The Travelling Anarchist’s Tool Chest Contents: No 9, Bob’s Tools


I hear of good people sending Chris tools to help young makers. Most of us have too many tools; I am still buying tools at 66 and giving lots away to students and friends. It’s a great gift, something you have used and worked with. There is a load of romance in used tools. The history of who had it before you were given it, or got it on eBay. Their sweat is burnished into the handle. If you are like me, you hope that a little of their skill will help you do a bit better job.

I put out a general “if you have any tools that you think could go into this chest to help a young maker get going let me know.” Well I don’t know if British makers are just mean or didn’t hear me but the response has largely been from across the pond. Typical is this:


I hope these help get someone inspired to work more with their hands and wood. It’s odd that a nail set or chalk line can provoke something inside. And this something can last a lifetime. Well, these tools are genuine… nothing fancy. Please consider something for the runner-up … to all of us who didn’t make first place.


Bob asked for his gift to be anonymous, well I respect that, but cannot allow it to go unmarked. (sorry, Bob) The tools Bob sent me, and it cost him $70 to mail it to me, are old, good and useful, and all will go in the chest. I will also take Bob’s point on “failing” to win. Something for the poor devil who will do the final week but not win the chest. They have the courage to try and fail and deserve recognition. So who amongst you, following Bob’s example, have a good shoulder plane that you can give up? Let me know here and I will get back to you.

— David Savage,

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5 Responses to The Travelling Anarchist’s Tool Chest Contents: No 9, Bob’s Tools

  1. Estwing hammers are dreamy. Good on you, Bob.

    • tsstahl says:

      Stole my thunder. I love ’em. I know a lot of folks prefer the wood handled hammers, but I’ll take the leather grip of the Estwing any day.

  2. mylordsladiesandgentlemen says:

    ‘Well I don’t know if British makers are just mean or didn’t hear me’

    Sadly there are not many British makers left, and I’m not sure labelling them mean or deaf is the way forward!

    Try asking the Chinese – they make most of the tools sold in the UK.

  3. Paul Smith says:

    I love the leather Estwing, I have mine that I started my apprenticeship with in 1963. It has dimples that fit my fingers sweated into it.

  4. Estwing finish hammers certainly address a small nail with authority. Estwing framing hammers on the other hand always just seemed to be a quick way to wear out your elbows….

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