My workshop is a one-car garage in the basement of my 91-year-old house. It’s a cramped and cluttered space, but I manage to get a lot done in it and I simply enjoy being there. Almost all of the time I spend in my shop I’m alone, but it’s far from being a lonely place. In the midst of my tools, I’m surrounded with reminders of people I’ve cared for. Every tool has some usefulness, but the ones that have stories to tell are the ones that I value most.I have, of course, many of my late father’s tools, but there is one that stands above the others. It's the Stanley No. 100 ½ round-bottom squirrel-tail plane he used for shaping the blades of racing sculls. He had dropped it on his shop’s concrete floor and the tail had broken off. It wasn’t a tool he could easily replace, so he asked our neighbor, Bob Clare, if it could be repaired.Bob, who was known to many as “Scrap Iron,” owned the two houses across the street; he and his family lived in one and his shop occupied the other. Both back yards were filled with metal scrap, some heaped on the ground and some propped against racks and towering high overhead. Bob brazed the tail back onto the plane, and while it’s a bit crooked and the repair looks like it was made with gobs of drab gold clay, he saved the plane.

Read this article now for free!

Sign up here (No credit card required) to finish reading your article now.

— OR —

Subscribe now for $29.99 a year! You'll have access to our new issues as they are published, and access to our entire archive of back issues, starting with our inaugural issue in September 2014. Subscribers can also post unlimited classified ads. This is an extraordinary value!