George Washington Inauguration Hatchet and Other Rarities at Antique Tool Museum
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The barn itself is 150 years old, but some of the tools it houses are much older.

Here at Make: we love using and discussing the latest, most innovative tools. After all, better tools help us build better projects.

But what happens to the old tools we no longer need? Evidently, some of them receive a second life as items in the Antique Tool Museum in Nevada City, California.

Tools were the last thing on my mind as I traipsed off to the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range this past weekend to attend a wedding. However, when I checked into my condo, the property owner of Honeycomb Ranch informed me that I was welcome to explore their extensive Antique Tool Museum housed in a large and unassuming barn.

When I pulled aside the heavy barn door, I was greeted by hundreds of tools displayed on every available wall space, neatly organized and labeled with specific dates. The space is advertised as a wedding venue, but I was more interested in the history of the tools housed there.

Check out the walls of the museum below, featuring some close-ups of my favorites:


What’s the oldest tool that you’ve ever seen? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments.


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Sophia is the managing editor of the Make: blog. When she’s not greasing editorial gears, she likes to run, ride, climb, and lift things, and make lo-tech goods like zines, desserts, and altered clothing. @sophiuhcamille

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