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Man With the Most Tools Wins................................................NOT!

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  • Man With the Most Tools Wins................................................NOT!

    OMG - I'm in my mid 60's already! I go in my garage shop to tinker and some times I just go back in the house. My shop is cluttered with too many tools that I have acquired over the years and many projects that I could start. I know where everything is at (well most of the time) but stuff is everywhere. My plan "A" is to build a couple more storage cabinets but that ain't going to cut it. Don't want to think of plan "B".

    I've been woodworking since I was probably 16 years old. Right now I have 17" band saw, air compressor, 15" planer, workbench, cyclone dust collector, SCMS on mobile cart, big router table, table saw, 4' x 8' storable MFT slab work table, 8" jointer, etc. . Plus many portable hand tools and maybe close to 20 systainers of nice green and blue toys. Oh, that's just the flat woodworking tools. Few years back I bought a nice PM 3520B lathe and now accumulated many of the accessories that get vortexed with it. Oh-Oh, plus my mechanics tools car stuff and other things that usually go in the garage. Oh-Oh-Oh, plus I had a project that required welding and I enjoyed it so much I have a nice slightly used Miller Multimatic 215 and other goodies to safely weld and cut steel.

    I continually get flat work projects to do but also want to learn to be a better turner and mess around more with welding. Never time for the later two.

    *** - is time to give up on one or two of these hobbies. Guess it's really not a hobby if you don't do it. Ha, maybe time to retire and move to a larger shop!

    Anyone else go through this? I need guidance.


  • #2
    My dad had a good set of tools and shop machines when he passed. I inherited them; I had nearly as many for me in Japan. I brought most of mine back. Tooo many tools. I gave several tools away to 2 son in laws. Just now getting to the point I can do something on occasion, but still organizing - slowly.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


    • #3
      Originally posted by leehljp View Post
      My dad had a good set of tools and shop machines when he passed. I inherited them; I had nearly as many for me in Japan. I brought most of mine back. Tooo many tools. I gave several tools away to 2 son in laws. Just now getting to the point I can do something on occasion, but still organizing - slowly.
      Was thinking full shop or overfilled shop is better than empty/no shop.

      I haven't been here as a poster for a while. Back in the day think I bought one of the first 3000's at Builder's Square for around $500 and my last 3100 for about $100. Sold my Frankensaw for a Craftsman zip code saw, then a new 3HP Uni, then thought I could track saw only, then the little Bosch bench top, then the Craftsman BT3100 clone on wheels, and now a 1950 Unisaw that my son and I completely restored ("Bullet" cover - Jet Lock fence and all).

      It's coming back to me now Lee you were part of my post above. I sold you some BT stuff many years ago to a US address I believe and you sent me a mini stainless speed square from Japan that I still use today!



      • #4
        Fortunately, I was cursed with limited funds for so many years, but I managed to accumulate more tools than my 12’x12’ shop could hold. For many years, I kept a bunch of tool outside the shop in another part of the basement. I would move tools in and out to use them. My solution came when we built a new home and I was able to build a 22’x12’ basement shop. One of the big changes I made was to put some tools on mobile cabinet bases which can hold other tools freeing up room. As an example, my planer cabinet holds my scroll saw. One 22’ wall of the new shop is pegboard for hand tool storage.
        Jim Frye
        The Nut in the Cellar.
        ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”


        • #5
          I swear I have too many clamps and too many routers. Of course, theres no good definition for "too many."

          Am on the brink of having too many drills (8) and too many sharpening tools (ummm... a few)


          • #6
            A familiar nightmare!

            Here's my problem, I generally don't sell stuff that I've worked hard to buy, and I generally don't buy stuff that I don't need, at least at the time. Add to that, the fact that I properly store and maintain things, and rarely break anything; and so, things can accumulate over the years. Then, I have the added plague of being "attached" to the things that I have through a feeling of respect, especially if I’ve gained fond memories or have inherited the item.

            For example, I still have the Stanley level, hammer, and a few other carpentry tools I bought and used in my teens, when I use to help my Dad. Things like my first rifle when I was 14, the JC Higgins hunting knife my Dad gave me (it was his when he was a boy), or the first power tools used to renovate our first house, etc. All have good memories attaching me to them.

            If that isn't bad enough, I also confess to having a few hobbies and interests over the years!

            For example, when I was 14, I joined Civil Air Patrol, spent ten years there in search and rescue. I still have most of my personal field gear, like the web belt, canteen, and survival pack. When I became a Dad, my little guy took an interest in the trains that ran through the village where we moved; and so, HO model railroading became a favorite thing and I still have most of the models, rolling stock, track accessories, along with the building models that we named after family members, like Patty’s Bakery, Yezzi’s Hardware, St. Christopher’s Church (confessions held hourly), Gloria’s Pharmacy, etc.

            Then there was shortwave listening and later Ham Radio, for which I still have equipment from that, mostly idle as I have no place to string a decent antenna here in the city we have lived in for the last twelve or so years.

