Thursday, June 24, 2010

Single Plane Fleet

Perhaps the best thing that has sprung from my dive in to social media is the contacts that I have made throughout our industry and those that run parallel with ours. Reading the tales and activities of my friends from around the world has been incredibly rewarding.

Brian Meeks is a woodworker and maintains the site Extremely Average. A couple days ago he shared with us a delightful story of goodwill. As you read his words, it's obvious that he and his family are generous and when you do something right, it comes back to you.

Read Brian's story here: Hand Plane Tribe

Hand Plane Tribe brought a variety of things to mind: our shared interest in woodworking, family, being charitable. Those thoughts led to a tool I recently received that was made by my great-grandfather. I felt like my lonely plane deserved some recognition, too!

As you can see, this plane is very home-made. It's a primitive 'jack plane' if I had to call it a name. The wedge and knob are missing, perhaps from its travel barn to barn over the years. If you look closely, you can see the nails it was assembled with, each of different sizes and shapes. My family was the "salt of the earth" in the deep South and I'm told, made virtually every tool they used. It's so difficult for me to comprehend that one couldn't just skip up to home improvement store and pick up the latest and greatest of electronic, lazy-person tools. When you really think about it, the things that were made by these types of tools were truly hand-made. The care and precision that had to go in to fabricating the means for which you will build something else is almost mind-boggling, almost like having to invent the wheel.

I am proud to have this plane in our shop now; It's sitting on top of the file cabinet beside my desk.

In a way, this plane is a very small reminder to me of the craftsmanship and creativity that is passed down from one generation to the next. I seriously doubt that anyone will have my Craftsman drill displayed somewhere in 75 years.


  1. Anyone willing to pick up a tool is not a lazy person, oh no. Hand-made, electric or otherwise. I hope you write more about your ancestors.


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