6/18/2013

Memoirs of a Handyman


I really like the the idea of self-sufficiency and I hate paying someone to do something I can do for myself, so I've had my hands on everything on my property and in my house.

When something goes wrong or needs repair, I do a careful analysis and research the problem and how to go about repairing or restoring it.

I learned a lot by tackling these issues on my own.  I've learned how things are made and how they work and I've come to appreciate the ingenuity of the inventors and skill of the craftsmen and technicians who professionally install and repair these things in and on my house and property.

Now after thinking back over 40 years of being self-sufficient, I've realized that doing it myself probably required twice as much time and cost twice as much money than if I had hiried a professional.

I don't regret a minute or a dime of it!

Oh, I love tools and here's what I have learned about them:

SKIL SAW:
A portable cutting tool used to make boards too short.

BELT SANDER:
An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

WIRE WHEEL:
Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light.  Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh s#@&*'.

DRILL PRESS:
A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

CANNEL LOCK PLIERS:
Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

HACKSAW:
One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS:
Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH:
Used almost entirely for igniting various flammable objects in your shop and creating a fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

TABLE SAW:
A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity. Very effective for digit removal !!

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK:
Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

BAND SAW:
A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut large pieces into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST:
A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of all the crap you forgot to disconnect.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER:
Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER:
A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

PRY BAR:
A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

PVC PIPE CUTTER:
A tool used to make plastic pipe too short.

HAMMER:
Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

UTILITY KNIFE:
Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door. Works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

Blankety/blank TOOL:
Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling  Blankety/blank  at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

1 comment:

  1. That is funny as hell! thanks!

    ReplyDelete