Hard-working tools deserve a decent place to rest.
By Christopher Schwarz
On certain holidays, such as New Year’s Day, craftsmen in Japan clean their tools, put them on a shrine and offer them gifts such as sake and rice cakes. It is their way of thanking the tools for the service they have provided and will provide in future days.
As my own collection of hand planes grew from a few rusty specimens handed down from my great-grandfather to a small arsenal of new high-quality instruments, this Japanese tradition began to weigh heavily on my mind. My planes generally squatted on my workbench when not in use, and I had to constantly move them around to avoid knocking them to the floor as I worked.
After some thought, I decided that a cabinet dedicated to my planes was the best way to protect them from dings and to thank them for the service they provide almost every day of the year.
From the October 2004 issue #143
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