Doing My Thing Again

A couple days ago when I was out thrashing on and cursing at that damn Bronco yet again the grouchy old fart from across the street come over to see what was going on. While he was here he showed me this old bent up Monkey Wrench and asked if I knew what it was.

He said it was his Dads’ at one time. I said sure I know what it is and walked over to one of my tool boxes and pulled out 3 of them. One small, one medium and one pretty good size one.

I wound up talking him out of it, I think he was going to throw it away because it’s bent. Turns out it has two patent dates on it, the original was 1900 and the other was 1909. It’s kind of a funky little thing that is riveted together. While we were bullshitting and I was taking a break from killing myself on that fucking Ford, he asked me if I had any use for some weird cast iron plates. I dunno, maybe I says.

So we walk across the street and after him teasing me with a question and answer exercise, he finally tells me these plates were the weights for some chrome clothing racks from a store that went out of business and then he points to another pile that has the rectangular chrome covers that covered them up.

I said I might be able to come up with a use for a couple of them.

He loves to tease me about being such a Pack Rat but here he is the one that keeps digging piles of shit out of his shed, garage and back yard. The wimmin’s over there are after his ass to get rid of his collection of crap.

As I am standing there wondering what the fuck I could possibly use these plates for I spied another pile of tangled up shit that was a bunch of old table lamps from a ways back that he is going to toss. Yep, gotta have those by golly. That garage out there is as dark as a fucking cave in some spots and I have been looking for some of these exact style of lamps with the flexible neck on ’em. They ain’t cheap anymore but the materials they make ’em out of are.

So I talk him out of those and he starts pitching me a bunch of shit about how I sure do like to collect worthless junk and how I’ll never do anything with that pile of shit.

The old fucker oughtta know better by now.

After I finally got done with that Bronco and got stuff picked up, I look these nasty old things over pretty good and pick the two with the most potential out of the pile.

Cleaned me a spot to to work on them and started in.

The first one had been completely painted over with some ugly silver paint I’m guessing somewhere about thirty years before the turn of the century.

I grabbed a can of Brake Clean that was still sitting out and gave it a good blast to see if any of it would come off. Sure as shit a bunch of it run right off.  About two hours and a trip to Wally World for a can of green paint later, I think it turned out all right.


Remember, that entire lamp was painted silver from top to bottom, inside and out.


The reason I have been wanting one of those is so I can set it behind my Mini Lathe and point it over the back splash so I can see what the hell I am doing. I had one of those freebie Harbor Freight stick on lights on it but all it did was shine in my eyes and blind me.


This works much, much better.


One down.

There was another one with a really long neck that had a bolt on bracket on it that I knew what I wanted to do with right out of the gate when I saw it.  I had to do some cutting, grinding, bending and fucking around but it turned out all right too.


IMG_20190825_183942 I really like that the neck is long enough that I can just tuck it up out of the way when I’m not using it. I even wired it into the hot side of the switch on the drill press so that whenever it is plugged in I can turn on the light.


I did the little green one Friday after I got done with the Bronco. I was pretty much laid up all day yesterday recuperating from that shit and didn’t do a damn thing all day. I went out there earlier today and put a bunch of tools and stuff away and then started in on the light for the drill press.

Tomorrow it’s back to the salt mines.

I really needed a break from that fucking mad house.

All in all over the past couple of weekends and this last week I got a lot of shit done.

I think I’m in better shape over all because of it too.

I was muttering to myself while I was out there today and getting ready to come back in the house for the night and told myself that if I could afford to retire tomorrow that I would have absolutely no problem finding something to do to keep myself busy and it would be doing shit that I actually enjoy.

Too bad that ain’t going to happen until the day I literally can’t do my job anymore.

So much stuff, so little time.

But there is a method to my madness sometimes, even if other people don’t have the imagination that I do.

I have to say that I am pretty damn good at re-purposing things too.


9 thoughts on “Doing My Thing Again

  1. Those old-style gooseneck lamps with cone shades are worth their weight in gold. I could use half a dozen right now if the goosenecks were long enough.


  2. That sure turned out nice.
    It’s really too hot to spend much time in my shop right now.
    Especially after a day at the grind.


  3. Heh, I have 2 of those goosneck lamps, picked one out of a dumpster in 1972, cleaned and painted it. Work great for the electronics bench. I think total investment was 3 dollars in fine steel wool and paint (Testors spray enamel is good stuff). The other was inherited from an old family friend who was cleaning out a townhouse, it is almost the same only was a “banker” type that has double gooseneck and two smallish fluorsecent tubes under a green hood. Quality today is crap, the “vintage” ones are much nicer..


  4. it’s not a ‘pipe wrench’ but a Monky (sp?) wrench named after the guy who invented/patented it in the 1890’s as I recall. Have several of them here that I have cleaned up and refinished. Love old stuff but living on a ranch that’s been here since the late 1800’s, there is plenty of ‘junk’ around …..


  5. I used to have a medium-sized monkey wrench that I used for snugging up the
    crosshead nuts on small double-acting compressors. The routine was to
    screw the piston in until you get 1/3 clearance on the inboard head and 2/3
    on the outboard head. Then you use a striker wrench and beat the dogshit
    out of to tighten it. The really big crosshead nuts were 7-8 (or more) inches
    across the flats and require 20 solid hits with a 20-pound sledgehammer.

    Just towards the end of my career as a Millwright, someone invented something
    called a super nut. It was a round, threaded nut with 24 or 36 1/4″ threaded
    holes. A reaction plate went on the face of the crosshead, followed by the
    nut. Using a 3/8 torque wrench, you can work the pattern and tighten the
    nut just as tight as you could with the BFH!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have had to use Slugging Wrenches before. I have no love for them either. We had some of those Super Nuts on the rods holding our gas piston compressors together but apparently it was too much technology for some of the people who worked there and they went back to regular nuts. We now have an air powered torque multiplier they use to tighten them. Some of the nuts on the diaphragm compressor heads torque to 1800 Ft. Lbs.


      • In my previous life I used to often use hydra tight.
        They actually stretch the bolt and you only have to tighten the nut by hand or using a “tommy” bar. When the pressure is released from the stretched bolt everything gets tight.

        and who can forget the hytorc.


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