Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Compromise is settling for what works.

Between the mallets, sledgehammers, ballpeen and claw hammers, tack hammers, body panel hammers, and HSO’s I have most of the hammers I need.
One that I don’t have is a design that my father made 30 some years ago.
Dad was a maintenance man at the Midwest Foundry in Coldwater, Michigan.
With the building covering a city block and having spaces 80 feet up and 20 feet down from ground level, walking back to the tool box was avoided if possible. All the guys, I was one of them for 3 years, carried tool pouches. A large and medium straight bit screwdriver, a Phillips, and Quick Wedge rounded out the turning an prying tools, 420 Channelocks, 3 box end ratchet wrenches, a 12” Crescent adjustable wrench and for me a 5” knife made from a 10” mill bastard file with a glued on scale handle and one sharpened edge filled out the 12 pounds of load I carried every day.
You’ll notice there isn’t a hammer in the mix. That was a function of the 12” Crescent wrench. For really big jobs there were up to 20 lb persuaders both purchased and made. But for the day in day out tapping and occasional smacking around of various items the big wrench was the compromise between weight and function.
Many years after I left Dad was offered the position of supervisor and at the urging of family and friends he accepted.
Dad hated the idea of wrecking a tool unnecessarily. One day after replacing one more wrench with the jaw mushroomed into a rivet, Dad cut the face off of a 16 oz hammer and welded it to the back of the last wrench turned in. The next guy to turn in a smashed Cresent got the modified hammer and a lecture from Dad.
By the end of the day everyone of the 12 maintenance men had made one for themselves.

You know you're a Galoot when:  you have a favorite hammer.

You're possibly a Galoot when:  you own more than one claw hammer.

“Sometimes you just turn your boat around and row downstream. “
Bob Temples - 1985
Shipping Supervisor at United Technologies, Coldwater, MI

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