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Farmer Left Legacy Of Amazing Miniature Wrenches
The precision and detail of the miniature adjustable wrenches made by Hilary Klein of Granville, Iowa amazes wrench collectors across the country. Klein, who died in 2016, made 4 1/2 to 5 1/2-in. replicas of rare and unusual wrenches, from as early as the mid 1800’s. There were plenty for Klein to choose from as more than 4,000 wrench patents were filed between 1830 and 1930.
  “Each one of Klein’s wrenches is a piece of artwork, highly finished. A majority of them have polished wood handles and each wrench sold comes in a felt-lined walnut box,” says Leslie E. Williams, a wrench collector who created a booklet about Klein and his wrenches. Williams knew Klein through the Missouri Valley Wrench Club.
  Klein was a mechanic and farmer and had his own machine shop where he could repair and fabricate farm equipment parts. In retirement he focused on making miniature wrenches based on scaled down measurements from antique wrenches. After making a prototype he replicated it to make as many as 16 copies, all hand-machined.
  “He had the ability to make almost exact copies,” says Williams, who purchased most of the wrenches in his 70-piece collection from other collectors.
  Klein’s wrenches continue to be popular with collectors and sell for $250 to $1,000. They are easily identified by the HK in a diamond stamped on every wrench.
Klein’s mini wrenches occasionally come up for sale along with other collectors’ full-size wrenches at auctions the Missouri Valley Wrench Club holds every spring and fall. The next event is Oct. 25-26, 2019, at the Troy, Ohio, fairgrounds. Check out the club’s website for contact information and how to join the club (www.wrenchingnews.com).
  Another club member makes miniature wrenches to continue Klein’s legacy. In addition to adjustable wrenches, the auction includes agriculture wrenches used on specific pieces of horse-drawn and tractor equipment.
  Williams invites anyone interested in a free PDF of his booklet on Klein and his wrenches to contact him.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Leslie E. Williams (lewill2@aol.com) or the Missouri Valley Wrench Club, Dan Gaier (ph 937 773-6940; dgaier1@woh.rr.com

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3