Rebuilding Grandpa's Woodshop #1: Step One

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Blog entry by BGerrits posted 01-30-2010 07:58 PM 1529 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Well, I recently had this itch to get into woodworking and it just so happened that my Grandma still had all my late Grandpa’s tools where he left him 21 years ago. I was three when he passed away. I really never got to know him, although I hear many great stories about his life. After sitting in the basement for 21 years, some of the tools had became victims of curious grandchildren (guilty as charged). Some of the paints and stain were opened, which ultimately got onto some of the tools and equipment. Many of the organized tools were misplaced or lost. Basically, this whole place is a mess.

Here are some pictures of what is in there. I am a true beginner. An exception was a wood working class I took in high school, but I didn’t take it very seriously (I wish I would have). My first task is to clean up the cob webs and organize to see where I am. There are a lot of antiques, so if anyone can point anything out that may be valuable, let me know!

I am going to be updating this project for anyone who is interested.

I bought this planer, thought it would be essential for the shop. Next purchase is a router.

Nice band saw in good shape.

Older Craftsman with 1Hp motor in decent shape. Redoing the base on it as we speak. I will be making a table extension for it as one of my first projects.

Old Craftsman catalog.

Here is an old level I found in the basement. It has Davis Level & Tool Co. Pat Sep 1867. Pretty neat. But I think someone cut off two ends of it. I’m thinking it was part of a bigger level. What do you guys think of it?

-- Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.

11 comments so far

View Napaman's profile


5508 posts in 3498 days

#1 posted 01-30-2010 08:01 PM

great project…to rebuild…this is a great honor to your grandpa and grandma who kept them all these year…I am soooo sure she is glad you have them now! Good luck.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View rustfever's profile


716 posts in 2731 days

#2 posted 01-30-2010 08:29 PM

I found the following.
a] canvas nail apron given out by lumber companies in the ‘40’s-’60’s
b] 1# sanka coffe can, ca. 1970-1980
c] board of education [similar to the one used into the ‘70’s by my high school PE coach]
d] final pic looks to be a piece of an old level. ca. early 1900’s
e] Craftsman poster, ??? ca. maybe ‘50’s
f] the table saw looks to be similar to the one my father had in the late ‘50’s

BTW, all of these can still be useful, it you did not play to rough with them.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 2689 days

#3 posted 01-30-2010 09:24 PM

A warm welcome BG, you’re going to love it here… I mean, really love it!

We can identify many of the pics, however, please step back, use flash or extra lighting properly positioned. An overall, general shot is usually more pleasing and informative.

You are a lucky guy, being able to carry on your grandfolks history and tradition… do it seriously and do it well.

And, of course, the lovely lady on your left arm confirms your luck; she is beautiful.

Keep working and let’s see more pictures.

—All the best,

View mmax's profile


177 posts in 2877 days

#4 posted 01-30-2010 09:49 PM

The Davis Level might be worth some serious money!!

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1457 posts in 3403 days

#5 posted 01-30-2010 10:03 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks. Can’t wait ti see some projects.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View Tim Gates's profile

Tim Gates

38 posts in 2464 days

#6 posted 01-30-2010 11:32 PM

I couldn’t see the pictures because of their large size. Would like to see more. As far as old tools are concerned, my $0.02 worth is that old tools are perfectly good and oftentimes better than new. My 43 year old radial arm saw and 36 year old drill press are robably better than you can buy new. Lot’s of cast iron and no plastic.

I have some old machinist tools from my father—old Brown & Sharpe calipers, micrometers, depth gages, etc. Some date from before 1900. They are beautiful tools but for the love of pete, those old vernier scales are hard to read. Hard to beat digital in this case.

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 2863 days

#7 posted 01-31-2010 03:45 AM

Man it looks like a great find those old tools have a story to tell and if you take care of them they will make your grandfathers story complete.


View 8iowa's profile


1540 posts in 3182 days

#8 posted 01-31-2010 03:49 AM

It’s a shame that you weren’t able to personally know your grandfather, but maybe in bringing his old workshop “back to life” you will achieve a closeness with him.

There isn’t a single day that I don’t remember my grandfathers.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2653 days

#9 posted 01-31-2010 04:01 AM

Sorry to hear you didn’t get a chance to know your grandfather. Mine passed on when I was 10, and I have a lot of memories of him. However… My family history is full of woodworkers, and although my tool collection is primarily of my own purchases as an adult, I can tell you I feel a certain link to my own heritage every time I step out into my shop. I can only imagine how much stronger that link must be using the same tools, in the same workspace as your grandfather did… That must be a real treat for you!

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#10 posted 01-31-2010 07:18 AM

I bet as Your grand fathers looking down on whats going on he’s lovin the fact that your into his shop.

-- Custom furniture

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3822 days

#11 posted 01-31-2010 07:51 PM

The pictures need to be a little smaller. But great to get your shop going.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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