I woke up this morning at the usual time my body seems to ignite into life naturally after all those years being up at the crack of dawn when working on the tools. Breakfast generally consists of tea followed quickly by another before hollowing at the boys to ‘get up you lazy sods’ which usually works a treat. Never in my widest dreams did I ever think my first job of the day would to be that of an alarm clock but as they use me for it I guess they will have to put up with my version of it.
Having taken down a tree over the weekend we had loaded the van last night so we could drop the foliage off at the tip on the way to the unit. However getting in the van this morning a stark reminder of this greeted us with maximum effect as there were spiders and cobwebs everywhere, it looked like they were preparing for a plague of insects. Anyway we soon unloaded the foliage at the tip and went onto work.
Having arrived all fresh and clean we did our usual routine getting ready for work organising the tools we wanted to refurbish for the day. Having sorted the lads out I grabbed a couple of Record 077a bullnose planes and having stripped them soon noticed a crack hidden on the underside of the lever cap. With no replacement lever cap available, what was thought to be good tool now meant our first loss of the day, so in the spares box it went.
By 10.30 am we were well and truly working in a cloud of dust and noise and stopped for our usual cuppa to wash it down, even with dust masks on it seems to get everywhere. By lunch (another tea only break) things seemed to have been moving slowly due to unexpected issues with some of the tools we were working on. This often happens with old used tools, they often look OK at a glance but when stripping them down they throw up surprises such as substitute cutters and screws which have been used, it usually takes time to locate the correct parts to put them right.
After the lunch break we fired ourselves up for the afternoon shift. If what we were doing wasn’t making enough noise the sky opened and a deluge of rain pounding down onto the tin roof of the unit. But we made good headway in the afternoon and finished what we set out as our target at the beginning of the day.
We finished at 6.30 pm before heading home looking like coal miners for our first feed of the day. Famished is always an understatement when we get home which was quickly rectified by my wife who did us a lovely meal we promptly devoured.
After dinner it’s time to catch up with the days emails and print out any orders we have to pack in the morning.
At 9 pm I finally get into the shower for a much needed clean up and to my surprise was greeted by one of the largest spiders i have seen for many years, just to remind me of the start of my day, before slumping happily into a heap.
Not so glamorous a job as many may think but believe me when I say we are a happy bunch at work and I certainly didn’t write this article for any sympathy but only to illustrate the efforts we make in presenting the tools to the highest possible standard for each individual tool.
What motivates us to do this? Well, craftsmanship and attention to detail takes time and dedication to achieve, not everyone appreciates or notices it but those who do are generally like minded in the things they do. That makes it all worth while, knowing in someway we help craftsmen achieve better results through the tools they use.
Most woodworkers want to work with their tools and not work on them, as it’s a dirty job especially when rectifying wear through use, sharpening should be their only skill they need.
So next time you look through our stock they aren’t just old tools we photographed but instead are tools we meticulously caressed back into life with some hard work and much needed care and attention.