And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Why Barefoot Should Not Be Allowed To Do Home Improvement Projects

Oh, I did okay at first. Our back porch has been kind of left "undone" since we moved in. We knew we wanted to make it a work area for Mr. Barefoot and a craft room for myself (it is a rather large 4 season porch), but with trying to get the rest of the house set up, that one was left for last.

Yesterday, I got a bug up my butt to get it done. I unscrewed the 8 foot long shelves that were in there already from their brackets, and then got stuck for a while. I thought that the screws holding the brackets to the wall were stripped philips head screws. I sat there and scratched my head for the longest time trying to figure out how to get the dang things out. I tried just about every bit that was in Mr. Barefoot's drill case trying to find something that would work, but had no luck.

Finally, I got the Bright Idea to actually turn on the light so I could see what was going on with these screws. Turns out they weren't stripped at all! They were Square Drive Screws.

Umm, yeah. Never heard of 'em before. Not knowing they existed wasn't even the issue. The issue was that I didn't know how to take them out. So I called Mr. Barefoot at work, who also had never heard of them. Can you tell that we are real construction buffs?

Anyway, I started pawing through everything in Mr. Barefoot's tool kits and eventually found bits for his drill that had the magic square head. I was amazed at how well they worked!

Feeling quite proud of myself, I took one of the 8 foot boards out to the garage to cut it to size. Heh, this is where I get to use the skill saw. Heh, heh. So the saw was not in the best of shape. Not surprising, considering that Mr. Barefoot bought it at a garage sale at about the time I was in 3rd grade. I think the blade was about that old, too.

Still, being full of myself and determined to get the job done I carefully measured, marked my line, and prepared to start cutting. Everything went quite well until I got about 5 inches from the far side of the board. The saw just jammed up! I knew that it wasn't pressure from the board bending doing it, cuz I had been smart enough to support it on both ends. I wasn't about to stick my face down by the running saw blade to get a good look at what was going on (I do have some smarts), so I figured that the best way to deal with the problem was to flip the board over and go at it from the other side.

Yeah, Barefoot the Builder I am not.

Anyway, in the process of turning over this (hugely heavy, by the way) board I lost my grip and the stupid thing broke.

Cussing a little, I cleaned up the edges and hauled the pieces back inside to be re~installed as shorter shelves. I used some of the brackets in their original position to make things easier. This all went fabulously, and once again all was right with my world. I was doing home improvement stuff on my home, and nothing could be better. Then I put another row of brackets at table height and put the bottom shelf (still 8 ft long) along those to be my work station counter. I gotta say, the whole thing looked beautiful and I really enjoyed spending the rest of my day unpacking my craft supplies and getting them set up.

Fast forward to today (like anything in this story is going fast). Between Little Sprout's attempts to kill either herself or That Damn Cat and my Dad needing me to run him around while his truck was getting worked on, I didn't get even half of the things I wanted done. Obviously I was not in the best of moods, and I was a bit flustered.

As I was feeding the Sprout's, I started looking at the shelf and brackets that we had decided to use to hang our coats in the back porch. A couple minutes with the tape measure assured me that they would fit (though it would be tight), and I decided to go for it. I just couldn't stand the idea that Mr. Barefoot would come home and see that I had not accomplished a single thing after a day of such industrious activity the day before.

I grabbed the drill, some screws, and the cool shelf brackets that have the rod hooks right on them and headed back to the back porch. Excuse me....ahem....the Work Room.

Anyway, I got out the level and made sure that I had everything measured out to look symmetrical as well as level. I was so proud of myself for thinking ahead.

Up went the brackets....easy.

Up went the shelf....simple.

Up went the clothes rod....a cinch.

Then came the fun of finally, FINALLY hanging our coats up. Oh, they looked so good hanging up there! And there was that sweet shelf above them, just begging for the bins full of winter hats and scarves and things.

Guess what happened next?

No, really....guess.

Unh~huh. There I was, placing the last bin up on that beautiful shelf, when it all came crashing down on top of me. What did Barefoot forget to do? Can you guess?

I forgot to screw the brackets into STUDS. Ummm, yeah. Once the whole thing was laying across my aching feet I remembered that the lack of a stud finder in Mr. Barefoot's tool collection was the reason that I had been putting off that particular project.

So. Yeah.

Needless to say, I am off to buy myself a stinking stud finder tomorrow. If possible, I am gonna get a pink one. Not because I like pink, but because it will burn Mr. Barefoot's butt if I have pink tools.

A girl's gotta lift her spirits somehow, doesn't she?


Lisa said...

When each of my girls went off to college, I made them a tool box with pink tools, then I decorated the outside of the box with rhinestones etc. I didn't want "no stinkin' boys" to take their things. And it worked!!

Remember that even with a stud finder, you should drill a very small hole to confirm the stud first. Those things can be wrong sometimes!

Eagerly awaiting pictures!

Denise ( B.C. Canada) said...

The square screw bit needed is called a Robertson. They are common in Canada. As long as you have the right size to match the screw they rarely strip until they fill up with dirt.

Kati said...

OMG!!!!! I'm sorry to hear that all your hard work wound up in a pile at your feet. How sucky!

Best of luck in finding yourself a pink stud-finder. (I bet that a bit of searching online would land you one, considering all the prissied-up tools that are being manufactured for the do-it-yourself handiwoman these days.)