Who makes great woodworking tools? With Gilliom kits the answer is "You do!"

I've been racking my brain trying to recall when I first saw an ad for Gil-Bilt tools from Gilliom Manufacturing. I'm fairly certain it was in High School when I used to spend hours in the library during study hall reading through smelly old back-issues of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines. I knew I was interested in woodworking, and seeing that I was soon to lose my access to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base's hobby shop as soon as I moved out of my parent's home, I needed to move into tool-ownership and fast. By the time I turned 18 I had a folder full of Xerox articles on tools, jigs and plans and among the collection was several ads from Gilliom for home-made tools. Home-made tools? Seriously?

As the years went by I went the Dayton-made Shopsmith route and put the folder of articles away in a box.

And the years went by.

Now, if you know anything about me from my other blogs, I am a DIY'er to the bone and I love to build weird stuff. Like what? How about a world-class belt sander racer, a six cheese fountain, a wooden lathe, a box-joint saw, a pencil-post bed with giant pencils for the posts, animated wooden lobsters, wooden wheels for a 1924 Ford Model T Fire engine and hundreds of jigs and fixtures.

Recently while digging through boxes in my shop I came across the folder of articles and after an evening of walking down memory lane I found myself obsessing about home-made tools once again. A quick Googling and low and behold I learned that Gilliom Manufacturing is alive and well!

FYI: One of these articles was titled "Save Money With Tools You Build From Kits", which is from th
e December 1983 issue of The Family Handyman magazine.

More in the next post. Click on ad to Biggie-size it.