Workshop Minimalism in the Heartland II

Since the “business” side of the trip through The Heartland was finishing based with my presentation to the Groopshop 2015, I failed to bring even a small woodworking tool kit with me.  That oversight will not happen again.  From this point on, whenever I am traveling to an unknown location, by that I mean a place where I have not stashed tools or do not know of the inventory of tools, I will carry a bucket o’ tools.

Once on the ground and our daughter’s house I realized that several days of necessary woodworking would commence.  After conducting an inventory of tools available from my truck tool kit, my daughter’s car tool kit, and my pocket multi-tool etc., an additional small inventory of tools would be necessary.


I visited the closest ACE Hardware, which at one time was the largest ACE Hardware in the country before being surpassed by some larger ones elsewhere.  It was the size of a Wal-mart, and became a daily visit for me.  Since I would be fitting a lot of trim, the first two tools we bought were an Irwin brand ryobi saw and a Fat Max set of chisels, along with a plastic triangular speed square and a nail set.


The saw was a perfect fit for my tasks and the “shop” outfitting, and I have been exceedingly impressed with Fat Max chisels to the point that I own two full sets and some additional chisels too.  I first bought a set when I was doing some rough carpentry, thinking they would be disposable tools I wouldn’t worry about too much if I hit a nail.  Much to my surprise they have turned out to be superb tools, flat and well prepared when they leave the factory.  But, they do need to be sharpened and the hardware store was ill-stocked with sharpening stones I would have bought.  More about that tomorrow.

We next made a stop at a thrift store, where I bought a back saw ($2) and a block of fake marble back splat (0.50) to use as a sharpening surface.  I’ll blog about the saw tomorrow, ditto the block plane we picked up at a yard sale for $2 along with a nice little brace for $3.  One final stop at another antique barn yielded a nice pair of very large wood screws for $5 a piece, along with a large box of washed and folded linen feed sacks for 75 cents apiece (darned near perfect finishing rags!) and a sweet Stanley #7C for $15.  These last two items were unrelated to the commencement of work at the rental house.