Put together a group of tool repair experts who've spent half their lives fixing tools, and you'll have a bunch of old-timer's?and one young buck. At age 26, Adan Aceves has already spent more than half his life in front of a repair bench, starting as a 12-year old in the family business his father, Wen Ceslao, started 27 years ago in Los Angeles. Now, Adan leads the company, Central Tool Repair (www.centraltoolrepair.com), using the lessons he learned from his father, bringing a passion for service, and an expertise in repairs any customer could only hope for.

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Adan Aceves

Credit: Photo: Mark Harmel

In addition to Aceves, who still repairs electric power tools when he isn't managing the business, six mechanics specialize in four areas of service; three repair power tools, and one each focuses on hydraulics, pneumatics, and generators and welders. "I know electric tools inside and out," says Aceves. "I can usually tell what's wrong with a tool just by hearing it."

Machine-shop classes in school bolstered Aceves' hands-on experience as a youngster. Even as a business owner, he still searches for knowledge. "I'm working on a degree in mechanical engineering," he says, "because someday I want to invent and develop my own tool."

Given his perspective, you could almost see mechanical school in the same light some see medical school: "What I love the most about our business is when a customer brings in a tool he thinks has died, and we bring it back to life for him. We make sure it runs perfectly again." And in a world where too many things don't last as long as we hope, and where some tools have almost become disposable commodities – these are refreshing words indeed. Thanks, Tool Doc.

–Rick Schwolsky