It’s no secret around the office and among my family members that I have an affinity for old tools. It could be old hand tools or “old iron” power tools. I have a couple of antique scroll saws and a very old three-wheel Craftsman band saw in my shop. I guess I inherited this habit from my dad. He’s always bringing home a “bargain” from the latest garage sale or auction.
Last week, he called me and told me he just “acquired” an old Craftsman planer (model 103.1801 made by King-Seeley). He wanted me to research it and find out what I could about it. Naturally, the first place I look for old manuals and history of old tools is www.owwm.com. They’ve become the online library for photos, tool manuals, and company history for old tools. You can submit photos of your old tools and scanned manuals and parts lists for the rest of the world to share.
As I was trying to research the history of dad’s planer and find a manual for it, I discovered that the OWWM web site was down “due to technical difficulty.” I was heartbroken and afraid that something terrible had happened. I thought perhaps all the data that had been accumulated over the years would be lost. So I emailed the webmaster to get the scoop. Here was his reply as of 10:00pm CST on Thursday, the 13th of March 2008:
We had some issue with our former host and changes that they made to their server that “broke” the code that runs our site. To resolve this problem, we decided that the best course of action was to invest in a new server, which we will own and control. This has turned into a longer process than we first anticipated. We first had to raise around $2,500 for the hardware and software to run our site. We fortunately were able to get the majority of this donated through our many members. Next, we had to order a server, which took several weeks to get built and delivered. The new server arrived at our new host late last Friday and they have been working hard this week getting it set up to run. We are very close to launching the new site – maybe by the end of this week but in reality, probably the first of next week. No data was lost, it is just taking us longer than we like to get everything up and running on the new server.
Hopefully, they’ll be back up and running soon.
Do you want to know how OWWM got started? Well, you’ll have to wait until the web site is back up and running, but when it is, visit this page for a complete history of what got Keith started down this road. It’s an interesting read.
Oh…by the way, Keith puts a lot of time and effort (and dollars) into this web site. If you use and enjoy the content of www.owwm.com, why don’t you donate a few bucks to help him out? You’ll find donation links on the web site.