Grommet Reaving

Discussion in 'Jobs I Have Had' started by Hal Pollner, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member

    Feb 11, 2018
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    During the 1950-53 Korean War, I was in high school, but I had an after school job working for a Navy contractor making anti-torpedo nets to protect South Korean harbors from North Korean submarines.

    The job consisted of making 21" interlocking steel cable links (grommets) by weaving a single steel cable into a grommet made up of several turns of 1/4" wire. The torpedo net was weaved one course at a time, with 6-8 men weaving a course before the net was rolled up to start another course.

    We were paid $2.10 an hour ($3.15 on Saturdays) which was so good in 1950-53 that teachers from my high school were trying to get on the payroll, but we couldn't accept any more. I was a lucky 17-year-old to get that job!
    Frank Sanoica likes this.
  2. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member

    Jan 25, 2015
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    Sometimes I will sit down with my husband and watch some documentaries on wars. I would take paricular interest in the uses of tactical strategies.

    Yes, you were lucky to get that job. My first job in high school my pay was $1.60 an hour. I thought I was in heaven when I got my first paycheck.
  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member

    Feb 21, 2016
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    @Hal Pollner
    Here are a couple of pics of a sample about 6 inches wide my Dad, a Tool & Die Maker, sawed off the finished part, which was 10 feet long. He built the die which formed and blanked the sheets, which were about 2 feet wide by 10 feet long, a "progressive" die, in which repeating forming and piercing is done in steps. @Sheldon Scott I believe is retired from that trade, and might be interested here. The stock material is aluminum nearly 1/4-inch thick. The hole sizes are discernible by the 5-gallon bucket.

    To test the die, which was huge, they trucked it to the "Ford Plant" on South Cicero Avenue, where punch presses were available large enough to test it. He said the "building shook" as it operated. That plant, incidentally, was featured in the Hollywood movie "Tucker", as Preston Tucker had in reality leased the plant in which to build his cars. It had been a Dodge Bros. plant; Ford built aircraft engines there during the War.

    The sawed-off sample hung in our garage as I was a kid growing up. My folks retired, moved away, and we bought the house from them where I was born. Leaving Chicago, I decided the nostalgic value of that part was worthy of keeping it, so it has followed me around the country.

    This is the bottom side, which rested on the ground.

    The top side, over which rolled the giant tires of B-29 bombers!

    The 2X10 foot strips were hooked together by the ears protruding from the edges, to form "landing mat" laid on the ground to allow the big bombers to roll while lacking pavement. Enormous quantities of landing mat were produced and installed on the Pacific Islands. Most of it remained there after the war, likely falling into the hands of scavengers. War critical, my Dad had an unlimited gasoline rationing stamp, and worked one year 6 days a week, building dies, one of which was the first ever one-piece Jeep dashboard panel.

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