I grew up in a family business of home building. The first time my Dad retired, I was still interested in building homes, so I took a job framing – the part of the business that I most enjoyed. The lead carpenter on the crew had lost an arm in a machining accident. I was amazed to watch him work. He would grab a nail between his fingers, hold it on the side of a hammer head, start the nail with his first hit then rotate the hammer and drive the nail home. All that and he could out-drive most of the guys on the crew.
Little did I know – he must not have known, either – that there was a hammer produced in the late 1800s and again just after the first quarter of the 1900s that was designed specifically to hold nails in its head. (We got a look at it when filming Ron Herman’s video “Essentials of Woodworking Hammers.”) Sometimes known as the “One-arm-man’s hammer,” the Cheney Nailer has quite a story behind it. Yes. Of course Ron sent me a link to the story. You can read more about it here.
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