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159839 Keenchester@a... 2006‑04‑27 Bio and Mill Knife
Fellow woodworkers,

I guess it is far time I exposed my lurking self. Many times I have had
a question or pertinent comment and started to do this but...

Name is Bill Baringer, a carpenter who bought gas for 22 cents a gallon
as a teen, and southern Michigan is my beloved home.

Basically, I have been involved with woodworking since I was old enough
to hammer nails. My father was a pretty fair carpenter, though not his
trade, and I guess I can thank him for my talents and love of working
with wood and blame him for my obsession for tools.

Three years of high school wood shop with an 'old school' master
woodworker/teacher honed some skills and just set the wood/tool
addiction even harder.

But, due to my proximity to Detroit, the onetime Motor City, factory
work was always the financial right move. After nearly 22 years in the
auto supplier quality control field, I moved on to carpentry full time.
I had always done side carpentry work, so it wasn't a difficult
transition for me.

The aforementioned shop teacher was quite responsible for my affection
to non-tailed tools. His biggest thing was that you had to master the
hand tools before any electrons were sacrificed. I still drool when I
think of the rows of shop built curly maple cabinets loaded with
examples from nearly every page of the Stanley 1960 catalog.

Needless to say, to be competitive as a residential builder, the
majority of my tools have tails. BUT...I keep the crew quite entertained
often when the Sweetheart trademark is exposed.

I have heartily enjoyed the list and learned much. Hope to do more of
the same as well as share some of my experiences.

And, speaking of sharing experiences, the object in question is in fact
a mill knife. My first industrial experience was with Goodyear Tire. The
mill was used to smooth a batch of freshly mixed rubber compound much
the same way as a baker uses a rolling pin to roll a lump of dough
evenly for a pie crust. Two very large steel rollers, 4 feet in dia and
8 feet long were horizontally placed within an inch of each other. They
rotated opposite each other like a wringer. The rubber would thinly
squeeze between them in a sheet. The operator would grab the tail of the
sheet passing through the gap between rollers and wrap it up over the
top, thus covering the front roller, This knife then was used to slice
slabs of the rubber, from the roller, for further processing.

Hope that helps.

Bill

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