A Tool By Any Other Name
Issue: Issue 2.04
Posted Date: 2/13/2001
This was a discussion we couldn't resist. It started with a simple question: "What does your significant other call your tools?" We knew there would be some interesting replies. Some spouses called them investments when the woodworker in question was using them to turn out projects either for the home or for a profit. But for others, "all that crap in the basement" was more like it.
"Toys" seemed to be the most common moniker for the tools in the shops of many woodworkers, depending on the relationship with the spouse. The real discussion fired up when they started talking about how they got the funds to buy tools. Some go to flea markets, others hide the boxes of new tools and always respond to queries with "this old thing?" A very resourceful woodworker has an arrangement with a friend. When the spouse asks about a tool, he says he bought it second-hand from the buddy. The buddy will then confirm that he didn't need it anymore. This crafty woodworker says it best: "Oh what a tangled web we weave..."
The best relationship between significant others, tools and checkbooks seemed to occur when there was a quid pro quo, i.e. this for that. When woodworkers are building projects for the house or the family (or as a source of income), tools don't get nasty names and we don't get angry looks.
One spouse in particular caught our attention. The woodworker wrote, "My wife figures it's a great way to know where I am. One lady asked her why she let me buy so many tools. Her reply was 'I know where my husband was last night. Do you?'"