Monday, September 19, 2016

Ya Can’t Find Nuthin’ No More!

A few days ago, I bought an eye-bolt to put in the end of a “tongue” on my chainsaw mill-frame so I could pull it like a trailer. I’d have liked to have gotten one large enough that I could drop it over the 1-1/2” ball on the back of my lawn tractor to pull it. Unfortunately, the little mom & pop hardware that I went to didn’t have one that big, so I got a smaller one, planning to use a short piece of rope to make a loop to pull with. Today, I checked Lowe’s, just in case they had something larger. They didn’t. The best they had was one with a 1-1/4” eye. I thought about widening the eye to MAKE it work, but the threaded section was so short, that I was afraid it would pull from the wood. I think it was only 5/16” stock.

At one time, the mom & pop would have had larger sizes. At one time ANY building supply place would also have had larger sizes. That was then, this is now. Apparently, no-one does anything anymore, and those that do have to custom-make the things they use for their projects. It was the same when I tried to buy some rope recently. These days, if you want something particular, you have to order it from a specialty supply place, like timbering and arborist supply companies.

Take axes for example. You used to be able to buy good quality axes all over town, but very few folks use them anymore. I can only think of one place where I can buy a good axe, and it’s at a chainsaw dealership a few miles out of town. Crappy axes are still available at some hardware stores and, naturally, you can buy SUPER CRAPPY ones at Walmart. Replacement axe handles are another example. There are only two, maybe three, places in town where you can buy them, and the quality isn’t what it SHOULD be. You can’t buy a good scythe blade in this town to save your soul, either, OR a good snath.

The bottom line is that stores only stock what they sell a lot of these days. It’s a financial necessity in these troubled times, I guess. Plus, the fact that I even know how to swing an axe and a scythe makes me a living anachronism. Even the Amish don’t use such things anymore. Apparently, no-one uses eye-screws anymore either. In fact, I doubt if most folks even know what they are, except for builders and country folks.

Someday, our technological world may come crashing down around our ears. If that happens, neither the knowledge nor the equipment may be available for most folks to rebuild their lives. It’s a sad state of affairs. © 2016


Fredd said...

Back in the day, fathers used to build tree houses with their sons. The process would include how to use simple hand tools (hammers, hand saws, etc). Nowadays, boys are left to their own devices and when they are out on their own, they often can't even change a fuse without calling an electrician. No more tree houses are being contructed: home owner's associations are quick to issue lawsuits to stop these 'eye sores' from showing up in their neighborhoods.

We will see how this loss of skill transfer from one generation to the other pans out.

You may be right.

Ralph Goff said...

All very true.

Sixbears said...

I'm lucky that there are still really good mom and pop hardware stores in my area. Can still buy what I need locally. Rope by the foot too. Love it.

Pumice said...

I would wonder if there is an element of nanny state in it too. Some government official probably heard about someone doing what you wanted to do, decided it was unsafe, and wrote a regulation banning such dangerous objects.

Feel safe. Feel protected. Someone cares, even if you don't.

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...

You've got that right Fredd. I have a feeling that no good will come of those changes.

Up there, too, eh Ralph? It's aggravating.

I'll bet, Sixbears!

There's more to that than most folks will ever see, Pumice. Just think of autos. Alcohol in the gas makes it almost unstorable, while all the technology does away with the shade tree mechanics.