Long Rant - Tool Addiction

This afternoon I tried to find some sort of tool in my garage (I forget what it was). The search was more difficult than it should be. The original owner of the house was a "NEATNESS FREAK". He had the builder install a solid wall of cupboards on the back and sides of the garage. This is well and good . . . . EXCEPT . . . he put doors on them. Shelves - - - yes. Cupboards . . . NO. Instead of standing in the middle of the garage and doing a 180 degree scan (possible with shelves), I spent a fair amount of time opening doors and rummaging through the contents.
Which brings up the subject of this rant: unnecessary, unneeded, unremembered, unexplainable tools. I couldn't believe the amount of gadgetry that has silted up the cabinet space in this garage since we bought the place. Someday I'll make an inventory of all this accumulated lunacy. In the meantime, it's interesting to contemplate the reasons for buying this stuff in the first place. It seems to fall into four categories:
1) TOOLS THAT HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY SOMETHING BETTER: I feel pretty good about these. They did their job when I needed them. Here is a pair of oil stones. They were replaced by a set of Japanese water stones which was an excellent sharpening system until I was clued in to "Scarey Sharp T". Several thin bladed bow saws (scroll saws) enabled me to do so some fairly exotic curved pieces (break arch cabinets, cabriole legs). It took a while, but they got the job done. Then I bought a Delta 16-inch band saw which does a great job on hardwood, softwood, PVC, frozen hamburger and dried gourds. I don't know how I ever got along without it.
2) TOOLS THAT SERVED THEIR PURPOSE FOR A ONE-TIME PROJECT: Mostly little stuff. A lot of router bits used to match molding or trim; a heat gun for curing epoxy on a cedar strip canoe. A large box of artifacts from tiling a 400 square foot kitchen. This includes sponges, chalk line, trowels and a diamond saw blade for a wet saw. I rented the saw, bought the blade (it was expensive) and can't bring myself to throw it away and (God willing) will never use again. If I ever even think of tackling a tile job again, I hope someone whacks me upside the head with a tire tool (I have one of those too).
3) TOOLS ACQUIRED FOR A PROJECT THAT NEVER GOT OFF THE GROUND: A tapered auger bit - - I seriously intended to tackle a Windsor chair. A 2 3/4 -inch forstner bit in it's own nifty little wooden box with dovetail joints. A boat builders slick which weights about as much as the M-1 I carried in the army and twice as dangerous. What's the point of starting (or even contemplating) a new project unless it provides an opportunity to expand the tool inventory?
4) TOTALLY IRRATIONAL Y-CHROMOSOME TOOLS: These suckers hook us because they are so damned good looking. Successful business plans have been built around selling this stuff. The good folks at Bridge City Tool Works, Restoration Hardware, Brookstone , Lei Neilson Tools, Sharper Image and Sur le Table have raised the merchandising of cute but unnecessary or over designed gadgetry to an art form. My stuff that fits this list include a tri-square that looks like it belongs in an orchestra, hand-crafted block planes, several exotic-looking spokeshaves, and one of the sexiest sanding blocks to come down the pike. These things don't have to be useful or even logical. They're like surgically augmented breasts on women which automatically and inexplicably activate the drool reflex. I just turned up an exquisitely crafted adjustable dovetail joint template. British made. "Collett Engineering, Mount Hawke, Truro, Cornwall". Brass and brushed steel with a satin finish. It's beautiful. Spending money on this thing makes about as much sense as lug nuts on a birthday cake. In five metric minutes I could make one that would cost nothing - - in fact it would save me money. All I need is a protractor, straight edge, exacto knife and my wife's credit card.
The real problem here is STORAGE SPACE. I know deep down in my heart of hearts that there is no way in hell that I'll stop buying these things. I also know that I will never sell, contribute or discard anything that even remotely looks like a tool. Meanwhile, inside the house (where it is air conditioned), my wife is working on her "Imelda Marcos Memorial Shoe Collection" the components, of which; she will never sell, contribute or discard.
I seem to recall that the maximum size that a fish will grow to is determined by the size of it's aquarium. My garage has reached its max as far as a mega-tool inventory goes. . A bandsaw, shopsmith, workbench and homemade table saw have pretty much filled the available space between the back wall and the front bumpers of a couple of vehicles. There are still all sorts of nooks and crannies in cupboards and cabinets for the inevitable purchases of irresistible little purchases that I definitely don't need but am certain to buy.
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Amen brother, I got a garage full of that kind of stuff.
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"Bubba" writes: <snip a very funny tale of accumulating "STUFF">
In the SFWIW category, I had an employer that every year had me go thru my personal files and throw away any thing that was more than one year old. Engineering drawings were exempt from this edict.
Why was this policy in effect?
It came from the lawyers.
If you don't have anything, it can't be used against you in a court of law.
But I digress.
It served as a model for my own "stuff".
If I haven't used something in a year, I give it away and take a tax deduction.
The only exception is something I know I'm going to need when I get to that part of the boat building project which may be a couple of years away.
HTH
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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Long snippage of my life Bubba wrote: Thanks alot! If my wife sees this I'm dogfood. %-) And I'm still not giving up the goodies. Dave in Fairfax
--
reply-to doesn't work
use:
daveldr at att dot net
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Bubba, Bubba, Bubba,
Quit complaining! All you are doing is putting off the inevitable. Proof in point is the last sentence in item 3. And, the only reason you are complaining is because you've got to stop buying the tools long enough to build more cabinet space in which to put more tools. So stop your sniveling and get them built!
Nice rant though.
Roy
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SNIP of some great stuff that describes me except that most of my irrational stuff is just cheap crap that was "too good of a deal to pass up"...

Com'on Bubba, what the hell are "a couple of vehicles" doing taking up perfectly good gar...uh shop space. You have no storage space problems and will not stop "growing" as long as all of that perfectly good space is being wasted on things designed to live outside. Last house I bought we went from a 1 to a two car garage and my wife actually thought she was finally going to get to park her car inside...HA!! That garage has never seen a 4 wheeled vehicle, except for the Shopsmith, a couple of tools on moble bases, and the grandkids wagons, bikes with training wheels, the lawn mower, the freezer on casters..... Yeah it really is "my" workshop ;)
Dave Hall
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On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 02:01:01 GMT, "Bubba"

As long as you are getting *a* vehicle, let alone *a couple* of vehicles in the garage you are nowhere near the saturation point. I suggest you spend a few Saturdays cruising garage sales to see if you can fill some of that wasted space.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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My family room and enclosed porch run the length of the long side of my house. Two thirds of it is my shop. Sliding glass doors separate it from the other one third. If I get the lathe and bandsaw I've been looking at, there goes the family room! But then again I live alone with a cat and he doesn't mind, If I should ever get married for the fifth time, she (whoever that might be) will just have to accept it or not move in, Peace ~ Sir Edgar
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