Thursday, February 23, 2012

More tools

My dad gave me a toolbox full of tools today. I gladly accepted. I’ve got a good set of tools at home. There’s a small toolbox in the truck. Even the boat has a fair selection of tools. That being said, I can always use a few more.

Dad does a lot of little jobs for people in his retirement park: carpentry, electrical, plumbing, mechanical work -that sort of thing. Often, people give him tools because he knows what to do with them. Dad has reached the point where he can store only so many back up sets of tools. Now I get them. That’s fine with me.

I’m a tool using animal. My opposable thumbs are put to good use. I’ve got the thumbs, a head full of knowledge, but it’s hard to do anything without tools.

We take tools for granted -until we don’t have them. If you’ve ever been stuck on the side of the road with a disabled car, you know what I mean. There’s nothing worse than knowing how to fix something but lack the tools to do the job. Maybe that new box of tools from my dad will have something in it that will help prevent that in the future.

Imagine being dropped in the woods without a single tool. How much good will all your technical knowledge do you? Ancient man could knap stone, modify wood, bone, and other natural materials into a basic tool kit. It was an impressive kit, as he could start with nothing and end up with everything needed to survive.

We can’t recreate a modern tool kit from scratch. There’s hundreds of years of industrial development behind our tools. It’s nearly impossible for a single person to fashion a single metal tool from scratch.

Fortunately, we don’t have to. There’s an abundance of tools in the world -plus the manufactured materials to make more. All it takes is a bit of forethought to stock up on them while they are still easy to get.

Disruptions in the world’s supply web could make common things hard to get -even if just for a limited time.

Got tools?



  1. Boy that were a short trip down near Ft. Meyers.
    What's next ?

  2. Indeed it was. I'd hoped for trips up the Nature Coast, but my wife's conditions are acting up and small craft advisories haven't helped.

    I am catching up with dad, and that's a big part of this trip this year.

  3. Can't ever have enough tools! Seems that no matter how many you have, when something needs fixing...the one tool you really need is the one you don't have!

    Must be part of Murphy's Law!

  4. Like the Hermit says and you can't spend too much time with your Dad.

  5. I have a fairly decent collection of tools, but I always want more. The 11 drawers of my roll-away toolbox are stuffed full, and I have more on shelves in my shed. Another portable toolbox rides with me in the truck. Not much I can't do mechanically, and I have most basic wood working covered. But if I had the dough I'd have a machine shop, full wood working shop, metal casting stuff, and every hand tool known to man...

  6. I don't know about recreating modern tools from scratch, but David Gingery has a series of books on creating a metal shop from scraps.

    Marcin Jakubowski is persuing an even more ambitious Global Village Construction Set.

  7. Can never have enough tools. Especially quality old-school American made ones!