In this article I hope to explain the understanding of the deep relationship between craftsmen and the tools they use and have acquired during their lives. Those who aspire to be like them will also hopefully learn something in the process whilst others who are less familiar with using tools can at least appreciate what tools mean to them.
A good tool soon becomes a craftsman favourite and a trusted servant to use in their craft, it will be lovingly cared for and be part of the craftsman’s life. It is an extension of the mind and hands assisting the user to create or solve a part of the job in hand, it becomes part of the team. The whole tool kit evolves over time and in most cases over many years with each tool having a specific function, eventually covering almost all possibilities.
The broader the knowledge and the willingness to stretch into associated fields of their trade is often why tool kits can seem so large to the untrained eye. Some tools may not be used very often but when needed they make light work of what it is there for, however it’s all part of extending a craftsman’s capabilities.
I’ve worked with tools all my life and have a wide range of skills and like many others want to continually develop and challenge them further throughout my lifetime. Tools are an investment in my abilities and the benefits always outweighs the costs involved in buying them.
A saw isn’t just as saw and a plane isn’t just a plane as there are so many reasons to have a selection. I’ve got favourite tools I use every day, sometimes the simplest of tools and have duplicates just in case something happens to it. Some tools to a craftsman are so important life without them wouldn’t be living at all, I guess that’s why so many skilled people have them until they pass away. I know my tool kit will outlast me and my kit continues to grow but fortunately having 3 sons I hope to channel the hard earn’t stuff onto them so they can continue with them. It’s not always possible I know but i’m lucky at this point in time they are eager to learn and seem willing to up the challenge.
Having said that I guess if they weren’t involved I would try to ensure they ended up becoming a favourite tool/s for someone else and living on to continue their work rather than rotting in a shed somewhere for nostalgia reasons.
A tool simply comes to life when it is in the right hands and something that meant so much to someone goes on to live again.
Our job here at Tooltique has always been to get those old tools back up to a standard where they are appreciated again, so they become an essential favourite for a similar minded craftsman.