The brace in the bag with the little white tag

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Project by jjw5858 posted 01-17-2012 02:27 AM 2574 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sometimes its very easy in the rushed pace of the current times….stress, job loss, the economy…etc., it is easy to lose faith in one of the greatest things all humans can share…a good and trusting spirit.

My first pic here are some wonderful gifts I recieved from my beautiful Jenn…..some toys from the Lee Valley catalog! A nice new small Stanley cabinet hammer and 3 Narex morticing chisels 1/2, 3/4, and 1/8…..yeah!!!! Wonderful and thanks again!

The other 5 pics were from a funny post christmas visit to our local auction. I usually, as weather permits make it to the auction on a Sunday morning and see a nice friend I made there named Ralph. Every Sunday I hunt outside table to table for some cool old handtool stuff…and then work my way to Ralphs table. Of course if you wait a few weeks as I sometimes do….Ralph usually has some new cool cleaned up gems!....(Well if you do not mind old tools anyway…lol) This time was a real treat…some Millers Falls eggbeater drills…one with the side knob missing….but…hey..he did the two large and small drills together for $20 ….chucks work great..and all cleaned and ready for use!

I did $3 on this cool old golden oil can as well. Then I saw this cool smaller Millers Falls brace……...”how much Ralph?”.......”Ahhhh….got $10 on there…we can do $7”......haaaa…..SOLD. Cleaned up, great working chuck….NICCCCCCCE!...LOL $30 and he even threw in an old rasp for free!

So…...I get home….said to myself…ah lemme go threw these newbies…and set em I go through the bag… brace!!!!........oh no!...tool nirvana….ruined in a matter of moments…lol

Now lucky for me…..I live 20 minutes away….as I roared my truck back I realized, well????, I do not really know Ralph all that well…lol…I sure hope the brace is still there. I actually felt bad thinking that….but I admit, I did.

I figured he probably never even remembered my name…we only have a brief but fun conversation while I root through his table treasures…

So, I got back and there is Ralph packing his table up!!!!! was getting pretty cold out I can understand thats a cold place to sit. He looks at me and says, “so sorry we got talkin’ and I never put it in the bag for ya”.....we had a good laugh, said “its over there in the yellow bag.” We shook hands, a very nice and kind old felllow and off I went with the brace.

In my rush and adrenaline it was not until I got home, I saw the bag was tagged with my name….Joe. He did remember my name, and he is just a nice and as decent of a guy as you would think. Isn’t that refreshing.

In that moment I realized something special….. the little white tag, it meant much more to me then the brace in the bag, because that little tag was the spirit of why I enjoy woodworking and enjoy the good folks on here.

So cheers Ralph! I look forward to some more great picks on your table as the weather gets warmer….and to share a good laugh as well. Never bought a bad tool from him….I have used all of them in great enjoyment.

I hope this brought some of you enjoyment, have a great evening friends, glad to be here.

Best wishes and great shavings


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

16 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2556 days

#1 posted 01-17-2012 02:37 AM

That’s a great story and you also got some real nice tools. Those mortising chisels look great.

You need to keep ol’ Ralph in your prayers. Aquaintances/friends like him are hard to find.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View ShaneA's profile


7037 posts in 2746 days

#2 posted 01-17-2012 02:45 AM

Great post Joe. Congrats on the score.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3612 days

#3 posted 01-17-2012 03:05 AM

It may seem obvious to say, but, the best score in the bunch was getting to know Ralph. I enjoy both woodworking and blacksmithing. The kindred spirit of craftsmen seems to pretty consistent. There are some real quality folks out there. Fellow LJ’s, enjoy those people.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View EarlS's profile


1623 posts in 2496 days

#4 posted 01-17-2012 03:13 AM

Wow – Ralph sounds like a great person and he has some nice handtools too….

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2814 days

#5 posted 01-17-2012 03:57 AM

Thanks for sharing that beautiful story Joe !
I truly enjoy People like Ralph and meet someone like that ,they are very special people with big and caring hearts .
Glad you have met him and enjoy your tools !!!!!


-- Kiefer

View a1Jim's profile


117236 posts in 3725 days

#6 posted 01-17-2012 04:05 AM

Thanks for sharing Joe.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2908 days

#7 posted 01-17-2012 04:10 AM

That’s really cool. Sometimes people take us by surprise. I think you scored on some grreat tools but more than that you scored a great friend. We only have one life to live, lets spend it making friends for eternity. Thanks for the post and give Ralph our best.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3237 days

#8 posted 01-17-2012 09:44 AM

What a wonderful story – Joe.
That sure sounds like a nice day to remember.
Beautiful drills, and what sweet presents from your wife.
Life sure is wonderful for those who remember to live it, and you sure do.
The best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3336 days

#9 posted 01-17-2012 12:29 PM

Great story and score some cool tools!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2928 days

#10 posted 01-17-2012 02:04 PM

Very nice story and a good “new” friend and new and new to you tools as well..
Great !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View StumpyNubs's profile


7656 posts in 2948 days

#11 posted 01-17-2012 06:59 PM

Great story! Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The greatest woodworking show since the invention of wood is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Bryan's profile


4 posts in 2818 days

#12 posted 01-17-2012 07:37 PM

Great story, and don’t forget to hang that tag on your shop wall.


-- Bryan, Thunder Bay, Ontario

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21317 posts in 3253 days

#13 posted 01-17-2012 08:06 PM

Great find!!!!!!!!!!..........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2988 days

#14 posted 01-17-2012 11:44 PM

A wonderful post. There are still good people out there. Woodworkers are some of them. Look around this site its full of friendly people. I did enjoy reading your tale of the tag. Thanks for sharing.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View deleteme's profile


141 posts in 2754 days

#15 posted 01-18-2012 01:17 AM

I love stories like these. So many LJ’ers have been kind to me as well. A few have even left a couple of lines on this thread. It just goes to prove that Woodworkers are among the coolest people I know.

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