Wrench Collecting Gives Bountiful Harvest
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That said, Joe always keeps an eye open for additions to his collection.
"I'm always looking, no matter where I go," he said. "Flea markets, wrench auctions, gas engine shows ..."
He also makes trades with members of the Mid-West Tool Collectors and the Missouri Valley Wrench Club.
Collectors in those groups, he says, agree that condition of an antique wrench is not as important as it is with other collectibles.
"Everybody wants a perfect wrench," Joe is quick to say. "But when you find a real unique wrench, you'll want it, as long as the parts are all there. If it's a reasonable price, you'll get it, and trade it off when you find a better one."
Joe cleans new additions to his collection, but he never use paint or varnish.
"If it is badly rusted, I'll use a vinegar solution and a wire brush on it," he said. "But I try to leave the patina on it as much as possible."
He does use a silicone spray on the wrenches (and finds reapplication necessary after he brings the wrenches home from a show). Joe gives his wrenches extra good care, a first for many of them.
"Guys will use a wrench for a pry bar, for a hammer ... if they don't have the right tool for the job, they'll just improvise," he said. "The wrench is the most misused tool there is." FC
For more information: Joe Greiwe, 206 Albers Street, Batesville, IN 47006; (812) 934-2747.
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