So I made tracks for his house with my friend Eddy, who had a truck with an empty 8-foot bed. When Eddy and I arrived, the guy who posted the ad was dragging the last of his moving boxes out of his house and the only things left in his garage were his tools. We left his place 150 bucks poorer but with a truck bed full of tools, most of which I didn't even need. I don't even know what a miter saw is, but I have one now and I figure I'll use it someday. Besides, it's always a good feeling to have just the right tool in the ol' toolbox when a friend needs it. And I now have my bandsaw and a drill press (albeit a drill press minus the laser beams), but I only spent half as much as I would had I bought new tools. That'll keep the wife happy.

Aside from the fun of buying a new tools for cheap, having the right tool to do the job at hand is also a great feeling. Nothing drives me nuts more than trying to fabricate something for my truck with the wrong tool when I know that the job could turn out better using the right one. The last thing I want is someone checking out an area of my truck that looks like crap and thinking that I didn't know what I was doing, when in the back of my mind I know I could have done the job better.

Have you ever tried to cut airbag mounting brackets out of 1/4-inch steel using a jigsaw? During the mad rush to airbag my '67 Chevy a few years ago, I was forced to do just that when our vertical bandsaw broke around 11 p.m. Without a tool store open to save me, I was forced to use the only other cutting tool I had. It took me four hours and 12 jigsaw blades to make mounts that didn't look nearly as clean as they would have if I had been able to use the right tool. Weeks later, I ended up going back after the fact and building all new mounts for the airbags just to satisfy my own sense of aesthetics, because the ones I cut with the jigsaw were functional but ugly.

Tools are the fabric that keeps our world together. We can't live without 'em, and the calendars put out by tool companies are almost always better than those cat and dog calendars you find at the mall. I could keep going. I've got a hundred reasons for loving tools. I've also got a hundred tool disaster stories. I'll save those for another time. See ya next month.