I’m wrapping up a couple of projects at Lorenzen Customs, one of which is a set of custom wooden planter boxes. I’ve been enjoying this work and it has put my grandpa Lorenzen on my mind (more than usual). When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was go to grandpa Lorenzen’s house. He lived on a farm, so there was always something going on, but what this project makes me think about is his basement wood shop and his tools. You see, the boxes I’m building are made entirely of wood, which is a nice change from the usual metal work, and it has also allowed me to use some different tools.
One of the things I love most about my tools is that many of them were my grandpa Lorenzen’s. As kids, if grandpa was in his shop, he would invite us in (my sisters and me) and stop what he was doing to give us his attention. We would build all kinds of junk as we learned how to use his hand tools, including attempts at birdhouses, doll houses, and shelves. They weren’t masterpieces, but it exposed us to tools and how to use our hands and tapped our creative minds. If we weren’t building something we would try to help him or just watch as he continued work on a project.
As my grandpa got older and then moved off the farm, he passed most of his tools on to me. As a young man this was valuable as I built my tool inventory, and today, not only do I still use many of those tools, but see it as a way to remember and honor a great man. My grandpa has always been my role model and I think about him often, but when I put my hands on the same tools his hands were on I feel a deeper connection. Every time I use those tools I feel grandpa’s hands and being deep in a wood working project puts him foremost in my mind.
I’m eternally grateful for grandpa Lorenzen for a multitude of reasons, but most relevant to me today is the love of working with my hands that he helped foster. I would not be doing what I am today if he hadn’t of been willing to spend time with me and my sisters in his shop and on his farm. Thank you, grandpa, I miss you every day.