Testing the Crap Out of Tools
Posted on 11 October 2017
Raney handed me four pairs of dividers he’d made with a simple set of instructions: “Ruin these.”So for a month I went at those dividers during my regular work at the bench, over-extending their legs, wrenching the hinge and being “unkind” to the tips.
I ruined a couple of the dividers right good. And the two surviving pairs had traits that passed into our Improved Pattern Dividers.
With our holdfasts, however, I wasn’t able to ruin them. I beat on them with a sledge and quickly became worried I was going to crack my 6”-thick benchtop before our Iron Holdfast gave out. I knew from long experience that ductile iron was going to work just fine (see this blog entry for an explanation).
For the last several months I’ve been testing our forthcoming lump hammer. What you see above is still a prototype – the final handle will be a bit different. But the prototype has taken (and given) a good whupping.So last week I loaned it to a crew that is helping me demolish the interior of my shop and rebuild a masonry wall. They showed no mercy. They used it to beat mortar, concrete, metal, tile, plaster and who knows what else.
— Christopher Schwarz
The hammer’s faces survived just fine (so we got the hardness correct). And, most importantly, the crew gave me the stink eye when I took the hammer back today.
P.S. We’re still finishing up work on the hammer, so I cannot promise a timeline or retail price. We’re shooting for the end of the year and less than $100. But no promises.