Sunday, January 13, 2008

Collecting vs. Consuming

OK I will admit I do not get the whole collecting things thing. I know many people who passionately collect things and dust them and check their value and go out of their way to get more of these things they collect so passionately. There are train buffs with whom I work. They love the railroad. Collect railroad memorabilia including lanterns, dinnerware, uniforms or items from uniforms, menues, timetables, coffee cups, badges, you name it. There are web chat rooms dedicated to their passion where they virtually gather to talk about what they have, what they want, what they saw that someone else has, criticize the collections, values placed on items in the collections, brag about their collections and in some cases trade pieces of their collections with others who have collections. It's probably the same with just about any other collector and any other collections but I have first hand experience with these folks right now.

Now technically you could probably call me a collector as well as I have a passion for tools. Specifically woodworking tools but they are useable and not just collecting house dust. Sawdust is another matter all together. I see myself as more of a consumer. I buy things I want to use. I use them until they are no longer useable and then I get another one just or just about like the last one.

There are some things that may have been viewed as collection items. I have this thing for old hand tools. Planes, spokeshaves, drawknives and other such archaic items. I buy them from garage sales, restore them and then use them. Why buy old? Well they were just made better for the most part. A Stanley (Bailey) bench plane from 1943 is an excellent tool and you can get one for a couple of bucks. A comparable modern tool would cost you an arm and a leg and is based on the design of that 1943 model I spoke of.

Now there is a minor rub to all this tool gathering... I am going on the road again in my 21 foot RV this summer. Imagine packing a whole shop load of tools in with your socks and towels. This presents a problem. As a consumer I should be able to leave a trail of tools along the way but that has presented problems too. My brother in AZ was victim of the first deposit of tools. Yep I left my shopsmith in his garage along with a load of FESTOOL I bought for him. Not a good solution. First off I miss the shopsmith. Second he is stuck parking in the driveway vice garage.

As I leave NY I will have to find a way to stuff my mini-lathe, grinder, FESTOOL, construction tools, many turning blanks, finished products, and other stuff I will probably not be able to live without into the RV. HMMMMM maybe I will disassemble the router table.


Jim Wright said...

You know, I liked your brother, right up until I found out he hates the FESTOOL.

Tell him I said so.

Oh, and just for the record - it's 50 here today. 50F, NOT -50F. 50. All the snow has melted. How's the weather there? Yeah, probably a good idea to winter over in New York.

Yuck yuck.

Jim Wright said...

Update your friggin' blog. Update. Pictures of the floor. Something for cryin' out loud. We demands it.