The Wide Angle: Power tools, or reasons to keep them away from me

Published 6:30 am Saturday, April 17, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

If you were to go back in time and ask my woodshop teacher for his thoughts on me using power tools, then I suspect they boil down to one statement:

“Don’t let him near them.”

It’s not as if I cut off digits or anybody else’s for that matter, but given the results of any one project I cobbled together during the formative years of my life, then it would be readily apparent that knowing power tools didn’t help in any sort of way.

Email newsletter signup

In particular, a chessboard I “constructed” ended up looking more like something out of the mind of M.C. Escher, the Dutch artist who made a living screwing with people’s minds.

Squares were largely unaligned with the frame of the piece not really evening out on any of the four sides.

It was a masterpiece of woodshop dysfunction from a guy who managed to make a simple birdhouse project into something as complicated as I imagine the pyramids were to construct from the alien’s point of view.

That being said, now that I’ve discovered some semblance of maturity, I’ve managed to fill my garage and basement with a few examples of power tools and gadgets needed for various chores about the house and yard.

Most recently, I added a tiller to the arsenal of gardening tools as I prepare for yet another round of attempting to bring leafy life into this world.

I was excited about this purchase as I’ve been threatening to purchase one for a number of years. It’s not the big ones that tear up the ground, but rather a smaller version that I imagine would do the job adequately had I read the instructions on how to properly adjust the wheels. The first run of the tiller pretty much tickled the ground, but it was a successful first run nontheless.

It also gave me more of a thrill than I really thought it would. Guiding the machine through the garden area, kicking up dirt and grinding away at the ground was somewhat exhilarating and got me in the spirit to get back into the garden.

And now that I know about wheel placement I fully plan on giving it another run through the garden — without giggling like a fool this time.

This is all assuming of course April gets us back on track to the nicer than usual spring. We should have known better on those 70 plus degree days, with threats of thunderstorms, that a true April was still in the works.

Cold and windy with minor hints and teases of snow are just what a usual April offers, which is unfair now that the tiller is up and ready to work.

There’s just something about using something like this that really gets you in the mood to put something in the ground.

Of course, now that I’ve got the tiller and begun work getting the garden all set up, I can start turning my attention to preparing for living room work that will include pulling up carpet, preparing the wood underneath and using a floor sander to get it to that sweet “yeah, we’ve got wood floors” spot.

The big hope out of this is that I don’t operate the sander in such a way as to create a new route to the basement.

“Not possible,” you say? “Too much confidence in me,” I say.

I’ve done some research and I believe I can get this taken care of. The room isn’t that large and the steps are pretty clear cut. As long as there is no wood to be cut or anything more than the most basic of math, I should be fine.

I am a little worried though. If I complete this project then I will have confidence and then what? Reshingle the garage on my own? Paint the house on my own? CHANGE OIL IN THE CAR!?

Best to pump the breaks for the time being and keep the bar low. Less of a chance of tripping over it.