(From a journal entry around Christmas of 2004 - after having watched one too many commercials for the latest do-all for dad that seemed to require a mere proximity to the problem to work.)

Confidence and grace stem from using a tool of heritage.

There's a heft and permenance of properly made tools, and they seem to grow in density over the years of use. The patina of use adds to that, until, polished by the hand and hardened by the work, they become somehow wiser.

Some do not - there are drawers of stamped double-ended cone wrenches from various sources rattling around, none the wiser for their use. They lack a heft, and there is something both brittle and sharp about them. They cannot be trusted.

Copiers, fax machines, phones all lack that element. They will never gain that wisdom.

There's a heft in the hand - a resistance almost - that can be felt immediately upon a touch. They balance in the hand automatically, with a center of gravity to the design that causes it to useful immediately. They don't lock on automatically, and can easily strip out a bolt head or hex indent. There's nothing particularly magical about them, and they still depend upon the hand of the mechanic to guide them. But, they amplify competence. They reward precision.


updated: January 21, 2006






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