Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Philosophical musings...

Sometimes life throw big curves into your best laid out plans...
and it forced you to revisit a few things.
Here's the reality: I am not getting any younger and not aging very well.  I must plan ahead.

Me in 1957, blind as a bat but don`t know it yet.
If I could live my life again, I`d make the same mistakes, 
but I`d start sooner :-)

Just how long do I plan on keeping my shop?  I cannot take it with me when we finally move into a retirement community.  Lets say, we stay in our current house for the next 10 years, before selling everything and moving on.
In those few years I want to treat myself with everything I got so I can enjoy that satisfaction.  Just like in woodcarving, you get along for the most part with very few tools, but whenever you need it, it is nice to have that special gouge or knife to reach in easier without bruising the wood.  And of course the type of carving you are doing, dictate different tools.  That's why carvers tend to accumulate a large collection of gouges, many of which are rarely used.  But they sure are nice to have at hand when you need it!

Me and Heather in 2000 carving a Moose together 
at my carving club.

So in the mean time, it would be nice to be able to open all these boxes I had in storage all these years and set up my shop so I can finally enjoy it!

Home is where the Airforce send you.
Carleton Place, Ontario 2003.
Somewhere in there there is a shop...

This is why I am in the process of setting up shop in my basement, and using mostly open tills versus closed cabinets or chests, in order to be able to see all my tools and admire them when not using them.

Sound a bit whimsical?  Well consider this; I have been collecting, studying and using antique tools for a long time, but rarely had the opportunity to see them all.
Some had been stored away between numerous moves around the country for a while.  It is more than grand time they see the light of day, so I can enjoy them.

Inspired by Chris Anarchist Tool Chest and his minimalist tool kit, I am also in the process of downsizing my coll...err I meant assortment of tools.  Yes, I am not a collector, just a user with a large assortment of tools to choose from :-)

While doing so, I am slowly replacing some of my tools with better examples.
May as well enjoy the ride while I still can...

And in case you are wondering, NO, I am not dying, that I know of, but living IS a terminal disease, we will all die from it someday.  I am just being realistic and learning to live with whatever life is throwing at us, that's all!
And YES, life is often way too short to waste it, be kind, be nice to people.
Whenever you can, commit acts of random kindness, just because you can...

This old military man has seen enough of life misery in some god forsaken places on earth, I wishes for peace on earth in our life time.  Real long lasting peace that we can ALL enjoy...

Bob, stopping to smell the roses.. or was that rosewood :-)
I leave you with this song


  1. Good post Bob. Not exactly what I want to think of but I think I'll follow your example. But I don't think I have quite the assortment of tools you have.

  2. I know , not something that I relish, the day I'll have to shut down my shop :-(
    But life marches on, and I'm always planing ahead so...
    Having a large assortment of tools is both a blessing and a curse, believe me!
    I cannot take them with me when I'm gone so, better culled them now. :-)

    And I also think that I should be able to do "some" handtool work for years to come, almost anywhere, so in this regard a minimalist tool kit is a good thing

    Bob, coming to grip with life twists and turns

  3. Hi Bob, excellent post. Please show us more photos of all your tools in future. I like the stories attached to each tool, where you found it, how you restored it and what it is used for mostly.
    Looking forward to read about the above.
    Kind regards

  4. Bob,

    Blogger just ate a long reply, it was too long and boring to re-compose so let me cut to the chase....Yep, been there doing that. Thanks for letting me rant even if Blogger did eat it.


  5. Hi Bob,
    oh so pensive? But I can comprehend some of your thoughts. The time is limited.
    Enjoy the time you have. I'm always enjoying your posts and stories.
    By the way. I like the display of gems. That's brilliant.

    Best regards,

  6. Envision a briefcase full of hand tools, and the "Milkman's Workbench", as described by Chris Schwarz. All you need is a dining room table, and a tolerant wife, and you can keep banging away, even in a retirement home!

    1. Man, that a good proposal. :-)
      I'll keep that in my mind for the future.

  7. Actually, your bio reads nearly identically to mine, except for the military service. Based on the baby picture, I'm about your age, and have also been stressing about what to do with all my "stuff" between now and my demise. Neither my children or grandchildren have any interest in woodworking. My tools, and those of my grandfather, will likely end up in some rummage sale. sad.

  8. Yes Stefan, I am rather pensive these days, ill explain later. you'll understand why.
    Jake idea is a good one isn't it? And if you are going to woodwork in your living room or at the kitchen table make sure to dress appropriately :-)

  9. Hi Ken
    Glad I was able to let you get it off your chest :-) I had similar problems with blogger before. My biggest pet peeves with it is that it doesn't seems to let me edit my comments after they are publish and I missed big typos, and if I edit my published posts, they are republished under the new date/time stamp and are now out of sequence grrr.

  10. Thanks Gerhard
    I'll keep that in mind. But I do not think I could cover all my tools, there is only so much storage space on Blogger for pictures you know :-)

  11. Hi Jake
    The point you made is similar to mine, what is going to happened to all these tools after!? I'm thinking of putting together two small kits for my two sons and making arrangements with my wife to dispose of them thru tool dealers etc. I keep rather comprehensive files on them, so she is well aware of their cost/value etc.
    I thought about the milkman bench before, but I found that I can do a lot on my multi purpose saw bench right now.