My Tools #4: The Tools I'm Most Proud Of

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Blog entry by Eric posted 04-25-2008 06:02 AM 1203 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The Most Embarrassing Tools I Own Part 4 of My Tools series Part 5: Hugemongous Flea Market. One Purchase. »

After talking about the most embarrassing tools I own, I thought it would be good to get my mind off of these purchases by talking about my favorite tools in the shop. Feel free to add yours in the comments, or on your own blog (and post the link in the comments).

3. My Irwin chisels. From what I hear, Irwin chisels haven’t lost much of the original quality that their predecessor Marples provided. And I love ‘em. Use ‘em all the time. The best thing? If I ever do run out of blade (unlikely), or lose one, I can get me another for $10-$20. They’re pictured here in my chisel box in progress.


2. My great grandpa Rudolf’s tools. My great grandfather came to the States in 1913 (at the age of 17), and made a living as a carpenter. Last year, my dad gave me any and all of his old tools that I wanted, and I took a lot of them here to Malaysia (the rest I took a rain check on). Pictured is a Stanley Victor #1105 jack plane, a Stanley #60 1/2 block plane, and a Millers Falls #772-101 bit brace. They’re by no means in mint condition, but they’re still perfectly functional and it feels special to be using them.

Opa's Tools

1. My Guyokucho 9 1/2” Ryoba (for Hardwoods). Sorry for bumping you to #2, Grandpa Rudolf, but this saw has changed my life (woodworkingly speaking, that is). They say that tools don’t make you a good woodworker; all I know is that this ryoba makes me look like a good woodworker, so I’m not complaining. You can’t argue with my pics showing how clean it cuts and how fine the kerf!


-- Eric at

8 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3707 days

#1 posted 04-25-2008 06:09 AM

I too inherited some hand tools. It is a tremendous feeling using tools of my grandfather to build things for my children. Life continues!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4058 days

#2 posted 04-25-2008 06:42 AM

Like you and Mark, I’m proud to be using my Grandfather’s tools, handed down after a lifetime’s use by my Dad. I have a 1913 Stanley Bailey #5 low-knob and a lot of carving tools that I’ve got to learn to use. The Disston saws stay on the wall in favor of Japanese pull saws, however.

The tool I am most proud of is my router table/Incra Ultra fence combination. Mine is no beauty, but it gets myriad jobs done with repeatable accuracy and safe operation. There aren’t many projects that haven’t spend a part of their aborning on that funky old piece of shop furniture.


-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View jjohn's profile


390 posts in 3708 days

#3 posted 04-25-2008 01:58 PM

I recently purchased a planer. Never owned one in the past. Immediately fell in love with it. After years of planing and sanding everything by hand it was such a joy to see a board flattened and sized down to the point of 1/32” each pass. Simply blew my mind of the ease and speed that it could be done.

-- JJohn

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3763 days

#4 posted 04-25-2008 03:23 PM

no one in my family was a woodworker so i have no inherited hand tools. I’m hoping to change that and when I’m older and have some more money get some nice lie-Nielsen’s that i can pass on through the generations. thanks for the post.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3986 days

#5 posted 04-25-2008 03:24 PM

Thanks for sharing Eric,

I too ended up with a few tools from previous generations. My grandfather immigrated from Germany in the early 1900’s and my Dad (eldest of 10) ended up with a few of the tools when he died. He recently gave them to me.

A Draw knife (no idea how to sharpen it)
Bit Brace
egg beater drill
a few odd chisels
A 1800’s Type 4 Stanley #8

Thanks for the memory’s; I use pretty much all of these except the draw knife.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3890 days

#6 posted 04-26-2008 05:36 AM

My favorite tool in the shop is tenacity. Couldn’t figure out how to take a picture though.

Great post Eric!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3778 days

#7 posted 04-26-2008 05:37 AM

That’s not true, Betsy – we’ve seen lots of pictures (and blog posts) that show off your tenacity quite well!

-- Eric at

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3810 days

#8 posted 04-26-2008 05:52 AM

If proud is the key I guess I can judge that by what I show people in the shop.

1. My cool Spear and Jackson back saw. Not only pretty but I use it all the time.

2. My Seargent block plane. It belonged to grandpa

3. My Irwin brace and bit set. It also belonged to Grandpa.

There are others but I am limiting myself to the top three. Interesting that they are all hand tools. Hmmmm.

-- Scott - Chico California

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