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Saving an Old Hammer

It's funny how life often gives us the buy or fix decision on some many things, and the hard part is knowing when to trade time for money, or vice versa. In the first image below you can see one of my hammers, well used over the years but looking as if it had seen better days, and the handle damaged enough that it's probably not to safe for heavy usage any longer. It's a 16oz hammer, and you can buy a new replacement for about $10. Or, you can buy a new hickory handle for about $5. Which do you do?



As the title of the post implies I decided to save $5 and buy the new handle. It took me about an hour to remove the old handle (if you've ever looked, it has a wooden wedge down the middle that is in turn secured by two metal wedges) and fit the new one with a little bit of work with a file. I then used a wire brush in a drill and cleaned off the dirt and paint, and now it's good for quite a few more years of work.



I tossed the old handle in the scrap pile, it'll either get used on some other interesting project or eventually make it's way to the fireplace - either way it will get recycled in some useful way. Far less work to buy a new one, and at almost any measure of time would have been the less expensive decision to do so, but I'll take a lot more pleasure using this one that has some sweat equity in it than I would any new one I purchased.


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by Peter Shire on 12 March 2009


My father taught me this same trick and many of my favorite tools are ones that he refurbished as they wore with age. I continue his tradition as I appreciate using an item that has some history. You respect that history and keep it around to help remind you of projects and people long gone. Thanks for sharing the tip.


Posted by Andy Warren on 13 March 2009

I wonder how many of us share that kind of history, not something they talk about on the evening news very often!

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