Tool Time

It seems that most of the women I know, including those I am most closely related to, are engaged in a continuing round of jewelry parties.  The jewelry is quite nice and they seem to enjoy the parties. It seems that the economy is being kept afloat (such as it is) by people buying and selling jewelry.  Not a bad idea, that. Keeps everyone entertained and keeps the cash flowing.

I think that if someone wanted to make a lot of money they could have cordless power tool parties for the guys. I am not a very skilled handyperson, but I do enjoy a good cordless power tool.  And I have accumulated a lot of them.

Normally when I work on a project I pull out the tools I think I’ll need and then have to go back until I have dozens of tools to use. Each project is an opportunity to acquire more tools because, after all, you can’t do the job without the right tools.  When a group from our church rehabbed a townshouse, I had to buy a compound cut miter saw since we were putting in a lot of trim. I also got an air compressor and pneumatic hammer to nail the trim.  Good stuff.  Last summer when I replaced all our flat panel interior doors with six-panel versions, I had to have a power planer and a router to do the job.  The power planer was necessary because the new doors were about 1/4 inch too long and that’s a hard cut to make with a circular saw.  I am really terrible at chiseling out mortises, hence the router.  I did manage to take some of the end of my left index finger off with the planer…on the last cut of the last door.  The hand surgeon who treated me also gave me a little lecture about being older and having slower reaction times.  I think inattention have more to do with it than reaction times, but we old folk are troubled by both.

As I finished each of about the last four projects I piled the tools on my four foot by two foot workbench in the basement thinking I would organize them some day.  Eventually it got to the point I couldn’t find anything, so I started sorting one afternoon and put each type of tool into a box: woodworking tools, metalworking tools, cutting tools, glues, nails, screws, and so forth.  It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought, and now I can find things. The smaller pieces I still have to sort, but that will come.

I worked on several projects with my friend Jay Jones, a fine fellow who passed away a couple of years ago. I miss Jay and the stories he told.  He seemed to have a tool for every purpose and could find it.  He put all the tools he thought he would need for a particular job into a box and took that to the work site.  I was trying to use several toolboxes to carry mine, but I have since adopted Jay’s system. It works like a charm and I think of him every time I fill a box with tools.

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