Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Amber Alert for the Shop

Where is she? Or is she a he? Where is it?

I’m missing a chisel, and it has me worried. There is a big empty slot in my chisel roll, and the void seems to consume the entire shop.

How does a chisel just disappear? Was it kidnapped? Did it wander off and lose its way during its trip back?

Am I responsible? Did I misplace it? Did I drive it away with a mallet whack that was just too harsh, applied at the wrong spot, or struck at the wrong time?

It’s not a big, tough Mortise Chisel that can chop through anything the world throws at it. It’s a more delicate socket chisel. It is a lovely Cocobolo handled skew chisel. It’s a delicate, beautiful, and viciously sharp tool that feels amazingly balanced. It’s a chisel that feels perfectly at home when I reach for it and hold it in my hands. My missing chisel is a tool that helps me to do my highest level of work.

Now that I think about it, I know I didn’t drive it away, because my Cocobolo handled skew chisels are only used for paring. They have never been struck. They have never been man handled or strong armed. They have always been delicately handled like little Baby chisels. Yet, it is missing.

Where are you, Baby Chisel?

I’ve looked all over the top of my cluttered workbench, the place where you belong. I’ve looked under the bench too. I’ve looked in the deepest corners of my tool cabinet. My search for you even forced me to face the spiders that hide under the lumber rack.

I’ve looked everywhere in my shop…our shop. And I have to assume that someone took you away. Someone who passed through the shop looked upon your beauty and decided that you should belong to them.

I tried to talk to a friend about it, but I was left feeling empty by all of the clichés:
  • Do I really miss the chisel, or do I just miss the idea of having a full chisel collection?
  • If you love a tool…set it free….if it comes back to you then it is yours for all eternity.
  • There are plenty of other skew chisels in the world. Just call Tom Lie-Nielsen and order another.

I still bristle as my heart cries out the expected response, “I don’t want ANOTHER chisel. I want MY chisel!!!!!!!!!”


rab said...

Check with the little woman. She might have needed something to open a can of paint. Aaaaaaaaaggggghhhh!

TA said...

I agree with rab. "Bench blindness" can be just as devastating as "male refrigerator blindness."