Tool belts are a turn on: leather, manly, efficient … and often accompanied with strong calf muscles and hard hats. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not lusting, only feeling tool belt envy. I know what a hammer and screwdriver can do, and I love the zing of a retractable tape measure, but it’s the other tools studding workers’ waistbands that mystify me, a tool for every contingency.
If the leather straps and pockets weren’t so useful, they’d look clunky and awkward. But strong hips carry the weight of the gear cinched in places that allow workers to stretch and bend. Depending on the trade and workers’ preferences, holsters are well designed – which rustles up a bit of the bad-boy-gunslinger image of the wild west.
I could watch men at work all day – and yesterday I did. A well-coordinated team pushed around moveable scaffolding, unwound electrical wires, grappled hoists and slings and maneuvered wood panels and cross pieces. Assorted precision tools electrified the air with loud whining, shaving 1/8th inch strips off boards, or drilling 10″ spikes into corner joists. Noisy motors from a generator and crane roared amidst the spectacle of material achievement, the smell of fresh wood and sawdust like perfume.
Just a word about truck size. A flatbed rig that sleeps a family of six (okay, four) and hauled wall panels, needed unloading by a crane operator whose truck wheels lifted off the ground, replaced by four stabilizing counterweights, bracing it against a tip into the foundation hole.