Danny Elliott has a skill that is increasingly rare in today's world: the ability to repair broken tools. Once a sought-after service, the rapid growth of cheap and disposable drills, saws, angle grinders and other machinery means the home hobbyist and the skilled tradesperson are more likely to throw a malfunctioning tool in the rubbish and purchase another, the veteran specialist says.
He wants people in Ballarat to know he's still operating from the famous building on the corner of Armstrong and Eyre streets.
A part of the Elliott family renowned for selling tools in Ballarat since the late 1950s, Mr Elliott says he and his brothers learned their trades in their father's shop, coming in to help.
"I've been here all my life really; Dad used to drag us down here when we were kids," Danny says.
"He was always modifying things, and Kevin (Danny's brother, who owned United Tools) and I were the eldest, so we were painting and concreting... I'm not kidding, I've been here all my life."
He's been fixing everything from drills to dropsaws for 46 years now, since he was 18. Trained as an electrical fitter and armature winder, he's seen the rise and fall of Australian, American, English and European brands tools; the domination and decline of the Japanese and the new order of cheaper Asian-made goods.
I've been here all my life really; Dad used to drag us down here when we were kidsDanny Elliott
But Mr Elliott predicts the end of tool repairs will arrive very soon.
"It's not viable anymore. I do it because it brings in a bit of money, but even the good stuff these days, they're too cheap; the spare parts are too dear. There really is next to nobody fixing tools. I'm almost the last qualified bloke fixing power tools in Ballarat."
The mainstay of Danny Elliott's business now is selling specialised woodworking machinery: bench and bandsaws, routers, linishers and extractors. He also sells timber sourced from older or exotic trees that have been removed or died, including some from old estates.
"There's always blokes rocking up here with some wood," he says.
Danny is proud of his son Rory, who is studying physics and Japanese at university. Lacking fibular bones in his legs, an underdeveloped left arm and no proper ankle joint, Rory is studying to be an astrophysicist.