Monday, October 09, 2006


Alas, I am undone. Woe is me. You'll be sorry when I'm dead* Etc.

Yes, as you may guess, I'm feeling sorry for myself. What was an irritating freshening of a mild cold on Friday descended on me in force on Sunday lunchtime and I have A Cold. Yea, even unto it being Man 'Flu; not really 'flu at all, but try telling that to any bloke suffering from it... Wrapped myself up in a blanket, dived under the duvet and have been there more of less ever since, feeling (as previously mentioned) sorry for myself. For full effect read this blog entry with periodic sneezes, blowing of nose, mutterings of "damn, where are the tissues" and so forth.

Anyway, apart from that the weather this weekend was dry with hints of sunshine, so I hit a couple of car boot sales while there's still anything there to speak of. Got a handful of old woodworking mags on Sunday; Woodsmith, Wood and Woodworker's Journal, all of which are previously unknown to me. To be honest I think they'll be largely remaining unknown to me in future too. Altogther too much tablesaur stuff for this bandsaw-lovin', hand tool-totin' neander. Funny though; the bloke had them marked up at 20p each, or six for a pound. Well I found five, and paid him the pound. He raised his eyebrows and wordlessly indicated the sign. I looked at the remaining Good Woodworkings and Woodworkers of modern vintage and sadly shook my head - "don't want any of the others". I think he thought I was nuts - long-term readers may fell he has a point of course, but for other reasons...

But Saturday brought my Best Buy - in fact the only thing in the place worth bothering with. There's a character who has a deplorable habit of keeping his stock, mainly tools, in a rusting, leaking old shipping container. I don't know what state the tools are in when they go in, but when they come out they've definitely been introduced to the joys of ferrous oxide. He has most of them displayed in plastic trays on the ground, with the real dregs not even earning a tray, and the select few he thinks are worth something on a table. I have a theory that tools start out on the table, weeks go past and the effects of the shipping container are felt until they are relegated to a tray, Time moves on, and if the tool doesn't, it will eventually make it to the bottom of the social scale and the bare ground. What happens to them then, who knows? Although there are rusty stains on the ground where he usually sets up, so either someone's cut themselves and bleed to death there or the tools become so rusty they actually dissolve and return to the earth. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust...

Anyway, occasionally there's something on the table that's worth paying the slightly inflated price for - a Marples honing guide with instructions, f'rinstance. The trays; well even insane rust remover that I am, I don't bother with the trays. As for the grounded stuff... (shudder) So anyway, I had a look, and what does my wondering eye behold? Actual shiny plated metal! Hey, a joist or corner brace by Skinner! I never, but never see those. Certainly never expected to see one in good order, that's for sure, and certainly not here. And a not insane price!

Friends, it was my duty to save that tool from the fate of another week in the shipping container. Surely you can see that?

So I did.

Already the old man has said "ooo" and "that'd be useful", so its chances of residing in the workshop for any length of time are slim. He does more boring in awkward spots than I do anyway, so I might as well accept the inevitable, clean it up and give it to him for one of his birthday presents. And what's more, he'll probably have forgotten about it by then, so it'll come as a surprise...

* The eternal cry of the wronged eight year old.


  1. Al
    Hope you are feeling better-did'nt catch the Man Flu from my blog did you?? ;)
    "He does more boring in awkward spots than I do " I'm not sure I should comment on this one.......

  2. Wow, that brace was a good find Alf. Hope you are soon feeling better.

    Paul Chapman

  3. Mike Wenzloff (MikeW)10/09/2006 08:44:00 pm

    Hah hah Phil!

    Lovely brace. I like that bent handle. I use my joist brace probably half the time. Especially when boring overhead.

    Take care of yourself and get better!


  4. Well best look after your self.

    As to the find, I am just a big bit green, I have been to one boot sale this year, only tools there were two man saws. I have never seen a brace of that type up close, looks a good user in its current state, will look even better once its been 'Alf'ed. :)
    Dave L

  5. Bad cold *and* an old tool find... in the immortal words of Bart Simpson, I didn't think it was possible but you both suck and blow at the same time!

    Nice brace, and hope you feel better soon.


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