Fun Fact November 9, 2021.

Tool time Tuesday, what’s your vice and does it have a grip on you?  William Petersen, a Danish immigrant living in De Witt Nebraska, invented the first locking pliers in his blacksmith shop in 1924.  He began selling them from the trunk of his car to farmers and people in surrounding towns. He patented his new idea and called it Vise-Grip.  Vice Grip locking pliers are available in many different configurations, such as needle-nose locking pliers, locking wrenches, locking clamps and various shapes to fix metal parts for welding. They also come in many sizes.   Listen to the podcast here;

Fun Fact July 6, 2021.

Tool time Tuesday and today I’ll pick your brain.  Over the long weekend, in addition to getting out a bit and taking in some festivities, I started a little landscaping project at my house.  My family and I used various tools, including what I’ve always known as a pick.  You may call it a pickaxe, a pick mattock or simply a mattock.  No matter what you call it, it typically has a wooden handle made of ash or hickory.  The head is made of hardened steel with a large flat side, used for digging and chopping roots and a pointy side used for chipping and prying.  Tools like this have been used since prehistoric times, but back then they were made with various animal bones.  During medieval times they were used as weapons.  The British Army carry a pickaxe handle as part of their arsenal.   

Fun Fact June 1, 2021.

Tool time Tuesday and a flashback to my youth.  When I was a teenager I worked on my Grandmothers dairy farm with my Uncle George.  In addition to milking cows, cleaning stables, baling hay and fixing equipment, we made stakes and planks for hay wagons and split and cut fence posts.  One of the tools we used was a draw knife.  It’s used to remove the bark from the tree after you’ve cut it down.  The tool has two handles and a very sharp blade typically around eighteen inches long, some longer, some shorter and some curved, depending on what you were using it for.  It’s called a draw knife because to use it you pulled, or draw, it towards you.  In addition to removing bark it is used to taper shingles, shape and size wood.  It’s sometimes used in conjunction with a shave horse, which held the piece of wood you are working on.  The draw knife has been around since the time of the Vikings.