Saturday, August 23, 2014


 Barb did a lovely post about doing and fixing things herself and it got me thinking about how my skills have improved through the years, and the way I work around the things that haven't improved so much.

 I took shop classes in high school.  Tools and tables built for young (short) people.  I could use a drill press, a lathe, a variety of saws, hand tools, etc, to some degree.  In real life, tools tend to be big and bulky and built for men.

A few weeks ago I was putting some skirting on my mom's add-a-room for her, the drill slipped out of the screw and I did that lurch/crash into the wall thing. 

Mom said, "Don't hurt yourself!"

I said, "If you didn't want me to hurt myself, you should have given me a hammer and nails!"

I don't have a lot of strength in my arms, so to use a drill I have to put all of my weight into it.  Hammers are easier.  Every hardware store has a selection of hammers in various sizes.  Finding a hammer the right length and weight to swing comfortably is pretty easy.

Saws are funny.  I wanted to fix a deck on a rental place years ago, hated the handsaw, ran out to Canadian Tire and bought myself a skill saw.  It got the job done at the time, but for the most part, it didn't get much use until I met Husband.  I avoided cutting, because for me, it was awkward and uncomfortable.  I still tease him that I've had that saw longer than I've had him.

He came with a jig saw.  That was much easier for me to handle, but took forever to get anything done.  Eventually, we bought a band saw, and a table saw.  He still did most of the cutting.  It was still awkward and uncomfortable for me.

Then a few years ago, when my Dad was working on the trailer, I met and fell in love with a mitre saw.  Before long I had one of my very own.  For the most part, it lets me get the job done.  We use a lot of 1X3's, 1X4's, 2X4's, 2X6's and 1X6's.  No problem slicing through them with my mitre saw.  I work on the ground (I'm short, it's not that far away), so I don't have to lift heavy boards up and attempt to keep them balanced. 

But occasionally, I'm still confronted with the need to cut a sheet of plywood.  Ugh.  For the longest time, it was still a wait 'til Husband can cut it thing.  Occasionally, I'd get impatient and try the skill saw again- guaranteed for a crooked cut.  Obviously the answer was just to avoid plywood- which I do, but...  Sometimes you really need to use plywood.  There's just no avoiding it.

Well, my chain saw skills have improved well through the years.  Couldn't be worse than the skill saw, could it?  Nope, not at all...  For me, the chainsaw is a vital construction tool, with the added bonus of being portable and cordless.

I have mini bolt cutters that I use for all sorts of wire cutting from electric fence to hardware cloth.

After years of struggling with a staple gun, this is on my current wish list.  Wouldn't that be easier?  When was it invented, and why didn't anyone tell me?

Sometimes you just need to step back and take another look.  So what if it's not the way men have been doing it for years?  If it works for you, and gets the job done, then it's as right as it needs to be!

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, I feel all important now, haha. I am pretty sure that I will never use the chainsaw to cut wood but do plan on using and become proficient with a few of the other tools in his shed. It can only be a good thing to be able to do things ourself.