Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I love tools

This my father's obituary as it appeared in the Pasadena Star News:
Like most obituaries, it focuses on the biographical details of a life, rather than the essential aspects of the man. There is one line in there, however, that hints at who my Dad really was. He was a man a who loved making things. He was a man who loved tools.
When my parents were looking to buy their house, Dad's number one requirement was a detached garage set back from the street.
This was briefly used for auto storage, but it wasn't long before the garage became a workshop.
photo by Colleen Bray
The table saw was first big tool purchase. 
It was quickly joined by many, many others.
There are so many different types of tools in this space. 
Some are big.
Some are small.
All are well used.
Dad mounted the big, table tools on wheels. This allowed him to arrange his space to best suit each individual project.
My Dad was particularly fond of clamps.
He all different types...
and sizes. 
As he was fond of saying, "You can't have too many clamps." 
In addition to tools, Dad's workshop also includes a lot of tool storage. This includes some store bought bins...
but there are also a lot of re-purposed containers.
Coffee cans are everywhere... 
and I'm pretty sure I was one of the babies who was raised on this formula. 
Instead of affidavits and applications, this cabinet...
now holds tools!
There is so much of my Dad in this space. He's there in the mathematical calculations on a table top...
and in the initials on a favorite tool. 
It's been one month since my father died. Love you, Dad. I hope that wherever you, there are a lot of tools.


  1. Seeing the pictures brings me back to my visit. I was in awe of all the tools and cool items. I imagine the pictures bring back lots of emotions and memories for you and your sisters.

  2. Those pictures remind me of my dad's various workshops over the years. He was trained in the Air Force as an airplane mechanic but eventually became a carpenter/cabinet maker.

    the 'firsts' are always difficult. First month. First major holiday. First birthday. First wedding anniversary. It won't 'get better' but eventually the pain will lessen. Or, at least, that's what I keep telling myself. My dad has been gone since 2010. We had to get through two birthdays (mine and brother's) rather quick as well as my parents' wedding anniversary because he passed the day before my birthday, a month before their anniversary and two months before my brother's birthday. It made the 'seconds' a little easier.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. My dad, too, was a maker of things. He had two Bridgeports in our basement and the lights in the whole neighborhood would dim and flicker when he was working down there. My dad passed away in June this year and I know how hard it is. I find myself thinking that I need to call him but then remember that I can't.

  4. Same here! My Dad passed away in 1991. I still miss him! The shop photos remind me of the shop my Dad had. Thanks for shering!