Hardware Heaven Then, and Now

Rob’s editorial last time out brought back memories of old-timey hardware stores for some of our readers, and excitement about new hardware among others. – Editor

“I know how exciting you must be feeling. I can understand, just the thought of going to a hardware exhibition makes me feel good also.” – Iftikharuddin Faruqui

“Your column on ‘Hardware Heaven’ brought back a flood of memories for me. It was the early to mid 1950s, and we had just moved out of a very cramped apartment in the Bronx to a 1930s-era house in Mineola, Long Island. My father had grown up in an environment where hardware stores were de rigueur, and he was more than ready to renew that acquaintance after 15 years in an apartment.

“Munder’s Hardware in Williston Park, Long Island, was exactly the store you described in your article. Ultra-modern at the time, but still with the hardwood floors, aisles overcrowded with everything the homeowner could possibly want or need (at that time – little did we know how things would change!), and friendly Mom-and-Pop Munder ( as well as son Charlie) to help you get exactly what you needed.

“I can’t imagine that Munder’s is still in business – it certainly wasn’t a 40,000 item store.  But I have very fond memories of wandering that store with my Dad when I was a young teenager some 50+ years ago. Thanks for a lovely trip into memory lane with my Dad (who passed in 1963).” – Bill Barry

Bill, we have some good news for you. A quick web search and phone call reveals that Munder’s Paint and Hardware is still around in Williston Park. Some of the past is still present. – Editor

Irregular Banding

We also received some feedback recently with additional suggestions related to the clamping technique recommended in our custom eZine, “Band Together on Irregular Objects.” Woodworkers are always eager to share their ways of doing things. – Editor

“Your recent gluing techniques using bicycle inner tubes is something I have been doing for almost 40 years. It works great. However, there are two things I want to share. First, why pay for the tube when a visit to the local bike shop will likely yield a tube that was changed out from a flat. As long as it was not a bad blowout, there is plenty of good rubber there. Second, I don’t cut the tube through and make multiple rubber bands. I put a small slit in the tube lengthwise near the stem and then cut the tube around its diameter. I slowly ‘twist’ the cut so that when I get back near where I started, the cut is about 1/3 to 1/4 of the width of the tube if it were cut open flat. I continue the cut around and around until I get back to where I started at the valve stem. This way, I get one, very long band. This band is good for furniture repair such as pulling chair legs together on their rungs. If the rungs of the chair settle under furniture clamps, the clamps loosen. With the rubber bands, the clamp strength is not affected. Also, the clamp strength is the total tension of all winds of the band. This can be quite substantial!” – Andrew Volk

“The idea of gluing that guitar neck and finger board as you did is a good one, but can be improved. By placing a dowel or triangular length of scrap on the finger board, then wrapping it, you create a downward force rather than a lateral force. In clamping, we want to compress the two pieces. This will do a much better job.” – Mark Donnelly

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