Skip

The Superior Works
June 6, 2007 1:37 AM   Subscribe

A wonderfully told story about a guy's exciting find. C.A. Jewett's Patternmaking Chest. (Via)
posted by growabrain (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The H.O. Studley Tool Chest.
posted by mr vino at 1:54 AM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Great story. While reading I sincerely believed that I, too cared about old tools.
posted by Phanx at 2:50 AM on June 6, 2007


There's a lot of magic in old tools. Even old power tools; I have a 1948 Delta bandsaw and a 1949 Delta Unisaw, and like I say, there's a bit of magic there that isn't present in newer tools. That said, I'm more than happy to use a modern multimeter, so magic only goes so far.
posted by maxwelton at 3:25 AM on June 6, 2007


Beautiful. I would, however, like more info on pattern-making. Also, that story is dated April 1998. Has the lucky dude made any cool patterns (?!) since then with the tools?
posted by imperium at 3:42 AM on June 6, 2007




It's like my dad's workshop writ portable.

Very cool.
posted by jlkr at 4:11 AM on June 6, 2007


Great post. Thanks growabrain.

My great-grandfather was a patternmaker in Cardiff, Wales. My father has inherited some of his tools, including a beautiful bronze spokeshave he cast himself from a Stanley pattern.

What an amazing find.
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:21 AM on June 6, 2007


I'm intensely curious how much money changed hands.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:58 AM on June 6, 2007


Great post! Thanks.
posted by RussHy at 4:59 AM on June 6, 2007


I'm intensely curious how much money changed hands.

The article said $20.
posted by delmoi at 6:24 AM on June 6, 2007


That was for two tools, at the yard sale.

Great story. I really enjoyed it.
posted by kira at 6:36 AM on June 6, 2007


Tools that have been used for decades often work far, far better than their mass produced offspring of today, not just because they were better made of better materials, and not just because poor tools would have been eliminated from the collection early on, but because a tool in use by a toolmaker is constantly being adjusted and tweaked to perform to the best of its (and his/her) abilities. The pinnacle of this is indeed the patternmaker's toolchest.

The amount of money changing hands for something like this is irrelevant except as a way of sealing a deal. Knowing the tools went to someone who would use, care and treasure them for what they are and not sell them at auction or put them on a display cabinet, is what the old man really wanted to receive.

I read this story when it first came out and am still heartwarmed by it. Thanks for posting.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:42 AM on June 6, 2007


I'm intensely curious how much money changed hands.

I handed him a fistful of Benny J. Franklin's to let him count it, to let him get the feel of cold, hard cash. He nonchalantly counted it, handed it back to me, and said that it was a fair offer, about what he had in mind.


More than I spent on my last car, I'm betting. Although, it was a cheap car...
posted by pupdog at 7:23 AM on June 6, 2007


The amount of money changing hands for something like this is irrelevant except as a way of sealing a deal. Knowing the tools went to someone who would use, care and treasure them for what they are and not sell them at auction or put them on a display cabinet, is what the old man really wanted to receive.

Agreed. But...

Did he have to tighten his belt for a few weeks? Months? Sell his car? Mortgage his house?

I'm not interested in the money for the old man's sake - as you say, what he wanted wasn't the money. I'm interested in how far someone will go when, confronted by something you would pay an arm and a leg for, you are told "make me an offer".

Perhaps the wife steps in and says "No, you're keeping both arms and legs - that's FINAL! Offer him the money you were saving for your world trip." :-)

I shudder at the thought of making an offer on something like that.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:28 AM on June 6, 2007


What a great post! Thank you!
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:13 AM on June 6, 2007


Great story! And heartwarming to know that in the day and age of people scouring junk shops and garage sales for the latest thing to buy-cheap-and-sell-high on eBay, there are enthusiasts who fall in love with old, well-made things and purchase them to use, love and look after them.
posted by minervous at 9:55 AM on June 6, 2007


Great post. Mr Tool Time is everything I am not in terms of tool-envy and (i'm certain) ability, but still the story was one of those about requited love.

For me, it would be walking into such a garage sale and finding crates of independent label jazz LPs with acid free liners and similarly looking for a home that would appreciate them for more than their monetary value.
posted by beelzbubba at 12:36 PM on June 6, 2007


Nice post—I love this kind of story. (Reminds me of the recent post about a guy who discovered a treasure trove of old comics.)

my standard mantra "I never find chi-chi at yard sales"


What the hell does "chi-chi" mean here? Because "fussily affected or ostentatiously stylish" doesn't seem to be what he means.
posted by languagehat at 1:56 PM on June 6, 2007


Just staring at the pictures makes me envious - I can't imagine what he was feeling when he actually got to hold, nay, caress them.

I only hope he plans on using them. There's nothing as sad to me as seeing a stunning tool nailed to a wall or sit on a shelf, to provide "atmosphere" to some bar or restaurant. Tools need to be used to be loved.

(I'm a leatherworker - there's nothing like the feel of an Osborne head knife you've owned for years, nestling in the callouses it's created in your hand over those years, gliding through saddle skirting like it was Jell-O. Disposable razor blades just can't cut it, so to speak.)
posted by FormlessOne at 2:40 PM on June 6, 2007


"What the hell does "chi-chi" mean here? Because "fussily affected or ostentatiously stylish" doesn't seem to be what he means."


Chi chi stuff. Good stuff. Fancy stuff. A good score.
posted by stenseng at 2:46 PM on June 6, 2007


*sigh*

I really believe that in a prior lifetime I knew how to use tools like that.

And, will again someday.

As it stands right now, learning how to make proper coping joints for crown moulding is my mission for the summer.
posted by Corky at 4:58 PM on June 6, 2007


Good story, thanks for posting that.
Also, Thanks for posting it in a clear straightforward way, instead of via oblique wordplay, thus ensuring my desire to click. Yay!
posted by Area Control at 5:35 PM on June 6, 2007


Nice post. Are you a Galoot?

Some time I'll have to tell you about the Emmert I found for $25.
posted by spock at 10:39 PM on June 6, 2007


I think that it's entirely appropriate that my 1,000th's comment should be:
I APPROVE OF THIS POST
posted by tellurian at 6:29 AM on June 7, 2007


« Older ^   |   Time Keeps on Slippin' Into the Future Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post