A Tale of Two Gavels

The metal convention gavel includes the IAM and 39th Grand Lodge Convention logos and representations of many of the IAM’s trades. It was presented by Bridgeton, MO Local 688 and East Alton, IL Local 660.
The metal convention gavel includes the IAM and 39th Grand Lodge Convention logos and representations of many of the IAM’s trades. It was presented by Bridgeton, MO Local 688 and East Alton, IL Local 660.

One of the time-honored IAM convention traditions is the presentation of a custom-made convention gavel to the international president. This year, International President Bob Martinez received two. He was presented a machined metal gavel along with a wooden palm gavel.

The wooden convention gavel is uniquely designed and was crafted from a black ash burl. International Falls, MN Local W33 and District W3 presented it.
In 1968, not even miniskirts were immune to the organizing efforts of the IAM.

The metal gavel, composed of bronze, stainless steel and aluminum, was originally designed on a bar napkin following the 2012 Toronto Grand Lodge Convention.

Bridgeton, MO Local 688 President Steve Kortz and East Alton, IL Local 660 member Terry Healey machined the gavel head, handle and striker plate. Local 688 members Jeff Johnson and Rich Hambrook created the etching and inlays.

Among the gavel’s details are representations of many of the IAM’s trades, the IAM gear logo and this year’s convention logo. The handle is a reproduction of a machinists’ micrometer, including an etched thimble and a measurement reading of .688 to represent Local 688. The steel striker plate has a large IAM logo with gold and black inlays.

Woodworker Special Representative Bob Walls designed the palm gavel and International Falls, MN Local W33 member Bob French crafted it from a black ash burl on his property. He roughed out a blank, which he sent to be stabilized through a special pressuring process. After weeks of treatment, the burl was patiently turned on a wood lathe to give the gavel its distinct shape.

To complete the project, French sanded the gavel with a range of 200 to 2,000 grit papers. He applied a clear coat finish, which enhances in the unique three-dimensional burl grain pattern.