$10000. Thats what i had saved up when i lost my job. That $10k was SUPPOSED to go to a down payment on a house. But when your girl of three years runs out on you to have a fling with some guy in the air force, and you get canned from your well paying, full benefits job… Things get a little tough. Jobs around here arent easy to come by. And with the economic state we’re in now its a lot worse. When i was going through all this i was woodworking to pass the time and keep busy. It wasnt until i started selling things to friend that it hit me… “I’m going to make this my life!”
Im young, no kids, no bills really, trucks in great shape an paid off. I discussed it with my father, a business owner himself, and he said if i ever wanted to do something like this that now was the time while i was young and had little responsibilities. And heres where my title came into play. I had $10k to buy tools, i thought “man. I’m golden! thats more than enough!”
Buy a jointer and a planer to mill my own stock, band saw, upgrade some of my cheaper tools i started with, build some cabinets and shelves for the shop, bought a couple nailers as time went on. By the time i bought the new tools and put up a temporary wall to divide off the garage i was down to less than $5k. i was a little shellshocked. I mean i knew money went fast, but wow. And i was still staying on the lower end, trying not to spend too much. I still had to have money for materials and business cards, and well you know the rest.
But i still found myself buying tools, not even just impulsively. Every time i started a project i’d find a new tool, or accessory, or attachment, or jig that i just had to have/make. The worst, and this is probably more true for everyone in anything, is deals. Oh lawdy! I drove two hours to get my dust collector. Only reason i bought my Dewalt slider is it was $100+ cheaper than the Bosch i wanted and had a free stand. Didnt need a new table saw (actually i really kind did) but the idea of using the 20% off coupon at home depot for a Ridgid 4512 was a little too tantalizing. I even upgrade tools i already have just because i like features on newer models. I had a decent Porter Cable oscillating tool and i saw the Bosch model and got it after only having the PC for 5 months. I also have a hard time not wanting new drills. Especially a good bargain for one. I have a hammer drill, an impact wrench, and a drill driver so i dont need anything else, but noy howdy would i like one. I can go to the local hardware store and see a small set of drill bits for the cursed $9.99 and they’re in my hand. God forbid theres two different sets, then i have one for each hand. Tape measures are the worst, i probably have at least 10 (never seem to be able to find any) and i keep grabbing more if their on sale.
I sort of figured i had some sort of problem. Until i saw some of the other peoples tool collections. Is it because we’re (mostly) men? Just a little too much Tim Taylor in all of us? Or is it hoarding? I tell ya what if hoarding was all woodworkers shops I’d actually watch the show. I spend some time everyday looking at new tools. Drooling over the Dewalt track-saw, fantasizing about the Festool Domino, daydreaming about having a radial arm saw, and the occasional very awkward near-orgasm over a uni-saw. Doesnt seem healthy at all…
I think with me its genetic. A testosterone fueled obsession that im genetically predisposed for. I’m not sure what i’m going to do when all my dad’s tools become mine. And he has all my grandfathers tools! Then I’ll have 3 generations of John C. Meyers owned tools! God help my future wife for all the garage space ill take up!
How about you folks? Share a similar tool obsession! Or even an observation about mine.
-- John, NNY, www.facebook.com/JC4Woodworking