Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Old Carpenter

******** Automobile’s of Art:
 1940 Chevy good carpenter truck
The here and now:
I have a soft spot for carpenters. I was touched by Rick’s blog entry about the loss of a carpenter friend down Alabama way. Old carpenters are some of the most helpful to a young man learning how to hold a hammer.

I ran across my 6’ folding rule. I smiled,  about learning quickly that it was not a ‘6 foot ruler.  ‘Son a 6 foot ruler is a tall king, we use a 6 foot rule.’ Looking back the carpenter could unfold that thing faster than a guy now does a recoiling metal tape. When I first started there were few ‘Skill saws’. With no power at the site it was hand saws. They had several hand saws for different jobs and kept them sharp as a razor.
Carpenters were tellers of tales. I enjoyed sitting around at lunch or break time and listening. I remember one saying, “I had a kid work for me and I asked him what had happened, the joist didn’t fit.”
He answered me as serious as could be, “Mr. Tom, I cut it three times and it is still too short.”
Everyone cracked up, they had probably heard that a hundred times.
Friend Bill told one tale was about a kid who could not hold the hammer correctly, he always choked up on the handle and pecked at a nail. I.e.:
 Wrong way!

Bill continued, So the lead carpenter took the hammer from the kid. It was a cheap new one. It had a wood handle. As quick as a wink the boss cut the handle in half and handed it back to the boy. “You didn’t need the rest of that handle anyway.” The kid almost cried. The boss let him work about a half hour, then apologized and handed him a real carpenter’s hammer.  Bill paused telling the tale, then said, “After that ‘I’ got it right!”  Again we all cracked up.
Nite Shipslog
PS: Every occupation has its stories and tales.


Woody said...

I still have my Dads 6 foot folding Rule and also his 4 foot "Level" !! I also have his "French Bevel" and his Hammer ! Precious Memories, My Dad built out House, he cut the logs, notched them with an Axe, Chinked them with Mothers help, poured all the concrete with a barrel mixer, 3 sand, 1 cement and water! It was a 3 bedroom house, with an unfinished attic, We filled it with Mother and Dad and 8 kids !! I slept in a double Tick Bed with 3 brothers !!! Oh the Memories, well, take care, "Don't Hit yourself in the Head with a Hammer" !!!! Take care you 2, Gary an Anna Mae

Chatty Crone said...

I know and have seen a six foot folding ruler. I forgot all about them.

betty said...

I admire anyone who can make something out of wood and cut the angles so things fit, etc. Takes a special talent that I don't think I will ever have.


Lisa said...

“If you can build, you can make anything”. Thats what I’ve always said. But here is a funny story.
When I was a kid, I always thought a carpenter was a person who installed carpet.

24 and sunny, brrrr

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Carpentry is a wonderful gift to have and although I am not one at all, I do admire their work. I've been given advice on how to hold a hammer too, much like the one you described. My nails all seem to go in crooked. Ha! Yes, every occupation does have it's tales...I could tell some good ones about being a mom. Hope all is going well there in sunny Florida. It's cold and snowy here. Well below freezing, but I am keeping warm.

Dar said...

....just about everything Woody said except for sleeping in a double tick bed....ours was full of girls instead!!! Sweet memories of all of my dad and grandpa's tools. Many still hang in the garage at the farm that Dad built over 70some years ago. We have many carpenters in our family, the best of them is dear hubby and my youngest brother. They can read each others minds and do work so well together nearly without speaking, just knowing. About the hammer, I recall hearing, " don't be afraid to use the Whole hammer..." as I also first held the handle too short. I got it down now. lol
loven'hugs from up north where the sun shines and the day has warmed up in the low 20's~~~a regular heat wave.

Mevely317 said...

I'm such a moron. 'Had to show this to Tom and ask him to explain the sawed-off hammer. (So I learned something new!) Never fear, my 'hammer' of choice when hanging a picture was usually the end of one of my high-heels.

The sun's FINALLY shining today over here … hope it is over the coach as well!

Glenda said...

Good One! We've got a few carpenters in our family and it's a skill that's great to have. Of all the "trades" that is one I most admire, it requires a lot of training but the results a good carpenter can produce are amazing. Similar to a good seamstress, making something out of nothing ~ a stack of lumber becomes a home ~ a few yards of fabric gets a girl a prom dress or wedding gown!