Every invention was first just an idea…someone’s good idea. That’s how they all begin. Sometimes it's a sudden burst of inspiration, sometimes it's a long, well-thought-out process. But regardless of how they begin, the truth is, only a few of these 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 interesting story behind 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 for me to make sure all the nuts & bolts on my drum kit were securely tightened. There’s a lot of ‘em. And every drummer knows that when you hit stuff (as drummers tend to do), you’re gonna loosen stuff. And if that stuff happens to be your cymbal stand, or a cowbell, or your tom-toms, well, they’re gonna move a little bit. Maybe even a lot. And if they’re not properly tightened, they can easily shift out of position, or even come apart right there in the middle of a show! So, I continually had to make sure everything was as tight as I could get it. And ironically, once I’d get things sufficiently tightened down (enough to withstand the pounding), it would take forever, after the gig, to get everything 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. THAT will make for a solid grip. THEN you can tighten or loosen things properly. 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, before. And no one could find one in their tool box or kitchen "junk drawer" at home.
So, I tried making my own wrench. And I actually did make one. 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 Additive Manufacturing (3D printing). I was amazed at all the things those printers could make. And then to my surprise, it turned out that we actually 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 technically 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.
Thumbs up – game on.
But the question remained: how are we actually going to make the wrenches? They 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 included the likes of Tito Jackson and Travis Tritt. Marty's skills were just what we needed. Marty was more than eager to work with us and we began the process of CNC manufacturing the Drummer's Wing Nut Wrench out of lightweight aircraft aluminum.
I quickly learned that 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 independent manufacturer from Blaine MN. His state-of-the-art metal shop could produce multiple wrenches at the same time – and for a reasonable cost (considering their high quality and expertise). His skilled crew worked with speed, high-tech precision, and pride. These were my people.
is sold in music stores, hardware stores and conveniently online. Click, click, boom. It’s the perfect multi-purpose tool. Check it out. And 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 a pizza & tip (Hey, I taught Econ for 30 years - Meet the Inventor), we are proud to offer it to drummers and tool lovers all over the world.
It's the perfect gift for the drummer (or tool aficionado) in your life. What? You don't know any drummers? Check out our Crabby Monkey Face T-Shirts. Wear one of these beauties, and you're bound to meet drummers.
Enjoy the wrench. Play with confidence!