The importance of good tools

Regardless which crafts project, I found that it is always worth investing in good tools. Maybe you do not need the absolute top of the line professional version, but it is worth in investing in decent quality. You get what you pay for proves to be true in almost any case. Means if you buy too cheap stuff, you almost always have to buy the same again pretty soon. It is therefore better to invest something proper from the start.

Therefore, when buying new tools for a crafts project, think about:
– what tool you need
– how sturdy does it have to be
– which material(s) will you be working with
– how often do you use it (every day, every week, every month)
– can you buy something that is suitable not only for the current project, but that fills several purposes

If you can, do not only thoroughly research via the internet (blogs, YouTube, forums) about your project and tools needed. Go and and describe what you plan to do to friends, relatives, neighbours and staff in different shops. You’ll learn about more options and methods, which will make your choice easy. If you can, take some time for finding the right stuff. Maybe you even get a chance to test the tool you are after. It is important that it feels right and makes the job easier.

Remember, if you do not like using your tools because they don’t work the way they should, you will not enjoy working with them. Your project will most likely not come out the way you want it to be, you will be disappointed and might think you cannot get anything right. Which most likely is not true!  

If you do not have the time, and need something urgently, it is almost always worth investing into the best non-professional choice of tools, if you don’t have to use a tool on a professional basis, means every day. And never forget to ask for help and advice in operating your new “toy” – once seen and shown is better than any book! If you cannot ask someone personally, try to find good videos on YouTube about it. Sometimes you can even do a day or weekend course close to where you live.

One option to consider when buying more expensive stuff, is to see if you can find it second hand. However – be sure that it works! Go there, get a demonstration, or (better) try it yourself, before buying. Also, ask why the person is selling.

I got lucky once buying a high quality grinding machine second hand for a very decent price. I bought it from an old person who moved house and had to give up his work shop. Sad for him, good for me, in this case.

I think it is fun building tool cases. I have one for upholstery, a general one for carpentry and everything else, one for the grinding machine tools, and the loved one has one for window renovating. Yep, I might be a nerd, but being the daughter of a cabinet maker master, I grew up with it and learnt the importance of good tools ;-).

Wishing you a very happy DIY-weekend!

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#12 of #blogg100

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A new life for an old chair

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In my upholstery class, I am known for that having quite a stock of old chairs in the family heritage, that are in need of renovation. I am one of the few students who never has to worry about a lack of projects. In our garage and on the loft, there have been sleeping a number of sofa chairs who got a new life during the past years.

Actually, this was how I got started with upholstery. I saw the potential of the chairs – they are built of a quality you no longer find these days.

The current project are two similar chairs of the Jugendstil epoche. They got an entirely new inner construction, as well as a new outer fabric. The pattern is a design by William Morris, a famous English textile designer and artist of the same epoche (follow the link to read more about him). Morris’ many designs and patterns for wall papers, fabrics are much loved even these days.

The pattern of my fabric is a variation of his design “Willow Bough”, dated from 1887.

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Today I will hopefully be able to finish one of the two chairs, and then we can take it to our house in Grythyttan. I hope that both chairs at some point will find their place in our railway station in Grythyttan. They might fit well into the old station master’s flat, or in the first class waiting room.

Here are more pictures of the restauration progress on Flickr. 

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