George Walker, one of the authors of “By Hand & Eye,” handed me a small box of tools yesterday as the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event in Cincinnati was winding down.
The tools were intended for the students at my Hand Tool Immersion class this fall at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. While some of the students have their own tools, many will need some of the basics to complete the tool chest we’re building.
I picked through the box of well-cared-for, user-grade tools and thanked George.
He picked up a Brown & Sharpe 12” combination square from the top of the pile that looked like it had seen a lot of years. It had a well-patinated standard head, plus the protractor and center-finding heads.
“When I was an apprentice, this was my square,” he said, smiling a bit.
I know that my face screwed up a bit when I replied: “You’re giving away your first combination square? You sure you want to do that?”
“Sure,” he said. “During the last several years I found I have a lot less need for rulers in my work.”
Touche, George. This fall some lucky beginning woodworker is going to end up with a sweet tool with an even better story behind it.
— Christopher Schwarz