Little Brown Jug

I love my antique pump (push bottom) oilcan.  This is one of my favorite tools, and for no apparent reason.  This tool isn't embellished, it doesn't have aesthetic design lines and its built strictly around function.  Simply put, this tool shouldn't be beautiful. It has developed a wonderful bronze patina from years of use, it keeps an oily sheen all the time and but most importantly it works every time.  I have filled this little guy with mineral oil and I use it for everything from oiling sharpening stones to accurately applying oil to small moving parts, handplanes, and and even oiling stuck nuts (it's not that funny...stop laughing).

If you don't own one of these I would absolutely recommend visiting your local antique store or take a virtual visit through the aisles of eBay.  I especially like the push bottom style, they work through a slightly dimpled piece of tin similar to the top of a jarred food pop-top lid (the kind with a dimple in the top that pops up when the vacuum is broken).  The change in pressure inside the can forces the oil through the small opening in the screw-on spout which is appropriately canted, narrow and slightly bent (by design) at the end.  What piques my interest in this tool is its simplicity.  I think simple tools often offer the most versatility and as such are some of the most useful.  Additionally, tools with low levels of complication tend to confuse me less.

And now I present unto thee some simple poetry (haiku) dedicated to a shiny metal oil can.
(sound of a deep, deliberate, pretentious breath)

Ode(s) To A Tiny Antique Push Bottom Oilcan.  

oily brown tin can 
squirts cutting fluid on stone
full of juice for tools

beauty through function
elegant simplicity
this thing is awesome

Plus, a microfiber rag soaked in oil (a Mr. Deneb Puchalski invention)
makes a great best friend for my oilcan

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