            There are the books, many of which we bought while still in high school. Over the years we've added substantially more, and continue to do so today. We now have a massive library, including a separate “cookbook” room.

            And of course, there was the career as a technical illustrator and writer, triangles, templates, engineering manuals, lead holders and leads, rapidograph pens, erasers, sharpeners, holders, air brushes, inks, water color, brushes and then the camera gear with lenses, macro bellows, copy stand, tripods, filters, developing equipment, light tables, and of course I can’t forget the manuals and other examples of the art I've done over the years. Oh, and let us not talk about the computers... Atari, Hyperion, Gateway, Dell, Toshiba... and software! (I did dump the Hyperion )

            A couple of years ago I added a 12 x 20 shed to the back yard here, ‘just for my tools’ and a place to make sawdust. Therein resides most of my old tools like the 1973 Craftsman radial arm saw, circular saw, router, and sander from those times as well as the tools purchased after 2003, when I retired. The BT3100, the Ridgid drill press, thickness planer, jointer, CMS w/stand, a router table, small band saw, benches, tools cabinets, and multiple hand tools like chisels, a few planes, several sanders, and on and on and on.

            Then there's the new digital camera equipment, and a collection of favorite movie DVD's, and my separate collections of Winston Churchill, military history, civil war, and woodworking and home shop books that are outside the main library. Add to that, the stuff of my late father-in-law, with more than 5,000 35 mm slides, reels of film, and volumes of snapshops, VHS recordings, and memorabilia from his career as a Craftsman hardware manager (tie clips, articles, awards, etc.); and, to archive all that inheritance into digital files, I've added another light table, scanners, backup drives, software, printers, etc.

            I'm now 75, and feeling the facts of my own mortality. My ancestors lived well into their late 80's and early 90's, but who really ever knows. We joke about the big day when our son’s last memory of us will be cleaning out the house!

            Our son has no interest at all in woodworking, and though my grandson has expressed an interest, I’m fully aware that his interests change faster than the seasons. They are all currently living in Iowa, but the grandson hopes to move back here later this summer.

            While most definitely they’ll inherit the property and all of its content, I’m picturing that somewhere in the future there will be a big yard sale with an even bigger dumpster!.

            Think it Through Before You Do!


            • #7
              I recently went through the shop and cleaned out stuff I haven't used in a while. I picked up several hundred dollars, which I partially used to upgrade a few tools that I do use a lot, or buy a second to have in multiple places. I added more drills and drivers so that I can stay tooled up all the time. I now always have 3-4 tools at the assembly bench with the right bits in them to drill pilot and clearance holes, chamfer the holes as needed, and drive. So much faster than bit swapping. As part of the cleanup I've gained a bunch of wasted space and more drawers to hide things neatly instead of piles on shelves.

              Today's mission is to do more of that, as I also added two small rolling carts with drawers to further add permanent homes for things that float around.


              • #8
                So a dear friend of mine became incapacitated. He left me a 20' container jam-packed (floor to ceiling) with tools.
                He was an itinerant mechanic - so he had a little of everything.

                This happened about the same time I decided that I could start reducing redundancies in my tool collection.

                If anyone wants a timing light, let me know ------- I got the best one ever made (according to him)


                • #9
                  I still have a timing light... A nice one from Sears. Endorse by some race car driver. Inductive pick-up. God, who remembers setting distributor timing points? And dwell. Vacuum advance?
                  Loring in Katy, TX USA
                  If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                  BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions


                  • #10
                    What to do with duplicate tools? My two boys ( both in their early 40s) have already been given my duplicates, and tools that I seldom use, I also made sure that some of my tools with family history have been given to them along with discussion of their importance to us. Like my grand mother told us, she would rather see her treasures be taken and used by her love ones and friends while she is still living rather than after she dies, that way she can still be part of their enjoyment.
                    Another benefactor of some of my tools is one of my old work friends daughter and her work partner, also female. They have started a part time craft business and now are trying to expand into furniture. I volunteered to loan them some tools that i seldom use but don’t want to sell or give away, and gave them lots more that I have duplicates or seldom use. When they get their jointer and table saw, a gift from a relative, I’ve volunteered to set them up in my shop and refurbish as necessary and give them operator and safety lessons before they put them in their meager sho
                    ive sorted through my mechanics tools duplicates and put together a number of starter tool sets for relatives and neighbors teenage children.


                    • #11
                      I started giving my duplicates to son in laws and grandsons. So far, mostly to one grandson. Of my oldest daughter with 4 sons, only the youngest at 15 is interested in tools, mechanical and wood. He has a mind that he can intuitively see what is behind a wall,or where a hidden bolt probably is on something mechanical. So he gets the best. Of my youngest daughter with 4 sons, The oldest at 12 loves playing with my welder. I have taught him basics and he enjoys putting things together. I can't get the 2nd son interested but at 10 he is doing some fantastic things in robotics for his age. The youngest at age 4 has a knack for mechanical things but doesn't stay focused very long on anything but running in and out of the house with the door wide open. I posted about him almost 2 years ago: https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...r-old-grandson.
                      Hank Lee

                      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!