I was pleased to
see this bit of discussion regarding the piles of stuff that
accumulate on the top of the workbench. It had been awhile since
I'd been down to my basement workshop and it was just like
Christmas all over again!
It is my opinion that those of us who
are more pack rat than craftsmen keep our hopes and dreams right
there in front of us, just in case we get a powerful urge to
finish some project. Not only that, but the projects are
stratified making a historical record of our procrastination!
Today, I dug
below the surface and found a pile of 18th century - early 19th
century chisels and gouges and a pair of Green H&R planes of
18th century vintage still wrapped in foam packing. I forgot
they were there, so I was happy to see them anew! Then there was
the Butcher level with some big honkin' gouges and chisels plus
a couple of beautiful big mortising chisels.
Then there was the
Veritas grinder - tool rest that I have never managed to get
mounted. Then there were six or 8 vintage oil stones that I use
sometimes when I remember they are there. There are three large
tool boxes full of drawers sitting in the tool well that I built
for them, but not all of the drawers will open because of the
stuff in front of them!
Now I remember
why I procured all of this stuff. They were projects in my head
that seemed vital enough. And, to my credit, I am still planning
on getting all those projects done - maybe tomorrow. One of my
kid's favorite books - the youngest is 25 - was a Bert and Ernie
book where they start moving things from one container to
another, page after page. That is how the top of the bench
works. To move one thing is to set in motion an entire sea
change and one cannot tell where it will end.
That is why I am
careful not to create an avalanche or to let the pile reach
critical mass and begin to take on a life of its own! So, I
worshipfully go and set in my old wooden office chair that has
been with me through most of my career. And I commune with my
old tools, but am careful not to upset the natural order of
things just yet.
Now a day will
come when I must do the unthinkable, but for now I am content to
let sleeping tools lie. Besides which, with a memory that is not
particularly sound the entertainment value of descending into
the pit and recognizing some tools for the first time, what
cheap entertainment! I could new "friends" down there everyday!
Paul in Normal
Paul in Normal