Illustrator is drawing every item in his late grandfather's tool shed


[Read the post]


I’m gonna ruin the final surprise:


What a cool project. Puts me in mind of Eric Sloane.


Came here to mention Sloane’s work.


Damn, that’s love. He must really miss his grandfather.

I know I miss mine. I only found out I was good with my hands after it was too late to learn anything
from them. Now I’m sure all the really old tools I’ve collected and handmade and use every day will just be forgotten or trashed by people when I go, because no one will know what half of it is, and no one else in my family works with their hands or knows anything about tools.

Guys, if you have kids- teach them how to make stuff while you can.


Aw, @Nagurski and @sockdoll, you beat me to it.

I don’t know if I’d have the time to draw everything in my dad’s workshop. He started as a cabinet maker, and later became a carpenter. And that doesn’t even cover his other with plumbing, electricity, welding… and other side projects over his 75 years of tinkering and work.

Just the little doo-dads and gizmos in the scrap piles and the backs of countless drawers would keep me busy for years, even if I don’t include the little occupied mousie nest we found in the back of one of the workbenches.


For some reason, I am reminded of “The Numbers Man” from Larry Kings old late night radio show. When not calling in to radio shows, he spend his days writing numbers into notebooks. Hundreds and hundreds of notebooks, all filled with numbers.


I can’t be 100% certain, but it looks like the illustrators grandad was a plum-bobbing sonofabitch.


I’ve lost my Dad and all the grandfathers too, but I have the best of their cool tools, and they did teach me how to use most of em.

Love this project. I spent a year taking apart my dads workshop and making sure all the tools went somewhere they’d get appreciated - even if we didn’t get top dollar for them, handing them out to his friends was good fun.


Well. . . I was about to crack a joke, or several jokes (“get a life”, “what’s the matter, your cable out?”, “you know, they make cameras now”, etc.), but those are some nice drawings.

Art is where you find it.

An uncle of mine died a few years ago, and his workshop was filled with all kinds of tools he accumulated over a lifetime. This is a way to remember him and pay tribute to him.


It’s rather lovely.

If this was a movie, the drawings would start to get creepy with undefined torture devices, and then bones. And body parts.


What a beautiful project. Obsessive in a way, sure. But beautiful. (I hope that drawing every screw doesn’t cause mental damage after the 500th identical screw, though.) But yes! Pop rivits! Split rivits! Altoid tins! Gear pullers! Scrapers! Good wrenches and cheap wrenches! Sloane is nice, but he does more of a tool catalog, this is a forensic catalog. I love it.


Where has this been all my life? Gorgeous.


My dad was a master machinist, but when he retired he did not keep tons of stuff. When he died, I cleaned out his shop. I got a vise, lifetime supply of washers, and other odds and ends and some calipers I would never have bought for myself, but most of his tools went to younger guys who will use them. Cleaning off his metal lathe to sell on craigslist was a weirdly emotional experience. I used lamp oil on the lathe to cut the grease and superficial rust and generally clean it up. When I washed that rust off my hands in the bathroom sink, I could not escape the feeling that I was washing his blood down the drain.


My father, also a retired machinist who fabricated parts that went to space aboard shuttle orbiters and down to the bottom of the Pacific in exploratory submersibles, is in rapidly failing health. His rollaway tool chest, filled with calipers and bits and micrometers and esoteric tools for which shadetree-mechanic Donald the Younger (that’s me) may never find a practical use (he already gave me the automotive and carpentry tools), sits in his toolshed at his house, patiently awaiting me to come collect it as inheritance. It won’t be long.

You put tears in my eyes, sir.


I know, right?! I was unfamiliar with Sloane’s work before this. Thanks, @Nagurski, @sockdoll, et al, for enlightening me! I love finding new (to me) awesome things like this! I just checked my local library’s website and they have some of Sloane’s books available, I’ll be picking them up tomorrow morning! But I think I may just end up having to buy my own copies to keep.


If only someone around here had some connections to an illustrated book publisher


My maternal grandfather was a fastidious woodworker, and his sons (my uncles) had woodworking skills in spades. The older uncle built an 18’ yacht in his parent’s backyard while younger uncle built a series of beautiful beam-and-mud brick houses that I loved as a child (and even more as an adult).

Dad was a fitter and turner and taught me enough to machine basic tools, as well as important lessons like “you’ll need at least one 15 amp socket (ie at 240v) in the garage, otherwise you can’t run a decent lathe”.

I studied physics and philosophy and then barely picked up a tool until my 40’s. Now I get far more satisfaction from a sanded tabletop, a mosaic or a repaired two-stroke engine than from anything I produce at work. Ricardo’s law of comparative advantage suggests society is better off if I spend my leisure time repeating my day job than doing something I aspire to but am unlikely to truly master.

Fuck Ricardo.

(Edited to remove Spinal Tap " vs ’ error)


OMG!! David Cronenberg is that you? :wink:


It’s always fun to turn other people on to wonderful things!