Some old woodworker would be turning in his grave…
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Tagged: Recycling gone mad
- This topic has 5 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by Byron.
31 July 2017 at 10:26 am #314161
About an hour from where I live in North Yorkshire, is Europe’s biggest Antiques Centre (Hemswell Antiques Centre Lincolnshire) which is situated on what I believe was an old former bomber airbase . It has over 375 dealers and of course that means worth scouring for any old tools. Sure enough I found Stanley planes, even a mint condition Woden, chisels, marking gauges, many at very reasonable prices. There were however very few old, either working or serviceable wooden molding planes, which is what I was particularly looking for. But then I came across these and couldn’t have been more disappointed, than if I’d lost twenty quid and found 50 pence. The sad thing is, they both looked in good order complete with blades and wedges and I’m sure would have worked perfectly. The sight of these tools that once no doubt would have helped put food on a family’s table, would have the original users turning in their graves.
I know things often get recycled when they come to the end of their usable life, but these tools hadn’t. A coat hanger and a door stop? A crying shame.
Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England31 July 2017 at 11:23 am #314166
I have been to Hemswell on several occasions, and someone I know has space there. A few seconds with a screwdriver would restore the (now) coat-hanger, and a similar amount of time would convert the door-stop into a plane again.
I hate cutesy things like that. The actual cast-iron coat-hanger would be a nice bonus having been removed from the plane though.
Steve31 July 2017 at 2:52 pm #314173
Yes, I about die inside when I see tools mangled to make cutesy wall hangings and such. “Let’s drill holes in a 100 year wood jointer and hang it on the wall.” Let’s not.
Denver, Colorado26 August 2017 at 3:55 pm #314688
Reminds me of a BBC show that annoys me to no end to the point I stopped watching (don’t recall the name of the show). It’s about a lady scouring the dump yards looking for nice finds, and ‘recycling’ them by turning them into anything that sells.
As someone who restored (both electrically and cabinet) a few antique valve radios in the past, I was horrified to see her gutting an old radio, removing all the old valve electronics and installing an MP3 player inside…. This, and other blasphemies, made all the hair on my neck stand up straight.
This lady would probably knock down a villa and then would proudly show how she made a dog house from the materials. Or an antique TV into an aquarium. What a terrible waste.
I agree, heart breaking to see people maltreat things like that and calling it ‘recycling’, when a bit of love and care would have restored those tools to their former glory.
There is no doubt that many of these items have huge heritage significance, and that many have been blindly destroyed by up-cycling. There must be countless examples of valuable relics ‘up-cycled’ to something of far less value because its owner did not realise its innitial value.
I would strongly recommend that anyone dealing with old tools read through the ICOMOS ‘Burra Charter’ which gives an internationally relevant outlook on how to deal with heritage items. It cuts to the bone of the heritage arguement by asking people to decide and define what the heritage significance of an item is, and allow that to define how it is treated thereafter. Even then a principle of not causing irreversable damage is encoraged. To purists, even using and ‘tuning/fettling’ an old rusted bailey bench plane may be sacraligious because they argue that the patina of rust is part of the story of the tool. But if the heritage significance of the tool is in its use and continued maintenence, then it can be argued that tuning is good provided that it does not alter the item from its original state. Similarily, if an items significance is puerly aesthetic – perhaps a wooden plane missing the blade – then why not use it as a coat hook? But do no irreversable damage.
Heritage bodies across the world often have a reputation as chiding purists, but a lot needs to be done to educate the dealers and the general public to make rational decisions based on sound fact and logic. But I may be asking too much here.
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