Tools, a life history!

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That would work

Established Member
29 Dec 2018
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I've been making tool storage. Nothing that fancy, just a shelving tool wall really. Mostly finished today. When I stood looking at it I realised that most tools had a tale to tell or at least marked an era.
Stanley smoothing plane purchased with pocket money from an old time hardware shop (Spreadburys in Milford on sea) when I was 11.
Hammers (toga?) and chisels (Bell) given to to me by a second uncle (old time carpenter) who died at 93yrs 40 years ago. His surname was Jupe, a decendant of the Jupe cabinetmaker who designed the Jupe expanding table.
Three Diston D8 handsaws given to me by another relative who was a yacht joiner.
Nonparel 14 inch tenon saw that I was advised to sell at the start of my apprenticeship in 1978.
Side rebate plane given to me by an old joiner way back.
Wooden jack that I bought at 14yrs old for a fiver via my Father from a carpenter who worked in the same factory.
A 2inch (!)out canel gouge sold to me by a Ron Smith when working at Vosper Thornycroft Southhampton (it's got his name stamped on the handle) never used it!
A compass plane purchased in Nigeria in 1987.
A couple of the red plastic handled Sorby chisels from my aprenticeship at Berthon Boat.
A draw knife that I made in the school workshop from the leaf spring of the Ford transit mini bus in Nigeria when I taught there.
A 3/4 paring chisel made from a planer blade! Unknown from where.
There's probably more to this but I found it interesting today!
I know the provenance, of a fair few of my tools, Fathers, Uncles, work mates, bought new by me, some 2nd hand shop, but the vast majority car-boot items, with unknown stories.
Many of the older items, have name stamps,, sometimes several. I know the stamps were for insurance purposes, but some were clearly done with pride.
Sometimes, just picking up a tool, brings back old times.

That would work":35g31abi said:
.......A draw knife that I made in the school workshop from the leaf spring of the Ford transit mini bus in Nigeria.......

Knowing Nigerian roads, this would be a rich source of material. :lol:
Roads? Sometimes! May be better now. I also straightneed out some coil springs and made plug cutters, one of which I still use.
Likewise i find it pleasant to own tools with a history, some known some not!
A Norris smoother found on a council tip when i was 13, my Dads 21st birthday present a Norris jack plane bought for him by his father (pity he lost the box!)
A selection of planes from Seakings yard at Old Leigh once the property of Reg patten, A marking gauge once used by a friends grandfather who was a shipwright at a yard that built thames sailing barges.
A drawkife given to me by a friend when his father passed away he taught me woodwork at school.
The big marples firmer chisel that i remember dad walloping mightily one day fitting a newel post to the stairs, he managed to let it slip as he hit it & it stuck in his thigh (4 stitches). His favorite paring chisel once long but now worn to a fraction of its length, I could go on for pages!
I mentioned in another thread that some of my most prized and sentimental tools came from a woman who wanted to clear out her husband's shed in the garden after he got serious dementia and had to be put in a care home. I never knew the man but he was an airforce engineer who took up model making in his retirement and made these lovely Romany wagons (gypsy caravan) models. None of his tools were of significant value but I kept a few of his engineering tools such as dividers, calipers, rulers and other pieces as they all had his name engraved into them along with Ministry Of Defence/Royal Engineers markings on them which make them that much more interesting and historical to me. I do use them quite often especially in layout and whilst I never met the man I kind of feel a connection with him through the tools if that makes any sense, it's one of those warm fuzzy feelings and I very much enjoy using them. He has since passed on, but his spirit and name is living on through the tools, I just hope Mr. G isn't too angry up there that I'm not using his tools to the same precision he was in his job :lol:.