always want bigger and better tools. I read a tag line of one of my fellow LJ’s (who I can remember who it was – baby boomer) that said “One power tool away from greatness”. There are those moments of sanity that bring me back down to earth and make me realize it is the wood worker, not the wood working tools that carry the experience and skill to produce humble and personal works of art. Because I am at the bottom of the barrel of amateurs, I have never sold any of my projects. It is a personal point of pride and self worth that it gives me to know that the projects I construct go to people that truly appreciated them and will treasure them as much as I do. I have been told “you should sell this stuff”. My canned response is “if I do then it becomes a job and I already have one of those”. My rudimentary tools do me just fine. If it turned into a job, I might consider investing in new tools, but for now I’m good. Although it is a hobby I love, it is just that a hobby. I make do with the tools I have and learn as I go. As Stevinmarin so eloquently put it, “I am but a mere mortal.

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

9 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4081 days

#1 posted 08-09-2010 02:39 PM

Congratulations on your first Blog! I enjoyed reading about you and your thoughts. I never knew what one was either until I came here, and look at me now. (You can’t shut me up!) lol

I think that these posts help us get to know each other a little better. I read the blogs more than I read the forums, it seems, because it gives a little peek into each person as a person. Who knows? Before long you can be writing every day.

As far as your tools go, you are right. It is the man (woman) that makes the project, not the tools. I have seen the most incredible projects ever come from very modest places and using minimal tools. Conversely, I have seen the most impressive shops around with every fancy tool known to man where nothing beyond mediocre is produced. The creativity and art comes from within us, not from what we use to create it.

I think that it is a personal choice as to whether you want to sell you stuff or not. No one can make that decision but you. I have had people tell me that if they had my life and worked the way I do, they would despise woodworking. For me it makes me very happy. I look at others’ jobs and think if I had to do that every day I would hate my life. I may have more money in that case, but I would not be happy. Your inner peace and happiness is how they say – priceless!

So thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Cosmo! It is nice to hear from you and I always look at it that if people aren’t interested, they don’t have to read it. There are lots of us here who like to know our fellow woodworkers better on lots of levels and consider each other friends. To me, reading a blog is like sitting down with a good friend or teacher and having a cup of coffee. I thoroughly enjoy it!

Thanks for posting and have a great day! Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4027 days

#2 posted 08-09-2010 02:43 PM

Hi, Cozmo. I understand completely where you are coming from. I don’t have a lot of spare time to do woodworking and it’s mainly limited to the weekends and up until a couple or 3 years ago I didn’t even have very many complete free weekends. Now I have most of my weekends and, although I’ve done hobby woodworking whenever I could for 40 years, now I want to use my time making things for my family and friends and I want to put as much craftsmanship into them that I am able. I know that even if I wanted to sell them I would not be able to make them the way that I want to otherwise nor would I be able to compete with the really true furniture craftsmen who have made their living at making furniture for many years. They can accomplish so much more in a smaller amount of time. I remember the first tools I ever bought. My wife and I married in 1971 and I bought those tools in the first year that we married. It was $1000 worth of tools and I purchased them at Woodcraft Supply. I still remember the pure joy and pride of ownership that I felt the day that they arrived. I love those tools and still have everyone of them to this day.

BTW, I’m not a blog expert but I don’t see anything wrong with the way that you have done this. I think that the topic that you have chosen for you’re fist blog entry was a great one. I’m going to try to start a blog during the next couple of weeks maybe.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4027 days

#3 posted 08-09-2010 03:04 PM

Scrollgirl, I have read many of you’re posts. I think they are great and you’ve begun to make me interested in doing some scroll projects. I’ve also been to you’re website. I don’t know whether I’ve ever seen anyone with creative talent, which you surely have, that has as much organizational skill or energy level that you put into what you do. I’m 60 years old and don’t have a fraction of the energy that I once had. I’ll bet you could write some great books if you haven’t already. If you have written some I’d like to know of them. What sorts of projects does Creativwe Woodworks and Crafts limit itself to and is this one of the magazines that you see in Lowes for example. I’m going into Lowes today and I’ll pick a copy up if they have it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4197 days

#4 posted 08-09-2010 03:25 PM

As blogs go , Mike, its pretty good. You said what you wanted to say. It made sense (which I’m sure some of mine don’t) and is interesting.

