Sometimes, I have absolutely no need whatsoever for one particular tool or another. But often, I just can’t seem to rest until I get it.
There are lots of basic tools we simply must have for an efficient, productive shop. Some are big and expensive, such as a table saw or planer, while some are small and cheap, such as a clamp or rule. Without them, doing a good job is more difficult, takes longer and may not be our best work, so it makes perfect sense to acquire, use and maintain theses essentials.
Then there are the tools that catch our eye in the catalogs or in someone else’s shop. You may not have a distinct need for them in a useful sense, but gosh-darn you’d like to get one. No, you have to get one. Your desire for that tool becomes all-consuming. You become a woodworking analogy of the Cookie Monster. It’s all you think of.
I have several of these in my shop. Some didn’t cost a lot, but a few of them were over $100. After drooling over them in a catalog or online, I finally got them. Then, once I got them – nothing. The fever is gone, the desire is quenched, and you’re a happy woodworker once again.
Question: Of all those gotta-have-it tools, how many of them became a mainstay of your daily woodworking routine, and how many are collecting dust somewhere in your shop?
Sadly, I think I have enough of the latter that were I to be able to magically make them all disappear and, in the process, put a nice wad of cash back in my wallet, it would make me a happy woodworker once again.
Because then, I could get this one particular tool I’ve really had my eye on.