Repurposing Great Grandpa's tools!

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Project by 806jlb posted 02-18-2013 06:02 PM 1917 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So, my grandfather passed away when my dad was 14, leaving behind 5 children. Dad was the oldest, with the youngest being 2. The family had tremendous support of my great grandparents, and they were loved by all. They owned a general contracting company. My dad worked nights and weekends with my great grandfather until he was drafted and sent to Vietnam. While my dad was gone, great grandpa retired and sold off the company. The workshop and all the tools were kept, and over the years, we spent a lot of time making and fixing just about everything. Over the next 30 years, my great parents passed, I graduated college and got a masters degree, got married and had two kids, and dad retired. Dad had given me lots of great grandpas tools over the years, and most of them sat around in my workshop. One day, I was pulling out a nail, and the handle snapped off. I put the hammer handle handle aside, and it sat there for several years. One day, I got a PSI catalogue and saw some cool handmade pens made on a lathe. I always wanted a lathe and now had an excuse to buy one. I decided that I would use the broken handle from great grandpas hammer to make some pens for dad and my aunts. The pens turned out great and everyone loved them! Since that time, I’ve made several other pens using some of great grandpas stuff: an oak ladder rung, mahogany trim from an old couch, and 2” black walnut found in the attic. In addition to pens, I’ve made letter openers, pizza cutters, bottle openers, and knife scales. I’ve included a couple before and after pictures.

7 comments so far

View Bearpaw's profile


256 posts in 3867 days

#1 posted 02-18-2013 09:30 PM

I love it when people reclaim old things. I make a lot of my palm boxes from the old pews from my church when we remodeled. Who will knock free African Mahogany that is 14’ long.

My drill press was my fathers (90+ years old) and my joiner from my father-in-law (90+ years old)

Keep up the nice work.

-- "When we build, let us think we build forever." John Ruskin

View stefang's profile


15950 posts in 3481 days

#2 posted 02-19-2013 07:13 PM

A great idea to give your family keepsakes made from your great granddad’s old tools. I sure they cherish them.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2323 days

#3 posted 02-20-2013 04:01 PM

A wonderful idea of giving beautiful stuff made from great grand dad’s tools, it’s like sharing a part of his treasures to loved ones.

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 2749 days

#4 posted 02-21-2013 01:09 PM

That’s a great idea and a wonderful way to keep the spirit of your grandfather alive through your craft work. Awesome job and thanks for sharing it!

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

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6176 posts in 3500 days

#5 posted 02-28-2013 02:40 PM

You did a wonderful thing here. I really enjoyed your story. My grandparents and parents have passed but when I use one of my dad’s old tools’s it brings a smile to my heart.
Thank you for sharing your story.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2686 days

#6 posted 04-02-2013 08:25 PM

Best keepsake ever.

-- I never finish anyth

View Bluenote38's profile


381 posts in 535 days

#7 posted 12-19-2017 02:46 PM

Love your post. I have the remains of my Grandma’s mahogany coffee table (from the 1930s) that I have been dragging around for YEARS! About a week ago I decided disassemble it and do pretty much the same thing. Thanks for posting.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

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