You are right about the woodworker making the project, not the tools. I commented on someone elses blog in which I’d seen an Incra Mitre fence that I wish I had something like that. I do wish that but I know that I can make something that will do almost as good a job, good enough for what I want to do anyway. Thats somehow re-assuring and something to have pride in. Like your Scroll Saw work. It is seriously good, you should be proud of it.

This blog also struck a chord with me. About selling things. I don’t sell an awful lot of my work and that which I do is usually made to order. I suppose I don’t want woodworking to become a job too. Money doesn’t mean a lot to me. I understand its useful to have but I’d rather have the skill to make things that I want to make. A lot of the time I find it hard putting a price on things. They used to say about Yuppies in the eighties ‘They know the price of everything and the value of nothing’. I like it the other way around. I smile every time I look at that Mad Professor piece you made me, it hangs on my shop door, I couldn’t put a price on it but its one of my most valuable possessions.

Keep blogging

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4469 days

#5 posted 08-09-2010 04:42 PM

Woodworking should first and most importantly be done for fun and pleasure and secondly it can be done for money. Your comment about old tools are important to me. I lost a lifelong collection of tools during hurricane Katrina back in 2005. Tools I had collected all my life and tools that were handed down to me by my Dad. I made a living with these tools for many years and built some fantastic projects…including a house full of my handcrafted furniture… that werre also lost in the Katrina You can never put a dollar value on this. Since then I have accumulated a shop full of new tools…many of which I never had a shop big enough for prior to Katrina.

Now that I have my new shop and tools I am able to create new furniture for the house and build whatever i want. Previously I had pretty much run out of space to put any projects I wanted to keep.
I agree that it is the person who creates quality and not the tools…but it is more fun to create with top quality tools than with many of the older ones I lost. Hopefully my new tools will have some sentimental value to my son one day after I have gone belly up.

View jack1's profile


2163 posts in 5188 days

#6 posted 08-09-2010 05:51 PM

It is amazing what we all probably did with what we had when we started (and still kept most of the fingers). I came onto woodworking later in life (also a boomer 1947) and found that a good power tool helped make up for some lack of skills and experience (at least my screw-ups didn’t take long to make and re-do…) ;0) I also like to yell “MORE POWER! HO, HO!” Like Tim Allen from “Home Improvement” when I get a new tool that works especially well. And the part of having another job, I agree with 100% although I do sell some commission stuff occasionally (helps pay for next tool fix). The main thing is to do something you like because life is short. As the old saying goes, if you don’t drink, smoke, run around and do other unhealthy things, you may not live forever but it’ll help make it feel like you are… ;0) Thanks for the blog.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4270 days

#7 posted 08-09-2010 06:55 PM

Good blog Mike. I think that what us amateurs do forget at times is that there were many paintings, pieces of furniture, compositions, writings, etc. that were created to perform a practical purpose, beautify a room, give as a gift, make a little music, or put one’s thoughts or a story to words. Art, crafts, music, poetry were all things created by our inner need to express ourselves. Expression came before money was even a currency. My mother, who possesses a great deal of natural drawing ability, expressed that she wishes she could draw but she had no schooling. I reminded her that drawing occurred before a school ever existed.

So, even mere mortals have created some things immortal at one time or another :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4101 days

#8 posted 08-09-2010 09:17 PM

Nice blog Mike! I enjoyed the read, you may do it again! ;^)

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 4041 days

#9 posted 08-09-2010 10:19 PM

Mike, a ‘blog’ is short for Web Log. Usage shortened it to just ‘blog’. Kind of like Federal Express – FedEx?

Good job on your ‘blog’!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

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