Tool Collecting

Being a male it is essential that I have a toolbox. It is also a requirement that the box is well stocked with any item that a body needs. My toolbox has three drawers and a flip open top. It was a present from my sister. Before that my tools lay in disarray in odd drawers and on tables. This is not the sort of collection you can brag about. I suppose if you want to you draw the analogy; you could almost see tool collecting as a sort of religious obsession.

In addition to the toolbox it is necessary to build an altar to this beacon of manhood. This altar is called a workbench. A workbench is a testament to your building prowess and can also be a source of bragging rights. Buying a bench is fine but it’s bragging rights are different. It say’s I have more money than you and can therefore buy more tools to put on my altar. The tool gods are fine with a purchased altar, but appreciate the toil and frustration that comes with building your own. Tool gods like to see you unhappy; they’re so like that.

I made my workbench from scrap wood that I found in my garage. I smile every time I drive into my garage. It is the only thing that has ever been constructed from the tools in my tool chest. After I build it, I put everything neatly in it’s place and walked away. That was two years ago. Its sole purpose now is to hold up my toolbox and look pretty. I can say without hesitation

“I built that bench, and those are my tools…Yes, in the shiny red box. With all my power tools and electrical cords wrapped up neatly and stacked below.”

My carpentry skills are pretty weak and that’s putting it nicely. Just because I don’t have a use for my tools, doesn’t mean I don’t want more. I have a hard time not purchasing a new addition to my toolbox every time I’m at the hardware store. If something is not added to the toolbox regularly the tool gods will get angry and your nails could rust, or your screwdrivers might get carried away by your spouse, even though she is well aware that her tools are inside, and your tools should never be used for replacing batteries in a child toy!

The tool gods likes power tools the most. Things like reciprocating saws, hammer drills and chop saws. If these items are not within your means then shiny things like socket sets or framing hammers will fill the bill. Of course you can always substitute either of these for gadgets. Gadgets get you extra points with the tool gods and require less frequent sacrifices. Good examples are laser levels, stud finders, digital tire gauges, or 10 in 1 screwdrivers.

The tool gods are jealous of your time and will know if you neglect them. Spouses do not always understand this and you might have to come up with excuses to collect your tools. Believe me in the end it is worth it. You don’t want to your sacrifices to come up short one day and have judgment come in the form of a major house catastrophe. Handy men are expensive, and although you have the tools, you haven’t got a clue how to use them!

26 comments:

Ando said...

My tools never do what I want them to. I say, "Build me a coffee table!" but all I get is something resembling a pile of crap.

kludge said...

Ando-

I'm so with you. I know there are some handy people who come here. I evny them

J Crew said...

I try to use my tools as little as possible

kludge said...

J Crew-

They stay shinier that way.

SJ said...

Interesting - - - tools don't really interest me - - -

kludge said...

Sj-

So in truth...Not so interesting! :)

jenylu said...

Thanks for more insight into the male mind!

Hey, didn't you use your tools to construct something when the skunk was under your house?

kludge said...

Jenlyu-

I acctually altered an exsiting trapdoor. IO can use my tools, but I'm much better at demolition that construction...and it's more rewarding.

SJ said...

The post was great - I am just fascinated with how much men like tools -

kludge said...

Sj-

It's our shoe equivelent. Women (not all) love shoes. I just can't get excited about what covers 5% of my body...I almost never look at another persons shoes...

Men are the same way with tools...

J Crew said...

Except for me. I happen to love shoes. I can't believe I just admitted that to an audience of about 30 or so.

Roberta said...

You know, I've always been fascinated with tools. I think it's because when we were small, my grandfather let me and Genny put nails in the table clamps and saw off the heads. I'm a sucker for the classics: a hammer, a saw, a couple of screwdrivers.

Unfortunately, I have no garage, and so I have no place to collect tools and/or make anything remotely useful. As it is now, Ry has all his tools scattered all over the house: two toolboxes in the office, a bucketfull on the porch, the cordless drill case in the livingroom... I'm not really supposed to use them. I think that's because he knows that I will tuck them away somewhere in an effort to create my own collection.

Brendan said...

A while ago I had this amazing idea that I would build myself a home entertainment center... the ones you can buy at target don't have all the extra things I needed, such as a place for my media server and 2nd monitor. Nor did the pre-made ones come with built in ethernet jacks.
Anyhow, while designing the media center, I realized just how much work would be involved... specifically how much cutting. I knew I didn't want to do this all by hand and as a result I became the proud owner of a new tablesaw. I was thrilled with my purchase and after getting it home, I spent the next couple hours assembling it. When I was done, I took a step back and looked upon this marvelous tool. Satisfied with my work I went inside, turned on the TV and sat down, proud of my accomplishment.

This was about a year ago, and to this day that table saw has never touched a piece of wood.

kludge said...

Brendan -

That is perfect! I cannot think of any other story I have ever heard that better sums up this whole tool idea!

That is amazing!

kludge said...

Roberta-

I've thought about covering my tools with UV pen and checking Patricia's hand under a black light each night... The main thing hold ing me back is the fact that I don't think our couch is very comfortable...

Windy City Survivors said...

Men and tools-the untold love affair. Wayne loved getting the excuse to purchase much "needed" tools to renovate our house. Now he will have every tool he could ever need to do anything (at least he'd better). Good thing the expense was covered in our house budget! :) Harbor Freight is a great place for inexpensive tools (just something that I've learned with Wayne). I've actually learned to "enjoy" myself at Home Depot with him. Of course when the trip lasts more then 30 min I get a little tired. I guess it would be like taking Wayne shopping in the store with me-he's only good for about 1/2 hour or so also! :) Good thing I'm not big into shopping.

Tara said...

This is interesting because ever since we bought our house and have a garage, Matt has been excited about growing his tool collection. He's also got a huge list of things he's going to build....table and chairs for the girls, bookshelf, a poker table, there's a few more too. I have a hard time understanding the obsession so I just nod my head when he tells me his plans and say "Ok".

And it's true, my brother LOVES his shoes. It's one of the things we have in common.

Brian said...

i can totally relate to the tool thing!!! i am mechanic for pete's sake!! i've got a snap-on 13 drawer tool chest with 5 drawer top box and all the tools to fill it. i love tools!!!!! :)

SJ said...

Kludge - thanks for clearing that up - I understand now - mainly because I am one of those women who love shoes!

SJ said...

I was waiting for Brian to comment on this one - - -

jenylu said...

I want to hear more Imelda, I mean JCrew! :)

Scott's table saw has been much handier than Brendan's -- not because of the handful of projects he's used it for over the last 15 years, but rather for the great surface it creates to stack things on in the garage! Oh, and it's also a very sturdy stepping stool to the overhead storage...

kludge said...

WCS-

I agree with Wayne on two points : Shopping stinks, and Habor Freight and Tools is a great place for the inexpensive tool collection...

The main difference being that Wayne knows how to use your tools and has done a very nice job of renovating your home. I wouldn't even know how to hang a door frame! :)

kludge said...

Tara-

Congrats on the house. My tools really started to multiply when I realized I didn't have basic items to maintain my home. It's amazing how fun and scary owning a home can be...

...As for J Crew...ye I've heard tell of that...but I think he's getting better...

kludge said...

Brain-

Your one of the folks I envy, not only does your tool collection make mine look like a Fisher-Price toy box, but you DO know what to do with them.

kludge said...

SJ - As always, I'm here to help tackle the big issues!

kludge said...

J Crew-

Admitting you have a problem is step one. I just skip the other 11 as they tend tobe a lot harder!