Different strokes

The other day I was watching my daughter try to make something at her workbench and I was reminded that when I was younger, my creative process went something like this:

  • try to make something
  • encounter a dilemma
  • find a tool that was made to fix that dilemma
  • repeat as necessary until the thing was completed or completely destroyed

I had one of those sets of tools made for little kids with a hammer, square, screwdriver, coping saw and a few other miscellaneous bits and I remember using the tools in some unorthodox ways because I was limited in what I had but not in what I wanted to accomplish. When all you have is a coping saw, you cope the hell out of everything.

When your greatest resource is creativity, you tend to use that as your primary tool. The other tools are just means to that end.

As an adult, I have slightly more disposable income and sometimes I’m tempted to think the other way around. Instead of seeing something I want to do and finding a way to do it with the tools I have, I see a tool I want and think up reasons to buy it.

Sometimes those reasons pan out and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they do, but in unexpected ways. Sometimes one tool will unintentionally teach you you need a different tool, or you need to learn how to use one you already had in a different way.

What tools have you lusted after only to find they end up collecting dust around your shop?




4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jon Parsons says:

    For me it’s the router plane. I remember loving using the one at college, so for years I dreamt of having my own. By the time I got round to owning one, all the roles it fill were taken up by my electric router. I guess I just need to start making room for it in my process instead of constantly reaching for the “spinning blade of death” machine…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The bow saw. I’ve used it once or twice. It’ll be in my next tool purge. Thanks for the motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to know. I keep wanting to make one of those and then realizing I really don’t need one.


  3. Steve Hynds says:

    Stanley 45 plane. I’ll have it listed on eBay in a week or two.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s