There are many types of hardware devices available that can be used to support objects while in a static, resting condition. There are others that can be attached to objects to lift or move them from one position to another. One such commonly used device that can be used for both purposes is the J hook.
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A J hook is just what it sounds like--a hook, or hanger, in the shape of the letter "J". The "J" shape allows the hook to be fastened to other objects in such a way that it can provide good support and be securely attached. J hooks are manufactured in a wide variety of sizes and materials, and will often be categorised according to their lifting or supporting strengths. Their load capacity will be listed as the maximum number of pounds that the particular J hook can safely support.
The J hook can be used for a variety of specific applications. Smaller J hooks that can fit in the palm of your hand can be used as picture hangers, cable wire supports, purse hangers, luggage connectors and as the ends of tie-down straps. Larger J hooks with a high load rating can be used to attach tow chains to cars or trucks. Very large J hooks can be used for heavy lifting in many industry applications, such as in a foundry that does metal forming and casting.
The application that a particular J hook is designed for determines what it will be made of. Applications that require small size and minimal weight-bearing capacity can be constructed of plastic, metal or ceramics. The majority of J hooks that are used in more heavy-duty applications are constructed of some type of steel, due to its inherent strength. These hooks are often formed out of carbon steel, forged-alloy steel or stainless steel.
J hooks are available for a wide range of prices. Simple plastic hooks used to support pictures or towels can cost just a few cents each. When the load-bearing capacity of the hook goes up and the construction turns to steel, the cost naturally increases. Larger J hooks used for heavy duty industrial applications can easily cost £32, £65 or more, as of June 2010. J hooks are available for sale at a variety of department, hardware or online stores.
The J hook has been around in some form for thousands of years. The use of the J hook shape as a tool was probably a gradual advancement. One of the oldest forms of the J hook used by man is the fish hook. Cro-Magnon man was known to use fish hooks over 30,000 years ago. It is believed that his hooks were very possibly made of wood. American Indians were very adept at making fish hooks out of a variety of natural materials, including hawk claws and eagle beaks.
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