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Special Projects >> Tinkers: A Community Read >> HW Tinkers: Projects!

Wrench 3 & 4: A Study In Determination

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and REPAIR.

Two enormous wrenches and a quarter"These wrenches were constructed out of necessity in 1965, due to the enormous hex nut on the sprocket.  The standard practice was to call in the Allis Chalmers repairmen, but the boss did not want to spend the money and thus the employee was left to his own devices and no appropriately-sized tool for the job.  The dozer was out of commission for two weeks while a solution was crafted.  The plate was cut with an acetylene torch, and the first two wrench prototypes suffered from problems in turning the angles.  This was remedied by first drilling into the corners to provide clean stopping points during cutting. 

"He now had an enormous wrench – the next step was providing the torque needed to break the bolt free.  He slipped a piece of pipe over the wrench handle and forced it against the housing, and then used the bulldozer itself to work the nut loose using careful clutching.  A similar process was used to dismantle the final drive.

second picture of Two enormous wrenches and a quarter"The heavy plate the wrenches were cut from was itself salvage material from a WWII submarine dismantled in Newburyport Harbor from 1959-1960.  He recalls the massive diesel engines and room-sized banks of batteries that powered the submarine.  Mr. Benny Checkoway was the salvage operator, located where the Black Cow is currently on the Merrimack. 

"The creator of the wrenches fondly recalls improvisational mechanics that had the ability to repair items in the field using whatever was at hand."

Related by Rebecca S.

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Special Projects >> Tinkers: A Community Read >> HW Tinkers: Projects!

Modified 8/25/2010