Why not celebrate the tools we use every day! National Tools Day is a day for recognizing the tools you have laying around, whether they’re in the back of your car or in your very organized shed! As silly as it sounds, where would we be without tools? At COCOON, we use tools every day to transform homes. This year we are dedicating this day to the antique tools we have collected and displayed in our Design Studio. Hopefully, you can learn more about the invention of these tools and how they have evolved over the years!
This tool may be one that you can easily recognize right away. If not, it’s a wooden level! Invented in 1661 the level contains a sealed glass tube containing alcohol and an air bubble. Many of us would consider the level an extremely important tool, however, it was first used on telescopes and didn’t become a carpenter’s tool until the mid 19th century when factory models were designed. These particular levels pictured are models that would resemble the modern 19th-century levels. It is said that customers would mount their levels in woods such as rosewood and cherry, varying in lengths based on their preference. Although today’s levels may be lighter and more compact, we think these are beautifully crafted!
Taking a quick glimpse at this tool, it may be hard to understand what it is and how it’s used. A hand plane is a tool used for shaping wood. It uses power and force, cutting with its blade over a wooden surface. In today’s society, these tools are now powered and don’t require as much manpower as they used to. The main function of this tool was and has always been to flatten or reduce the thickness of a rough piece of lumber or timber. The history behind the design of these planes was that they were originally a wooden wedge. It was not until the 1860’s that a man by the name of Leonard Bailey began producing case iron-bodied hand planes, like the ones pictured.
The saw is one of the earliest tools invented. Dating back to the stone age, before metals were even discovered, the hand saw was the most primitive tool available. As our knowledge of metals increased so did the effectiveness of the hand saw. Some of the early hand saws look exactly like what is pictured above: a long skinny saw with a wooden handle. These types of narrow blades only supported at one end were used by pulling the blade back when cutting to prevent buckling. It’s crazy how a tool so simple could evolve so much over the years!
A wooden auger is a tool you may not have seen before! Essentially it was created to drill into wood or other materials. The blade is sharpened at the lower edge so that it scrapes the wood while the rest of the blade lifts the wood chips out of the way. With two hands on the wooden t-shaped handle, you are all ready to drill through some wood! Today we would identify this tool like a power drill but if you ever want a fun challenge try out the wooden auger!
Tools like the pipe wrench have been around since the Industrial Revolution. Pipe wrenches in particular are used to staunch water leaks while other types of wrenches like socket wrenches are used to keep machined parts in place so their moving parts can run smoothly. In other words, wrenches are a critical tool in many fields and are used daily to improve the way things function.
Whether small or large, precision tools are an important part of the architectural process in remodeling. Although these two tools have evolved over the years, their use remains the same. At the top of the shadow box, you will find an inside caliper. This tool is used to measure the internal size of an object. This specific caliper had an adjustment screw that allows it to be carefully adjusted when measuring. On the bottom left-hand corner of the shadow box is an outside caliper. This tool does the opposite and measures the external size of an object. Both of these tools, guarantee accuracy and are extremely useful when measuring over large diameters.
At COCOON we love incorporating the old with the new. We do this at our Design Studio and at our customer’s homes every day! Whether it’s showcasing vintage tools or repurposing a historic home, we love finding the beauty in all things. If you are looking to restore your home, contact COCOON!