I suppose it all started when my ageing grandfather gave up smoking his pipe and I commandeered his pipe-cleaning penknife. It was only 2’’ long when closed, with an ivory body and a small blade. Blunted by use it served me well!, I was only 6 years old, a bit older than Henry, pictured left.
My next tool was a standard issue Boy Scout’s pocket knife. It had two blades, corkscrew, bottle opener/screwdriver and a marlinspike. I can still feel it in my hand now.
I spent my early childhood watching and ‘helping’ my father build our house. He had handsaws, chisels, a hammer, a Stanley #5 bench plane, an electric drill!, and not much else. I’ve still got his saws and #5 bench plane, sharpened & restored, they work a treat although the plane now sports a Lie-Nielsen replacement blade (which changed its life).
In Beune, France, I discovered Laguiole knives and cutlery. Beautiful products with a long history and tradition, I had to have one. In fact I bought 2, one for a winemaking buddy and one for me, it is sitting on my desk now. Seductive olive wood handle, shiny, heavy and sharp.
Back in Australia in the late 90s, behind me the life of living in a small London flat and parking the car in the street, I had the opportunity to establish a workshop again. I restarted woodworking and researched tools and equipment. My tool gadget life changed in 1999 when I purchased a Lie-Nielsen low angle block plane. I couldn’t believe the quality, planing ability and its beautiful looks. It was in manganese bronze with an A2 steel blade. I treasured it and acquired more Lie-Nielsen tools, their performance restored my faith in hand tools. Henry is using that exact plane above.
Due to many varied reasons during January 2017 we decided to sell the majority of Henry Eckert Fine Tools. We would like to develop more Australian made products in the future.
The Toolworks is all about only offering the tools and merchandise that meets our strict criteria of quality, style and technology to our customers. We hope you enjoy our selection.
Adelaide, South Australia.