A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Made in the USA

The other day I got to thinking "Where is my hatchet?"  I hadn't seen it around in a long time.  I looked all over the garage.  I looked with the garden tools in the shed.  I went down to the RV lot and checked the Little House on the Highway.  No hatchet.  Oh the time I spend looking for things!  I think I may have foolishly sold it in the big yard sale he had when we moved 4 1/2 years ago.  "I'll get another."  But I didn't want a brand new one from Home Depot or Lowes made in China or Mexico.  "I'll keep my eyes open for an old one at the flea market."  Last Sunday, the third vendor, sitting right on his tailgate, there it was...my new hatchet.  With my wallet $3 dollars lighter I continued on and didn't see another all day.

As you can see by the handle to the right it needed replacing.  Do you think you can buy replacement handles for hammers and hatchets?  I'll not bore you with the long list of places I went to but the answer is no.  So I figured this would be a quest while on our road trip and I'll find a hardware store in some little podunk town and get a new handle for my hatchet.  Meanwhile, I decided to take the head to old Bill and let him put an edge on it.  I could have done so but I like to give the old guy some business.  While there watching a master at work sharpening my hatchet I casually mentioned the handle dilemma.  He said while the grinder belt whizzed away "I can tell you where to go" and he did.  He sent me to a scrappers yard that I never knew existed in the 40 years I lived in this county.  That is a story in itself but I felt like I had found heaven.  And I got my handle too.  The dark thing to the left is a sheath I made for it from PVC sewer pipe (unused).

The point of this story is not so much about all the imported crap that we are forced to buy, but the fact that they expect you to toss away your tools, appliances and gadgets and go buy new when they cease to work properly or break.  Thank goodness for knife sharpeners like Bill and scrappers/recyclers like I discovered.  Someday I fear they will be non-existent.  
We live in a throw-away society and I don't care for it.  
End of my mild rant.


  1. I totally agree with you John, very nice post! :)

  2. Great tool since the pristine time.
    Nice informative post..

  3. I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote. I hunt too for that used item that was once made in America, finely crafted. It can be found. Your hatchet is beautiful. happy day to you and Sinbad.

  4. I don't think when the Founding Fathers conceived this nation, or as notions of capitalism began to mould us into the society we are today that anyone was smart enough to envision where consumerism would take us. We need to produce. Everything about this country is about the "NEW" and not the "OLD."

    Unlike the rest of the world I don't think we have yet discovered that all the "NEW" stuff we once built is someday going to need to be REPAIRED. Heck -- France and England are obviously in constant states of repair as are the rest of the countries I just haven't traveled in them.

    If automated factories can't sell their product the cogs of society will grind to a halt. [ said with tongue planted firmly in cheek ]

    A retired Photographer looks at life
    Life Unscripted

  5. glad you found your solution(s). :)

  6. It looks really useful. Nice you saved it from the scrapyard.

  7. "Louis" agrees with you on all counts!

  8. Exactly what Lucia said John.


  9. I'm with you, John. I remember the first "made in China" tool I bought. It was a bench vise. It was such a piece of crap that when I moved, I left it.

  10. Boy am I glad you have a new handle on that poor hachet!

  11. I too am on a quest for a hatchet handle for the same hatchet head as yours. Any suggestions on where to find something that fits?

  12. I too am on a quest for a hatchet handle for the same hatchet head as yours. Any suggestions on where to find something that fits?


I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.