Saturday, November 15, 2008


Cracked by age, battered by work, recently repaired, creaky but useful - this toolbox is a lot like its owner. Speckled with sawdust, spattered with paint, stained by water - there is a ragged beauty.

The plywood partitions are a recent addition. One fresh nail was added to the end, probably at the same time that the plywood was nailed in the middle. The handle has an elegant curve, though I'm sure its shape was for function, not aesthetics. The saw notches on the handle speak of its use as a sawhorse. The notch where the handle joins the end was nicely cut, then sanded and rounded, as was the handle itself. In contrast, the angled cut on the end piece is rough, slightly wobbly, and never finished.

It's the work of a practical man. A busy man. A man who probably spent a couple of hours, seventy-five years ago, choosing a few strong scraps of wood and creating this portrait of his career building simple, practical things that we use - and use up - without giving a thought.

(Continuing my homage to hardware and hard work. You can click on the photo to make it larger.)

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