Shop & Tool Growing Pains #1: New House, No Tools

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by pendledad posted 10-23-2012 04:19 PM 4094 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop & Tool Growing Pains series Part 2: Shop Bench & Storage »

This blog is aimed at documenting my thought process about this hobby and I hope it can server as a guide to newcomers looking for help.

Let me give you the background …

We lived in Charlotte, NC for 6 years. We had my son, and were pregnant with my daughter when the neighborhood “turned”. Driveby shooting, armed home invasions, police helicopters, etc… Needless to say, we decided to move back home. We’re both from New England, so coming back was good for everyone involved. I didn’t have any power tools down south. I had a brand new house with no real big projects to tackle, so I never accumulated tools.

So we finally bought a house which had a two car garage. I figured that some day I would setup a shop in 1/2 of the space or bulldoze it and build a bigger better garage like my father. So we move in and get acclimated to the new house and all the issues we encountered (carpenter ants, termites, plumbing, etc…). I didn’t need to buy tools yet because my dad was helping us with all of our projects.

Enter the hobby …

This house has steam radiators, which are very dangerous for kids. My wife asked me to buy some covers and I remember watching an episod of TOH where Tom Silva whipped together some covers made out of MDF. I knew I could do that, and it seemed like a nice hobby to get in to because it was relaxing and constructive. But here was the problem. No tools.

When I say no tools, I literally mean I didn’t have a drill that worked. I had a hammer, some pliers, some screw drivers, but nothing that could be used to get things done. However, it was summer and there was an abundance of estate/garage sale postings on CL for tools. I figured I would give it a shot and try an estate sale from a machinist in my town.

$80 later and I came home with this:

I was psyched. A drill press, band saw, some files, some saws, an old school saber saw, and a belt sander (not pictured because it needs new wiring.) I decided to hit a few more estate sales and flea markets and ended up scoring a lot of old rusty planes and rasps for dirt cheap. I also scored some hand drills, bit brace and lots of bits …

As I amassed these tools, they literally were just sitting on my garage floor on an old door. I didn’t have any storage available in the garage … not even a bench. So I quickly discovered my first project. A shop bench with some storage. Off to blog entry #2 for the build.

3 comments so far

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2099 days

#1 posted 10-23-2012 04:48 PM


I’m a relative newby to this so I’ll be happily following your blog. From one newby to another you might want to consider some of the lessons I’ve learned in the past year-

Unless you know how to refurbish tools and sharpen blades, you might want to consider buying new, and ONLY as you need each tool. I wasted money on used tools only to have to go out and buy new. The safety features are updated, they come with a manual etc etc.
For example, I had a budget brand cordless jigsaw and absolutely hated it. I thought I didn’t like using a jigsaw until I sprung for a Bosch corded one. It’s now one of my go-to tools. I understand how it works, where to buy the blades and how to safely operate it. I expect it’s going to last for a long time.

Same story with my router, and circular saw. I did have great luck buying a second hand miter saw though and the wooden handled saws on the right in your picture look pretty neat.

Have fun!

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3064 days

#2 posted 10-23-2012 04:52 PM

Very Cool Story, Goes to show with a little looking you can start to accumulate an Irritating great passion for old tools !!! ;)

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3007 days

#3 posted 10-25-2012 05:57 PM

LOL, I remember those days.

First starting out I thought it sucked not having this tool or that. But I learned how to get the most out of each tool as I learned how to do things. I now have a shop full of tools and still reach for the basic tools 90% of the time. One of the things I learned was its not how many tools I have, but what can I do with the tools that I have.

Great score, seems like all the basics needed to get you started on a lot of fun projects. Look forward to hearing how your passion grows.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics