Gramps tools

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Blog entry by mcoyfrog posted 10-31-2010 08:00 PM 2109 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Back in 1989 my first and best mentor died, my grandpa lived next to me growing up and I spent many hours in his shop bugging him. He taught me a lot and little did I know years later I would still be repeating things he said in my head as I’m working. Gramps worked with oak and mahogany quite a bit so every time I smell either species I picture him looking over my shoulder. I think the coolest thing about woodworking is the legacy it leaves. I’ll be paying for something at a store (in my old home town) and someone will see my name and say “Hey are you related to Kenneth Powell?” When I answer yes they will tell me something like “He made me a table back in 1976 or a set of cabinets in 1978 and they are just as beautiful now as they were then.” Very rewarding work to say the least.

Anyway I’m rambling, when Gramps died his tools were kind of in limbo due to family conflict. My uncle got a hold of them several years back and was actually using them (which of coarse is what gramps would have wanted). But alas my Unc passed away also and when my cousins were going thru his things they asked if any of the rest of us would be interested in any of gramps stuff. Well I jumped on that, told them about the chisels and remembering him using them, sharping them, and yes even making his own handles when the old worn ones finally broke off. Gramps was pretty utilitarian when it came to tools, nothing fancy just what works and thats all, I remember him adding pieces of dowel to the end of a pencil so he could get the entire length of pencil used up LOL.

So here are some pics of the chisels, plus some extra goodies my cousins thought I would appreciate, a brace with auger bits and even a spoke shaver, I’ve had these for a while now and use them all the time, the real neat thing is that the chisels are still soooo extremely sharp just like gramps sharpened them yesterday (at least thats what I like to believe). I’m going to look into what I should do to clean up the augar bits and start using them too. I keep the brace chocked up with a screw driver bit for when I don’t need to do too many screws cuz it reminds me so much of him.


-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117600 posts in 3907 days

#1 posted 10-31-2010 08:05 PM

That’s wonderful to remember your grand father by the smell of certain woods or by using his tools .
Thanks for sharing these memorys with us.

View mafe's profile


11859 posts in 3419 days

#2 posted 10-31-2010 08:42 PM

Yes this is the most wonderful way, to use the tools, and send a thought each time.
I wish when I pass away some one will send me a thought as they use my tools.
Thank you,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3186 days

#3 posted 10-31-2010 08:49 PM

I can relate to this.
I’m lucky enough to enjoy my Pops tools daily.
My Faither was an only son, so no contest,
I’m looking forward for all the family tools to get passed on as both my sons also enjoy woodwork and there is one grandson who I cant wait to share woodworking with. A long wait though, he aint quite 3 yet.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Bluepine38's profile


3380 posts in 3415 days

#4 posted 10-31-2010 08:52 PM

Great old tools made even more special with the memories. I keep a roll of emery cloth for cleanilng rust
off round items and smoothing up and getting a precise fit on shafts. A good triangular file sharpens the
spurs and cutting edges on those auger bits. They make such a nice whispering sound as they cut fhrough
the boards. Just remember to stop when the lead screw breaks through and drill from the other side to
prevent blow out, or use a clamped waste backer board.

As ever, Gus the 71 yr young laborer, trying to become a carpenters apprentice.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3445 days

#5 posted 10-31-2010 11:00 PM

thank´s for sharing the story and pictures
just sad that a tool set nearly always split up when someone pass

take care

View canadianchips's profile


2626 posts in 3327 days

#6 posted 10-31-2010 11:21 PM

I like old tools. This is very nice.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View jack1's profile


2123 posts in 4357 days

#7 posted 11-01-2010 02:57 AM

nice to have

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

View wichle's profile


96 posts in 3277 days

#8 posted 11-01-2010 03:22 AM

I use my dad’s tools, think of those days in his shop. When I get stuck doing something, I swear I hear him giving me hints. I also spend time cleaning up every night, even though I’ll be back in the morning. “Because he always did!”


-- Bill, Michigan "People don't come preassebled, but are glued together by life"

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4053 days

#9 posted 11-01-2010 03:33 AM

The older the tool – the better. Not to mention that when you are using those tools, you stay connected with Gramps. I have several of my Gramps tools, but his tools were mostly fishing rods and painters tools. Still nice to have them and use them.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Kristoffer's profile


675 posts in 3546 days

#10 posted 11-01-2010 05:05 AM

That’s a great story.

-- Cheers and God Bless

View swirt's profile


3799 posts in 3302 days

#11 posted 11-01-2010 05:08 AM

I understand these feelings completely. Stay connected.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mcoyfrog's profile


4754 posts in 3924 days

#12 posted 11-01-2010 08:22 PM

Thanks for all the kind comments….

I have to admit posting this got me teary eyed thinking about the days way back when….

Mads I’m sure you tools will live on for a long time, along with all the cool little devices you make..

Jamie Come on 3 is old enough LOL… I also got some things from my dad who passed away way too young, I’ve been thinking of making a plaque with gramps, dads, and mine pocket knives and give it to my son..

Gus thanks I’ll get me some emery cloth I also got this funky shaped sharpening stone that was gramps for sharping the gouge chisels..

Dennis so true

Bill hee hee my most repeated thing from gramps is when I’m applying finish, I hear him saying hurry up hurry up you want this stuff even, back when the shellac was real…. but the clean up every day was one of his routines also..

Again thanks to all and stay connected with the ones you love past and present…

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3196 days

#13 posted 11-01-2010 08:40 PM

I can only imagine how much you must cherish those tools of your grandfathers. Every time you work with them you will have memories of your grandfather and that is a wonderful thing.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mcoyfrog's profile


4754 posts in 3924 days

#14 posted 11-02-2010 06:37 PM

Thanks helluva and yes I do, he really meant a lot to me…

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3370 days

#15 posted 11-02-2010 06:51 PM

Ah Wonderful Memories !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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