Carpenter’s Tools of the trade

I know of no other trade except perhaps a good all-round mechanic who requires so many tools in order to undertake their work. A brief look at online suppliers or trade catalogues will reinforce this statement.
However, there are tools and then there are quality tools that to those in the trade hold a certain beauty. You can feel the quality and using good well-made hand and power tools is reflected in the overall quality of a finished project or article being made.
Of course, for those who have no desire or need to undertake such tasks and who may only use a power drill for instance maybe twice a year, there is no need to invest in high end expensive tools and equipment. But for those of us who day in day out rely on precision and performance there can be no compromise.
I still use some of the hand tools that as an apprentice was instructed to buy namely a few chisels and planes along with hand braces and hand saws. My chisels some of which have now been discarded as the iron has been ground and sharpened so many times as to render the chisel to short are one of those essential hand tools that I was told to get.
The company where I served my time used to deduct £1 a week from my wages for tools, given that my take home pay was the princely sum of £12 the £1 deduction was noticed. Once or perhaps twice a year the foreman would then hand over a selection of tools that the company had purchased for the apprentices. It was a system that worked well, and I guess the buying power of the company ensured a generous discount therefore we built up over the course of an apprenticeship, in my case 5years, a well-stocked tool chest.
The tool chest was made during the first year of an apprenticeship from Mahogany would you believe! And all the joints were dovetailed including the insert trays. This became your pride and joy in the work place and the tools that filled it your passport to earning a living. This was back in 1978 so portable power tools which were just showing up in the boat yard were for the men not the boys.
I still have my tool chest.
The insistence on quality and well looked after tools could also be seen when on Friday afternoon an hour or so before clocking off nearly all the joiners and boatbuilders turned to their tools and sharpened them ready for the following week along with any minor maintenance issues perhaps adjustments to plane irons or the sorting of drill bits etc. The company didn’t seem to mind this down time perhaps it had been negotiated I don’t know but I wonder if it’s a practice that is still going on in industry. It’s a habit which not necessarily practiced on a Friday I still undertake as a specific task.
I have seen a revolution in portable power tools since my first power drill in the 1980s, routers especially can now undertake tasks that were not possible back then and skill saws that run on tracks make light work of sheet materials that need to be cut.
The tools of my trade and the tools that I own are an intrinsic part of being a carpenter. The saying that a bad tradesman always blames his tools may be true, but a good tradesman only uses good quality tools.

About southamptoncarpenter

Traditional standards. Traditional tradesman. Traditional service. Thank you for visiting my website. I have been in the trade for over 40 years; my 5 year apprenticeship as a boat builder was followed by a further 2 years as a wood machinist, then a spell repairing furniture and manufacturing reproduction antique clocks followed. I then spent a further 15 years working in a therapeutic environment passing on my skills, before setting myself up as a self-employed carpenter/joiner. As you will appreciate, I undertake a wide range of projects, so scrolling through the site map may well direct you to past work that may be similar to your requirements. The preferred way to contact me is by using the contact page on this site. However you can always ring me during normal working hours. Lead times vary depending on the time of year; small jobs I can often do promptly. I cover Southampton, Winchester, New Forest and Waterside.