For about a decade, I had tools in two places. When I began buying nice tools about 12 years ago, I was diligent about taking the ones I needed back and forth between home and the shop at PopWood – why spend money when you don’t have to? But that got to be laborious, so I slipped, and got a second set of chisels. Then another plane or two. And a few more tape measures. And marking gauges. And dovetail saws. And…
Not everything I bought was something I needed. I have the same gut reaction to pretty tools as I have to well-made black boots. I can’t resist them (though I’d best learn). The first really good tool I ever bought was a marking knife from Dave Jeske at Blue Spruce Toolworks. I still have it and use it on almost every project. But two years ago, Dave showed me his then-new marking knife system with interchangeable blades. Never mind that I already had three other nice marking knives and a handful of variously tipped awls. The handle he showed me was of blue infused resin. It is now mine.
Then I bought a Lie-Nielsen Toolworks No. 4. Again, I used it on almost every project. Until I bought a No. 3 about 18 months ago; it fits a little better in my hand…but I simply cannot get rid of the No. 4.
And Glen-Drake Tite-Marks. My goodness do I have a lot of Tite-Marks. But one can never have too many. (They’re not all the same size, and one has the mortise blades on it…so they don’t count as duplicates!)
But I do have far too many tools. My home kit is fairly well arranged in my beloved Anarchist’s Tool Chest*, shown at the top. The rest – those I brought home from the office – are scattered throughout the kitchen, dining room and basement in various boxes and bags. Of the many containers I brought home, only my small tool chest shows a modicum of organization…at best.
Today, I am attempting to go through everything and re-integrate into my ATC the few tools that did travel back and forth, set aside the duplicates with which I know simply can’t bear to part (and a few that were loans, and that will be returned to their makers), and think about selling the remainder. I imagine it will take me a while to get around to actually selling them, but…baby steps.
* Note: I’m teaching a class in building a traveling (read, slightly smaller) iteration of the “Anarchist’s Tool Chest” June 4-8 at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, in Port Townsend, Washington. Registration is now open.