Woodworkers not only need tools but also value them for the use they serve. Most craftsman drool over new tools that make specific tasks easier to perform. Some look through flea markets and yard sales for a good deal on a used tool. I like new, quality tools and also enjoy looking for used tools to serve my needs.
Over the course of time I have been given and “handed down” tools from some special individuals. These are my “treasured tools” that have a special meaning to only me. My paternal and maternal grandfathers, my father, my brother, other relatives and even some of my high school friends have blessed me with some of their personal tools.
Some of these are hand-made or crudely repaired to continue their life. Many of these tools are not top quality or even in useable shape but they have a significant meaning to me personally. Most of these prized tools enjoy a specific perch on a shelf overlooking my shop full of tools.
From time to time I find myself glancing up and seeing these tools and thinking back to when the previous owner reaped the benefit of using the tool; A custom marking gauge made for me by a close friend, a hand plane from my grandfather, a broken folding rule from my other grandfather, a hand saw from my dad or a hammer from a fraternity brother are tools that money can not buy. When I think of these items I think of the individuals that entrusted them to me. Their love of the tool and what they accomplished with it lives in my mind.
I hope someday some of my tools, especially my hand-made ones, will sit on a special shelf and generate good thoughts from the future owner. Do you have any “special” tools that are priceless? Have you made any tools that you would not sell but hope to leave to someone who truly appreciates tools? Items like these keep the “faith” of woodworking alive and for future generations.
Enjoy your shop time and tools,