The perfect 4th—tools, food, and friends

You might remember the William incident a few posts ago and if so, you know Will and I enjoy talking tools and just hanging around in parking lots crazy early in the morning, looking at stuff in the dark. Wait, that sound a little strange? Anyway, the last time we met in April I was invited to his family’s camp in Maine over the 4th for a lobster bake.

Now just to clarify, “camp” can mean different things in different regions of the US. Near me we’d say shore house but in some areas a camp can be quite primitive which this was not. As someone who enjoys utilitarian designs, shore or camps maximize space very well. This one, if I remember correctly, was made around the 20’s with a few add-ons but retained that New England, clapboard feel.

So I’m getting a little ahead of myself. The trip really started with my Dieselgate buyback and replacement Alltrack. Next I put my trusty 10 year old Thule bars on and strapped on my NDK kayak. Then after a short day I hit the road, not forgetting a saw for Mr. Will.

The Alltrack made the long trip smoothly, thanks to a mid-day start. New England holiday traffic didn’t get bad till the end of the trip, arriving at the Height hippy House just in time for dinner. After a quick bite I got the tour and spent the rest of my time, where else?

Checking out the shop and new addition on back, plus a few newly acquired tools, I HAND delivered (friendship has it’s privileges) a freshly sharpened Disston No 7, 6-1/2 point, a very rare pitch. I’ve only see a few in my travels and the saw was part of a collection we split in the spring, including a few unusual Disston made hardware store saws. I’ve posted a few pics on my Instagram account: Second Chance Saw works.

With the new saw in hand, test cuts were needed and fun was had. Vertical cuts with a 26” panel saw in a small vise can be a little tricky but it was clear the saw was not the issue, as Will made short work of it. While I flubbed a few cuts getting a smooth start, it was decided his little shop needs a saw bench for guests! I Editors Note: The saw Will is using is not the saw in question but a D8 that I had sharpened for him last year.

The next day we loaded up a few provisions (beer and wine) and continued north to the summer camp on the ocean. His family smartly decided to take a different vehicle knowing birds of feather flock together. Will and I took the back roads and hit a few tool places, the biggest being Liberty Tool Co. Liberty’s been on my bucket list and although I didn’t buy anything it was well worth a stop in the one horse town of Liberty. The store is what you’d expect in a used tool shop, piles of tools including barrels of worksaws and shelves of books as far as the eye can see! The 3 floors plus basement were packed.

After a healthy stop we hit the road again. They have 3 locations, so we also stopped by Captain Tinkham’s Emporium . By now we needed to make time so we could get to the camp and meet up with the family, who left 5 hours after us and finished the 3 hour trip before us. My only excuse is we needed to stop for beer and wine. Driving the back roads of Maine is beautiful so losing time really is no trouble.

The rest of the weekend was just shear bliss: sun, good food, and fun conversation. Although we didn’t do any tool hunting once at the camp, Will ‘s mom is also a collector of many vintage things including tools, filling the house with many items to look at.

Now it’s important to know, while saws and sharpening take up a good deal of my time, I also enjoy other hobbies including kayaking. With all that was going on the week before this trip, I had considered forgoing traveling 500 miles with a 17’ fiberglass kayak on the roof. I was so glad Will had talked me into it. Not 20 minutes after pulling in, I was pushing off into the water for a quick trip across the bay to Seagull Island. The paddling conditions were really nice. We had one night of rain but otherwise low wind and calm conditions.

It was a long weekend but not nearly enough time to really enjoy all the views and the area in general. On Sunday we enjoyed their annual lobster bake with super fresh lobster caught the day before. The weather cooperated so we could eat by the sea.

The following day I took one last early morning paddle before everyone chipped in to get things cleaned up, followed by lobster rolls made with the leftovers. I’ll tell you this, Maine camp life sure is a good one!

Sadly it was time to put the kayak back on the roof and shove off. Being a couple of tool guys, we fit in a pit stop at the Fairfield Antiques Mall . The rest of the trip was uneventful and tool-less which is how I like it when making long trips. I did end up getting a rather nice scythe as a parting gift from Will which I look forward to learning to sharpen and using at my house.

That’s it for now. Hopefully make it over to the Disston plant in the next few days with some updated pics.

Joe Federici AKA Purveyor of saw goodness