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July 26, 2020

Moron Tool Time!

One of the posts this week evolved (or devolved) into a tool thread (mostly talking about saws), and it reminded me of a simpler time when I worked as a carpenter. Not a very experienced one, but it was an immensely pleasing thing to do for a little while.

There is nothing quite like creating something out of nothing more than a pile of lumber and some nails, and using power tools just makes it more fun.

Like many of us I took shop in middle school and even in high school, and of course learned how to do some basic stuff from my father. Fixing rather than buying new was the expectation. Sure, some things needed to be replaced, but the idea was that if it could be repaired then why not? Save some money, learn how things worked and have the pleasure of a job well done.

And being reasonably proficient with tools and my hands yielded some unexpected benefits. That summer job at the pool included cleaning and changing the filters; a gross job but it allowed me to get better hours. And being the maintenance manager at my commie co-op in Berkeley was better than washing pots and pans!

"Save some money" became quite important when I got my first car and realized that changing the oil or brakes on my own (or with a friend and a pizza) would save me money that I couldn't spare. Having money to buy groceries was a powerful impetus; brake jobs were expensive, and even the drive-through oil change places were triple or quadruple what it would cost to buy the oil and a filter. And of course that segued into more complicated repairs! It was almost an internal challenge to keep the car out of the shop.

That ragtag collection of a few sockets and a couple of adjustable wrenches grew and grew, and suddenly I needed a toolbox. Yup, I was secretly quite pleased, although nothing beats a carpenter's belt. Tape, pencil, speed square, chalked string, a hammer, a pouch full of nails, and a few other things and I was all set.

Most of us have had similar experiences, and I'll bet that many of us have continued to fix things in spite of fatter bank accounts and less free time. That fatter bank account just means more and nicer tools!

Anyway, there is an amazing video below the fold of a master carpenter wielding his SkilSaw like he was born with it.

This guy is a magician. There's no other way to describe him. And he has all of his fingers!

[Hat Tip: Jay Guevara]

So...have at it. Best repair? Biggest mess? That story of when you cried "Uncle?" Anything really cool that you built from scratch gets extra credit.

And the fairer sex can chime in; you use tools too.

Or just make fun of the more embarrassing failures....

digg this
posted by CBD at 02:00 PM

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