Power Tools Blues

I have been divorced for six years now, and I have to admit, I’ve learned a lot about power tools and how to use them. Also how to not use them and what my limitations are with them.

I have been steadily increasing my tool inventory. I like corded tools much better than cordless. Maybe if I could afford to get the super powerful cordless ones, they would work better and last longer than the basic models I have. They sit on the shelves and will probably migrate to the boys at some point.

I know the basics of a drill and impact driver. I can run saws and sanders. Most recently, I bought a planer and have been replacing the kitchen counters with ones that I’m building out of boards from the barn. We are repurposing the wood and the counters so far look pretty cool. With each one, I learn something else so that they are evolving into better versions of the last.

But I still need help with some things in terms of power tools. Sometimes I don’t have the strength or force to push a screw into two pieces of wood. Or to get tin screws to go where I want.

Sometimes I don’t have enough confidence to run some of the tools. Sometimes I just need help moving them or keeping the wood steady. And that makes me angry. Especially when I watch Cyris show up and do all the jobs with ease that I have struggled with.

I also get irritated when Garris argues with me in regard to using the tools. I know he’s a guy and he thinks he knows everything better than I do simple due to his gender. But I am more precise with my measuring. And my fine tuning tasks, like sanding. He tends to go at things with all the finesse of a wild boar. And then things start breaking. Driver heads start wearing out and screws get stripped. Boards crack because he isn’t careful about where he starts the screw.

Take the other day. We are making shelves for the garage, using a technique I saw online. I thought it was very simple and easy to get things measured correctly. The first set went up easily and only took us in total a couple of days. The other set was a different situation. We are attaching them to a cement wall, so it wasn’t feasible to try and screw them into cement. I did get some masonry drill bits, but Garris didn’t want to spend the time needed to drill holes.

So, I suggested we either use a cement grade adhesive (which I had already purchased) or make them freestanding. His suggestion was to make them with rope. I vetoed that idea, and he got very angry.

So, we made the first set of legs and shelf supports outside. I suggested he measure everything before we began. Instead, he just starting screwing the pieces together. When we brought it into the garage, the legs were all different lengths. So he tried shortening them using a hacksaw, holding the leg up. Needless to say, we never did get the legs all the same length.

At that point, we put the adhesive on. I suggested moving the fridge over to keep the wood butted up against the wall. Garris didn’t want to move it six feet, so he propped the ladder up to it and put a case of bottled water on top. It promptly fell over.

After Garris left the garage, I man handled the fridge over to one leg, moved a dresser against the second, and put several cases of water against the third one.

After about thirty-six hours, the bonds look like they are holding pretty well. After Garris gets done with school today, we’ll try to finish those shelves, plus another set I started last night in the storage room.

Up to Garris, we’d be working on these shelves for the next three months. I want to get them up so I can de-clutter the basement and set up a work area for myself and get my supplies in one general area.

I’m not trying to pick on him, but if he would take the time to listen to what I say and suggest, the amount of work we actually have to do would be less. He isn’t good about putting tools away, either. And once he starts buying his own things, he can do what he wants with them. For now, with my tools, he needs to put them away. Where we can find them. Out of the weather.

Which is why I want to get all these shelves done in the garage, so I have a dedicated space for all my tools and all my hardware, etc. I won’t be searching in four different places in the house and wondering why I’m constantly buying new fasteners and new drill bits and new glue.

The next big tool I want to get is a big table saw, so I’m not trying to cut all this wood with a circular saw. So far, it has worked fine. But I have bigger pieces to use next and I know a table saw would be safer and more efficient.

Until then, I’ll suffer through the power tool blues and try not to use them on my youngest son.

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