Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Suthun Tool Box

As I've already pointed out, I've been hard at work on my front bath doing some major remodeling. I don't really mind doing the work until it comes to that point where I need to use a different tool. Not some special different tool, just a different one than I'm currently using. Then it seems I have to spend an inordinate amount of time looking for that new tool. Is it in the basement? No. In the Car? No. Oh how about out in the Shed? No... or maybe it's with the abandoned tools I used to work on the living room last time I was doing work of this nature. Again, no. Back and forth I go, looking, digging and muttering to myself like that smelly crazy guy that lives down on Broadway.

It usually takes me about 30 minutes to find the $#@* thing. Now most guys, after a few minutes, they'd just go out and buy another one. In my case that's probably why I have about a dozen hammers. These days I really can't afford a new tool especially when I keep thinking that there is a really good one sitting around this house somewhere. (Maybe under the bed? No...)

There are times when I need a specific tool I know I don't have AND certainly can't afford. At times like this, I go over to my neighbor the Professional Handyman (gotta use italics cuz he is a pro...as he keeps telling me) and borrow what I need. He will stare up at the trees while I tell him what I'm in need of, and then go right to the spot where the odd little tool resides. He really pisses me off. Now, don't get me wrong, he's got tools spread out much like mine. His are spread across two big vans, a shed and a garage and and probably under his bed yet he always knows RIGHT where some special tool is hiding.

"Oh, that?" he will say and then reach under the front seat of the van and BINGO. The tool emerges. And I curse him. Each. And. Every. Time.

When I look at the layout of his tools and mine, they seem to be about the same. I have them all in buckets, and plastic designer bins. I have a peg board (empty) and several tool carry cases. The problem is that I never know which plastic designer bin or carry case is where the particular tool that I'm looking for THIS time is supposed to be. I keep trying to organize, but once I do, and I end up needing a tool, I think; "Yes, that is a WOOD WORKING Tool and it will be with the other Wood Working Tools in the Wood Working Tools designer bin!"

No. It's not. (Maybe I put it in the carport?)

It may be a suthun thing to be able to arrange tools in such a way that they can be found quickly. In which case it's my DNA which may be lacking, not my organizational abilities.

Ok, so let's try this again...A few more designer bins and cardboard boxes and I'm out to the shed. Wish me luck. Send a search party if I'm not back next week.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vacation? What is that?

Sorry, I didn't publish a blog post last week because I was busy. The lovely Mrs and I decided one day that we wanted to get rid of the PINK tile in our bath, leftover from the 60's. (No, we didnt put it in, it's original from when the house was first built.)

We started in one day pulling the little plastic tiles off the wall and discovered (cue music) BLACK MOLD! (cue voiceover: Scream) Now anyone with a little knowledge of this stuff knows that this is not good. Black Mold is known to cause ill effects in people without allergies. Exposure can lead to a sort of poisoning that has numerous symptoms and effects which I will not go into here, but suffice to say we had to get rid of it and in a hurry.

Which references nicely the above picture. That's a 20 Yard Dumpster pulled up in our driveway. My job gave me a week vacation (Vacation? Really?) and we had the big dumpster delivered on Monday. I created a nice ramp to allow us to toss wall parts out the window and for the next few days we attacked the room with gusto. (No, Gusto is not a new bleach, try to keep up, ok?)

It was really a comedy of errors that week, but oddly only a few of them were mine. Most came from past construction or construction standards. Example: We pulled off the tile behind the tub only to find 2 layers: CERAMIC tile over Wallboard over PLASTIC TILE over more WALLBOARD! Strange? According to experts, this is how things were done back in the day. Sheesh.

We pulled out the tub and discovered the floor had all but rotted away. So of course we now had to replace the floor! Oh but before we can do that, we had to chop out the old lead drain and replace with a nice PVC drain. Let's see, we also had to remove aluminum wiring (not to code) pull out the old fan/heater combo (no vent, had to put in a vent!) and basically gut the entire room to the studs.

The only thing that saved me from my own ineptitude is that I have a neighbor (No not Neighbor Bubba) who is a professional at this. He has also been out of work for a few weeks due to the economy and graciously offered to help (after 15 minutes of my begging on my knees) with the drain and floor (and he has some really neat tools!) What he can do with a Saws All is pure poetry. (Side note: My sister says that she knows someone who calls this nifty tool a Sawz Awe. Go figure.)

I ran out of vacation (vacation? really?) before I ran out of things to do. I am now working on getting the wallboard (yes, the green stuff, mold and moisture resistant) installed along with new fixtures but I have to work on the weekends. Such is my life. But if you're interested, you can see the transformation by clicking here!

Stay tuned for more fun from the south.