Last night, I needed to re-tap a hole for a shoe hold down on a jigsaw. I
reached into my drawer with the taps in it, and pulled out my best tap
holder and a tap. The tap holder was home made, by my grandpa, and he put
his name and date he made it on the side of it with a center punch. P
Morgan 1911. Here I was using a tool made 103 years ago! Standing on the
shoulders of giants!
Then I realized I really needed a bottoming tap to get threads all the way
to the bottom of the hole. I dumped the whole drawer out, and sure enough,
there was one in there. I looked upwards and said silently, "thanks dad."
Heritage is a wonderful thing!
I have some of my father's and grandfather's tools like hammers, a draw
knife, etc. One of the most interesting is a set of tongs.
My grandfather was a blacksmith. I believe he learned the trade as an
apprentice to an older blacksmith that lived about 10 miles from his
father's house. When it came time for his own shop, his father and
brother helped with the purchase. He spent the rest of his live in the
home next door to the shop.
When he was young, his brother accidentally cut his finger off with an
axe. The reason I remember this is that he made a special set of tongs
that were curved so that the handle passed through the space where the
finger was missing giving him better control of the tongs. I have those
tongs and they are a very special tool for me. Each time I pick them up
and hold them it is sort of like shaking hands with may grandfather who
died in 1957
Interesting thought. I doubt it. I imagine he hoped his yet unborn son
would take up working with his hands, and he did, but not as a machinist.
His son became a mechanical engineer, but was a hands on type.
My dad certainly would have anticipated me using his tools. He learned what
his dad knew, and I learned what he knew, so I was really learning what
grandpa knew. I am what they were, that is certain. And proud of it!
And I didn't leave out my mom's side of the family. Her dad was a
carpenter, and her brother was a carpenter. I wonder how much of this stuff
really is all about the genes? Makes you wonder.
On 5/6/2014 8:21 AM, Morgans wrote:>
>> That is really really cool. One has to wonder if your grand father
>> imagined his grandson using the tool 103 years later as he was
>> standing back and admiring. ;~)
> Interesting thought. I doubt it. I imagine he hoped his yet unborn son
> would take up working with his hands, and he did, but not as a
> machinist. His son became a mechanical engineer, but was a hands on type.
Welllll, LOL I'm hoping to be come a grandpa one day and kinda think
that way about some of the furniture that I have built. My son when 24
years old mentioned that he would build a house to house all of what I
built. ;~) He is 26 today and had bought and paid for his home.
> My dad certainly would have anticipated me using his tools. He learned
> what his dad knew, and I learned what he knew, so I was really learning
> what grandpa knew. I am what they were, that is certain. And proud
> And I didn't leave out my mom's side of the family. Her dad was a
> carpenter, and her brother was a carpenter. I wonder how much of this
> stuff really is all about the genes? Makes you wonder.
Both of my grand fathers died before I was born but my mother's father
built several homes for for his family and his siblings. I am the only
male grandson that never met him and the only one that builds.
It very well must be in the genes. ;~)
Yep, similar here, but my son is going to break the chain. He has no
interest in this stuff :-(
He is a gamer, pc enthusiast, now a comp sci (graduates the 27th) guy.
He just had no interest.
When I was young, I wanted to work with my dad in the shop.. I must have
annoyed the crap out of him, always wanting to do what he was doing. I
wish he was around. He would love my shop, probably come over to hang
out and piddle around.
I want to urge you, in a big way. DON'T give up.
I went to school to become a band director, and did. I taught for 3 years,
before I decided building was more fun and paid better. I then taught
building after I was a builder for several years. So I ended up following
my genes after all.
My dad went on to become a mechanical engineer, and when he retired, he
decided he was going to become a cabinet builder and master woodworker. He
still had the mentality of an engineer. He worked to the thousands with
darn near everything. I must say, for one who was largely self taught, he
made some wonderful pieces.
Yep. I was told later on how I was annoying at times, by my dad. I was
told that half of the time, as I was holding a light under the car, he would
have to move my head out of the way so he could see what he was trying to
I was fortunate that we did get to work together. The two of us built his
dream retirement house on the lake, and did almost all of the work. I had
gotten distant from my dad, but that house was the best thing I ever did.
We got close, and stayed as close as two people can be, all of the way to
his death. I will always be grateful.
Really, don't give up and continue to try and expose him in a fun way. He
may decide what he went to school for is not what he wanted, or he may
decide to do it as a hobby, or as retirement. Sure is true in my family.
Interesting. I'm adopted so I don't know what my ancestors did, but I do
woodworking,wood turning, and model railroading. And I made a living
writing software which could also be considered "building" things.
So, especially considering "regression to the norm", somebody in my
ancestral past must have been one heck of a builder :-).
On Tue, 6 May 2014 16:22:12 +0000 (UTC), Larry Blanchard
And that's a good argument for nurture over nature. I'm adopted too
and spent countless hours in my adoptive father's workshop. I live in
an apartment now, but if I had my own house, it would be mostly
useless to me unless it had a workshop.
Computer Science seems to scratch the same itch as building things does
for me. The difference is at the lowest level, where things are either
built virtually on the computer or built in reality using tools.
I'm an EE, so either solder wires or cut boards. ;-) It's really the
same sort of design/planning but more fun because I don't do it for a
living 40+ hours a week. I wouldn't want to ruin another hobby.
I seriously doubt you annoyed the crap out of your dad. He probably
was very proud of the fact you were curious and wanted to learn about
what interested him.
My dad wasn't a builder or even very handy with tools but he was the
best dad in the world! I miss my dad too.
Here's another perspective for you. My grandfather (circa 1900), who
worked on an automotive assembly line, did not want
his son to "work with his hands"--so much so that he would not allow him
to watch him to work on cars. He told him, "go away,
you'll get your hands dirty", which I know my dad found painful. I
believe that he meant well--but he didn't provide any funds
for college tuition either... lol
As it turned out, besides going into engineering, my dad was a very
avid gardener, and spent more time than most with his hands in dirt. My
grandfather, was a fairly avid
gardener too, so surely he inherited some of that. Tools are an
important theme of my life. If I had to pick just one, it would be an
easy choice: A Dixon Ticonderoga.
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