Hand Tools Archive

A plea for more "user tools"

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I didn't know what to title this post. At Midwest tool Collectors meets there are beautiful collector tools. If some cosmetic defect makes a tool undesirable to collect they become "user tools" and cheap. They can be bought inexpensively to try and if they don't work out the investment is small. I have bought, sold and kept many. They were a cheap way to assess utility for my line of work.

By analogy there are tools people make and post here, and elsewhere, that took a great deal of care and skill make. They may do a job that I and others might consider. But the investment to replicate them is too great compared to the perceived benefit.

Buried below is a picture of the ugliest plane ever made. However, it did not require a great deal of skill and care to make it and it did the job. It is an example of a tool that one might quickly make to see if was useful for their needs.

The value in posting these kinds of tools is underappreciated. I would like to see more detail of how the plane was made. It seems the basic design could be used for other specialty planes.

Another example is the Moxom vise. I was unsure of its benefit, making the cost of a kit, or the time to make one like others posted , too steep an investment. When someone posted a crude one I could make in an hour inertia was overcome. Ditto the shooting board.

Keep up posting the beautiful tools you all make. But, be brave and post the ugly functional ones that one could quickly make to try.

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