Father and son – and their hammers

One carpenter tells his story of growing up with hammers – and passing that love on to his son.
Father, son, hammers
Chad Rymph and his son Rune and their hammers.

Chad Rymph is a professional carpenter and has been for 32 years.

He’s a man who earns his livelihood using tools.

His life-long fascination with tools, especially hammers, began when he was just three years old.

“I’ve always loved longer framing hammers and Estwing’s solid construction. For years my go-to was the 22-ounce smooth-face framing hammer,” said Rymph.

“But a couple of years ago, I switched to the 15-ounce ultra-smooth face framing hammer, and I love it,” he said.

Among other favorites in this pro carpenter’s sizable tool collection are a 12-ounce hammer belonging to his son Rune and a 30-ounce milled-face framing hammer that belonged to his dad, all from the same tool maker.

[To read a related hammer story, check out the HBSDealer Golden Hammer Product and Purpose awards.]

The Rockford, Illinois-based tool manufacturer making those hammers was first established in 1923 by Ernest Otto Estwing, with a goal to build what he called, “the finest hand tools the world has ever known.”

Chad's hammers
The carpenter’s collection of tools and hammers he uses on his job.

Before he passed away at the age of 97, the firm wrote on its website, the founder saw his beloved tool company grow and expand exponentially.

“The company he began in his basement now has product lines sold in hardware stores, home centers and retailers around the world,” said the firm.

Recently, in a move to modernize, the company added 70 robots at its Rockford plant, said the firm. And this year, 2023, it celebrates 100 years in business.

But let’s go back to the carpenter, his son, and their love for tools and their assortment of hammers – and one hammer that is clearly a family favorite.

“It took me 20 years of asking to get that 30 ounce away from my father,” said Rymph.

“My son will likely face the same challenge with me one day.”

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