I was in the shop this morning with my three year old grandson. He was busy hammering in a few nails on his latest “project” and showing off his whittling skills with his recently acquired Swiss Army Knife. I spent my time showing him my latest tool purchases, showing him my knives, trying to protect his digits, fetching him nails, scraps, and various tools, and in-the-meantime, trying to clean and sharpen some old plated Craftsman socket chisels.
It suddenly struck me how weird the whole idea of plating chisels was. It involves extra expense, does little, of anything to the quality of the tool, and the tool was taking on a really strange appearance since the cleaned surface showed nickel or chrome, the underlying layer of copper, and finally the actual steel. I may eventually chemically strip the plating if it just becomes too much to stand.
These tri-colored chisels seem to be basically decent tools after you get past the strange colors and do the initial work of cutting through the plating during flattening and sharpening . From the perspective of a manufacturer it makes no sense, except, the tool at the point of sale was shiny, and apparently had the anticipated addition of that attraction to the consumer, or the consumer’s anticipation of additional rust prevention, maybe.
While working on the tools, and considering the potential perspectives of manufacture, purchase, and use of these tools, my grandson looked up at me and asked “Why are you just standing there when you have spiders in your nose?” I quickly realized that I would soon have an appointment with my nose trimmer and a new appreciation of the idea of perspective.
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