Today’s chapter: In which our heroine learns how to use a chop saw and a nail gun.
I picked up a 3-pack of dish tubs from Costco and turned them into planters for seedlings*. While the industrial look of the tubs might work well for, oh, an industrial setting, they didn’t seem to look right on a wooden deck.
My husband said, “Why don’t you build some cedar boxes for them?”
This I interpreted as: “How about I build you some cedar boxes, honey?”
What he meant was: “Why don’t you build some cedar boxes for them?”
This difference in interpretation became evident when he asked me how I was planning to build the boxes.
Him: “So, how were you planning to build the boxes?”
Me: “Erm, what?”
Him: “The cedar boxes. The ones to hold the planters.”
Me: “[blank look on face]”
Him: “You didn’t expect me to build the boxes, did you?”
Me: “[still blank look on face]”
Him: “[heavy sigh] Alright. How about I show you how to do it, and then you can do it?”
Me: “[pause] Um, okay.”
Now, while I like to think of myself as Capable of Anything, for some reason, power tools scare me. Spiders, snakes, and creepy sounds in the middle of the night make me uncomfortable; they don’t scare me, but I don’t particularly care for them. Power tools make me very fearful. I think it has to do with the fact that they can hurt you AND YET you just might need to use them.
I have no need to handle spiders or snakes, and I don’t need creepy sounds in the middle of the night. However, I needed to cover up the grey plastic tubs.
So with a trepid hand, I learned to wield the Mighty Saw Blade of Death**. Then after a side tour with wood glue, I learned how to wield the Dastardly Nailer of Doom***. And with the help of a set of clamps and another set of hands to hold the frame steady, I was able to get the cedar box together.
By the time I finished the third box****, I was slapping on the wood glue, clamping the pieces together, KACHUNK KACHUNK KACHUNK with the nail gun, and boom—box done. No hesitation, no fretting. Just following the procedure step by step, getting shit done.
That felt AWESOME.
I think I’m finally starting to understand the allure of construction projects. And of power tools.*****
*Lettuce, basil, nasturtiums, and green onions, in case you were wondering. And that bottle in the middle? That is an experiment in self-watering. Time will tell.
** Pro tip: get the blade fully spinning before trying to cut anything, and keep it spinning as you pull the blade out of the cut.
*** Pro tip: angle the nailer so the nails come out parallel with the wood grain, which will make it harder to see those unsightly nails in the finished product.
****I’ve got to be honest: I made the cuts for the corner support pieces and a couple of the cedar sides, but my husband did the majority of the cutting. In the time it took me to make three cuts, he had finished cutting eight pieces and had time for a nap.
*****Now I just have to get more comfortable with the chop saw. I can use it, but it still freaks me out.