Back in the days before mass-produced imports, being a DIY
'er sometimes meant making your own tools. My dad belongs to that generation, as do some of the men in my husband's family. Relatively few people have the gear or know-how required to do that these days. Sad, huh?
To revisit that self-sufficient era, head to Frank Campbell's A Woodworker's Bench Notes
. In addition to all sorts of carpentry
instructions, wood-working plans, and generally handy tips, this great little site also has a page dedicated to the site creator's dad
, Hugh Campbell. Here you can view photos of some Campbell-creations, along with explanatory notes. Included are photos of a jig saw
, a drill
press, and a power hack saw -- all of them home-made in the 1940s and 50s. Guess what? They are all still working today.
There's also a newspaper clipping from 1946 attesting to Campbell's status as a local inventor. It tells how Campbell dealt with the problem of transportation around his farm after a particularly heavy snowfall by building a caterpillar snow toboggan. Other impressive inventions included a "garden tractor" that incorporated old car parts, and a swathing machine, the frame of which was constructed from an old truck.