Kalifornyuh Dreamin’ 2

Here are more of the items sifted from the cleaning-out of my father-in-law’s house.  Some of these treasures were left behind, but many of them are now ensconced in the barn.

As I get older I gravitate more and more toward rulers rather than tape measures (especially at the bench), notwithstanding the reality that a Stanley 12-foot Powerlock tape fits perfectly and resides in my coin pocket virtually 100% of the time I am not at church or the doctor’s office.  In Dick’s menagerie was this four-foot folding cabinetmaker’s rule, and it is now nestled in my carpenter’s tote.

Many years ago my pal MikeM made a vest pin out of a Shinola brand shoe polish tin, a much loved artifact that remains in my collection.  When coming across this bottle of shoe polish how could I not bring this back home to go into the gallery in the barn?  Perhaps I can even use it to analyze the utterances of public officials to see if I can distinguish, uh, stuff, from Shinola.

Being a real guy, Dick probably went out and bought a new tool when he could not find his other one (at least I have been told that this is a tendency; hmmm, it might explain my half-dozen caulk guns), which would justify the three torque wrenches in the garage.  I brought one home and gave the other two away to good homes.  I cannot recall the last time I needed a torque wrench myself, probably when I rebuilt an industrial planer in 1982, but if I have to do it gain I am equipped.

One of the items I left behind was something that truly surprised me.  I had not known that the Zyliss company made more than the renowned vises, of which I own a half dozen and find them nearly irreplaceable when making Gragg chairs of teaching marquetry.  Lo and behold there was this NIB food chopper in the kitchen cabinet.  I almost wish I had brought it back.

The final item, and one which holds great sentimental value for me, was this can of the revered Man O’ War brand of spar varnish.  It was of an indefinable age, but nearly full and the contents were in perfect condition.  I remember using Man O’ War on some very expensive porch furniture (not mine) back around 1975, and it was sublime in both workability and performance.  I left it behind because it would have been problematic to ship it back from The Peoples Republic of Kalifornistan, for the same reason that I refuse to ship Mel’s Wax to Cali.

Though it was superb I could not justify shipping home a vintage 4-inch Wilton torpedo vise or the tool boxes full of pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and socket sets.