In those days a journeyman’s full tool chest was quite a costly investment, and many a man found it an expensive undertaking to supply himself with all the tools he needed. Besides his ordinary bench and everyday working tools, he was obliged to carry a lot of odd tools that are not much thought of these days. Sash planes, match planes, moulding planes, beading planes, coves, rabbits (sic), side filisters, try and other squares, mortise gage, and three or four other squares, bevels, miters, and a half a dozen or more saws of various kinds, including a dove-tailing saw – a saw which is now almost extinct – plumb-bob, and two or three dozen chisels, gouges, and many other things the modern carpenter never wants or thinks of.
The moving of tool chests was quite a big job, and the chest itself was a fearful and wonderful combination of usefulness, clumsiness and adaptability. I keep mine as a “mechanical relic,” now over 60 years old.
— A Retired Carpenter, The National Builder, January 1914
But now, perhaps just because peace is not going according to plan, certainly not in the way that we, the ordinary citizens, had imagined it, there are opportunities which will give us the thrill of vital living if we care to seize them, the difference being that these opportunities do not come unsought.
We have to find them.
— The Woodworker, December 1947
In heaven’s name, let us be men with real interests, real ability to use our powers of hand and brain, men of character who can make a mark at least on our own circle.
We can do it by constant personal effort. And if our daily work leaves us no outlet we must find our own.
The woodworker can make himself a first-rate craftsman, he can persevere in spite of present difficulties, learning all the time, and enjoy a sense of personal achievement in surmounting them. Because personal achievement is the only answer to the cipher business and the one which a man owes his soul.
With it he will have truly lived, whatever part outside events have played in his life. Without it, he will pass like a straw in the wind.
— The Woodworker, February 1947
And yet the opportunity is there for every man who knows how to handle a tool. Knowledge alone is not enough, skill alone is not enough, for the perfect use of them depends on what a man can give of himself.
For when all is said and done he is not a precision tool, or a robot, or a machine, nor even — by nature — a machine minder. Something he is of all these things, but he has also that gift which is so utterly his own, his restless, eternal, questing spirit, which keeps him ever searching for beauty and everlastingly trying to create it.
This is the power behind his technical capacity if he learns to harness it, the power by which he can attain to the sense of balance and good judgment which are among the first requisites of beauty. The rest will vary with the man himself.
This is the great glory of our personality, that each individual touch is different, so that throughout the great ages of craftsmanship the work of each worker stood out from its fellows even if it was never stamped with his name.
— The Woodworker, 1947
SOLD: This rasp was an experiment to see if it would be helpful in saddling chair seats.
It didn’t work as well as I hoped, and I stuck to my scorp and travisher. And so this little curved guy has been sitting in my toolbox for many years. Wear a glove when you use it.
Retail price: $40
Price: $20 plus $6 domestic shipping.
About Tool Sales on My Blog
Please read this if you are interested in buying a tool. Why am I selling these tools? Read this entry before you freak out. There is no “master list” of tools that I can send you. I am working through several piles of tools and will list them when I can.
Want to see only the tools that haven’t sold? Easy. I’ve created a category for that on this blog. Click here and bookmark that page. When you visit that link, you’ll see only the tools that haven’t been sold.
While you can ask me all the questions you like about the tool, the first person to send me an e-mail that says: “I’ll take it,” gets the tool. Simple. To buy a tool, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payment: I can accept PayPal or a personal check. As soon as the funds arrive, I’ll ship the tool using USPS. If you want insurance, let me know. I’m afraid I can only ship tools in the United States. Shipping internationally is very time-consuming and paperwork-heavy. My apologies in advance on this point.
If you don’t like the tool when you get it, I’ll be happy to refund your money if you return the tool. But postage is on you.
— Christopher Schwarz