Issue 501

Issue 501

Where Do Your Tools Go When You Die?

Ah, October. The leaves are falling, snow is in the forecast in Minnesota, and the neighbors are decorating their yards with ghosts in their trees and skeletons perched in tire swings.

That last is a reminder that all of us have a finite lifespan on this earth, before we go the way of all flesh. That’s true for woodworkers as well – but not necessarily for their tools.

It’s not an uncommon occurrence: a woodworker passes away, and the (non-woodworker) remaining spouse wonders what to do with all the tools. Sometimes there’s a plan in place for the tools to go to a woodworking child, but sometimes that offspring may have a) no room, b) no interest or c) already acquired their own tool collection.

In the last month, I’ve been asked by acquaintances about this dilemma, and I’ve watched as an elderly neighbor, who used to be seen frequently sawing and hammering away on birdhouses in his backyard, has now slowly given up that hobby. I don’t necessarily have a good answer – there comes a point when even local senior centers’ woodworking shops have reached capacity for tool donations.

Which leads me to wonder: do Woodworker’s Journal Weekly (formerly Woodworker’s Journal eZine – another example of the old passing away) readers have any plans for the eventual disposition of their tools? What options would you like to see? Or, conversely, have you inherited any tools from woodworking family or friends?

Joanna Werch Takes, Woodworker’s Journal

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