I sharpened Derek’s saw on Saturday and of course it was nowhere near as he described, “Looks like the rats got at it.” It is a lovely saw. Quite lovely. Made by Marples, well worn handle and well used and cared for. I would be proud to own his saw, really. I hope he has a child that would keep it and use it when his hands can no longer caress it and think of how it served him.
Also, I know we live in a paperless age where, as a direct result of the computer, we use seven times more paper than was predicted when they said the computer would eliminate the need for paper, but I looked at Derek’s had written letter to me. Not only was the composition and phrasing lovely, so to the handwriting. That was the hand of a workman, and I am afraid that that will never be restored.
I spent an hour at the car boot sale near my house yesterday and found a nice old badger plane with a skew mouth for £6. It stood amongst the pots and pans as if lost and quite out of place. The mouth was quite tight still and as I lifted it from the rubbish pile I saw how little used it really was. It had more weight than the ones I own and I just couldn’t leave it there even though I have several. As I left that stall, one of the permanent vendors called me over and showed me dozens of brass escutcheon plates and I realized just how this dealer had bought and sold stuff all of his life and he still took stock of the quality of life people once had in their possessions. Further along I talked to Rosie who asked me how things were going in the US. We chatted for a while until I saw a Disston D8 covered up with other stuff. I bought it for £1. As I was about to leave a another vendor called me over and said he’d been waiting for me. He handed over my two favourites, a Stanley number 4 and a Record number 4 together with a Stanley brace, which I am missing as I travel the USA. Needless to say my arms were full and for a few bob I was set for some restoration. I made a friend at one of the shows and promised to look out a number four Stanley so that’s where that will end up.