Infill Planes


Letters from Paul Schobernd


Regarding the piles of stuff...


Dear Galoots,

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
July, 2008


Disston Saws


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