A Father’s Legacy, Corporate Decay, and Tool Gloats

The kind note

The kind note

Over the past three months I’ve come to possess a series of new (to me) tools. Some needing rejuvenation, some awaiting inspiration, but all of them ready for a second life.

Firstly, there was a little package waiting for me when I worked my volunteer shift at NCCW back in November. A kind note from a stranger requesting I breathe new life into her father’s tools. I was dumbstruck and humbled.

Waiting for a second life

Waiting for a second life

She’d heard of me through others and felt compelled to make a second trip to the shop to drop off her father’s well worn tools. He would’ve been 105 in September. I’m sure he was smiling down as I used his homemade miter box to trim the rolling pins I talked about a few weeks ago.

The next score speaks to what it’s like to work in Corporate America during this day and age. I constantly seek the silver lining whenever possible as you never know when your neck will be next on the chopping block. So, when this little number came up in a sale of decommissioned equipment I jumped at the opportunity to place a bid. It’s a blind auction where the goods go to the highest bidder. I bid a whopping $26.


Look closely, do you see what I see?

At first glance you might think I was crazy but this tool was used to cut small metal parts in one of our labs. If you zoom in you might see two blue thing-a-ma-bobs in the center of the contraption. If you don’t see it yet, take a look below.

Two nearly new grinders

Two nearly new Makita grinders

I’ve never used a grinder before but I’ve been inspired lately by the series of posts from Andy Brownell and the ridiculous amount of ideas spewing from Jimmy Diresta’s brain. I’ve always liked him back from his days on the DIY network and now I can’t get enough of him and the guys on the Making It podcast. I’m not sure what I’ll do or when I’ll get to it but for only $13 a piece it was hard to pass these up.

Lastly, is a mitre box I picked up on Craigslist thanks to the advice of my friend PeteT.

I’ve been on the lookout for a while and although this one needs some work, I think it’s a steal for $30. It’s hefty, seems to have all it’s parts, and should be ready for another 100 years of service.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in General Philosophy, Shop Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Father’s Legacy, Corporate Decay, and Tool Gloats

  1. Peter Taran says:


    Liked the post…that saw is too narrow! (at least it looks that way from the picture)




  2. Great scores from opposite ends of the spectrum.


  3. Wesley Beal says:

    Regarding how narrow the saw is, from what I can tell in the photo it looks like the teeth come below the line of the “table,” with the back still above the fence, so it ought to cut anything you need for now.

    It’s hard for me to remember enough to say for sure. From what I’ve read working on mine the Mitre saws were typically fairly deep, but that’s all in relation to the mitre box.

    I think Disston No. 4’s were a commonly used mitre saw, so you might look the dimensions of those up.

    If it’s *just barely* deep enough now to span the distance of the fence, it could be that the saw was not original to this box. Or it could be that it was a very favorite tool, and sharpened down to this point. Regardless finding another saw shouldn’t be impossible when/if this one gets to be too narrow to reach after more sharpenings.


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