December 2010

Community Name
How long have you been working with tools?
I began working with tools at a young age (maybe nine or ten) when I visited, and for a brief time lived on, my grandfather Earl Banner's farm. He didn't talk much, but he had all kinds of tools in this big old barn where he taught me the rudiments of basic carpentry such as "measure twice cut once." Unfortunately, the old barn burned while I was away in the Marines and most of the wreckage was sold for scrap.
What's your favorite tool?
My favorite Craftsman tools are my planers: the Craftsman 6-1/8 in. Jointer/Planer and the Craftsman 12-1/2 in. Thickness Planer. I just love the feel of running my hand across a piece of lumber after a few passes through either machine. It may sound weird but it's as if the wood talks to me, letting me know how beautiful it is going to be in the finished project.
My favorite non-Craftsman tool is the Jet Midi Lathe. I like it for similar reasons: as the shavings fall away, the piece is so smooth it seems to be yelling at me how beautiful the vase, the bowl or whatever is going to be when it is finished.
Why Craftsman?
Craftsman is/was the obvious choice for me considering it is the tool that my grandfather used and taught me to use all those years ago. The only thing I have left from him is a Craftsman Professional Pliers set of four that I use on a regular basis. Even today, they are still the best tools on the market with an awesome warranty for the serious hobbyist or professional. An example occurred last summer when my son broke the jaw off the 4-1/2 in. Diagonal Cutting Pliers with a sharp blow of a hammer (don't ask); Sears replaced it without a question simply because it was Craftsman.
Favorite thing you've ever made?
The project that I am fondest of is a 23rd Anniversary clock that I made for my wife. Not to sound corny, but "she is the half that completes me!" I put a lot of thought into the clock. Like I took into consideration she is from Spain, so I etched a matador and a flamenco dancer on the glass door. Her father was in the Spanish Guardia Civil and was stationed in Africa when she was born. Her favorite color is purple. With this in mind, I chose African Purple Heart as the wood for the project. By the time it was completed, I had used nearly ever Craftsman tool I own. Aside from all that she absolutely loves the clock.
What do you do when you're not on the Craftsman Community?
When I am not logged onto the Craftsman Community, I am either grading papers or if my health allows (I am a disabled Marine), working in my small shop out back. Unfortunately, my projects take a while to complete because I am limited to how much I can do with my hands and back. I also work on the Spanish website I created for my students: www.dbspanish.org