Art & Development

Spring Cleaning, Part 1: Dad’s Garage

Can I just say, my dad had a roto-tiller?
That he built a play structure out of a barrel, a 2×6, and an old rotor he pulled off of a car?
That when I as 8, he gave me and my sister a huge saw and had us cut down a small tree?

I took it for granted that dads have workbenches. Of course, this is a dwindling phenomenon in the U.S., squeezed out by manufactured obsolescence and injection-molded everything (even car motors are socked away from view when you lift a hood of a new car).

In the face of disposable, virtual culture, I’d like to share some photos of my dad’s workbench and tools, and raise a wrench to tinkerers worldwide.

Yup, that's a tofu carton.

Of course Dad built his own workbench. No fancy slides for his drawers. Just a scrap of door frame moulding and some nails do the job.

Knick-knack drawer!

Making use of architecture!

Filled to the rafters.

In my opinion, it was a bad idea to stop making tools in baby blue.


Machine caboodle!

More bits and bobs in a Danish-but-so-Chinese cookie tin. You know you're Asian when your breakaway boxcutter is pink.

These transparent handles are so iconic. If they're not part of a design museum collection, they should be.

Dad's drill is so old the forward/reverse switch is one of those square bobbers on the back side of the handle. It sounds like forks in a blender but still packs a hefty punch.

That's what you call graphic and industrial design. Note the drill is operated with a chuck key.


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