I had in my hand today a hammer that has been in my toolbox for as long as I can remember having a toolbox. And before my toolbox, it was in my father’s toolbox. And, given the hammer’s appearance, I have little doubt that it also once resided in my grandfather’s toolbox as well.
For someone who struggled to pass Wood Shop in 7th grade, I strangely have an appreciation for good tools. Over the years of home ownership, I have accumulated quite a few. I didn’t realize until lately that my tools are like little time capsules. Each has a story or more to tell. For many, I can trace back to their origins, often recalling the project I was working on that led to their purchase.
I’ve also accumulated a collection of drills, all different sizes. Most are the newer battery-charged models which are handy to use without having to hassle with a cord. Nevertheless, I regularly go back to my 1960’s vintage plug-in-the-wall Craftsman power drill when it comes to the tougher jobs that easily wear down the newer drills. It turns faster and has a lot more torque, perfect for making holes in a dense piece of wood. That reminds me of something I learned from my father. He taught me that a good tool will always make the job easier and the results so much better. Accordingly, I often splurge on tools abiding by the assumption that you usually get what you pay for.
One of my prized tools is actually a paint brush. Ironically, I don’t think a drop of paint has ever touched it. It’s a very thick brush as you can see in the picture. I believe the bristles are made of horsehair. It’s very old too, perhaps one hundred years plus. It’s mostly been used as a brush for cleaning who-knows-what. My father used to cut my hair when I was a kid. When he was finished, he would brush the hair off me with this brush.
I have only a few other old tools that have been handed down through the family. Most of their value is sentimental. I am sure my grandfather probably wouldn’t even remember his hammer or paint brush. No, they had to survive a good number of years to rank the level of appreciation I give them. Perhaps they will rattle around in the bottom of a toolbox belonging to someone in my immediate or nearby family…or perhaps not. I sense the same for me!