Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Wrench By Any Other Name

Do you remember when you got your first apartment? If you were like me, you got all this inexpensive stuff from Ikea that had to be put together with a funny little thing called an Allen wrench? Also known as a hex key, inbus, zeta or unbrako according to Wikipedia. It is designed to fit into hexagonal shaped sockets to tighten them.
The Allen wrench name came about as the result of a trademark that was taken out by the Allen Manufacturing Company in 1943 - the tool became so popular, many now think this is the true name and that the tool was invented by someone named Allen.

It took me several years to discover that these little wrenches come in different sizes, that one size does not fit all, as my experience with Ikea furniture had suggested.

I also never knew what to do with the wrench once the bookcase or whatever was put together, because in my experience, you never took it apart again, even when you moved, so what did you need to keep the wrench for? Next time you bought something at Ikea, there would be another one in the box anyway!

Nevertheless, at the farm auction a few weeks ago, I picked up this lovely collection of wrenches. Like I said, I don't have any hexagonal sockets that need to be tweaked but I had to have these, mostly because of the wonderful wire wrapping that holds the wrenches onto the ring.

Here's a closeup photo of the wire wrapping. Aren't they fabulous?

1 comment:

Rachel Nelson-Smith said...

Neat piece, my husband works at a local auction house from time to time and would come home telling me about the wired wrenches... There is a neighbor on our street 2 doors down who does bead embroidery on leather and his name is Allan Allen or Allen Allan. He showed me his driver's license to prove it the first time we met, but I cannot remember which name is first... :)