As children grow up to live in their first home, many parents are often clueless at what to get for them as a housewarming gift. Most end up going with the usual - household appliances, house plants or even furniture. Of course, they are all great choices, but is there something perhaps more valuable?
Here is a story on Merican, a loving father of two sons, our most regular customer at Intertech, who crafts special toolboxes to hone his passion for hardware and handiwork. To celebrate his sons’ next milestone, these toolboxes will eventually become one of the most practical and personalised housewarming gifts one could ever receive.
Photo: Merican sharing his experience with Intertech’s staff
His Passion and Drive
JG: How did you develop this love for tools and handywork?
M: My late dad was a dental technician and a handyman. He had six children and I being the curious and inquisitive one, loved following him around on his “adventures” – be it painting or repairing something in the house. I remembered he used to have his own workbench, where he had his own collection of tools which I am always so fascinated about.
I always wondered why he had so many hammers, but all of them ultimately served the same purpose.
JG: Did he teach you anything in particular?
M: Well, he used to always tell me that the things that can never be taken away from me are the skills I have. As a man, you have to know how to take care of your home and do your own basic handywork.
I learnt how to change my own pipes, sockets, plugs, taps or even check wirings to ensure it was working properly. Things around the house are bound to go obsolete someday, so why not learn now so as to maintain them or when problems arise, find out who to solve them?
Inspiration behind the toolbox gift
Photo: Merican’s Love for handywork
JG: What got you started on the toolboxes?
M: My sons are 28 years and 30 years old this year. They spend a lot of time with gaming and technology, no surprise there. As time passes, I realise that they have a lot of shortfalls in regards to their future homes which is worrying.
They do not know how to touch up any imperfections and certainly have not acquired my knowledge about the basic tools and skills. I’m afraid that they will spend unnecessarily on services which they can solve themselves.
For example, painting a 5-room flat can be a hefty expense and what comes with the service are the few standard base paints with limited choices for colours. The grades of paint are also pretty mediocre, with no benefit of having anti-mould paints for instance.
Floor protection, small little plumbing repairs, simple electrical work… All these can be maintained with the right tools! Imbue with a little knowledge, one can save much cost. Ready-made toolboxes outside are an option, but sometimes it just doesn’t come with what you exactly need. Thus, I came up with the idea of customising a toolbox with specific tools that can serve functions in their houses!
A sneak peek into the toolbox
Photo: Merican’s Pride and Joy: The tools he has collected over the years
JG: How do you decide what tools go into the toolbox?
M: Typically, I try to adopt a generic approach and according to the specifications of the house. For example, Allen keys are definitely a must to get into any nooks and cranny. Small tools like screwdrivers on the other hand, you should always have about 3 different sizes.
Every house is bound to have plumbing and wiring right? Using that as a basis, you should have tools like box spanners, wall plugs and testers ! One special tool I have is a touchless tester. This is for people who are afraid of possible electrocution, as it lets off a sound signal when testing for live wires and circuit breakers.
A box of screws should also come in handy! You will never know when you need a specific screw when one goes missing. It’s a complete headache! Hammers, tape measures, wire cutters, pliers – here are more examples of what you should have inside.
I had also laminated a cheat sheet for my sons, for them to reference just in case! Made it comprehensive and full of instructions. *chuckles*
JG: Where do you usually get your tools?
M: Wow, where do I even start? A bunch of neighbourhood hardware shops like Intertech Hardware and online shops, I guess. Most importantly, I look out for the quality and the trade-off between the price.
Advice for my fellow fathers
JG: Any words for future fathers who wish to build a toolbox for their loved ones?
M: Ultimately, it all lies in the value. When you have the passion, whatever tools you spend on, it will definitely be worth it. As long as you have the tools you need, it will be a good investment!
I really hope everyone can see how this toolbox can be a simple yet thoughtful gift and at the same time, urge fathers like myself to help their young sons or sons-in-law be more familiar with tools and handywork, so as to ensure a better and safer home for their future families.
Do you have other interesting stories you’ll like to share in the world of hardware?
Share them with us at Intertech and subscribe to our eNewsletter by the 31st December where you can stand a chance to win 2 curated toolboxes like the one above (worth more than $200)! Get an extra chance to win the toolbox set plus an extra set of tool when you join our Telegram Channel (https://t.me/intertech).
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