Tools of the Trade
A brilliant craftsman, possessed of a singular ability never matched before or since, produced the world’s most sought after musical instruments. Can you guess his name? Here’s a hint: he created his musical masterpieces over 300 years ago!
He is the maker of the famed Stradivarius violins, Antonio Stradivari. But do you know what made Stradivari the master craftsman of the ages?
Maybe it was his training. Born in Cremona, Italy, he apprenticed with noted instrument maker Nicolo Amati. As a testament to his skill, Stradivari was permitted to make instruments under his own label while still a student.
Or perhaps it was the wood Stradivari chose for his instruments. It is said that he scoured the forests for the perfect tree with the right look and feel and most important the right tone when the master tapped it while listening with his discerning ear.
Or maybe it was the tools he used that made Stradivari the best. As a European Master, Stradivari used only hand tools-a dizzying variety of chisels, gouges, planes, knives, saws and scrapers in precisely graduated sizes. Some remove large curls of wood as the craftsman rough-cuts and shaves, while others slice away the smallest slivers in precise carving actions. Again and again, Stradivari would “tap tune” the instrument and select the right tool to remove tiny sections of wood until the tone was perfect.
The tools themselves are works of art, their handles worn by the master’s grasp over a lifetime of dedication. They are preserved to this day in the Stradivarian Museum in Cremona, Italy.
Of course the tools that we use in our daily work may not be the implements of the artisan, but they are no less important to getting the job done. That’s why we should always treat them with respect, using them only for their intended application. We should always keep them well maintained and in good working order. Doing so ensures our safety and the effectiveness of the tool itself, a win-win situation that makes our work easier.
While the work of master Stradivari remains a mystery- no one knows for certain why his violins produce the sweetest music-one thing is sure. The tools we use save time and effort, but they do presents hazards. Using them properly helps secure our safety, so that at the end of the day, we can leave work whistling a carefree tune.
Choose the Right Tool….
Use it the Right Way
*Copyright 2008 Harkins Safety B-232