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Re: [TowerTalk] Hammers and Toilet Seats

To: Jim Lux <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Hammers and Toilet Seats
From: Charlie Gallo <>
Reply-to: Charlie Gallo <>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 15:39:05 -0400
List-post: <">>
On 4/22/2011 Jim Lux wrote:

I know 3 of the stories personally - 2 of the hammers, and one of an ashtray

Hammer #1 - wasn't a 'normal' hammer at all, but what should probably be called 
an 'impulse hammer' - it was made out of carbon fiber, and had many thousands 
of dollars worth of accelerometers built into it, so you would know exactly HOW 
hard you hit something - it was used for documenting resonances/shock vibration 
to things like aircraft parts and was really an accessory to a half million 
dollar data collection system.  But it was a "Ten Thousand Dollar Hammer"

Hammer #2 - really a batch of them - You, I and everyone else goes to the store 
to buy a hammer - when the Govt goes to buy a LOT of them, how do you write the 
spec?  Well, there had been some complaints in the process, so they basically 
wrote a spec that favored no one companies hammer, and asked for N prototypes 
from each company for testing for approval - the companies charged BIG bucks 
for the design/making new forging dies etc, and charged BIG bucks for the 5-10 
hammers they each supplied.  When the real orders came later to the people whos 
hammers WERE approved, they were a lot cheaper

Ashtray - don't remember if it was an E2C or a C2 (basically same plane) - 
Grumman had no more in stock, they had been deleted from the design.  The Navy 
wanted one to replace one that got lost.  Grumman told them "so and so company 
made them for us, go buy one from them"  Navy said "we want one from you" - 
turns out the subcontractor didn't have them, or the dies anymore.  The had one 
of their aircraft prototype techs make up a wood blocking form, and hand knock 
out the ashtray to the spec.  Took him about 2 weeks to make it exactly to 
spec, and then there was all the paperwork fun.  I knew the guy who actually 
MADE the ashtray.  Said by the time they got done paying him, and doing all the 
inspections/paperwork the Navy insisted on, Grumman probably actually LOST money

73 de KG2V - Charles Gallo
Quality Custom Machine-shop work for the radio amateur (sm)


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