Monday, April 6, 2015

Shout Out to Tools

Allow me a moment to brag about my drywall seams.  I know that when it comes time to sand them and paint them I will identify all the flaws, but right now, I'm feeling pretty good about them.  When I run my hand over the walls they feel much smoother than I imagined I would be able to achieve when I first started the process.  I may even have developed a muscle in my arm from wielding the trowel so much in the last weeks!

The worst seam is right by Brandon's head in the photo.  For some reason the drywall doesn't meet up there, so it makes a bump.  I've troweled so much spackle on this spot that's it about a five foot wide swath! I'm half way through my fourth giant bucket of drywall compound, and I really hope it's the last one we have to buy.  

Approaching the finale of so many projects makes me anticipate the reminiscence of our weekend workday routine.  Not that I won't be pleased to get into a routine that doesn't involve giving all my money to Lowe's, but just in case Future Rain forgets how two years of house renovation has effected our wardrobe, I thought I should include this photo of our normal workday morning.  Brandon, in his most worn out clothes, wearing his rubber boots and prescription safety glasses, in public, even.  If only he had his tool belt suspenders on!  We've never been fashionable, but the level of dorky-ness that we now exhibit has surpassed my expectations.  It's nothing for me to realize that I have drywall compound on my glasses while in a meeting at work, and I've often wondered if folks at Kroger think it's odd that a dirty homeless woman, like I'm sure I appear, prefers organic produce, since I'm often making a quick grocery run on the way home from a long dirty work day.  When we empty our pockets before doing the wash, piles of screws, nails, and sawdust appear.  

We've made so many trips to Lowe's for supplies that we know where everything is, and have a system to our approach.  Thankfully we also have a truck.  The truck has been a very important tool for this job.  

Brandon has lots of tools that he uses every work day, and I'm sure he would be hard pressed to pick the most important.  The tools that I hear getting the most praise are definitely the pneumatic nail guns that my family has given him as gifts.  Those things are life savers!  Or at least they are tendinitis elbow savers, since before we had them Brandon's poor elbow was hurting all the time.  Hanging from the steps, in the photo above, are his various tool belts.  It's a good thing Brandon likes tools, because now he wears them.  

There are a few tools that I think should get some extra praise since they've been so helpful to us.  One of them is the wooden hammer thing in the picture above, with the pink string attached to it.  We call it the pecker, and not just because I think it's funny when Brandon asks me to hand it to him, but because we used it to tap, or peck, every board that went in the ceiling, which is a lot of boards.  We actually have two of them (my pecker is smaller than his, so it doesn't work as well as the big pecker), which we wore hanging from our shoulders by the strings so our hands were free to place the boards, and then we could use the peckers to peck, peck, peck the tongue and groove together without marring the wood like would happen when we tried to use a hammer.    

Another tool that should get some credit is the giant hammer which Brandon likes to call mjolnir (spelled with two dots over the o, and pronounced moil-neer), which is named after Thor's hammer.  We give credit to mjolnir (or mew mew, as I like to call it) for the majority of demolition that we had to do.  This hammer really saw some action in the war against rotten wood.  

I've worn through two pairs of leather work gloves.  Two pairs!  I didn't even know I could work that hard.  

If I had to pick tools that deserve a special shout out, I would be hard pressed to find a tool I've used more than this shovel.  The shovel is the perfect dust pan for the giant messes we've been making.   I'm not sure I would have ever thought of using a big shovel like this for a dust pan, but now that I know how handy it is, I'm surprised we don't all have miniature ones in our broom closets.  I know that running saws and drills may seem like it's the most critical work during a house renovation, but I would argue that staying on top of the mess is important not only for cleanliness and efficiency, but a construction site is dangerous when there is debris everywhere.  I've had to sit through numerous work place safety training when requesting access to power plant or factory properties for work, so I know that slips, trips, and falls are the number one way people injure themselves at work.  Slipping on debris while using a saw or air gun is scary.  

I like to joke that if anyone asked me the most important tool for a house renovation I would say the hot tub.  And I'm not joking.  After the hot tub, and a big shovel, the next most useful tool might be a couple of big garbage cans and a dumpster.  I had no idea how much garbage this project would produce. I save the wood shavings in a bucket for use in the composting outhouse, and I use one of my garbage cans for wood scraps that go to our campfire, but even without generating garbage during demolition, every window and fixture comes with excessive packaging.  The dumpster has been extremely handy.  


Anonymous said...

That shovel is the very first tool bought specifically for the house project too. It is like the tool totem of the house.


Leigh Weber said...

Keep up the awesome work guys!

rain said...

Thanks, Leigh! It's good to hear from you.

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