Tools of the Trade

Every occupation–and hobby, for that matter–has the unique group of equipment that makes the job go easier.  For my day job, I am an orthodontist and have some special instruments, which is a another fancy name for tools.  When the locksmith comes to fix something, he has a van full of his special little tools, and my contractor friend has a trailer full of entirely different big tools.

Bodie Miller, the Olympic skier is reported to have a dozen pairs of skis, boots, goggles, etc. worth around 175 thousand dollars.  From early on, my daughter Audra also seemed to understand how important it was to have all the right equipment and look good too!

aud tools

The tools for automotive repair is a big business.  Can you imagine sending your son out to change the tire without giving him the right tool?

austin tire

austin wrench

When we bought the flat roof Prairie style house on Arlene Street back in 1987, I inherited a fine tool bench from the previous resident.  It has collected a bunch of stuff over the past 25 years.

tool bench

On the upper left, the small drawer cabinet holds the small parts, like screws, nails, bolts and nuts.  The large drawers underneath hold wrenches, sand paper, jigs, planes, and other medium sized miscellany.  At the top are two bows, patterns and the orange circles are new bandsaw blades.  There are squares, saws, levels, ear protectors, clamps and on the bench, my favorite chisels and hand planes.

Back in 1985, during a summer we lived in Goshen, my small tool box was stolen out of the garage.  It was devastating then and it would be much worse now.  Collecting and using the tools creates a kind of bonding worth so much more than the replacement value.

Boat building is much the same, with an interesting distinction from furniture building.  Most furniture is built along square lines and most parts have some flat surface.  This allows the parts to be shaped by large saws, shapers, routers, etc.  Boats become big quickly and unmovable.  They also have many parts that are not square or even have a flat surface.  This requires more hand tools that are used on the boat as it sits.  Below is the current state of affairs.

boat currently

Perhaps you can find a pencil, tape measure, masking tape, a level, protractor, clamps, files and a saw.  Behind the cross frame is the drill and the screw gun.  This is all for the process of adding the stern extensions to produce added flotation.  At times the immensity of the boat project seems endless, but each small step of progress eventually adds up.

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