|I'll say from the get go about this blog entry that it's not about tools, not about wood, not about actually making anything, but it is about history, my personal history. It's been a very stressful and long couple of months. We are working flat out on several projects that will allow our business to grow - but at the same time the payoff is in the future so now it's just a time sink that means other stuff gets put off. But the constant pressure of work has been over shadowed in the past months as several friends have passed away and I deeply feel their loss. |
My parents are moving from their house that they have lived in since 1969, and that house has just about everything my family has accumulated since the 1930's. My mom wants to move, my dad loves the house, but they both agree that it's time. For me I am glad that they are moving to a less isolated place, but of course it's a serious break in my continuity. Very soon I won't be able to go home again. Emptying the house isn't easy. Since I live in an apartment, it's not like I need any new stuff so figuring out what to do with all the stuff they they don't want in their much smaller new place is a challenge. A few Sundays ago a couple of strong shop mates and I rented a truck and we moved the entire contents of the basement to here. I have tools and equipment in that basement dating back to when I was a kid. We also took with us a "kitchen full" of white cabinets that date from the mid 1960's when my folks redid their apartment kitchen - metal cabinets were "in" so that's what they got. When they moved to a house the cabinets lived in the basement and we new they live in the shop (picture at bottom).
My mom had a office typing chair from the early 1950's and a typewriter desk to match - I used the chair when I was a kid. They don't need it and I have a wooden office chair, but Kris, who volunteered his help, loves the style and took both the desk and chair for his apartment.
I mention all this because it's great!! This idea of continuity is a wonderful thing. Stuff outlasts us and it's a good thing. The worst part of lots of factory made modern furniture is that it won't last and the modern concept is that furniture is as transient a possession as a kitchen towel.
You should read this depressing blog entry by W. Patrick Edwards. I'll wait......
... He's right you know and if that small group of rich people aren't fueling an interest in antique furniture, the rest of us will get out of the habit of looking at furniture and increasingly furniture is not where we spend our money on conspicuous consumption. And that of course means that fewer and fewer of our children will have the urge to saw wood to size and make something to sit on, eat at, work at, or just pile books on.
The picture on the top is the old desk and chair in it's new permanent location - Kris's apartment. The picture on the bottom is of one of the old metal cabinets installed in the shop.
In other news we have been introducing new products on a weekly basis and some weeks we have more coming out than others. This past week we added Hand screws which are made in the USA by Dubuque Clamp Works. I remember a few years ago when the owner of Dubuque was complaining to me that Chinese competition was killing his business and he lost a lot of the major woodworking accounts. We started carrying their clamps a few years ago and it's great to see the tide turning and right now just about all the major tool shops carry Dubuque clamps (although sometimes under their own brand).
I don't know what's new tools are coming down the pipe this Friday, (it's a lot of work to get stuff out the door) I do know that in the coming weeks we have several major category expansions.
I also should mention that next month you should come see us at The Woodworking Show, February 21-23, Somerset, New Jersey. We will have with us tons of hand tools for demonstration and sale, and a top notch Festool display and inventory with all the latest stuff and a contractor who can show you how he works faster and does better work with Festool power-tools. I'll have more information for you in a week or to - but reserve the dates now!