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Tirelessly I hammer away
yet over time my work frays
Making things both new and old
but what I make one cannot hold

Who or What am I?

Edit:

Changed last line to rhyme better, credit to Pugmonkey

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The "be hold" instead of "be held" is just for the rhyme it's not a hint $\endgroup$ – Jon.G May 14 '18 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ How about "cannot be hold" -> "I cannot hold"? $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta May 14 '18 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ It would be confusing that only you cannot hold that or nobody can.@JoonasIlmavirta $\endgroup$ – prit.patel May 14 '18 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ Or "but what I make one cannot hold". It keeps the rhyme and doesn't create unintended ambiguity. $\endgroup$ – Pugmonkey May 14 '18 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ "my work frays" -> "my work doth fray" $\endgroup$ – Ewan May 14 '18 at 16:03
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I think you are a

Piano

Tirelessly I hammer away

A piano is an instrument in which the strings are struck by hammers.

yet over time my work frays

Piano wire is strong but the strings do wear (and fray) over time from repeated hammering.

Making things both new and old

A piano can be used to create new music or reproduce songs written by others.

but what I make cannot be hold

Music cannot be held.

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    $\begingroup$ All Lines correct, well done $\endgroup$ – Jon.G May 14 '18 at 12:21
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More of a joke:

That's:

me

Tirelessly I hammer away

I'm a software developer and I've been hammering away on the keyboard for ages.

yet over time my work frays

But the software I write tends to get old and obsolete

Making things both new and old

I write new code and I fix old code

but what I make cannot be hold

You can't really hold a piece of software.

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    $\begingroup$ LOL, I feel your pain. Monday blues? Or everyday blues? ☺ $\endgroup$ – Phylyp May 14 '18 at 11:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Phylyp After 30 years in the trade it tends to be a constant blues. $\endgroup$ – rhsquared May 14 '18 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ Haha great answer, sadly not the one I was looking for $\endgroup$ – Jon.G May 14 '18 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ 'hammering away on the keyboard for ages' :) :) +1 $\endgroup$ – peerless May 15 '18 at 8:02
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I think you may be

Water.

Tirelessly I hammer away

Rivers/Rain/Glaciers/etc. have shaping the landscape for decades, maybe longer.

yet over time my work frays

The work of water creating canyons, glaciers digging out lakes, soil erosion, and even waves

Making things both new and old

From A single drop of rain causing a divot to the Colorado River's 5 million-year carving out of the Grand Canyon.

but what I make cannot be hold

These things, like a hole, are the absence of something, which cannot be physically be held.

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I think it might be a

woodpecker

Tirelessly I hammer away

a woodpecker is known for this fast pecking

yet over time my work frays

since a tree will grow and change or simply die, the work done by the woodpacker will disappear over time.

Making things both new and old

i am unsure about how this third line would fit, so maybe i am on the wrong track.

but what I make cannot be hold

what he makes are holes, wich you can not hold.

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4
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You could be a

computer keyboard.

Tirelessly I hammer away

As keys are struck, they hammer on the mechanical switches or rubber domes beneath them.

yet over time my work frays

The most well-constructed keyboards will wear out eventually with regular use. Even classics like the IBM Model M!

Making things both new and old

Keyboards can be used to make all manner of things -- stories, poetry, software, a series of game inputs. They can transcribe or copy old things, or they can be used to write new things.

but what I make one cannot hold

Computer documents are digital, and can't be held in the conventional sense. Well, unless you print the documents out.

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1
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I think it's

a pocket/wrist-watch (mechanical analog)

Tirelessly I hammer away

The hammer is a part of a watch mechanism.

yet over time my work frays

Watches wind down over time and need to be rewound.

Making things both new and old

Kind of a pun on the fact that watches "make time" by marking the seconds and minutes of a day.

but what I make one cannot hold

Time is intangible.

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