Uvex Safety Googles

Posted on


In 2010 Honeywell, the American multinational conglomerate, made one of its best business decisions.  They acquired the French firm Sperian Protection, thus adding to the portfolio of Honeywell superiority an amazingly designed and constructed set of eye protection, Uvex Safety Goggles.

uvex-stealth-googlesTough enough for the professional, inexpensive enough for Harry Homeowner, Uvex Stealth go into every house-warming gift I give, a stocking stuffer at Christmas, and an anytime gift for the masses of kids in our extended family.  Mud-flinging games, Tinker-Toy battles, tobogganing with reckless abandon, favorite kiddie pastimes made more safe with Uvex.

hoppes-3085Digging out a crusty wall to expose fractured cast iron pipe, dropping a weak ceiling, Estwing demolition or Craftsman grinding, none would be complete without Uvex safety gear. After all, we live by the motto – and Rule #3 of Plumbing:

Safety Is Not An Accident

north-safety-standard-4200-cfr-1-half-mask-respirator-assemblyAlong with North respirators & Hoppes ear protection, a trilogy of safety always with me.  This bag of protection with spares, easy to store and carry, treated with as much importance as any tool in the box.  Replacement Uvex lenses always available, new eyes, not so much …

Boonton Ware / Melmac

Posted on

one-word-plastics-1967-the-graduateLong before Mr. McGuire gives young Benjamin unsolicited career advice in the 1967 movie The Graduate, plastics were making their mark in American manufacturing.  Six decades earlier, Bakelite made its world debut.   This synthetic plastic was invented in New York by Leo Baekeland, who coined the term ‘plastics’.

A few years later melamine formaldehyde was discovered.  Plastic had arrived to the dinner table.  Nicknamed Melmac and churned out by the ton.  Cheap, durable, boonton-ware-plate-croppedcolorful, just what a growing nation wanted and needed.  Highly fashionable in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Melamine resin kitchen utensils are a favorite rummage sale find. Durable, functional, lightweight, perfect for a generation or longer.

Every childhood meal was eaten on Melmac.  This
collection made its way to an attic for a few decades, but it is back in the cabinet, my first choice for sandwiches and snacks.  

Not safe in ovens or microwaves, but that barely dampens the utility of vintage Melmac!  The name Boonton Ware? Melmac was made in a small New Jersey town, Boonton, for many years.


Posted on

ymca-bostonPre-dawn, water in the kettle halfway to steam.  It’s New Years Day.  I’m waiting to pour 195˚ water over somewhat fresh coffee grounds.  Standing before the hob in a quiet kitchen, the flame, the gathering water, my cat happily crunching through breakfast.  When a ghostly voice rises from the folds of my robe …

Message from 692- … It is my credit card company, telling me there has been activity in excess of $0.01 … The first CC charge & text of 2017 is from an institution overlooked, ignored, forgotten, and rediscovered.  Part of the daily schedule three-four times a week.  Our local chapter of the Young Men’s Christian Association.

Their short story?  Industrialized London was a bleak mess in 1844.  A farming lad went to the big city to work.  This 22-year old and eleven friends organized a refuge of bible study and prayer, an escape from the streets. 
the-beatles-ymca-promoYears later, retired Boston sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan, working as a marine missionary, noticed a similar need to create a safe “home away from home” for sailors and merchants. Inspired by the stories of the Y in England, he led the formation of the first U.S. YMCA at the Old South Church in Boston on December 29, 1851.

Todays schedule includes 30 minutes in the pool.  The YMCA pool.  YMCA staff will receive special thanks for providing a reduced 9am-3pm schedule as the rest of the country rests.

Youth Development   Healthy Living   Social Responsibility


Prime-Line Products

Posted on

prime-line-logoEvery lustrum or so, I need change.  I want change.  Something to stir my imagination, make every morning a new experience.  I want my shower door to again roll smoothly upon its nylon wheels.


Nothing beats the luxury of fingertip effort in rolling aside glass shower doors for a steaming hot morning shower and shave.  For a few bucks every five or ten years, I can restore my rolling shower door operation to new condition.  A trip to the BigBox home center, a few minutes installation, and DONE!

Each door takes two rollers, but upon return from a few years abroad and regrettable renting of my abode, I discover a shower door off its track, one of its wheels shattered.  I then decide to use four wheels per door. The engineers will shed tears of joy.  Nothing beats redundancy.

Research for this article uncovers the truth about my door roller choice.  Not only are they American-made, but the company, Prime-Line Products, is North America’s Largest Supplier & Manufacturer of Window & Door Replacement Hardware!

Keep it rolling, Prime-Line!

Mueller Industries • Memphis

Posted on

Ah, Memphis . . . Barbecue & Blues.  Birthplace of Rock’n’Roll.  Home of the world leader of premium components for HVAC, plumbing and industrial solutions. – mueller 

mueller-industrialWhen the weekend call echoed through our cavernous studio workshop, we dropped our tools of invention and focused.  An ice bin drain had to be installed right away!  I turned to the leaders in copper fittings,  Mueller.  A quick trip to the BigBox home improvement center later, I was in direct ownership of a small expensive box of precision copper parts.  Exactly what we need to look again like the pros we profess to be.

An hour later, Joanna’s brand new ice bin sports a brand new melt-water drain.  The copper tubing is L-grade, far heavier than we need for this application.  The fittings?  Pressure-grade.  All for a gravity drain of 18″ developed length.  The entire assembly we will give a 1,000 year warranty.

Dunlop Ultex Picks

Posted on

Dunlop Primetone Sculpted Plectra

dunlop-primetone-on-collingsTHE SEARING HEAT OF molten lead.  Wintertime ditch digging with frigid blasts from Arctic Artie.  All SOP.  Decades of plumberly fun have shaped my hands.  The finger tips, they are hardened sheets of callus.

Lately, my biggest worry has been picks slipping out of my fingers when playing for popes and presidents.  These frequent occasions were marred by callused fingers which can’t seem to get decent pick grip.  Grumpy Biker customized a few .88mm Dunlop Tortex picks, but while working out the kinks, I discovered a new product – the Dunlop Primetone pick with raised grip surface.

Primetones are large, textured, and sculpted.  Yes, they sometimes rotate in my fingers like other picks, but with three picking surfaces, I’m good.  Dunlop’s Tortex is still a great choice.  But this larger pick with a grip surface?  Until a sticky pick comes out, I’m adding Ultex to my pocket full of Dunlop.