Sometime in the late 1990s I had three full sets of chisels – Marples Blue Chips, Ashley Iles and some fine blue-steel Japanese chisels. But instead of enjoying the fact that I had more chisels than my father, grandfather or uncle, I was grumpy.
I was pissed (with myself) that I had three sets of chisels to maintain. Three sets to store. Three sets that would set me back in my efforts to master one set of chisels. All this was made worse by the fact that we had a water-cooled grinder in the shop. So every time I had a chip in a Blue Chip, I had to cool my jets for a half hour with the water-cooled hummer.
But it wasn’t just chisels.
No one needs five smoothing planes, two jointer planes, three jack planes and six shoulder planes to build ordinary furniture. That’s not a working set…
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