Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tools put to good use

After my mother-in-law died, we had to clean out the basement of her house. She'd lived there with Jilda's dad Sharkey for many years. 
I've written about this before, but Sharkey collected things. He had a tool for everything and he thought it sacrilegious to dispose of ANY tool no matter how rusty or badly worn.  
The family got a chuckle as we examined all the old saws, screwdrivers, handless hammers, and socket wrenches that were so old you could no longer read the size.
One of the things I took out was what I call a clinker-grabber. It's a hollow steel bar about 36 inches long with pinchers on the end. Attached to the pinchers is a metal rod that runs through the bar and hooks to the bottom jaws of the pincher. Sharkey used it to remove cinders from their old Stokermatic coal stove.
We don't have a fireplace or coal burning stove, but I couldn't toss the clinker-grabbers.
Recently as I cleaned out my shed, I came across the old grabbers so I took a steel brush, and cleaned the crud and rust off the bar before squirting on some WD-40.  When I pulled the handle, the jaws worked like a charm. 
Now when our great nieces and nephews come over to visit and are getting restless, I bring out the clinker-grabbers.
My great-nephew Anthony came over to our house on Easter Sunday with his mom Alesha and our nephew Haven.
Not long after they arrived he was ready to go, until I showed him the grabbers. I think he would have spent the night with us had we let him sleep with his new cool toy.
I know Sharkey would have been proud that his old tools were put to such good use.


  1. Now, that is way cool. So are the clinker grabbers.

  2. Those old guys really knew their tools. Your nephew is loving the clinker grabbers. Did Sharkey make up that name?

  3. You gotta love a tool man!!! I carry enough in the motor home to build a house or rebuild an engine! Like Sharkey, Can't help my self. (smile)

  4. Interesting old tool and a unique way to hold the attention of a child...must have been fun!

  5. I think that tools of generations gone by are treasures.....

  6. Dear Rick, I so enjoyed this posting and the photograph of Haven holding the clinker-grabber. I am always so enlivened by stories of children who can take find joy in all kind of household items and tools and clothes and the things we adults take for granted. We see a tool that does one thing. The child sees possibilities. There is a line of English poetry that goes "To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower. To hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour." That's childhood! Peace.

  7. Love his hat. : )
    Now that's an interesting old tool.

  8. That's an awesome tool. It should get used. Glad Anthony liked it--adorable great nephew, by the way. :-)
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

  9. I was right! You said "clinker grabber" and I thought of what it might be, and it was. I love knowing and learning, always learning.



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