What makes it even more fun is when a tool manufacturer plays along. This week I received a miniature catalog from Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based ironmonger and cataloger that specializes in hand tools.
Joel Moskowitz and his merry band of troublemakers (primarily designer Timothy Corbett) have made up a 16-page catalog that reads like something from the late 19th century. The catalog is complete with illustrations of new tools that look like copperplate engravings and text that evokes the heyday of hand tool marketing.
“If your wood-finishes are troubled with OFFENDING ODORS, MURKY COMPLEXION, SICKLY PALLOR… or other such ailments which arise from a disordered wood-finish imperfectly doing its work… always use BT&C Shellac Flakes.”
Unlike some modern catalogs that are ugly and (even worse) a bore to read, this little gem is fun to sit down and enjoy. It even inspired me to order a pair of the company’s forthcoming hammers. Yes, I admit it. After years of being free of the hammer monkey on my back, he is back on my back and hammering away at my skull.
I’ll sell a couple of my existing hammers to make room for these, but watch out for the hammer monkey. OK, that’s the end of this public service message.
If you didn’t get the catalog in the mail, then count yourself lucky – it’s a grabber. Or maybe you aren’t so lucky. You can download the catalog free from the Tools for Working Wood site here.
— Christopher Schwarz