Honoring a Young Superhero
McAfee Tool & Die, located in Green, Ohio, is no stranger to custom projects, but anyone in the company will agree that one stands out as particularly special.
The employees at McAfee consider themselves part of a family. When one of their own, Tom, suddenly lost his son Hayden, the news shook the entire company. To them, the question was never whether they should do something to help Tom’s family, but what they should do.
While talking with Tom, programmer Ben Ohler came to understand that Tom had been having a difficult time trying to find the perfect urn for Hayden’s ashes. Immediately, the McAfee team knew how they could help. Owner Gary McAfee encouraged his staff to pursue the project and personally funded it.
Hayden had adored Thor, the famous Marvel superhero, and Ben decided to pay homage to them both by designing an aluminum urn to look exactly like Thor’s hammer Mjolnir from the Marvel cinematic universe. He shared, “I got the model off of GrabCAD, imported it into Mastercam, and used the software to separate all the pieces so we could hollow it out.” The cavity inside the hammer’s head was designed to hold Hayden’s ashes.
Ben also used the software to inscribe the legendary words, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” A personal message was also inscribed onto the hammer by putting a plane on every face using simple contour toolpaths.
After the head of the hammer was finished, Ben created an entirely unique handle within the software to complete the replica. As a final step, the hammer was hard coated to protect the aluminum from oxidation and wear.
When presented with the hammer, Tom was speechless.
“It goes beyond personal and touched the hearts of those involved,” said senior programmer John Stiles. “The hammer is the only one of its kind in the world, just like Hayden was one of a kind to his dad and all who knew him.”