Looking Back: In my imagination, all of my tools are sharp
In my imagination, all of my tools are sharp
Synopsis: A look back to issue #146, in which Andy Rooney holds forth on his tools and his two shops.
If I had known when buying them which tools I would use regularly and which tools I would almost never use, I might have saved enough money to take over Bill Gates’s share of Microsoft. I would also have enough room left in my shop for tools I do use, space now taken up by the tools I do not use. It is certain that the tools I own exceed the total value of anything I have ever made with them, but the satisfaction they have given me simply by their presence is priceless.
My family has a summer place 150 miles north of New York City where most of my woodworking takes place during the three months plus seven weekends a year that we live there. My shop is 25 ft. by 25 ft., not huge but adequate if it were being used by a careful space-planner, which, as you might suspect, is not me.
When strangers come into my shop, they often look at a tool and ask, “What do you do with that?” They don’t understand that having the tool, like having good wood, is an end in itself. If I owned a Rembrandt, no one would ask, “What do you do with it?” I like looking at a tool, feeling it, and even using it once in a while. I dream idly of the wonderful pieces I could make with its help. I don’t usually make them; I just dream.
In desperation, I have misused tools In my shop, surrounded by my toys, I’ll often sit in the bucket seat of a comfortable stool I made and thumb through an article in Fine Woodworking. I am transported…