One of the tools we use about 50 times a day is the “Super Woobie.” It’s basically a microfiber towel that has been absolutely saturated with oil. With it, I wipe down all my tools before putting them away, plus I use it as I work to keep pitch and dust from accumulating on tools.
We’ve experimented with a lot of different rags through the years. And yes, they all work fine. But our favorite – hands-down – are the Norton dry-tack cloths. They hold a lot of oil and dispense just enough when you wipe. You can buy these from a variety of woodworking suppliers.
We decided to ask our Super Woobies to do two jobs: prevent rust and remind us of the value of our work. So we have contracted with a local embroidery firm to stitch “Don’t Despair: Nothing Without Labour” onto one corner, plus the image of a friendly bee – the long-time symbol of woodworkers and other trades.
And we are packaging the woobie in a quality 3mil plastic bag with a zipper. The bag is ideal for the initial oil soaking of your woobie and for storing or transporting it. We don’t like to use plastic packaging, but this is one case where it is ideal.
The Super Woobie will ship dry and ready for the oil of your choice. You can use almost any oil. We like jojoba and camellia oil. Other people like 3-in-1 light machine oil or mineral oil. They all work fine, and yes you can mix them.
We hope to have these up for sale in a month. Right now, Megan and I are prepping the Norton towels for the embroidery shop. I don’t have a retail price yet.
I know this product will cause some eye-rolling in some corners of the internet. And if you’re the kind of person who uses your socks from your 6th-grade gym class to wipe your tools (using only oil harvested from your own body – to save money), then this isn’t for you. I wish you happy wiping.
But for those who like nice things – and nice things imbued with meaning – you might want one.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. The term “woobie” is from the 1983 movie “Mr. Mom” – as is “220, 221, whatever it takes.”