It’s time I admitted to my obsession. I collect tools.
As in: “Honey, for our wedding anniversary, can we get a band saw?” Or going on McMaster-Carr’s website weekly. Or begging my uncle to look for vintage tinsmithing tools at his blacksmith conventions. Or “Can we build a shop in the backyard for all my tools?” (pipe dream…)
This is a relatively recent obsession that has only been part of my life for the past…oh…three years. It got worse after I started my apprenticeship under Bob (master tin and coppersmith) because suddenly I wanted (needed?) not only modern tools but vintage tools.
And the worst/best part? The collecting never ends.
Power tools! Add-ons! Air compressors!
Do we need a mini forge…? I think we do.
Anyway, with all of these tools, and with what I’ve been able to learn at the side of so many amazing mentors over the years, it was high time to try my hand at doing as much of the fabricating that I can.
Well, besides giving me an excuse to buy MORE tools (which I totally did…it’s an investment, right?), doing most of the work myself has helped lower the cost of manufacturing, which is already high due to the fact that all my copper cookware is made and sourced in America and it’s all pure metal: pure copper, pure tin, pure iron.
Which means that whenever you now get a copper pot or skillet or lid, it’s still 100% pure and made in America. But now I’m sanding the handles myself. And drilling them. And drilling the copper out and then riveting the pieces together. And then tinning, buffing and polishing them. (Bob helps a bunch, too!)
This means I’m now the proud owner of a drill press, riveter, grinder, airbrator, and buffing and polishing wheel. And a bead blaster. And a bench sander. And a whole tinning set-up, plus the ability to make a lot of fire. And I have to make jigs to hold it all. And there’s where that anniversary band saw comes in.
Plus all the vintage tools, which I get to play with as a reward for doing some copper pots.
I love doing so much of the work in-house on the copper cookware, and honestly if I end up being unable to keep up with orders, I might be crawling back to the amazing artisans who have helped me along the way with advice, samples, and mentoring. (The guys in Ohio have been FANTASTIC to say the least.)
But I also believe that pure metal cookware and American copper cookware should be in everyone’s home. Everyone deserves a piece of cookware that is clean, healthy and made to last thousands of years. So I’m trying, bit by tiny bit, to make that possible on my end.
We’ll get there.
In the meantime, I’ll be out back, playing with tools and fire. And hoping for a tool shed. Which I will probably have to share with my husband. The other saws are his, and I need to use them sometimes. I guess he can use my arbor press if we have to share.