I know many of us have this problem. We buy a new set of chisels, fashion a mallet, or build a bench. We know their purpose; to be banged, thrown, and rolled, bashed, squished and thrashed.
When it’s new, we squirm at the thought of it’s first scratch or dent.
Before getting into fine woodworking as a hobby, I built a shop bench (8’x3′) for general household garage stuff. It wasn’t much; a 2×4 frame, plywood topped. But I worked hard to build it, sturdy and tough, and for a purpose. In my mind it was pretty.
A few years later on, it’s had 2 woodworking and 1 metal vice installed, along with nails for hanging various tools. I see a dirty top, encrusted with dust, wood and metal shavings, scratches and dents, stains, paint and oil. And I see pride … in the fact that this bench is fulfilling its purpose, that it has been central to years of shop tasks. It is no longer pristine … but it tells a story of me and my family, and the time my children and I have shared tinkering. I am proud to look upon it each time I step into my shop.
So to all of us who squirm at the thought … fret not. That’s just the beginning of a new story.
P.S. Most of us have tools that were bought used or handed down. Do you ever just think what history they may have? What cool things they may have built? Who were the owners?
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