No, that’s not a picture of my shop, thank God. Nevertheless, it is a picture of someone’s shop. It happens to more people than one might think.
Bench Kitten and I were watching a video on YouTube this evening. The master craftsman in the video has been working wood for fifty years. BK said, “My dad used to have one of those twisty things for making holes.” After watching hours of videos and reading everything I could get my hands on for the past month I waxed wise and identified the hand brace. The woodworker had no fewer than eight hanging on the wall behind him as well as some on shelves.
I’ve only ever seen him use a Stanley #4 smooth plane. We counted dozens of hand planes of varying sizes on shelf after shelf. Those were only what we could see in the shot. Sliding bevels, coping saws, back saws, panel saws, bow saws and tools neither of us could identify, were hanging everywhere. It became a game for us, like playing Where’s Waldo.
Some people are collectors. Not I. Accidental accumulator fits me better. For example, I found a marking gauge online that I needed. I placed the order with a couple other small items I felt I could use. Two marking gauges arrived today with the other items. I’d inadvertently ordered the item twice and didn’t notice the 2 in the little box. Accumulative redundancy. Did I need the gauge? Honestly? No. Is it a great gauge that will be useful and inspire me to take my time and do more precise work? Yes.
Shipping things gives me a rash. BK does all the shipping. She seems to enjoy it. I’d rather give one of them to someone who will use it. Sadly, human nature often dictates we won’t appreciate something for which we did not work. After more than thirty years of accumulation you can end up with quite a few items you already had. Sure, you can give them away. There are people who make a living gathering things others give away and then selling them to another. If I give something to someone I want it to be someone who will use and take care of it.
Then there’s the other side of accumulation. We’ll save that till next time.