The Work Bench (toxic masculinity warning!)

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Hovannes
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The Work Bench (toxic masculinity warning!)

Post by Hovannes » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:05 pm

There is something visceral about a work bench, no matter how large or small. I confess I've got morbid desire to look at work benches belonging to relatives and friends who have passed away a year or so ago (and no, I'm not looking to steal tools! :P ) The opportunity rarely comes up due to families moving away, or estate sales or something, but every once in awhile the opportunity comes up and my requests are more often than not, graciously, allowed.

When a good friend or close relative passes, I find that with the passing of time the person I remember becomes ever so different from the person I knew.
Looking at their work bench is a little like a reset button. There is no mistaking who built it out of 2x4s and plywood, or the care taken in sorting out the oily nuts and bolts by size in one of those little drawer sets. Wood screws stored in old baby food jars tell the story of a proud new father and the anticipation of one day a smaller pair of hands joining his own at this same work bench.

Work benches smell, too. For someone who works on their own truck, it is going to smell like motor oil or WD-40. If they are a wood worker, then sawdust. The bench of a leather worker is going to smell flat out wonderful,

How much a workbench can tell us about a man!

There is nearly always a vice, which is handy on any work bench, but vices are like spirits. The seldom break so they are either passed down from previous workbenches, or come from auctions or estate sales since buying a heavy duty new vice is always an expensive proposition so buying used is the common approach.

And there are the tools, generally put neatly aside unless Uncle Redd suffered the "Big One" while rebuilding a carb, or his widow needed a certain gizmo for an odd job and didn't remember where to put it back. Old tools a man used to work with his hands develop a patine with time which I can appreciate. A good friend or beloved relative that isn't physically here is very much represented by his tools, and each one will have a story that is more often than not lost to History (a set of German WW2 wrenches for a tank, or a set of Whitworth wrenches from the RAF, or a railroad spike puller from the AT&SF---how did those end up here?)

Anyway, these are just some thoughts banging around in my brain this afternoon.
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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durangopipe
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Re: The Work Bench (toxic masculinity warning!)

Post by durangopipe » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:32 pm

Hovannes wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:05 pm
There is something visceral about a work bench, no matter how large or small. I confess I've got morbid desire to look at work benches belonging to relatives and friends who have passed away a year or so ago (and no, I'm not looking to steal tools! :P ) The opportunity rarely comes up due to families moving away, or estate sales or something, but every once in awhile the opportunity comes up and my requests are more often than not, graciously, allowed.

When a good friend or close relative passes, I find that with the passing of time the person I remember becomes ever so different from the person I knew.
Looking at their work bench is a little like a reset button. There is no mistaking who built it out of 2x4s and plywood, or the care taken in sorting out the oily nuts and bolts by size in one of those little drawer sets. Wood screws stored in old baby food jars tell the story of a proud new father and the anticipation of one day a smaller pair of hands joining his own at this same work bench.

Work benches smell, too. For someone who works on their own truck, it is going to smell like motor oil or WD-40. If they are a wood worker, then sawdust. The bench of a leather worker is going to smell flat out wonderful,

How much a workbench can tell us about a man!

There is nearly always a vice, which is handy on any work bench, but vices are like spirits. The seldom break so they are either passed down from previous workbenches, or come from auctions or estate sales since buying a heavy duty new vice is always an expensive proposition so buying used is the common approach.

And there are the tools, generally put neatly aside unless Uncle Redd suffered the "Big One" while rebuilding a carb, or his widow needed a certain gizmo for an odd job and didn't remember where to put it back. Old tools a man used to work with his hands develop a patine with time which I can appreciate. A good friend or beloved relative that isn't physically here is very much represented by his tools, and each one will have a story that is more often than not lost to History (a set of German WW2 wrenches for a tank, or a set of Whitworth wrenches from the RAF, or a railroad spike puller from the AT&SF---how did those end up here?)

Anyway, these are just some thoughts banging around in my brain this afternoon.
Beautiful thoughts, HOV.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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JMG
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Re: The Work Bench (toxic masculinity warning!)

Post by JMG » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:26 pm

Good read.
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JimVH
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Re: The Work Bench (toxic masculinity warning!)

Post by JimVH » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:57 pm

JMG wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:26 pm
Good read.
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