Every invention was first an idea…someone’s good idea. That’s how they all begin. Sometimes it’s a sudden inspiration, other times it’s a long, thoughtful process. But either way, only a few of those good ideas get ever get off the drawing board. But every invention that does get off that drawing board, has an interesting story behind it.
The story of the Drummer's Wing Nut Wrench, begins in the 1980’s out of sheer necessity. My name is Doug Berglund, and this is the story of the wrench.
As a drummer, playing 6 nights a week on the road for months on end, I began noticing the toll the road was taking on both me AND my drum equipment. I was frustrated with the time and effort it took me to make sure all the nuts & bolts on my drum kit were securely tightened. There is nothing worse than a cymbal stand, cowbell, or tom-tom shifting position or falling (it DOES happen) in the middle of a show. And then once I’d get things reassembled and tightened down tight enough to withstand the pounding, it would take forever to get them un-tightened, pulled apart, and then packed up again.
I looked everywhere and asked around, but nobody was selling a wrench that could firmly clamp down on both wings of a wing nut. Pliers can't do it, and using 2 drumsticks (you know what I'm talking about) just doesn't cut it. What you need is a tool that can grip BOTH wings at the same time. Now, THAT makes for a solid grip. But I couldn’t find one anywhere. Everyone I talked to seemed certain that a tool like that existed, but nobody remembered where they’d ever seen one. And no one could find one in their tool box or kitchen "junk drawer" at home.
So I tried making my own wrench. And after numerous drilling attempts, and close calls with an acetylene torch, I finally came up with a workable tool that could actually tighten and loosen bolts with certainty. That good idea, was now was a tool – an invention. Crude, but surprisingly effective.
Fast forward to 2013 when I saw a news report on 3D printing. I was amazed at all the things those printers could make. And then to my surprise, I found out that we had a 3D printer in the Industrial Ed. department at the High School where I taught at (Meet the Inventor). I found a student who could draw up the wrench and write it out in digital format. We printed out some plastic prototypes (very cool), and the two of us presented the idea to a team of international patent lawyers.
But the question remained: how do we actually produce the wrench? It had to be functional, durable, and reasonably priced. AND made in America! After doing some research, a guitar player buddy of mine suggested I enlist the talents of The Guitar Factory's Marty Schulte, the brilliant aluminum guitar designer who’s known for building aluminum guitars for the stars. His customers include the likes of Tito Jackson and Travis Tritt. Marty's skills were just what we needed. So from there we began CNC manufacturing the Drummer's Wing Nut Wrench out of lightweight aircraft aluminum.
I gave out a few to some drummer friends and the response was remarkable. That feedback was the impetus to jump-start Crabby Tools into action. The next summer we started manufacturing in earnest.
But CNC tooling is slow-going with only one machine. I had to find a way to produce more wrenches and still maintain quality. That’s when I came across a very interesting individual from Blaine MN. His state-of-the-art metal shop could make multiple wrenches at a time – and for a reasonable cost. His skilled crew worked with care, high-tech precision, and pride. These were my people.
Today, The Drummer's Wing Nut Wrench is sold in music stores, hardware stores and conveniently online (in the safety & comfort of your home – we’ve all heard that enough lately). It’s the perfect multi-purpose tool. Check it out. Not only for drum hardware, it works surprisingly well on ceiling hooks, eye-bolts, thumb screws, elbow hooks and every fastener imaginable. It will make your life easier.
Seriously, this is an incredibly useful tool. And for the price of 2 pizzas or dry cleaning a comforter, we are proud to offer it to drummers and tool lovers all over the world.
A few years back I bought a pipe cutter to cut the water line I was replacing on my fridge: $10.00!
I used it once and I will never use it again. But you will use this wrench over and over again. It's the perfect gift for the drummer (or tool aficionado) in your life. What? You don't know any drummers? Check out the Crabby Monkey Face T-Shirts. Wear one of these, and you're bound to meet drummers.
Enjoy the wrench. Play with confidence!