posted by Matt W on February 18th, 2015

I have 3 Hammers. I have:

-          a Vaughan 27 oz. hickory handled framer,

-          a Stanley 20 oz. fiberglass long handled hammer, and

-          a small older finish hammer that lost its markings, probably before I was born.

I have 3 perfect hammers. I keep them all in my carpentry tool box and use each for its intended purpose. If I had to pick just one, I would go with the red Stanley, but I don’t, so I keep all three. I will probably never buy another hammer in my lifetime unless my kids ”lose” one of them (more on that later).

When we were first married, my wife and I bought a house that was far too big for us and needed a lot of work. As I worked for my father at the time and lived within a few miles of his house, I had ready “access” to his tools. The first tool to make it “mysteriously” over to my house was the finish hammer. I will say it took many years to figure a way to pry the Stanley away (my Dad liked it almost as much I do). When doing some framing at work a few years later, I actually purchased the Vaughan, as I was tired of the wimpy hammers we had at work. That is how the trifecta made it into the toolbox.

Over the years, I have almost lost each of them for a variety of reasons. I had a contractor who really liked my finish hammer and mysteriously “found” it in a back room I hadn’t used it in when I said I had lost it. I can’t believe he tried to steal my stolen goods, the nerve. My sons have left all three hammers throughout the yard over the years making a variety of things that didn’t require a hammer to make. The framer actually has a good-sized nick in it from when I “found” it with the lawnmower (it was under a pile of the leaves). But by some miracle, they always seem to end up back in my toolbox, right where their supposed to be. As an aside, I recently told my daughter that when I die and they are divvying up my stuff, go after my hammers, especially the red handled one, it’s the best. I think I have given this same advice to my sons over the years, but they won’t remember.

Anyway, a few years ago, my father was visiting from across the country. Now, neither my father nor I are the most talkative of people, and we share our feelings about people even less often. We were down in my workshop putting together a project and my father said, “I miss not having you around.” I look up from what I was doing to show I truly appreciated what he was saying. ”I will say, however, that I haven’t ‘lost’ any tools since you left,” he says as he looks down at the old Stanley. Nicely played. I took it the way he intended, “I miss you too Dad.”

Well, I will say that whenever I use my hammers I think of my father. I think about hanging out with him and watching him work.  He is truly an incredible craftsman. I think even he would think that it was worth a couple of hammers to be remembered like that.


Reposted from January 11, 2012.

File Under King of the Castle