Our tools are extensions of our hands, and we would do well to choose them carefully. Without a finely tuned standard to employ in developing our skills, we are destined to flounder and to fail – never discovering the quality of work that is possible. Every craftsperson needs quality tools. And in a world that seems more and more obsessed with saving a few bucks and finagling free shipping, it would do us well to meet the people behind our purchases. Craftspeople especially long to see the faces behind their tools.
Saws, Planes, and Scorps: Exceptional Woodworking Tools and Their Makers by David Heim features many of the makers who we are blessed to say are our personal friends. We’ve watched these folks over the years pour themselves into their work and seen the way they consistently uphold people over profits, quality over quantity. The integrity these makers embody goes beyond the beautiful work of their hands.
We at M&T are grateful to Heim for undertaking such an important task as documenting and celebrating these inspiring makers. His detailed and beautifully photographed survey will prove to be an immense help to those who are looking for toolmakers worth supporting. And those of us who already own tools made by the folks in this book will gain a deeper appreciation of the skilled workmanship of those committed to putting tools back in the hands of people.
We’re confident that, in 50 or 100 years, when woodworkers look back at the early 2000s to see what their craft forebearers were up to, they will see names like Lee Valley, Bad Axe Tool Works, Chris Vesper, and Christopher Schwarz, and they will marvel to see how the commitment to quality work was inseparable from the commitment to quality relationships. Heim’s book is a fitting and beautiful celebration of just that.
You can order your copy of Heim’s new book here.