May 27, 2006

Unexpected birthday present

The other day a box appeared on the doorstep with a return address from one of my cousins in California. I wasn't expecting anything from him, but the box had an enticing heft and clank to it. When I opened it up I discovered a bunch of old woodworking tools:

two wood planes, a bit brace with three bits, a try square, and two chisels

Unexpected tools in the mail are a real treat. But that's not the end of the story. When I read the enclosed card I found that these tools had belonged to my cousin's and my grandfather who died when I was 12.

My cousin had read about my predilection for old woodworking tools and sent these off to me. I am so touched by this and so happy to have these tools I can't even express.

They are, left to right, a WWII-era Stanley jack plane, a Shelton smoothing plane with a blade adjusting mechanism patented in 1933 (which means the plane was probably made before 1950), a 10" Millers Falls 1710 brace (manufactured from 1935 all the way up to 1981, this one looks to be from somewhere in the middle of that range and still works perfectly, just as I'd expect from a Millers Falls product) and a few well-used bits, a Disston try square still within a few thousandths of true, and a couple of nice socket chisels.

None of these tools has significant collectible value, but they just became favorites in my collection alongside the crosscut saw that belonged to my other grandfather. I'll give them a gentle cleaning, sharpening, and tuning and put them to use, add a bit to their history. And I'll have to start keeping an eye out for someone in the next generation to be their next users.

Posted by jeffy at May 27, 2006 11:30 PM
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