Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cable and bolts

When I found these bent bolts in Ken Laundry's barn, I laughed with recognition. Back home in my garage, I had a couple of similar items. In my case, I was trying to pull my neighbor's house back onto the center of its foundation after an earthquake. It was an emergency; I was desperate; the ground was still shaking with aftershocks. Roads were closed; power was out; you made do with whatever you had. I was using a two-ton come-along attached by steel cable to eye bolts. The house, it seems, weighed more than two tons. Much more. I ended up with a mangled come-along and some strangely shaped eye bolts, which I kept for a long time in my garage.

Apparently, Ken tried something similar involving turnbuckles, bolts, and cable to move an outrageously heavy object. And if you're a practical man, you hate to throw things away. So you hang the cable back up in the barn. You save the turnbuckle and bolts because they might still be useful some day. You never know when a bent bolt might come in handy.

As for my neighbor's house, that rainy night in 1989 just after the World Series earthquake: Before the come-along got twisted and stripped, it managed to budge the house just enough to save it.

(You can click on the photo to make it larger.)

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