A Hammer is Not the Lonely Tool

A_Span does not know how these steps were taken...

A_Span is not someone who works hard, that is just not the stuff of which she is made. That being said, sometimes it is hella fun to go pound some nails. Various battery driven and 120-volt powered tools also create fun, although some of the latter are collecting more rust than churning out sawdust these past several years.

Hammers come in many shapes and sizes but they typically do so solo, unlike screwdrivers, wrenches, mechanics' tools, bits, and blades, which frequently come in sets. Nails come in bunches and boxes and bags, old coffee cans, small jars and lie around in drawers and at the bottom of tool pouches and bins. Or at least that is my experience. The range of sizes, materials and design is itself wondrous. Nonetheless, the principle is: one end goes in the material and the hammer head whales on the other end.

I use mostly claw hammers. Not terribly well, and hardly ever handily, and sometimes to no particular benefit. A claw hammer is a versatile friend, although someday I'll buy or borrow a ball peen hammer just to have a reason to use the phrase more often. As in, hmm, wonder if this is where a ball peen hammer would be useful? or hmm, wonder where my ball peen hammer went to?

I use my claw hammer, or one of the several I have to have around in order to have one, to tap paint cans shut, especially when I can't find the rubber mallet that actually does a better job. I pry wood up and apart with it, and nails out of wood. It can be used to pull things closer to me, when somehow it seems easier to do that than to get up and move. It's also good for nudging things closer to someone else, should they be finding themselves in a bit of a bind or spot more tight than they are particularly inclined to shift themselves from.

It can be a useful gauge when hammering. If one hammers a series of nails spaced roughly a handle's length or head's width apart, there is a general confidence about the nail distribution, without hunting up the tape measure lying somewhere between the scary chop saw, the kitchen (perhaps one had needed sustenance between parts of the job) and the site where nail meets the wood.

I sometimes ask myself, and probably should more often ask someone else, "is this a job for a nail, or should I be looking for a screwdriver and half a dozen matched screws?". Which can be reason enough to go inside and eat something. It's just that, if one is clumsily holding a hammer, there is a great likelihood that problems don't look enough like nails.

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