I didn’t get a lot of advice and wisdom from my father. The majority of what was passed from father to son was highly inappropriate and would get me in trouble. But one piece I’ll share; “take care of your tools.” Actually, I don’t know if he was saying that to me or to remind himself, but it stuck with me.
Sort of? When it comes to the expensive woodworking hand tools I own, I do a good job of keeping them in top condition. But I have a bunch of “cheaper” tools that I use on job sites; stuff that I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over if they got stolen, lost, or destroyed. And I’m not that great at taking care of these.
In that lot are a set of Marples chisels. These were the first chisels I ever used for the purpose they were created (instead of paint can openers). When I bought them, I didn’t know anything about quality steel, a comfortable handle, balance, sharpening, or bevel angles. And I certainly didn’t care what anyone else thought about my chisels either. It was just a chisel. But these chisels have been good chisels; they’ve done all that I have asked of them and more.
I pulled one out of the site box this week and realized that I haven’t been treating them well. They had rusted, been chipped, and were in serious need of sharpening. Banging around in a tool box with no protection wasn’t good for them. Over the weekend, I brought them in and gave them a vinegar bath, flattened the backs, polished them up, sharpened them, and put them in a cheap tool roll.
At one point, when I “upgraded” to a different set of chisels, I had considered getting rid of these. But reflecting on what I’ve done and what I’ve learned with these chisels…I’m glad I still have them for traveling companions.