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Thread: Death of a friend

  1. #1

    Death of a friend

    OK, not really that dramatic, but I pulled out my old trusty 5 1/2' wooden step ladder today and saw that it had failed, just leaning up against the wall. It was made by the Topping Ladder Company of Marion NY

    My Dad bought it for us when we bought our first house in Rochester NY in 1973, it traveled to Philadelphia and then went into storage when we went sailing, and it finally moved down to Florida in 1994. Every time I used it I would think of all the projects it had seen. I'm not a very neat painter so there were lots of drips, a historical pallet of our remodeling projects. And, since he has been gone for 7 years, using the ladder has often made my memories of my Dad that more vivid.

    I don't think it is safe to patch a ladder that has failed, so off to the garbage pickup it goes. And the Topping Company closed its doors in 1997.

    Yes, it was heavy, but I always felt secure on it, guess I'll have to find a replacement and start creating another historical pallet!

    What tools do you have that bring back special memories?

    Last edited by Jay Lock; 11-04-2007 at 11:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Knoll View Post
    What tools do you have that bring back special memories?
    Anything my dad gave me.

    And IMHO, I'd have no problem at all patching that ladder.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    Great topic Jay. Sorry for your loss, but I'm glad it wasn't a loss of the human kind

    Mine would have to be my lathe, made by grandpa KP, and the new Oland tool my dad help me make just a week ago today.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Give it a decent burial. Ladder accidents are never funny. I've had friends seriously injured with ladder mishaps. My son, the emergency room physician, just shakes his head when I ask him about ladder accidents. Get a good, sturdy new one that won't rot.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
    I know of two real "death of a friend" incidents relating to ladders. I personally would never patch a ladder but then I try and avoid climbing them as well if I can I know exactly what you mean about the memories though. My longest serving tool is a henry vacuum cleaner that has been with me for about 20 years and still works perfectly every time. It has been a stepping stool, a counterweight and a very much abused dust extract but keeps coming back for more. Like Frank says - get a new ladder, as safe as you can get.

  6. #6
    There was NEVER a chance that the ladder was going to be patched! But now I'm going to have to find one of equal quality and you know what they say about "not making things like they used to". I have a tall aluminum ladder, paid big bucks for it, but I have always felt very secure on wooden ones. I think a 32 year life span for a wooden ladder is pretty good, so I think that this purchase should take care of my future needs. Hey, if I'm still climbing ladders at 92 and need a new one, I'll be HAPPY to buy it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Jay, don't throw that ladder away. Just cut it off above the break, level it out, and go on using it for "shorter" jobs. You'll still have your dad's ladder--it just won't be as tall.

    Nancy (76 days)
    Nancy Laird
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Laird View Post
    Jay, don't throw that ladder away. Just cut it off above the break, level it out, and go on using it for "shorter" jobs. You'll still have your dad's ladder--it just won't be as tall.

    Nancy (76 days)
    jay i would have to agree with nancy on this one make it shorter and it would be safe again.. kinda the same thought pattern as ole betsy she will never be the same but she will still be mine again.. by the way, i will get both pieces after the trial stuff is done...the darn fools had her loaded.. now if they had pulled the trigger we would have had the problem solved probally. heavy loads and damascus barrels dont mix.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
    Yeah, I thought of that but in our house/garage space is VERY limited and we already have a small two step ladder that stays inside. So, if I kept this in the shop there wouldn't be room for the replacement.

    Kind of like when we were cruising on the sailboat, it was to the point that when one book came aboard another had to leave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Punta Gorda, Florida
    I would cut that section out with the name on it, make a plack out of it and hang it on the wall. You will never get it back once you through it away.

    I guess that my best memory tool is my "feel a whole lot better tool". It is my Dad's large ballpeen hammer and when you really get frustrated you can through it as hard as you can at something and you will "feel a whole lot better".
    Last edited by Allen Bookout; 10-06-2007 at 08:14 PM.

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